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Our food systems have performed well in the past, but they are failing us in the face of climate change and other challenges. This book tells the story of why food system transformation is needed, how it can be achieved and how research can be a catalyst for change. Written by a global interdisciplinary team of researchers, it brings together perspectives from multiple areas including climate, environment, agriculture, and the social sciences to describe how different tools and approaches can be used to tackle food system transformation. It provides practical, actionable insights for policymakers and advisors, demonstrating how science together with strong partnerships can enable real transformation on the ground. It also contributes to the academic debate on the transformation of food systems, and so will be an invaluable reference for researchers and students alike. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Transformation is required in complex food systems to bring about global food security for a well-nourished world population while meeting climate-related challenges. The key is to identify the best levers to achieve change. To this end, food-system transformation has four major interlocking elements: (1) rerouting systems and livelihoods into new trajectories; (2) addressing climate impacts, thereby reducing risks; (3) tackling new environmental issues, for example by reimagining diets and value chains, to lessen emissions; and (4) realigning the ’enablers of change’, such as policies, regulation, finance, and innovation. Eleven specific, concrete actions are proposed to attain these four objectives, with explanations of the goal of each action, the mechanisms to accomplish it, targeted geographic areas, and key stakeholders. Achieving food-system transformation will require annual investments of US$850 billion from now until 2050, with private-sector finance helping to fill current gaps.