CCAFS at SB50 & Transformation Initiative Paper Launch | Raising ambition for climate action in food systems: Local to global policy as a catalyst for change

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How can we catalyze a transformation in food systems in response to climate change? Food systems policy change plays a crucial role. In an official side event at SB50, we discuss examples, opportunities, challenges and priorities to operationalize policy changes for a food systems transformation.


Feeding and nourishing a growing and changing global population in the face of rising numbers of chronically hungry people, slow progress on malnutrition, environmental degradation, systemic inequality, and the dire projections of climate change demands a transformation in global food systems. Policy change is crucial to realise this transformation as policies must remove barriers, create incentives, foster a level playing field, and facilitate equitable access to resources. It must support those left behind and ensure that those best able to bear the costs act first and most ambitiously. Policy changes need to occur at different levels, at the national level, policy shapes food systems, while subnational policy addresses local challenges and demonstrates potential for scaling. Global and regional policy frameworks capture commitments and standards that inform national and local action.

Key messages

  • Trade-offs call for a multi-sectoral, food systems approach to policymaking
  • Inequality in food systems demands transparent, inclusive policies and processes
  • Tackling gender inequality in food systems is a pre-requisite for transformation
  • Three areas of policy change show potential to be catalytic
  • Global and regional policy are transformative only insofar as they are translated into ambitious national action with adequate support
  • Food systems transformations require public and private investment


In the context of the need to catalyse policy change from the local to global levels, to realise a transformation in food systems, this side-event aims to:

  • Identify priorities for policy change.
  • Showcase practical examples of policy change transforming food systems.
  • Identify challenges and opportunities to catalyse policy change.


Enable countries, businesses, international organizations, NGOs, farmer organizations, and other food systems stakeholders to catalyse policy change, based on a common understanding of priorities, opportunities and challenges.


Speaker or Panellist



Victoria Hatton, Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand

  • Welcome
  • Side event objectives
  • Introduction to speakers

16:45 – 16:50

Opening keynote

Tonya Rawe, Director, Global Food and Nutrition Security Advocacy, CARE

  • Keynote presentation on Transforming Food Systems under Climate Change: Local to Global Policy as a Catalyst for Change’

16:50 – 17:05

Panel discussion: Priorities, challenges, opportunities, examples

Format: ‘Chat show’ moderated by Victoria Hatton

In this panel discussion, we will explore key priorities, challenges, opportunities  and examples of policy change to drive a food systems transformation. The Chair will pose a few questions to the panellists, to initiate discussions; this will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.


  • Tobias Baedeker, Agriculture Economist, World Bank
  • Veronica Gundu, Manager, Climate Finance, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Walter Oyhantcabal, Director, Agriculture and Climate Change Unit, Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, Uruguay,
  • Monika Zurek, Senior Researcher, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

17:05 – 17:40

Moderated Q&A with the audience

Victoria Hatton will moderate Q&A with the audience. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions to the panellists and to Tonya Rawe.

17:40 – 18:00


Closing remarks from all panellists:

Victoria Hatton 

18:00 – 18:05

Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Head of Global Policy Research, CCAFS

  • Final remarks and wrap up
  • Introduction to the Transformation Initiative and website

18:05 – 18:15




This event is co-hosted by:

  • The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  • CARE
  • The International Potato Center (CIP)  
  • The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA)

This event page provides details for one of three official side events that CCAFS will co-host with partners during the 50th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA50). To see other events that CCAFS is co-hosting or participating in, please click here