At CoP28, SHiFT joined “the world of actionism”

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Join a world of Actionism” was the invitation from the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to leaders, policymakers, and experts. There, Tuyen Huynh, the CGIAR Initiative on Sustainable Healthy Diets through Food Systems Transformation (SHiFT) Country Coordinator in Viet Nam had a chair and a voice. She was invited by the Government of Viet Nam to be part of the government delegation to COP28, thanks to her work for SHiFT in supporting the country to implement food system transformation. Tuyen participated in Session 4 (Evolving Landscapes: Are our diets and food systems adaptable and resilient?) on December 3 in the Food Systems Pavilion and at an official COP28 side event on December 6.

In the context of the COP’s call to refocus priorities, turn promises into projects, agreements into action and rhetoric into real results, Tuyen presented different experiences and outcomes on transforming food systems and healthy diets towards sustainability. Among the results shared are scientific articles to guide action, as well as processes to support the Government of Viet Nam in key actions to improve food system performance, such as support and participation in the United Nations Food Systems Summit Dialogues; the development of the National Action Plan for Transparent, Responsible and Sustainable Food System Transformation (2022-2030) approved by the Prime Minister this year; the integration of the concepts of sustainable healthy diets and sustainable food systems into the Guidelines for the Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in the period 2021-2023 and Vision to 2050; and the ongoing development of a Food System Dashboard, involving key stakeholders in Viet Nam’s food system, not just experts, to facilitate more informed and evidence-supported decisions around food systems.

The results presented have been obtained by a collaborative process with key partners in Viet Nam, such as the International Cooperation Department and the Department of Economic Cooperation and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS); the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) under the Ministry of Health; and the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD).

The experiences presented support what Session 4 speakers, including Tuyen, said when they affirmed that single-sector approaches are inadequate to respond to rapid changes. Systemic approaches to the food system that emphasize both nutritional and environmental outcomes, tailored to specific contexts, and co-designed, owned, and evaluated by local communities are the primary pathways to address evolving scenarios in space and time, the experts concluded.

Header image: Neil Palmer/Clim-Eat. “Sustainable Food Systems Future” side event and panel discussion at COP28, Dubai. From left: Oliver Camp, Senior Associate, Nature Positive Actions for Healthy Diets – Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); Dhanush Dinesh, Founder & Chief Climate Catalyst Clim-Eat; Ishmael Sunga, CEO, The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU); Tuyen Thi Thanh Huynh, Research Team Leader, Alliance Bioversity and CIAT, Asia; Imelda Bacudo, Senior Advisor on Agri Food Initiatives, COP28 Presidency; Beverley Postma, Executive Director, Grow Asia; Pham Quang Huy, Counselor for Agricultural Affairs, Trade Office, Vietnam Embassy, USA; Salla Sulasuo, Head of Climate and Nature, Paulig; Bruno Brasil, Director of Sustainable Production and Irrigation at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Brazil.    

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