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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
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Friday, September 15 • 1:15pm - 2:45pm
[VIRTUAL] From Global Goals to Greener Plates: Empowering Nature with Sustainable Diets with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) (151301)

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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. 
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.
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.

Expected outcomes
  • 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.

avatar for Brent Loken

Brent Loken

Global Food Lead Scientist for WWF, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)
Dr 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... Read More →
avatar for Edith Feskens

Edith Feskens

Professor in Global Nutrition at Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University & Research
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.
avatar for Nelly Isigi Kadagi

Nelly Isigi Kadagi

Director of Conservation Leadership and the Education for Nature Program for WWF, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)
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... Read More →
avatar for Ravic Nijbroek

Ravic Nijbroek

Head of Science and Impact for WWF Netherlands, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF)
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 poli... Read More →

Jelle Maas

Public Affairs Manager, Wageningen University & Research
avatar for Jeanne Nel

Jeanne Nel

Programme Lead: Biodiverse Environment, Wageningen University & Research
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... Read More →
avatar for Sjoukje Heimovaara

Sjoukje Heimovaara

President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University & Research
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... Read More →


Friday September 15, 2023 1:15pm - 2:45pm EDT