On April 22nd, the "Food for Earth" 24-hour digital marathon will cross the planet from East to West, highlighting sustainable food system best practices.

On April 22nd, the “Food for Earth” 24-hour digital marathon will cross the planet from East to West, highlighting sustainable food system best practices.

The world’s largest lesson on the regenerative power of food systems for the benefit of the Planet: April 22nd, on the occasion of the United Nations Earth Day, Future Food Institute and FAO eLearning Academy organize “Food for Earth,” the 24-hour global digital marathon on Sustainability.

After the success of the first edition, which brought together more than 100 expert voices, with 24 working sessions, and registered over 100 thousand participants around the world, the virtual relay race for the Planet returns. Like an ideal Olympic torch, it will travel from East to West involving indigenous communities, entrepreneurs, startups, scientists, journalists, innovators, Nobel laureates, ministers, farmers, chefs, and young activists from every corner of the world to promote the best practices on sustainable food systems.

The Planet is suffering: globally, about 25% of the Earth’s surface has been damaged. Every year 24 billion tons of fertile land are lost, largely due to unsustainable agricultural practices (source: thegef.org). Additionally, 18.4% of greenhouse gas emissions are produced directly from agriculture and forestry (source: https://ourworldindata.org).

This event, which is part of the initiatives coordinated by EarthDay.org, the Washington-based agency that has been organizing World Earth Day for 51 years, will cross all G20 countries, the Mediterranean, emerging countries, and World Natural Heritage areas. This multinational relay includes inspirational speakers from Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, India, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Turkey, Iceland, Antarctica, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Senegal, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Canada.

Several institutional figures will contribute to the marathon, among others: Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General; Semedo Maria Helena, Deputy Director-General, FAO; Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General, FAO; Maurizio Martina, Deputy Director-General, FAO; Màximo Torero, Deputy Director-General and Chief Economist, FAO; Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy; Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food and Water Security, United Arab Emirates; Stefano Pautanelli, Minister of Agriculture, Italy; Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Gerda Verburg, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Coordinator of the United Nations Scaling-Up Nutrition Movement; Diana Battaggia, Director of UNIDO ITPO Italy; Antonio Parenti, Head of the European Commission Representation in Italy; Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, Obama Administration; Paul Newnham, Network Lead for Chef’s Manifesto, SDG2, and Good Food for All; Alessandra Smerilli, Appointed by Pope Francis as Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Riccardo Valentini, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, winner; member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in addition to Ministers and institutional representatives from around the world.

The Global 24-hour Digital Marathon 2021 will also include participation from “Climate Shapers” connected from all over the world and engaged in real Climate Actions. From Italy, the marathon will be broadcasted live from Pollica, the Capital of the Mediterranean Diet, a place-symbol for the respect of the environment, social justice, and cradle of one of the most iconic sustainable lifestyles. In Pollica, “City of the Climate Shapers,” the Mayor, Stefano Pisani, the Youth Forum, and the school children will be the protagonists of a great lesson on the Planet that will be held on the award-winning (since 2000) among the most beautiful and ecological beaches of Italy. There will also be a more reflective moment dedicated to food and environmental sustainability with a focus on the Mediterranean Diet, a lifestyle that emphasizes the harmony between humanity and the environment and therefore the preservation of biodiversity and our identity.

“The second edition of Food for Earth Day represents a unique opportunity to share knowledge and expertise on food systems and their impacts from a social, cultural, environmental, institutional, and economic point of view. A basis for rethinking food systems and making them more sustainable,” says Sara Roversi, Founder and President of the Future Food Institute, “To achieve this, we need systemic thinking, multi-stakeholder platforms, and multidisciplinary profiles. In this sense, the marathon represents a unique example of both extraordinary content, which will be collected in a book, and the power of public-private partnerships to contribute to new, circular and regenerative practices.”

“Sustainability is humanity’s greatest goal and the only way forward. For this great goal, we need skilled professionals who are able and capable of making appropriate decisions, formulating targeted and sustainable policies and strategies, and adopting innovative “green” methodologies and technologies. We need to generate change-makers, climate shapers, and future leaders empowered to revolutionize the food ecosystem in a sustainable way, in full respect of humanity and our planet,” says Cristina Petracchi, head of the FAO eLearning Academy.

The event will be broadcasted live on the Future Food Institute YouTube channel and on the event website www.foodforearth.org.

International Media Relations