Future of Food is Blue: Coalition Acts to Support Responsible Development of Aquatic Foods and Thriving Communities

This event, on Monday, June 27, 1:00 - 2:15pm, will bring together national leaders from government and non-governmental sectors to promote the full integration of sustainably harvested aquatic foods into our food system and deliver progress on the Sustainable Development Goals while supporting small scale actors and aquaculture sectors to meet food security and nutrition needs in a changing climate.

The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit identified blue foods as a game changing solution in food system transformation and achieving progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This resulted in the launch of the Aquatic Blue Food Coalition charged with raising the profile of blue foods in food system dialogues and mobilizing financial, technical, and organizational resources for blue food projects. Simultaneously, FAO has also declared 2022 the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) which aims to focus world attention on the role that small-scale artisanal fishers, aquatic farmers and workers play in food security and nutrition, poverty eradication and sustainable natural resource use – thereby increasing global understanding and action to support them. On a global scale, this also means that we must promote responsible consumption of aquatic food, because fish consumption patterns in developed countries are interrelated with the livelihoods of small-scale producers in developing countries - and the natural resources that support them. Collaborations such as the Blue Food Assessment have contributed greatly to an evidence-based approach in these matters. The scientific community, the private sector and community-based organizations have shown great support of the blue aquatic food agenda, not the least the potential for innovative solutions to be scaled up for vulnerable coastal communities and small island developing states. Recently, shocks to the food supply caused by conflict and the pandemic have disrupted both food production and the supply chain, highlighting the system's overall fragility and the need for us to transform and diversify the system to make it able to more reliably, equitably and sustainably nourish our growing world population.

At this UN Ocean Conference, we have a tremendous opportunity to take the next step forward. In this event, we will highlight the most recent scientific evidence that demonstrates blue foods’ potential importance to end hunger and malnutrition, tackle climate change, and conserve biodiversity. We will give voice to small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) who rely on sustainable fisheries management and good governance practices, as they depend on aquatic food and healthy ecosystems for their livelihoods. And finally, we will galvanize action from policy makers and funders for investments and policies that can provide a growing global population with sustainable and equitably sourced aquatic foods that can deliver progress in meeting the SDGs.

Later in the day, a small reception will be held from 5-7pm on Monday 27th June. Please email Karly Kelso and Maria Honig for further information.

Time: Monday, June 27, 1:00 - 2:15pm WET

Location: Side Event Room 1, Altice Arena

Lead Organizations: The Government of Iceland submitted the proposal, on behalf of the Blue Foods Coalition.

Other Organizations: Government of Iceland, Government of Canada, Germany - Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Center (BMZ), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Ocean Solutions at Stanford, EAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Global Action Network Sustainable Food from the Oceans and Inland Waters for Food Security and Nutrition (GAN), WWF, Friends of Ocean Action (World Economic Forum (WEF), World Resources Institute (WRI)), RiseUp, Environmental Law Institute, the Pacific Community (SPC), Oceana, Worldfish, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Safe Seaweed Coalition, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Global Salmon Initiative (GSI), FUTUREFISH.