“Cultural policies today provide innovative responses in areas such as inclusion, technical and vocational education, employment, the preservation of cultural heritage and biodiversity,” Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, Ernesto Otonne, said.
Speaking to some 200 international participants gathered in Italy’s Parma for the gathering, entitled, “Culture and Food: Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Development,” Mr. Otonne stressed that cultural practices rooted in traditional and local knowledge systems related to food, are important markers of environmental sustainability.
He stressed that food, in addition to nourishing us, forms communities’ socioeconomic identities, in the way it’s cultivated, processed, and prepared—as summed up in the event’s promotional video: “Tell me what you eat, I will tell you who you are”.
The forum, organized by UNESCO in collaboration with Italian authorities, hosted five panels focusing on food in relation to cultural identity, socio-economic development, education and sustainability, biodiversity and food security, and also highlighted UNESCO’s Creative Cities of Gastronomy—a network of cities promoting cultural industries at the heart of development.
The Forum concluded on Friday with the adoption of the Parma Declaration, which reaffirms the necessity of reinforcing culture and food links to biodiversity and heritage preservation, supports healthy nutrition, and improves food production and consumption.
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