The Global Alliance celebrated an important milestone in April of this year. We welcomed Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) as our newest member, based in Bangalore, India. This is worthy of celebration for a number of reasons: it builds strength within the alliance as we continue to join with others committed to food systems transformation; it increases our diversity with the first foundation located outside of Europe or North America; and, it augments intellectual, human, and financial resources for our three Impact Areas, all relevant to the fantastic work supported by APPI: true cost accounting, agroecology, and health and well-being.
Additional capacity in our three Impact Areas, to move us closer to transformational change, comes at a particularly opportune time. In early June, the much-anticipated TEEBAgriFood Scientific and Economic Foundations Report was launched in New Delhi, India – a comprehensive, innovative framework, along with methodologies and tools to support robust evaluation of current ‘eco-agri-food systems’ practices. A central pillar of our True Cost Accounting Impact Area , TEEBAgriFood is supported by the Global Alliance because, in the words of the TEEBAgriFood leadership team, “We believe that TEEBAgriFood is a major milestone in this defining journey towards sustainable development. Fixing food metrics is a crucial part of the transformation needed to provide nutritious food for all people without damaging ecosystems, exacerbating climate change, and damaging human health.”
Earlier this spring, the FAO hosted its Second International Symposium on Agroecology with more than 700 stakeholders across sectors, and from 72 governments around the globe, in attendance. With an ambition in our Agroecology Impact Area to accelerate the transition to agroecology as a core solution to the future of food, the Global Alliance co-hosted two donor-focused side events in collaboration with the AgroEcology Fund and McKnight Foundation in order to identify how the donor community can scale-up agroecology through new and enhanced investment. We are continuing this important discussion with donors through online forums and other convenings so that we can build on what is emerging as key points of alignment and action across the sector.
As well, we continue to work on highlighting the fundamental role that food systems play in creating health and well-being in all ecosystems, human, and non-human communities through our Health and Well-being Impact Area. To this end, we are pleased to announce a Call for Proposals on Systemic Solutions for Healthy Food Systems: The Positive Health Benefits and Impacts of Sustainable Food Systems. This work supports the Global Alliance’s ongoing process of research and engagement related to the food-health nexus, and aims to compile diverse evidence about the positive health benefits and impacts of food systems, identify success stories that demonstrate how food systems can be managed for health, and highlight policies that promote health.
APPI Chief Executive Officer, Ananthapadmanabhan Guruswamy, noted that one of the reasons they joined the Global Alliance was that “the urgency and scale of the issues involved requires us to collaborate across the globe.” This is true of all the work mentioned above. Collaboration has always been at the heart of the Global Alliance and becomes a stronger and stronger imperative as we move more deeply into the challenges of food systems reform.
Here’s to the power of working together and with others to effect positive change.