First National Dialogue on Sustainable Food System kicks off in Albania
- The dialogue occurs in the framework of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, September 2021
In the framework of the United Nations Food Systems Summit, September 2021, Albania launched the first Member State Dialogue at the national level aiming to identify national solutions to establish the future direction towards sustainable food systems and include a broad range of stakeholders to support the pathways.
The Dialogue was convened by Ms Ermira Gjeci, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, in line with Government's ambition to building equitable, resilient and sustainable food systems in Albania.
"Throughout the National Dialogues, we hope to achieve a positive change in mentality and behaviour,” said Ms Ermira Gjeci, the National Dialogue Convenor, while opening the Dialogue. “Identifying the real challenges faced by the various groups and actors involved and related to the whole food systems in Albania and promoting partnership with the private sector are needed to find the most efficient and effective problem-solving approaches and providing better education to the general public on food safety and nutrition is also important.”
Introducing the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, Ms Fiona McCluney, the UN Albania Resident Coordinator, highlighted that the Food Systems Summit will be the opportunity to invigorate the progress on achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as to shape Albania’s national pathways to sustainable food systems which can also contribute to a world where no one is left behind. The climate change-related concerns on the agriculture sector and food systems are also raised by Mr Arben Kipi, Assistant FAO Representative in Albania, to motivate and encourage the participants to join the discussion.
Moderated by Ms Valbona Paluka, Food Safety Expert and the Dialogue Curator, the Dialogue also addressed how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of food systems, their essential role for societies, and the many links between food and distribution systems. While emphasizing the importance of multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder response to these challenges, the Dialogue opened the discussion with four speakers to address different perspective and topic areas in food systems.
Ms Jolanda Hyska, Head of Nutrition and Food Safety Sector, Institute of Public Health, opened the discussion focusing on food safety and nutrition; Mr Orjon Xhoxhi, PhD, Department of Agribusiness Management, Agricultural University of Tirana presented the issue on sustainable consumption patterns and nature-positive production; Mr Eno Ngjela, Programme Specialist, UNDP, addressed how to advance the equitable livelihoods and value distribution throughout the whole food systems; and Ms Jiyoung Nam, Climate Change Specialist, FAO, presented the current status of food systems in Albania regarding resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses.
The first National Dialogue will be followed by two subnational Dialogues to focus on different regions in Albania to address different challenges and facilitate the exchange of information and experiences to identify appropriate policy actions for the sustainable transformation of the region's food systems and final national-level Dialogue will follow in July.