UNFSS Science Days: Promise of the commons for sustainable and equitable food systems
BY HAGAR ELDIDI AND RUTH MEINZEN-DICK
The commons (natural resources held and used collectively) support food systems through direct production and provision of water, food, fuel, fodder, pollination, and other key ecosystem services, and are also important sources of resilience for communities. They thus contribute to nature-positive solutions and advance equitable livelihoods. Yet the commons are under pressure from encroachment and overuse.
In a July 7 UNFSS Science Days side event, co-organized by IFPRI and the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES, India), with the University of South Australia and Azim Premji University, researchers and practitioners presented evidence from a new study of the value of ecosystem services from the commons in India, and discussed how strengthening governance of the commons can support equitable food systems. The study and event build on the April UNFSS Dialogue on Women, Work and Food Systems that identified protection and effective management of the commons as game-changing solution for food system transformation.