Science Summit: From global goals to greener plates, empowering nature with sustainable diets

Armed with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, we embark on an immense and urgent challenge to ‘bend the curve’ of biodiversity loss by 2030. No matter how ambitious our conventional efforts are for protecting and restoring nature, these efforts alone will not be enough to bend this curve. Crucial transformative changes are needed in the way society produces and consumes.

Organised by Wageningen University & Research

Fri 15 September 2023 19:15 to 20:45

Venue Hybrid – online or live in New York (Scandinavia House, 58 Park Ave, New York, NY 10016, United States)

Biodiversity efforts tend to focus on sustainable production, but sustainable consumption is increasingly acknowledged, especially at the global level. When it comes to sustainable consumption, the food we eat really matters. Shifts to healthy and environmentally sustainable diets will simultaneously address climate change and biodiversity loss, and enhance human health and longevity.

One immediate opportunity to leverage these benefits is to connect often overlooked allies working on National Dietary Guidelines, National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, and Nationally Determined Contributions to climate action. These tools represent country-level short- to medium-term plans to realize commitments to food, biodiversity and climate goals. Connecting these will help to combine conventional actions with new courses of action, mobilise new collaborations and allies, and shape change together with greater and faster effect.

About the session

This session will explore how to connect these important processes: What is needed for national governments to play a more central role in shaping dietary choices that are more in line with global health, biodiversity and climate targets? What dilemmas do different countries face, given their local realities and contexts? The purpose of the session will be to share knowledge across different countries, strengthen collaborations between science, policy and practice, and encourage country commitment in connecting their national dietary, biodiversity and climate plans and commitments. This is the beginning of a WUR-WWF collaboration to weave together interdisciplinary science, cross-sectoral policies and diverse societal values on food and nature. The insights in this session will be used to provide science and policy perspectives that can inform the 2024 Summit of the Future on how to better connect dietary, biodiversity and climate goals to positively impact people’s lives.



Edith Feskens

Prof. dr. ing. Edith Feskens is Professor in Global Nutrition at Wageningen
University & Research. Currently, she focuses on combatting malnutrition in all its forms, globally and in particular in low and middle-income countries, and including trade-offs with sustainability.

Sjoukje Heimovaraa

Dr. ir. Sjoukje Heimovaara is President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research. She is also amongst others a SDG 12.3 Champion, member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT), member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the UN Food System Coordination Hub.

Nelly Isigi Kadagi

Dr. Nelly Isigi Kadagi is director of Conservation Leadership and the Education for Nature Program for WWF. In this role, Nelly oversees and manages WWF’s strategy for conservation capacity development and leadership. She also leads the operation of the Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program (EFN).

Brent Loken

Brent Loken, PhD, is a Global Food Lead Scientist for WWF. In his role, Brent provides thought leadership through forward-looking research, science direction for goal setting, scientific analysis in support of strategy development, and the management of internal and external science talent to support the Global Food Practice team in advancing an ambitious agenda.

Jeanne Nel

Dr Jeanne Nel leads the Biodiverse Environment Programme in Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands. Trained as a biodiversity scientist, she now works on bridging knowledge and perspectives across many siloes, to stimulate co-learning, knowledge and transformative actions towards just, nature-based futures.

Ravic Nijbroek

Dr. Ravic Nijbroek is Head of Science and Impact at WWF-Netherlands. Initially educated as an environmental and agricultural engineer, he completed a PhD in political ecology, exploring the role of power, knowledge and discourse in the development of climate change adaptation policies.

For whom is this relevant?

We call on people who are interested in collaborating on evidence-based policy for food, nature and climate, and who seek to translate global goals to local action. This session emphasises food, biodiversity and climate goals, but also offers a broadly-applicable governance approach for whole-of-society policy integration that weaves together a diverse range of societal values.

Outcomes of session

  • Inspired participants – researchers, civil society, Mission representatives – who can stimulate people in their own networks to create a critical momentum towards dietary, biodiversity and climate futures that positively impact people’s lives.
  • Collaboration and governance perspectives to inform the Summit of the Future in 2024 on how to enhance cooperation for food, climate and nature transformations that positively impact people’s lives.
  • Coordination and strengthening of national-level commitments for transformations needed to tackle biodiversity, climate and food challenges
  • The start of collaboration process between WUR and WWF to work together with their networks to connect interdisciplinary science, cross-sectoral policies and diverse societal values on food and nature.