1. Introduction

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the 10th GASL MSP scheduled for June 2020 was conducted virtually. The 11th GASL MSP scheduled for June 2021 also has been transformed into a fully virtual meeting from 7 to 11 June. It is important that the MSP is before the Food Systems Summit scheduled for September 2021 in New York as well as the pre-summit in July, when member state drafting of materials for the summit is anticipated.  

The various activities of GASL need to be connected and streamlined. Figure 1 shows the interaction between the various activities of GASL in 2021. Both the GASL Independent Food Systems Summit Dialogue (FSSD, 18 May 2021) and the regional consultations in May will feed into the global MSP (7-11-June 2021). The result of the GASL MSP will, on the one hand feed into the FSS pre-summit and, on the other hand, into the preparation of the new GASL Action Plan (2022-2024) and the further development of the GASL Theory of Change. This structure will enable GASL to address important FSS results and to show livestock solutions for FSS actions with a time horizon of 2030. 

Figure 1: Streamlining GASL Initiatives

2. Theme and Rationale

he theme of the GASL MSP 2021 is Embracing change and harnessing diversity: The roles of livestock in sustainable food systems

The theme, on the one hand, will be a continuation of the discussions of the virtual GASL MSP 2020 with a focus on transition and recovery (see figure 2) and, on the other hand, needs to be a preparation for the livestock sector input into the Food Systems Summit in September 2021 in New York with emphasis on the roles of livestock in sustainable and resilient food systems and with the focus of embracing change and harnessing diversity. This, by illustrating practice change or at least initiatives and innovation leading to practice change. In addition, it is proposed to feature special events on Net Zero Dairying (in collaboration with GDP, GRA, FAO and ILRI- list may not be complete) and the COAG Sub-Committee on Agriculture (SCL). 

The framework proposed is to align livestock sector solutions in the four GASL sustainability domains with the five Action Tracks of the FSS. (see figure 3) 

Figure 2: Key elements and actions towards transition to increased sustainability

3. The Regional Consultations

The task of the regional consultations will be to fill up key cells in the matrix below based on actions identified in the GASL MSP 2020 meeting with region specific livestock actions related to the Action Tracks of the FSS and the four sustainability domains adopted by GASL in 2018. See Figure 3. 

Figure 3: Link between key elements and key actions from GASL MSP 2020 and the GASL sustainability domain-FSS Action Track matrix.

4. The Global GASL MSP Meeting

The GASL MSP 2021 will need to define the ways from dialogue to outputs. It needs to confirm the regional and global sustainable livestock agenda with a set of a few important game changing outcomes per sustainability domain. It also will need to define GASL priorities, activities, and outputs as per the GASL Theory of Change. This will also include the identification of the priority working areas for the Action Networks.

Figure 4: Consolidation of GASL regional consultation results, global dialogue results into the GASL 2021 MSP and synthesis into the GASL sustainability domain-FSS Action Track matrix towards the GASL Action Plan 2022 to 2024.

5. Objectives and Expected outcomes

The objectives of the 2021 GASL MSP meeting thus are:

  • To illustrate and summarize the present global situation in the livestock sector
  • To identify major action lines towards resilient and sustainable global food systems with special reference to the roles of livestock in response to the pandemic.
  • To illustrate and discuss the various initiatives for net zero dairying and other low carbon livestock initiatives and the GASL synergies with the COAG Sub-Committee of Livestock
  • To identify roles and action lines of multi-stakeholder processes (GASL) in the transition (please see Annex 1) 
  • To provide input material for the 2021 Food Systems Summit, along the five action tracks of the FSS.
  • To feed the process of further developing the Theory of Change and the new Action Plan of GASL for 2022 to 2024.

The expected outcomes 

  • GASL stakeholders will contribute to identification of priority issues for livestock sector future transformation in embracing change and harnessing diversity.
  • The illustration of livestock roles in relation to sustainable, resilient food systems based on best practices and case studies.
  • Making visible the relation of these outcomes to scientific solutions to different demands on the livestock sector
  • GASL stakeholders will share Food Systems Summit engagements as preparation of the livestock sector (GASL, GASL members and others) input into the Food System Summit and its 5 Action Tracks
  • Illustration of the various projects towards net zero dairying and presentation of best practices 
  • Inputs into the evolution of the GASL TOC and the new GASL Action Plan 2022-2024. 

6. Format

Regional Consultations

Based on the positive results of the regional and global MSP meetings from September 2020, it is proposed to again conduct regional consultations in May 2021 with specific terms of reference (see draft in annex 1) to feed into the global meeting 7 to 11 June 2021. The regions are specified as follows 

  1. North America
  2. Latin America
  3. French Speaking Africa
  4. English Speaking Africa
  5. Western Europe 
  6. Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  7. South Asia
  8. East Asia
  9. Oceania 
  10. A sub-regional meeting for the Swiss and French Jura (in the sense of a case study) 

The regional consultations will consist of one or two sessions of 2 ½ to 3 hours each. These consultations will be organised and conducted by Local Organizing Committees, headed by a Regional Focal Point (as in 2020), supported (possibly also financially) by AST of GASL. Each region will have an opportunity to present key results from the meeting into the MSP plenary event.

The GASL MSP 2021 Global Meeting 7 to 11 June 2021

The format of the GASL MSP 2021 virtual is planned as follows:

There will be 10 regional consultations in May 2021. The program of the global virtual meeting will consist of reports from the regional consultations by respective delegations, regional and global panel discussions, virtual field visits (videos), and virtual interactions with farmer groups. The meeting may offer space for a science seminar with parallel sessions. 

The virtual meeting could consist of the following elements: 

  • Key notes followed by policy panel discussions with a wide array of experts. The Guiding Group has agreed to have a senior Swiss official to deliver a keynote address in the global meeting. 
  • Short reports from the regional meetings.
  • Short sessions designed to move GASL action planning forward, drawing on outputs of the regional consultations, FSS dialogue and the GASL theory of change.
  • Virtual field visits developed as videos. Each field visit will treat a specific theme of sustainable livestock (including videos of Switzerland, France, Dairy Net Zero initiatives, etc.) 
  • Specific films regarding specific issues made available online (option) 
  • Virtual poster session (option) 
  • Virtual side events and parallel sessions on specific issues (option)
  • Interaction with the virtual Swiss national organic livestock day 
  • Panels with participants and farmers during the national organic livestock day

7. Infrastructure

  • The regional meetings will be organised (as in 2020) by regional organizing committees with a designated focal point. 
  • The additional Swiss/French sub-regional meeting will be organized and conducted by the Swiss Organizing Committee (established for the GASL MSP 2020).
  • The global GASL MSP 2021 meeting will be organized and conducted from GASL at FAO Rome.