In the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila University, Xavier University, and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network are hosting the Independent Dialogue for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021: Pathways to Sustainable Food and Nutrition, Consumption, and Livelihoods on Friday, 16 April, at 2:00-4:00 pm.
The Independent Dialogue will then jump-start Community Dialogues to be organized as widely as possible by any individual or group which can then serve as inputs into the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021.
In the Philippines, the current pandemic has reached crisis proportions and has impacted on millions of Filipinos in terms of their access to food and jobs and livelihoods. Civil society through the academe, NGOs, faith-based organizations, and many others have undertaken major efforts so that those in more marginal situations are able to access food. Even before the pandemic struck, studies have indicated that about 30 percent of Filipino children are stunted and wasted and will impact on future generation of Filipinos.
The independent dialogue event intends to stimulate critical thinking as well as brainstorm with the academe, civil society, and the private sector to understand the issues and search for solutions that can help reach the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the end of this decade.
Convening the dialogue is Dr Cielito Habito, former Philippine economic planning secretary and professor of economics with introductory messages from Roberto Yap SJ, president of the Ateneo de Manila University, from Mars Tan SJ, president of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, and from Martin Frick, Deputy to the Special Envoy of the UN Food Systems Summit.
There are four topic speakers:
- On food security – Dr Roehlano Briones who is a Senior Research Fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies
- On equitable livelihoods – Dr Larry Digal who is the Chancellor, University of the Philippines Mindanao
- On sustainable consumption – Dr Assunta Cuyegkeng who is the Director of the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability at the Ateneo de Manila University-
- On resilience and vulnerabilities – Dr Pedro Walpole SJ who is the Director of Research at the Institute of Environmental Science for Social Change and Ecojesuit Global Coordinator.
This event will hopefully further inspire local-level Community Dialogues from mid-April to the end of May, which can involve various stakeholders: faculty, student learning programs and their organizations, outreach to communities, and many others in social development and social action work. These Community Dialogues should also lead to solid follow up actions at local levels to address the various issues related to ending hunger and malnutrition in the country.