Rome/Suva — Excessive-Degree Discussion board noticed the launch of the SIDS Options Platform to foster innovation and digitalization
The Director-Basic of the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, at this time known as on Small Island Creating States (SIDS) to foster the facility of innovation and digitalization to speed up the achievement of the Sustainable Growth Targets (SDGs), notably SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (No starvation) and SDG 10 (Lowered inequalities).
Qu spoke on the opening of the two-day digital SIDS Options Discussion board (30-31 August), co-hosted by FAO and the Authorities of Fiji. Heads of State and Authorities from 9 Pacific Island international locations attended or have been represented on the high-level occasion, in addition to authorities ministers holding key portfolios associated to agriculture, meals, diet, surroundings, well being, and knowledge and communications expertise. African and Caribbean nations have been additionally represented.
FAO is dedicated to constructing a world free from starvation and malnutrition, “the place nobody is left behind no matter land dimension, inhabitants and geographic location,” Qu stated in an handle to the opening session. Immediately’s assembly is an “instance of how innovation and digitalization convey alternatives within the face of challenges.”
“Advances in digital innovation have seen the huge oceans that separate us give approach to huge potentialities. Alone, we’re small islands. Collectively, we’re one related continent sure by a spirit of modern resilience,” stated Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji. “Our 39 states, from the South Pacific, to the Caribbean, to the Indian Ocean, are residence to unbelievable minds, innovative innovation and deep conventional information.”
The President of the UN Basic Meeting, Abdulla Shahid, Minister for International Affairs of Maldives, delivered the Discussion board’s keynote speech, noting it was the primary of its variety and was going down throughout difficult occasions.
“The SIDS Options Discussion board is exclusive. Within the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the digital nature of the convention advantages SIDS throughout the globe which have been badly affected by geographical isolation, journey restrictions and border lockdowns,” stated Shahid. “The improvements, options and concepts to be shared at this discussion board ought to assist SIDS to leapfrog via expanded digitalization and improvements to speed up the achievement of the agriculture, meals and diet associated SDGs.”
The particular case for a SIDS Options Discussion board
Dotted throughout the globe, small in dimension and inhabitants, greater than three-dozen Small Island Creating States have been badly affected by COVID-19 on quite a lot of fronts – health-wise, nutritionally and economically. SIDS within the Pacific have been hit particularly laborious due to their reliance on tourism, with the closure of borders ensuing within the lack of essential income.
Even earlier than COVID-19 battered their economies, Pacific SIDS have been already coping with different challenges akin to frequent pure disasters, the results of local weather change, restricted arable land, dependence on small-scale agriculture, high-priced imports, and a excessive prevalence of non-communicable ailments, akin to coronary heart illness and Sort 2 Diabetes. All of those points have hampered their progress towards attaining the 2030 SDG targets.
The SIDS Options Discussion board has created an area for presidency leaders, improvement companions, farmers, fishers, group improvement practitioners and leaders, entrepreneurs, girls and youth to debate, share, promote and encourage homegrown and imported options to answer the challenges posed by COVID-19 and several other of those who pre-existed the pandemic. The final word aim is to speed up the achievement of agriculture, meals and nutrition-related SDGs.
The 2-day digital summit, which occurred forward of the United Nations Basic Meeting in September in New York, was organized in partnership with the Worldwide Telecommunication Union (ITU). It was additionally attended by representatives from the non-public sector, civil society, UN organizations, worldwide and regional improvement businesses, inter-governmental entities and others, making this a really international occasion. The target of the SIDS Options Discussion board was to look at workable and replicable options that can result in higher manufacturing, higher diet, a greater surroundings and a greater life for the individuals of SIDS in every single place.
Digitalization and innovation – a brand new platform for SIDS to share information and options
Digital applied sciences are reworking agri-food methods. Whereas this is a vital improvement in every single place, it’s of nice significance to distant areas akin to SIDS. The growth of cell applied sciences, remote-sensing providers and distributed computing are already bettering smallholders’ entry to info, inputs and markets, rising manufacturing and productiveness, streamlining provide chains, lowering operational prices, and consequently enabling farmers to realize extra economically.
Robotics and synthetic intelligence are examples of how digital innovation helps farmers within the administration of herds and crops. Whereas presently SIDS could discover themselves distant from these superior applied sciences, they could be curious about studying about such tendencies. Digital innovation holds the potential to unlock employment alternatives, bridge the agricultural divide and empower youth and ladies to entry info, expertise and markets. Sharing these quickly evolving digital improvements may even speed up progress towards attaining the SDGs in SIDS.
To this impact, the FAO Director-Basic launched the SIDS Options Platform through the opening session of the Discussion board. The platform will enable SIDS to share the numerous options and improvements which are both homegrown or generated from comparable conditions elsewhere and which have the potential to be scaled up.
Such a instrument ought to assist SIDS “improve the advantages of digital agriculture and leapfrog by studying from their friends, whereas addressing potential issues,” Qu stated. “We want science, expertise and innovation for the transformation to extra environment friendly, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food methods.”
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