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Food security: ENEA in EU project to achieve ecological resilient dynamism for the EU food system

Identify, classify and evaluate the factors affecting food security (food system vulnerabilities related to climate change and other system shocks (i.e. pandemics), at the local and European level for delivering a real-time surveillance system through the development of a digital Observatory, offered as a website and as a smartphone application: this is the goal of the European ECO-READY project funded by the Horizon Europe program, with a budget of nearly € 14 million, comprising 18 partners from 11 EU countries, including ENEA, CONFAGRICOLTURA and the JRC - Joint Research Centre – European Commission of Ispra (Italy) as Italian contributors.

The ECO-READY project aims at developing 10 agro-ecosystem Living Labs distributed on the main bio-geographical EU regions, representing a network of local and regional hubs of knowledge generation. This will allow to establish a network for the improvement of the effectiveness and adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices. “ENEA will deal with the scoping and outlining the extended European Food Social-Ecological system; taking into account drivers which impact the resilience of food systems within the select pilot regions, we will identify gaps between the current state and the desired future state of food security”, explained Annamaria Bevivino, head of the ENEA Laboratory for the AgriFood Sustainability, Quality and Safety and project coordinator for ENEA. “To understand the EU food system vulnerabilities related to climate change and other system shocks (i.e. pandemics), and the multi-dimensional consequences of these emerging dynamics, all relevant policies at the EU level will be analysed for their impacts at the economic, social, energy, and health levels, with the final aim of highlighting gaps that still need to be addressed to guarantee a better scientific-driven policy-making related to the agro-food system”, said Bevivino. ECO-READY will allow the European food system to achieve the necessary resilient dynamism and to consolidate food security for citizens, scientifically supporting policy-making, understanding the interconnections between Climate Change, Biodiversity and Food Security. The project will ensure that the interests of European consumers are reflected in future decision-making and monitoring by actively involving them in shaping policy recommendations from an early stage.

ENEA participates in the project by the Department for Sustainability with Biotechnologies and Agroindustry Division (Agrifood Sustainability, Quality and Safety and Biotechnologies Laboratories) and the Energy Efficiency Department, involved with the Integrated Services for Territorial Development Division (Northern Area Regions Laboratory). ENEA is involved in several project Work Packages. In WP1 “Scoping and outlining the extended European Food Social-Ecological system”, the team will contribute to the assessment of the state of the art related to Food Security, Biodiversity and Climate Change. In this context, with the support of JRC-Ispra, Alternet, CUT, WR and Confagricoltura, all among the partners of the project, ENEA leads Task1.2 “Connecting data with CAP, Green Deal and other EC Frameworks & Policies”; in WP2 “Stakeholders’ engagement and empowerment”, ENEA through the expertise and capitalization of ongoing projects on stakeholders will contribute to promote their awareness and engagement in the 10 Living Labs and in the ECO-READY Observatory which will be deployed in the project. Further support will be provided for the WP6 “Communication and post-project sustainability” and WP7 “Project management”.

The ECO-READY Kick-Off Meeting was held on the 23rd and 24th January 2023, at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. The ENEA role in the project was presented by Annamaria Bevivino (Head of the Agrifood Sustainability, Quality and Safety Laboratory and Project manager for ENEA) with a particular focus on Task 1.2 (lead partner ENEA).  The KOM represented a great opportunity to share the ENEA related activities in the agro-food system in the poster entitled “Food system resilience: transition towards a more sustainable agriculture”.

More info ENEAinfom@ 16/03/2023

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