Earlier this week I attended the launch of Land Use Futures: Pathways to a Sustainable Food and Land Use System, an important new project led by ClimateWorks at Monash Sustainable Development Institute, with CSIRO and Deakin University.

Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is delighted to join the Myer Foundation and Morris Family Foundation in supporting this important work.
 
The Land Use Futures project will develop a pathway to a sustainable food and land use system for Australia. It will provide valuable information about a pathway to a low-carbon future, which will help us address current and future food security and nutrition challenges, while identifying opportunities for commercial and social enterprise.
 
The project was launched by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, who is a world-leading economist, Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and University Professor at Columbia University.
 
We also heard from Dr Mario Herrero, Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO Agriculture and Food, who presented the global food challenge. This includes food security, addressing malnutrition (stunting and wasting) in some parts of the world and obesity (and consequent health issues) in others including Australia. He noted that land and food are central to most of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing, SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 15 Life on Land. He reported that that we have 11 harvests left to change our diet, management of food production and food waste to a low-carbon, sustainable model.
 
Professor Brett Bryan, from Deakin University’s Global Change, Environment and Society, gave the local Australian perspective and again highlighted the multiple health and sustainability benefits from developing the pathway to sustainable food and land use for Australia.
 
The Foundation’s current funding is contributing to the first phase of the project and will include supporting the development of a map of existing stakeholders and initiatives, highlighting gaps and opportunities for improved coordination and collaboration, a road map framework and some shovel-ready actions.
Our support of this project builds on our long interest in food security including our six-year partnership supporting Feed Melbourne with FareShare and Leader Community News, and further support of FoodBank and Second Bite for various projects.
 
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation set sustainable food systems as a priority within our Environment & Sustainability program in 2014. A key project in sustainable food systems has been supporting the FoodPrint Melbourne project led by Dr Rachel Carey at The University of Melbourne. This work mapped Melbourne’s foodbowl for the first time and identified challenges such as drought proofing and preserving market gardens on Melbourne’s fringe. This research has led to follow on projects and is widely referenced.


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Representatives from Climateworks Australia; CSIRO Agriculture & Food; Deakin University; the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network; and, Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation pictured at the project launch. 


Amongst many other sustainable food systems projects, we have recently funded Sustain Food Network for the establishment of the Alphington Food Hub, which will demonstrate a new model in Australia.
 
A sustainable food system addresses environmental, health and food security challenges – and provides economic opportunities. Well done to ClimateWorks on this great initiative!
 
Catherine Brown
Chief Executive Officer

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