Earth Day 2021: Restoring agriculture to transform food systems
BY CLAUDIA RINGLER
COVID-19 may have forced the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to be commemorated online last year, yet millions of people participated in calls to action. As we begin to look beyond the pandemic, however, it’s vital to remember that we cannot go back to business-as-usual as far as our planet is concerned.
Against the backdrop of Earth Day 2021’s theme of “Restore Our Earth,” IFPRI’s 2021 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) urges us to invest in nature-based solutions for sustainable food systems. With a clear acknowledgement of the zoonotic origins of the pandemic, the GFPR charts a course for food systems beyond COVID-19—systems that achieve healthy diets for all while acknowledging the intertwined relationship between agricultural production and ecosystem health. GFPR Chapter 4 focuses on rethinking food system policies in terms of “eco-agro-food systems” to foster such an integrated approach: Maintaining and restoring vital ecosystem services and reducing the likelihood of future shocks to food and health systems.