10th December - Thematic Day


1st December - Thematic Day


Thematic Day Hosts:

PROTECT food and water systems

9.30–10.30 +4 GMT

Rising to the Challenge: Bridging Water and Food Ways of Knowing for Sustainable Food System Transformation

This panel will discuss the growing threat of water shortages and floods to food systems and the parallel need to better integrate water and food system management from governance to financing to community level planning. The panel is composed of scientists, Indigenous knowledge holders, farmers, and representatives from development and private organizations. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities for more integrated water and food systems and examine the financial and governance barriers and opportunities for achieving a more systems-based approach. The event will also focus on the role of collaboration across diverse stakeholder groups and the actors and actions needed to deliver more integrated water and food systems that work for both people and nature.

11.00–12.00 +4 GMT

Little Fish, Big Impact: Transforming School Meals through Local Aquatic Foods

At the nexus of school meals, nutrition, and climate resilience, there lies an untapped opportunity to integrate locally sourced, sustainable aquatic foods into school meals. As the COP Presidency has clearly indicated the important role that food systems will play at this year’s COP 28 Conference, the pivotal role of aquatic foods in ensuring nutrition and food security for some of the world’s most malnourished and climate-vulnerable populations cannot be overlooked. When sourced or grown sustainably, aquatic foods can increase food and nutrition security, bolster community economies, sustain livelihoods, and protect our planet. Through innovative national strategies and collaborative programs, regions across the world are embracing aquatic foods and the potential they have to support the development and health of children. From Africa to Europe, real-world examples underscore the potential of this approach for supporting nutrition outcomes, ensuring healthier children, thriving local communities, and a more resilient planet.

12.30–13.45 +4 GMT

Food Systems Press Briefing and interview with frontline producers

  • EDF, Greenhouse Communications and GSCC will bring the food systems community together for a press briefing where we can collectively offer negotiation updates and exciting reflections from spokespeople. 
  • The session will be moderated by Muriel Alarcón Luco, a Chilean journalist working as a freelance reporter and photographer from Santiago, Chile, who has had her work published in The New York Times, New York Magazine’s GrubStreet and Univisión.
  • Angela Churie Kallhauge, Executive Vice President, Impact at the Environmental Defense Fund will review announcements, policy actions, and key points that have been made at COP28 related to food systems. 
  • The session will also provide a platform for a coalition of family farmers and frontline producers to make calls for food systems transformation and discuss the barriers to action.

14.00–15.00 +4 GMT

Food systems globally are failing to deliver on multiple fronts with devastating consequences for people and the planet. There are currently too few compelling examples of what it means to actually transform food systems in line with food security, nutrition, climate and nature goals.

In this panel, governments and civil society organisations discuss the potential catalytic power of plurilateral action in closing the ambition and implementation gaps on food systems.

15.15–16.30 +4 GMT

The increasing overreliance of our food systems on a limited range of products presents pressing challenges in the context of a rapidly changing climate. Harvest failures and fisheries collapse are increasing risks for food security and livelihoods around the world. Many of the “adaptations” proposed include creating more environmental damage and consuming more natural resources. This event will explore the crucial role of food system diversification in building more sustainable and resilient food systems, including both aquatic and terrestrial food systems. Diversification is not easy, and speakers will unpack barriers and pathways forward, including the actors and actions needed to deliver food systems that work for both people and nature.

16.45–17.45 +4 GMT

Cutting methane emissions from agriculture is critical to slow the rate of climate change but, if done incorrectly, we risk increasing malnutrition globally. This panel will focus on understanding the future and current state of solutions and discuss how companies and farmers are implementing solutions.

Methane emissions are one of the major drivers of climate change and cutting these emissions is recognized as the most impactful way to slow the rate of global warming. Agriculture is responsible for 40% of human-caused methane emissions, with the major sources being livestock and rice systems. Agriculture will therefore need to play a crucial role in reducing human-caused methane emissions and countries meeting their commitments under the Global Methane Pledge.  

A critical consideration in addressing agriculture methane is the important role that livestock and rice systems play in providing foundational and comprehensive nutrition to the global population. Finding solutions that continue to support the role of these foods in global nutrition, and supporting the farmers that produce them, is key to reducing methane emissions from agriculture while also enhancing nutrition for the world. 

18.00–19.00 +4 GMT

The technical session will bring together professionals and experts representing prominent organizations from Europe, South America, the Middle East, Far East and West-North Africa, who will showcase work on saline agriculture and its potential. It is expected that more than 100 participants will attend the session, both in-person and virtually. This emphasises the importance of the topic and a major interest in finding solutions to mitigate and adapt agriculture to salinity. This session is particularly relevant in the context of COP28, since climate change can severely aggravate salinization due to prolonged droughts. With scarce rainfall, the groundwater table drops, as water is pumped out for domestic use and to irrigate farmland: in coastal regions, this can force seawater into aquifers, to flow further inland, aggravating salinity issues.