Extinction or Regeneration: speakers announced
World-class speakers for major food systems event announced on UN International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction
Ecologist and author, Carl Safina; scholar and activist, Dr Vandana Shiva; Director at the Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London, Professor Corinna Hawkes; writer, activist and academic, Professor Raj Patel; and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Olivier De Schutter, among top speakers announced.
Business leaders, NGOs, experts and policy makers are being urged to join world-class speakers – including naturalist Carl Safina, bestselling author and filmmaker Professor Raj Patel and social activist Dr Vandana Shiva at a major international event to share solutions on how to fix our broken global food system.
The Extinction or Regeneration Conference – organised by Compassion in World Farming in partnership with IPES-Food, Birdlife International, Institute of Development Studies and other partners – will provide a platform for experts across the globe to share solutions for how we can transform our food and farming systems for better human, animal and planetary health. A whole food system approach to providing sufficient nutritious food for everyone is needed. This must remain within the safe operating space of all nine planetary boundaries whilst protecting wild and domestic animals and restoring soils, oceans, forests and biodiversity.
The announcement of some of the first speakers for the two-day international Extinction or Regeneration Conference in London coincides with the UN International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction – a day which highlights one of the key issues to be discussed at the conference, the urgent need to transform our global food systems.
In this age of hunger and accelerating climate and biodiversity emergencies, radical reform of the global food system is urgently needed. For example:
- Worldwide, a shocking one third of all food produced is lost or wasted between production and consumption around the world every year.[i]
- More than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, while more than 1.9 billion are overweight or obese.[ii]
- Feeding human-edible cereals to farmed animals is an inefficient conversion of food.
- Every 100 calories of cereals fed to farmed animals produces only between 17 and 30 calories of meat. [iii]
- Furthermore, 36-40% of global crop calories and up to 30% of the global fish catch are used as animal feed.[iv]
Food waste is just one of the many topics to be explored at the hybrid event at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London on 11th and 12th May next year. World renowned experts from around the world will also discuss the impact of our food system on public health, biodiversity, animal welfare, human rights, planetary boundaries, investments and much more. Delegates will be encouraged to take part in discussions and share solutions.
Some of the world’s leading experts and scientists will be speaking at the event. These include ecologist and author Carl Safina, who runs the non-profit Safina Center in the US; world-renowned scholar, environmental activist and author Dr Vandana Shiva and bestselling author and filmmaker Professor Raj Patel.
Other notable speakers include: UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter; soil scientist and recipient of the 2020 World Food Prize Dr Rattan Lal, who is widely recognised as a pioneer in soil-centric agricultural management to improve food security and was recently appointed by President Joe Biden to the Board of the International Food and Agricultural Development; Professor Corinna Hawkes, Director, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London; Million Belay, Founder and Co-ordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa; Nettie Wiebe, former farmer and former-president of the Canadian NFU, currently IPES-Food expert and Professor Emerita, St Andrew’s College, the University of Saskatchewan; Dr Shireen Kassam, Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Kings College Hospital and leading animal welfare expert, Professor John Webster, Emeritus Professor in Animal Husbandry at the University of Bristol and founding member of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.
More speakers will be announced in the run up to the conference.
Philip Lymbery, Global CEO of Compassion in World Farming, said: “The way we currently produce and consume food poses as big a threat to humanity as climate change. We need solutions, and fast. Today, as the spotlight is shone on food loss and waste, we offer hope by bringing together some of the world’s best thinkers and experts at the forthcoming Extinction or Regeneration conference to share solutions and help create a roadmap towards a global food system that works for human, animal and planetary health.”
Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of IPES-Food and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said: "At a time of food crisis, agribusiness as usual is failing humanity. Without a rapid transformation towards sustainable food systems, it will be impossible to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C and prevent mass crop failures. This timely conference of world-leading thinkers and doers will plot the way to the healthy, diverse and resilient food systems of the future that we need."
Professor Melissa Leach, Director of the event’s academic partner, Institute of Development Studies, said: “Our current food systems and the political-economies driving them are major contributors to growing inequalities, disease risks, biodiversity loss and climate change across the world. These food systems are also highly vulnerable to shocks, from war to economic and energy crises, putting millions of people at risk of hunger globally. That’s why we urgently need to build more sustainable and equitable food systems, grounded in regenerative principles, that benefit human, animal and planetary health.”
Registration for the event is now open at www.extinctionconference.com. The full conference programme will be available on the website in early 2023.
 FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO. 2020. The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020. Transforming food systems for affordable healthy diets. Rome, FAO.
 Cassidy E.M et al, 2013. Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare. University of Minnesota. Environ. Res. Lett. 8 (2013) 034015
 Cassidy, E.S., West, P.C., Gerber, J.S. and Foley, J.A. 2013 Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare. University of Minnesota. Environ. Res. Lett. 8 (2013) 034015 (8pp) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034015; Pradhan et al, 2013. Embodied crop calories in animal products. Environ. Res. Lett. 8 (2013) 044044; FAO, State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome
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