dubai [UAE]23 June (ANI/WAM): The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment held its third National Food Security Dialogue on the theme “Transitioning to sustainable food consumption patterns”. The event covers the challenges and opportunities to enhance food security in the UAE by facilitating constructive dialogue and discussions among public and private sector stakeholders towards inclusive, equitable and sustainable food systems and consumption patterns.
The event was held at the SEE Institute building in partnership with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and HealthyPath, a specialist consultancy on food sustainability and nutrition policy. The facility is dedicated to sustainability research and education and is located within Sustainable City Dubai. Notably, it is the first building in the world to achieve net zero carbon emissions. The 50,000-square-foot building is home to the SEE Institute, a subsidiary of Diamond Developers that specializes in research, development and training.
The event was attended by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; Mohammad Saeed Al Nuaimi, Acting Undersecretary for the Ministry; and Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Assistant Undersecretary for Food Diversity at the Ministry, as well as representatives from government and private organisations, academic and social Some representatives of institutions, industry associations, youth groups, civil society, state and private farms. In his speech, Almhaili said: “The upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the UAE this November is a pivotal moment for the future of the planet as it offers world leaders a historic opportunity to Let them share knowledge and collaborate on climate change. This year, food security and more sustainable pathways to food consumption will be key topics of discussion as climate change is closely linked to food security, affecting the availability, accessibility and stability of food.
She added: “The food industry, intertwined with various activities such as agriculture, transport, storage and the entire food value chain, can make a significant contribution to environmental protection. However, the challenges of desertification and water scarcity caused by climate change are deeply affecting the industry, leading to a decline in agriculture and food production. To keep the balance, we must adopt more sustainable approaches to manage the food sector and reduce its emissions, as the food sector is the second largest source of emissions in the world. We must also transform through prudential By managing our food consumption, protecting our livestock, promoting biodiversity, minimizing food waste, and diversifying our food sources, our food systems will become more sustainable.” Being a partner provides an opportunity to develop a comprehensive vision for strengthening our national food security, consider our food needs, and adopt more sustainable and climate-smart technologies and systems. By achieving our food goals and by Reducing carbon emissions from the food and agriculture sector contributes to the global effort to combat climate change, and we have a great opportunity to create an experience that the world can benefit from and build a sustainable, safe and hunger-free future,” Al Mhairi explained.
Mohammed Mousa Alameeri highlighted the importance of the National Food Security Dialogue, reflecting the ministry’s efforts and role in leading the country’s preparations for COP28 to be held in November, and highlighted the latest developments in enhancing food security in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner and work hard. He said: “The Third Food Security Dialogue focuses on the transition to sustainable food consumption patterns and explores future solutions for changing consumption patterns. We are committed to developing strategies, policies and programs to create more balanced and sustainable food systems and consumption patterns. We strive to make this dialogue a catalyst for measurable solutions and actions, reflecting the UAE’s aspirations to be at the top of the Global Food Security Index by 2051. Food consumption and production have a significant impact on environmental There is a need to shift the population towards consumption patterns that rely on alternative protein sources and more local produce.”
“Researching the food consumption patterns, behavior and environmental footprint of the UAE food system is a key element in the design of our future policies and programmes. Food manufacturers have a responsibility to shift towards healthier and more sustainable options and to accelerate nutrition awareness and education to promote health and sustainability. Sustained food acceptance,” Alameeri added. Fares Saeed, Chair Engineer, SEE Institute, said: “At SEE Institute, we aim to accelerate and strengthen climate action through education, research and development, organizing dedicated events and conferences, enabling our partners to achieve an emissions-neutral future .Food safety is at the forefront of our efforts to strengthen the dialogue to ensure a sustainable future.”
He added: “By hosting the third National Food Security Dialogue at the University of Alabama School of the Environment at the University of Alabama, we hope to provide an effective platform for all stakeholders to exchange knowledge, share experiences and best practices, and ensure that Provide the best solutions to enhance national food security. Our aim is to present an inspiring model of our experience in the sustainable city of Dubai, which has been working to reduce the food gap, relying on indoor and vertical farming solutions, promoting urban farming, and fight food waste. This allows us to produce a significant portion of vegetables and fruits and become self-sufficient in the cultivation of leafy produce needed by sustainable urban dwellers,” affirmed the United Arab Emirates University and HealthyPath in a joint statement, The shift towards sustainable and healthy food consumption patterns represents a significant opportunity for the UAE to mitigate and adapt to climate change while promoting public health.
The statement noted that addressing food consumption is a viable path to making substantive progress, and that it is critical to highlight this issue at COP28 events and enrich discussions on managing demand systems and their significant supply-side implications. Both parties emphasized the need to strengthen collaboration across the food value chain, starting with farmers, to promote sustainable practices in the production of fresh produce, the statement said. Additionally, enabling food manufacturers to innovate in the field of nutraceuticals and alternative protein sources is critical. Retailers also play a key role in ensuring healthy and sustainable food options remain affordable and accessible. The statement emphasizes the need for research institutions to provide vital data and research to guide evidence-based decision-making, while governments should establish the necessary frameworks and policies to facilitate successful transitions.
HealthyPath and the UAEU are trying to get this topic on the agenda of the COP28 conference, involving key stakeholders from government and the private sector, research institutions, civil society groups and youth. By adopting this approach, we aim to identify the basic requirements for the transition to sustainable and healthy food consumption patterns. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of research in guiding evidence-based policy, the need for national reference data, and the critical role of education in achieving widespread adoption of healthy and sustainable food systems. Several dialogue sessions were held during the Third National Food Security Dialogue, covering sustainable food consumption patterns – a holistic pillar of food security and policy, innovation and educational opportunities for sustainable and healthy food. The event also discussed the prerequisites and necessary policies for the transition to a sustainable and healthy food system; Sustainable food systems in the context of the UAE: Challenges and opportunities; Unlocking the potential of food innovation; The importance of food technology innovation and cross-knowledge sharing; Transformation Our food ecosystem; the Ne’ma initiative: an example of cross-sectoral collaboration and transition to sustainable food consumption patterns.
Additionally, the third session focused on the role of youth in sustainable food development and included youth circles and collaborative innovation workshops. (ANI/WAM)
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)