Home ARTS & CULTURE World Food Day, World Food Forum 2023 Set To Spark Global Action For Water, Climate Action And Sustainable Agrifood Systems

World Food Day, World Food Forum 2023 Set To Spark Global Action For Water, Climate Action And Sustainable Agrifood Systems

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World Food Day

The stage is set at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for World Food Day and the World Food Forum (WFF), two vital initiatives in the global efforts to transform agrifood systems and address the challenges of food security, sustainability, and climate action.

World leaders, experts, international financial institutions, public figures, the private sector, and youth and indigenous activists will come together starting on 16 October with a high-level celebration hosted by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, and then moving onto a whole week of events, dialogues forums and even labs focused on youth, science and innovation and investment at the WFF.

World Food Day
World Food Day, an annual event commemorating FAO’s anniversary and among the UN’s most celebrated days, mobilizes global action for agrifood system transformation.

With its 2023 theme, “Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind,” this year the Day spotlights the plight of 2.4 billion people in water-stressed countries and 600 million reliant on aquatic food systems who face pollution, ecosystem degradation, and climate change impacts.

Celebrated across more than 150 countries, the event will serve as a rallying point for governments, businesses, civil society organizations, and the public to collectively combat hunger and raise awareness about the profound impact of responsible water management in our agrifood systems.

World Food Day will feature around 500 activities in 150 nations and will be broadcast widely via TV, radio, and social media, engaging millions. Displays, including drone shows and illuminated iconic landmarks around the world, will further raise awareness.

Key events to look out for:
Coldiretti Village (October 13-15): Located at Circus Maximus in Rome, a FAO stand includes a water-action live photo wall where visitors can pledge commitments to a more water- and food-secure world. Workshops for young children will also focus on this year’s theme.

Tree Planting and Inauguration of the Global Library of Trees and Flowers FAO Park (October 15): An initiative in collaboration with Roma Capitale in Villa Pamphili where 90 species of trees representing seven geographical areas from around the world will be planted.

World Food Day Global Ceremony (October 16 10:30 CEST): The main event will be held at the Plenary Hall, FAO, Rome. Distinguished guests including FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland, and others will discuss the importance of water and climate action. The FAO Achievement Award will also be conferred during the ceremony.

Junior World Food Day (October 19 14:30 CEST): Students will engage in conversations with special guests, including chefs, athletes, activists, and musicians, discussing water-saving actions and sustainable practices. A youth action music video titled “Water is life, water is food” will be launched, promoting youth engagement and advocacy.

Exhibit – World Food Day Experience (October 16-20): The FAO Atrium will host an interactive water experience, including a live water action photo wall, interactive games for children, and an immersive water experience to highlight water’s crucial role in life and agrifood systems.

In parallel with World Food Day celebrations, the World Food Forum will host a series of events in Rome from 16-20 October: The WFF Global Youth Forum, the FAO Science and Innovation Forum, and the FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum.

With the overarching theme of “Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action,” this forum emphasizes inclusiveness, innovation, evidence-based approaches, and concrete investments in countries.

The WFF, held at the FAO headquarters in Rome and virtually, will bring together around 10,000 participants, including experts, changemakers, and leaders to address agrifood system challenges.

The inclusive event encourages attendees to co-create a future where food security and environmental sustainability are universal realities.

Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum: Country-led and country-driven initiatives promoting investment for Sustainable Agriculture

The Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum will take place from October 17 to 20, 2023, in Rome, with the participation of 31 countries. Prospective investors will learn about investment opportunities, and countries will present investment plans that focus on reducing poverty and hunger.

The forum will also highlight regional initiatives at the Dry Corridor and the Sahel, emphasizing the importance of long-term finance, blended finance structures, and risk-mitigating mechanisms to support sustainable agrifood systems.

Bilateral meetings can be arranged between Ministers and senior officials of each participating country with potential development partners at any time especially during the event and afterwards.

Full agenda and investment plans here

Global Youth Forum
Focusing on the younger generation, this forum emphasizes the role of youth in driving change for climate action. It offers an opportunity to be part of the transformation toward universal food security and environmental sustainability.

Attendees will have access to thought-provoking discussions, dialogues, and debates, as well as roundtables, policy discussions, and insights from global visionaries and experts. Collaborative workshops, interactive demonstrations, cutting-edge research, innovation labs, and crucial tools will empower participants to make tangible impacts in their communities and beyond.

This year the Global Youth Forum will also include in parallel the United Nations Global Indigenous Youth Forum (UNGIYF). The biennial event serves as a pivotal platform for Indigenous youth from around the world to engage in critical dialogues and advocate for meaningful change.

Full agenda here for both forums

Science and Innovation Forum
The FAO Science and Innovation Forum (SIF 2023) centers on “Science and Innovation for Climate Action” under the broader theme of the World Food Forum.

The event aims to enhance the accessibility of climate technologies, innovative practices, and local knowledge for climate change adaptation, resilience, and mitigation within agrifood systems. It focuses on the role of science, technology, and innovation in transforming agrifood systems to address climate challenges.

The Forum encourages the exchange of practical solutions to bolster climate action, supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and FAO’s “Four Betters” agenda while ensuring inclusivity.

Full agenda here

Key events to look out for

16 October 14:30 CEST: World Food Forum 2023 Grand Opening

16 October 18:00 CEST: Concert and Global Youth Forum Opening

17 October 09:00 CEST: Opening Session Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum

17 October 09:00 CEST: United Nations Global Indigenous Youth Forum High-level opening ceremony

18 October 14:00 CEST: FAO Science and Innovation Forum High-Level Opening

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