FACCE-JPI-HDHL common priorities related to Food and Nutrition Security

Following the successful event ‘Grand debate on Nutrition Security – a whole system approach’, organised jointly by JPI FACCE and JPI HDHL at this year’s Universal Exhibition (EXPO 2015 in Milan), the two JPI’s were asked by the European Commission to work together to produce a paper describing common priorities to contribute to the European Strategy on Food and Nutrition Security. At the intersection of the two JPIs lies the question of nutrition security in a changing world, where demographic, environmental, social, economic and geopolitical pressures are negatively affecting both the quality and availability of nutritious foods. The concrete research priority areas proposed by the two JPIs jointly are the following: (1) Coordinating policies to support food and nutrition security in the context of climate change; (2) Plant and animal production systems for better human nutrition and resilience to climate change.

The Secretariats and a scientific committee including members of the EXPO debate panel, and scientific and stakeholder advisory boards of both JPIs worked together over summer to draft the paper, then consolidated by both Governing Boards, and submitted to the consultation of the European Commission. Wageningen University professor Edith Feskens, human nutritionist and epidemiologist, and Dr Martin Scholten, leading the animal and marine research at Wageningen UR, contributed to the writing of the FACCE-JPI-HDHL paper together with experts from UK, US and New Zealand.

The results of the EC consultation will be published on 15 October, ahead of World Food Day. It also forms the closure of Expo 2015 themed "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life", which aimed to go beyond cultural activities and open a real political debate on global food security and sustainability. At the launch of the scientific debate on how to feed the planet Commissioner Navracsics said: "The European Union has a vital role to play in tackling the challenges associated with food and nutrition security and sustainability. Expo 2015 offers us a great opportunity to showcase what the EU is already doing in this field. I hope it will also breathe new life into our efforts and further foster international collaboration”. At the launch Chairman Franz Fischler of the Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee presented the paper “The role of research in global food and nutrition security” to inspire the debates and the consultation. He said "I believe that science and innovation are crucial if we are to guarantee access to safe and nutritious food for all, produced in a sustainable way. We have worked hard to ensure that Expo 2015 has a strong scientific dimension. I hope that the consultation and the discussion paper will steer a global debate."

The Joint Programming Initiatives FACCE and HDHL are committed to contribute to tackling global challenges through research and innovation that is aligned among the European Member States and through collaboration within global partnerships. The paper written to contribute to the EC consultation on how to feed the planet concludes that FNS is a global issue with multiple drivers, which originate in the natural and social domains. Tackling this extremely complex issue requires transdisciplinary research, novel forms of partnership, the involvement of stakeholders in a co-design approach and the exchange of knowledge produced to create impact for today’s real world problems. The Commission is very interested in the paper of the JPIs, which could potentially provide input for future work programmes.

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