In November 2022, Egypt hosted the 27th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, with a view to build on previous successes and pave the way for future ambition. The COP serves as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC parties to assess progress in addressing challenges the world faces due to climate change.
Climate strategies need to identify actions that can maintain food system resilience in a changing climate and transition them towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Although food systems are integral to climate conversations, they are persistently underrepresented in national and international climate policies, and at global conferences like the COP, terrestrial food systems take center stage. Policymakers often leave blue food—that from oceans, rivers, and lakes—out of these discussions. With global demand for blue foods expected to double in live weight by 2050, now is the time to put all foods on the table, from mountain to sea and everything in between.
Blue Foods at COP27
How can Nutrient Density be a Part of National Policy? (Side Event)
Building Nutrient-Dense Global Food Systems | Nov 12 | 14:00 – 15:20 | Food Systems Pavilion
This side event focused on how policymakers can find ways to include farmers, businesses, and eaters in policies that impact food and agriculture systems in the future. Blue Food Assessment member Michelle Tigchelaar discussed policies for better integrating aquatic foods into food, climate and nutrition policies and highlighted the need for climate resilience investments to extend beyond Big Four staple crops across nutrient-dense production systems.
Learn more about the side event >
Read Food Tank coverage of this event >
Aquatic foods as a climate-smart source of nutrition (Side Event)
Embrace sustainable water use and aquatic blue food diversity for climate-smart food systems | Nov 14 | 10:00 – 10:45 | Food Systems Pavilion
This session, part of Blue Food and Water Day at the Food Systems Pavilion, highlighted the importance of blue foods for small-scale fishing communities. Attendees heard from small-scale fishers and aquaculturists about how blue foods contribute to food security and nutrition, and how they are adapting to climate change. Blue Food Assessment member Michelle Tigchelaar shared a summary of the mounting evidence that aquatic foods could be key to meeting food and nutrition goals in the face of climate change in coastal countries around the world and will moderate a panel discussion.
Read more about the side event >
Watch the recording below
Unlocking blue prosperity: How blue food communities can survive and thrive in the climate emergency (Side Event)
Nov 16 | 14:00 – 15:00 | Resilience Hub
Blue, aquatic foods and the benefits they provide to billions of people around the world are threatened by climate change, especially in countries where significant sustainable development challenges persist. Current efforts to adapt to climate change often focus on preserving the status quo, but for vulnerable aquatic food communities, such an approach is not only insufficient but also decouples responses to climate change from sustainable development aspirations. In this side event, co-sponsored by the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, EDF, WorldFish and the Aquatic Blue Food Coalition, experts discussed the need to raise ambition from adaptation to a “shared blue prosperity” and called on leaders to effect justice-informed financing, innovation, and collaboration to enact this vision. Blue Food Assessment member Michelle Tigchelaar shared an overview of the various ways in which climate change threatens blue food systems and presented the pillars of the blue prosperity framework.
Watch the recording below
Read a wrap-up Q&A about the conference >
Read a Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions COP27 policy brief >
Read an op-ed “Cop27 can help the world achieve blue prosperity” by Michelle Tigchelaar and Essam Yassin Mohammed >
Watch a We Don’t Have Time Nature’s Newsroom session with Michelle Tigchelaar >