Food produced from the ocean, lakes and rivers has an essential role to play in achieving food security, ending malnutrition and building healthy, resilient food systems. Yet these ‘blue and aquatic foods’ are often neglected in food policy, resulting in missed opportunities to alleviate pressure on terrestrial ecosystems while providing healthful, often low-carbon-footprint, protein and essential micronutrients to communities around the world.
Members of the Blue Food Assessment team, alongside global partners, joined a recent hybrid parallel session at the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) Pre-Summit in Rome, Italy. The session built on science to support key policy, finance, and engagement convergence points — to ‘add fish to the recipe’ for food security, improved nutrition, and nature-positive production while encouraging and securing dignified livelihoods for a diversity of actors. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit, and Ambassador Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean provided framing remarks for the session to emphasize the growing importance of blue foods in global dialogues.
As part of the session, speakers highlighted an Alliance for Blue Foods, officially announced as an “Emerging Coalition for Action” at the end of the Pre-Summit event. The coalition brings together voices from across the blue food sector to mobilize action towards food systems that are fairer, healthier, greener and more resilient. Read highlights and access videos from the parallel session — “Steering the Food System Summit Towards Full Integration of Blue Foods for Health, Wealth and Ecological Recovery” — below!
“At this pre-summit, we take stock of how far we have come. By the time of the summit, we must be ready to act.” — H.E. Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
“There needs to be a massive political will to link blue food dialogues with blue justice, ensuring that people have job creation, ensuring that the environment is protected, and ensuring that people are fed.” — Barkha Mossae, Global Shaper, Port Louis Hub
“Let us work together to realize the vision of a blue food revolution that also advances the SDGs.” — Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director, UN Compact
“Blue foods need to be integrated better into the food system transformation strategies.” — Ambassador Thanawat Tiensin, Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security
“Integrating blue food into national and global food systems is of utmost importance. Kenya strongly supports the aims and objectives of the alliance.” — Professor Micheni Ntiba, Department of Justice, Kenya
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All UNFSS Pre-Summit videos: ©UN
All UNFSS Pre-Summit images: UN Photo