UNEP heads global campaign to mark International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

UNEP heads global campaign to mark International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

With the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) fast approaching on September 29, the UNEP has announced a number of initiatives to highlight these important issues, specifically vis-à-vis the hospitality sector.

In a press release, UNEP said: “On this day, we try to call to action both the public (national or local authorities) and the private sector (businesses and individuals) to prioritize actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems. This is a great opportunity for visibility at a regional and global level.

“The objective of holding activation activities on IDAFLW is to raise awareness about the adverse impacts of food waste on the environment, in addition to spreading information on ways to reduce food waste and to promote action towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3.

As part of phase two of the Recipe of Change (ROC) campaign, several activation activities will be held simultaneously in various countries across the West Asia region.

Some of these activities will be happening with the hospitality, catering and restaurant sector, notably in the UAE, KSA and Lebanon.

In the UAE, an activation marking the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, organized by UN Environment Programme Regional Office for West Asia and Goumbook, in collaboration with Dubai Sustainable Tourism, will target the hospitality industry, with domestic tourists as the main target audience. Aiming to engage with UAE hotels following its launch on September 29, the campaign will run for four days until October 2, 2022.

Participating hotels include: Hilton – Conrad Abu Dhabi at Etihad Towers, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Double Tree by Hilton Business Bay, Radisson RED, Atlantis the Palm and Intercontinental Hotels Group.

An in-person launch event will include a press conference followed by a panel discussion. A 45-minute launch event of the campaign will be held with the participation of senior officials from the UAE ministries and tourism entities, along with UNEP Representative and Regional Director for West Asia and hospitality industry representatives. Participating hotels will be invited to sign their pledge to join the campaign, raise awareness among their guests and reduce food waste. The event will also include a one-hour panel discussion with speakers from the hospitality industry and UNEP, following a presentation by UNEP that will highlight success stories and best practices in addressing food waste within the hospitality sector. Both the press conference and panel discussion will be hybrid to extend their reach remotely.

In Lebanon, UNEP ROWA is collaborating with Nusaned for an activation through its participating restaurants. Nusaned is a Lebanese-based NGO that aims to empower and enable marginalized Lebanese communities by supporting sustainable development through a community-based approach. By offering access to food security, shelter and continuous opportunities for creating productive economies, Nusaned works on building sustainable Lebanese communities that are self-sustaining and capable.

To implement SwitchMed II activities in Lebanon (July 2022 – July 2023), UNEP has collaborated with Nusaned to promote Circular Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices in Lebanon by demonstrating how circular and SCP practices can be beneficial for the community and eventually inspire policy change. The pilot project in the Mar Mikhael – Gemmayze area in Beirut will focus on making restaurants more “green,” preventing and reducing plastics and food waste through capacity building, raising awareness and collection activities to divert waste from landfills. Hand in hand with restaurants in the neighborhood, Nusaned has begun its food waste measurement and collection activities, whereby high-quality compost is being produced from whatever is being collected.

Participating restaurants, including Mayrig, Le Petit Gris, Le Baron, Dar Al Gemmayzeh and Green Junkie, will promote Recipe of Change campaign, raise awareness to staff and customers on the topic, promote take away for leftovers and develop a zero-waste recipe for the entire week of September 25, 2022.

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UNEP ROWA is working with Marriot Hotel in Riyadh to implement a campaign in four areas as part of its “core value to serve 360.”


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