EAT Forum, plus SHOAL Conservation, and the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience!
EAT Forum, SHOAL Conservation, Sun Valley Institute for Resilience
Eat is not just something somebody –or your stomach—tells you to do. It’s a global, non-profit startup dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships. It was founded as a collaboration between the Storedalen Foundation, the Stockholm Resilience Center and the Wellcome Trust.
The big idea was while there are forums on food, on health and on sustainability, there was no one forum combing all three. So they did. EAT’s vision is a fair and sustainable global food system for healthy people and planet – leaving no one behind. Its mission is to transform the global food system through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships.
Everything EAT does is guided by a set of principles that define its character and working culture. These values are the shared convictions the group brings to its professional and personal conduct. It:
- Scale bold systems change based on solid science
- Accelerate impact through collaboration
- Deliver disruptive solutions, where others can’t
- Embody diversity, honesty and integrity
- Champion fairness and equity, leaving no one behind
In order to translate knowledge into scalable action, EAT has initiated partnerships, programs and projects to reach specific sectors that can bring about change. They include the Eat Book Club, an annual campaign to raise awareness of the positive impact healthy and sustainable food choices have on both people and the planet.
EAT Cities is a pillar of our work focused on driving food systems change in urban contexts across the globe. Through key partnerships with the EAT-C40 Food Systems Network, and cities such as Copenhagen and Oslo, it supports policy and practice development to translate EAT-Lancet science strategies into reality.
EAT’s initiatives alone are why it matters to us.
DEEPER DIVE: EAT
According to the founders of Shoal, there’s a freshwater species crisis. As freshwater carves its way towards the ocean and collects in natural basins, it creates some of the most diverse habitats on the planet. Rivers, lakes and wetlands cover less than 1% of Earth’s surface, yet are home to 12% of all known species.
Compounding threats such as pollution, overexploitation, habitat loss and invasive species introductions are rapidly altering the conditions to which freshwater species have adapted over many millennia. Freshwater ecosystems already have an extinction rate four to six times higher than marine or terrestrial environments, and there has been a staggering 84% decline in freshwater population size since 1970. Fish are among the most threatened groups: of some 15,000 freshwater fish species, around one in three is threatened with extinction.
Shoal touts itself as “Working together to conserve freshwater species.” In other words, it was created to help channel those diverse groups with keen interests in preserving endangered freshwater fish. Its vision is a world where all native freshwater species have the conditions needed for them to thrive in their natural habitats, where there is no longer an extinction crisis in the world’s freshwater ecosystems.
Shoal’s mission is to halt extinctions and recover populations of threatened freshwater species in the wild.
Shoal’s principal objectives are:
- To mobilise meaningful action for the conservation of threatened freshwater species.
- To build capacity of partners to implement impactful freshwater conservation work.
- To raise awareness of the need for more and better freshwater conservation action.
Why does SHOAL matter to us? Because it’s done some great work all over the world, including saving Mexican Goodeids, saving Southeast Asia’s Peat Swamp fishes, saving the ancient lakes of Sulawesi, an island in Indonesia, and saving the Hump-backed Mahseer, also native to SE Asia
DEEPER DIVE: SHOAL
SUN VALLEY INSTITUTE FOR RESILIENCE
The purpose of Sun Valley Institute for Resilience is to advance community resilience in Idaho’s Wood River Valley region by educating, investing and collaborating to ensure that the economy, environment and people thrive. Aimée Christensen, Ali Long and Stacy Whitman co-founded SVIR. Christensen was inspired to found the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience following a twenty year career working on solutions to our global climate and related planetary challenges. By engaging locally, she realized that her work globally to address climate change was also needed – urgently – at home.
Long realized that one issue in particular held the biggest potential for positive change – food systems. She co-founded Local Food Alliance to let people of all ages know that we can solve sometimes overwhelming issues by simply voting with our forks. In founding the Institute, these three women, along with local and global leaders aimed to strengthen their community by identifying regional threats and leveraging policy leadership, public engagement and community investments to turn risks into opportunities and build enduring quality of place.
Some past initiaties of SVIR include a series of gardening webinars hosted in the spring of 2021 by our program manager, Amy Mattias. Learn the basics and go into the details of growing a successful resilience garden at home. Topics include planning your garden, seeds and supplies, cool season growing and composting. Aside from providing a template for other communities to open the possibility for resilience at farms and agri-businesses, or to build farm-to-community relationships through collaboration, why does the Sun Valley Institute for Resilience matter to us? How about
“Community is about people and place. Among our biggest challenges locally and globally is to create stable and sustainable economies while practicing responsible stewardship of our most essential resources like water and energy. This is the nature of resiliency. What we learn and accomplish here can have the broadest applications.”