A new global science-policy interface for food systems?


Food systems require urgent transformations to meet goals around food security, livelihoods, and environmental sustainability. These transformations require knowledge on the multiple dimensions of food systems, as well as a mechanism to translate these insights and analyses into governance processes. Drawing on the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in global climate policy, an equivalent platform has been proposed to support food system transformations. These calls have gained momentum in the context of the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit (FSS).

Photo of crates with pears

To inform discussions at the FSS and beyond, a group of international researchers reflects on the science-policy landscape for food systems in a Policy Forum published in Science. We discuss requirements for and challenges of a science-policy platform, focused on addressing social, cultural, and political dimensions of food and challenges in food systems governance. We highlight that there is no silver-bullet solution that will be able to address current challenges in food systems knowledge and governance. Efforts to coordinate knowledge can be valuable, but only if these efforts ensure the legitimacy and credibility of knowledge, and when they can contribute to urgently needed improved global food governance.