Achieving SDG2: Two initiatives to support the development of national transformation pathways
Tuesday, 12 July 2016
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Conference room 8

Side Event

Context: National transformation pathways are needed if we wish to achieve the SDGs

The global agriculture and food system in its current form is not sustainable. The majority of today’s farming practices cause environmental damage, while the produced food is often of controversial quality and access to it is limited for the 793 million people still suffering from hunger (FAO – SOFI, 2015). Considerable shifts away from business-as-usual trajectories will be essential to improve this situation and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

In spite of global consensus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, further work is needed to develop a clear understanding of how to achieve transformative changes in complex and diverse food systems to support progress on SDG 2. Transformation roadmaps need to be developed and shared widely, in order to capture the lessons and benefits of cooperation (SDSN, 2014). To enter a sustainable development path under the right conditions, national stakeholders will need clear and converging socio-economic, policy and technology roadmaps to achieve the targets that they consider to be a high priority. However, as of today, few countries have developed a clear understanding of how to make transformative changes in complex and diverse food systems that would enable them to meet key cross-sectoral targets.

Objective: Discussing concrete initiatives aiming at achieving transformative changes in food systems

Innovative ideas and promising pilot projects are needed to sustain the momentum created by the new sustainable development agenda, particularly in the field of agriculture and food systems, which is still considerably left behind in spite of its fundamental importance for the world’s development. This side event will showcase two promising initiatives to support the 2030 agenda:

      - the Agricultural Transformation Pathways Initiative, which focuses on developing, adapting and applying a practical methodology for countries to build, adopt and implement long-term policy roadmaps to bring about transformative changes in the consumption and production of food by 2030. In the framework of the initiative, three pilot countries (China, Uruguay and the United Kingdom) have already started developing ambitious and realistic pathways supporting national policy debates and informing the conditions of implementation of the SDGs in the agricultural sector; and 
      - the Changing Course in Global Agriculture project, which relies on a methodology combining (i) capacity-building of local experts in system dynamics modelling (T21 model); (ii) the modelling of existing and alternative policies and the analysis of their mid-term/long-term outcomes across sectors (e.g. in 2030 for SDGs); (iii) a multi-stakeholder process at national level contributing to the development of policy scenario analysis and allowing for wider policy dialogue on the implication of the analysis results. The project is active in three African countries: Kenya, Senegal and Ethiopia.

These two initiatives provide vast experience on the design of definite pathways to implement national sustainability targets for agriculture and food systems and on the modalities of SDG implementation at national and international scales, in particular around SDG2. It gives useful information on a variety of organizational, institutional, economic and technological roadblocks impeding transformation, but also levers (including international platforms) that might help overcome them.

Methodology: Active participation from all stakeholders is encouraged

The event will inform participants about the achievements and challenges encountered in the framework of these initiatives and trigger discussions on the potential of such projects to contribute to countries efforts in achieving the SDGs related to agriculture. We welcome participants from all stakeholders groups – governments, international organizations, research, private sector and civil society.

The side event will start with a series of short illustrated presentations of the two above-listed initiatives. They will be followed by an interactive debate between participants and the presenters, led by a facilitator who will guide discussions and collect comments, suggestions and ideas to scale up agricultural transformation pathways towards the achievement of the SDGs.

Program - A light lunch will be served before the event starts

1.15 pm – 1.30 pm: Introduction 
David Nabarro, Special Adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (video intervention)
H.E. Fodé Seck, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations
Deborah Fulton, Secretary of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

1.30 pm – 1.45 pm: Presentation of the Agricultural Transformation Pathways Initiative
Marie-Hélène Schwoob, research fellow at IDDRI

1.45 pm – 2.00 pm: Presentation of the Changing Course in Global Agriculture Initiative 
Hans Herren, President Millenium Institute and Biovision

2.00 pm – 2.30 pm: Interactive debate with the audience
Facilitator: Zachary Bleicher, Head of IFAD Office New York

Institute For Sustainable Dvpmt. And International Relations (IDDRI)
Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN)