Youth Corner
Published on March 29, 2024

Youth Speak: Transformative Food Systems as a Driving Force of Sustainable Development

Food systems include all aspects of growing, harvesting, packaging, processing, transporting, marketing and consuming food. Prevailing global food systems are not ensuring food security for all, with hunger on the rise.

Moreover, food systems are also not sustainable, contributing up to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and up to 80 per cent of biodiversity loss, and using up to 70 per cent of freshwater (1).

Sahil Sood, a youth champion from the United States, identifies some of the widespread issues:  “Food systems globally are collapsing. The increase in unsustainable agricultural practices, especially in low income countries across the world, are destroying the soil and leading to water scarcity, which is detrimental to our society.  What we see time and time again is government regulation that's not strict enough to stop the unsustainable use of the soil.” 

A global transition is needed to realise food systems that: prevent, anticipate, absorb and adapt in multiple ways to continuing and colliding shocks and stresses; feed growing populations while contributing to human nutrition, health and well-being; restore and protect nature; become climate neutral; and provide decent jobs and inclusive and resilient economies.  

In the same vein, Sahil also identifies the hope spots in food systems worldwide: “We can create a sustainable infrastructure to produce food and equitably distribute it to all people. If we're able to achieve sustainable food systems, we could help protect our environment and stop the cycle that destroys our environment, a cycle that threatens our future.”

The Fund aims to support countries to steer national transitions towards sustainable, resilient, inclusive and healthy food systems, building on and maintaining the Food Systems Summit momentum throughout the Decade of Action on the Global Goals (2). In particular, it will support the network of more than 150 National Convenors, more than 120 national food systems transformation pathways and the global ecosystem of support including Coalitions of Action and multistakeholder networks, birthed by the Food Systems Summit and supported by the Food Systems Coordination Hub. 


Join the movement using the hashtag #YouthSpeak at @JointSDGFund!


About United Nations’ Youth2030 vision

A world in which the human rights of every young person are realised; that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve their full potential; and that recognises young people’s agency, resilience and their positive contributions as agents of change. 


About United Nations Joint SDG Fund’s Youth Corner

The UN Joint SDG Fund’s Youth Corner is a youth platform where young people’s needs can be addressed, their voices amplified, and their engagement advanced as part of its Youth2030 mission.


About Doha Debates

Doha Debates engages a vanguard of intellectually curious truth-seekers to constructively debate differences in order to build a better future.


For further information about the incredible youth featured, you can connect with them via the links below:

Maryam Kiyani (Writer, Researcher, and Social Development Practitioner): Website, X/Twitter, LinkedIn

Sahil Sood (Founder and CEO of HYPE): LinkedIn



The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.


(1) Hannah Ritchie, Pablo Rosado and Max Roser (2022) - "Environmental Impacts of Food Production". Published online at Retrieved from: '' [Online Resource]

(2) United Nations, “Secretary-General’s Chair Summary and Statement of Action on the UN Food Systems Summit” (United Nations, September 23, 2021),