It is our special privilege to host in Palermo the Second World Conference on the Revitalization of the Mediterranean Diet titled “Strategies towards more sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean Region. The Mediterranean Diet as a lever for bridging food consumption and production in a sustainable and healthy way”. On behalf of the Organizing Institutions, we are pleased to invite you to join us. The Conference is held under the Auspices of the Sicilian Region, the City of Palermo, the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), the Union for the Mediterranean, the International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet (IFMeD), the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Cooperation and the European Federation of Nutrition Societies. It is organized by the Forum of the Mediterranean Food Cultures and CIHEAM-Bari, in collaboration with the Sicilian Ministries of Agriculture and Mediterranean Fishery, Health, Education and Training, with the National Research Council (CNR)-Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Sciences, the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). It is also organized in association with the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS), the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (ICAF), the Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU), the French Nutrition Society (SFN), the Spanish Society for Community Nutrition (SENC), La Sapienza University -Rome, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, FIN, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, UOC UNESCO Chair in Education and Technology for Social Change, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Italian Network for the Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue (RIDE-APS) and the Anna-Lindt Foundation-Italian Network. Its Organizing Secretariat is DIAITA. It is hosted in four famous historical locations in the heart of Palermo, Saint Cecilia Theatre, the Modern Art Gallery, the Municipal Historical Archive, and the Comitini/S. Elia Palaces. Eighteen thematic sessions will be held as an open forum of discussion on the most appropriate conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches to improve sustainability of food consumption and production in Mediterranean countries, using the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable and healthy lever for human and environmental wellbeing of present and future generations. In particular, the following 18 THEMATIC SESSIONS will be run:
1. Solutions for Coping with Youth Migrations, Agriculture, and Rural sustainable development in the Mediterranean Region: Knowledge Sharing, Capacity Building and Training as Driving Forces for the Shift Towards More Mediterranean Sustainable Food Systems
2. Solutions for Coping with Malnutrition, Primary Prevention and Public Health Nutrition in the Mediterranean Region
3. Solutions for Coping with impacts of Water Scarcity, Land Degradation and Climate Change on Mediterranean Food Systems
4. Towards the Sustainability of Mediterranean Fisheries: Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries and Aquaculture projects in Mediterranean Countries
5. Sustainable Agriculture, Agro-Ecology and Sustainable Food Value Chains Development in the Mediterranean Region
6. Research and Innovation as Driving Forces for the Shift Towards More Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean Region
7. The Challenge of Organic Food Systems Linking Sustainable Production and Consumption in the Mediterranean Region
8. Coping with Food Losses and Waste in the Mediterranean through more Sustainable Food Systems
9. Sustainable Diets: Linking Nutrition and Food Systems in the Mediterranean. A Transdisciplinary Imperative
10. The Diversity of Mediterranean Food Cultures and Culinary Systems as a Driver for the Revitalization of the Mediterranean Diet in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean Region
12. Lessons Learned from different Sustainable Diet Case Studies: Japanese Diet, New Nordic Diet and Mediterranean Diet
13. Appeal, Acceptance, Adoption of a Contemporary Sustainable Mediterranean Diet Life Style through Education, Communication and Consumer Empowerment
14. Understanding the Food Environment in the Mediterranean: Interlinkages between Sustainable Diets and Sustainable Food Systems
15. Milan Urban Food Policy Pact: Sustainable Urban and Peri-Urban Food Systems in the Mediterranean Cities
16. Towards the Co-Development of a Collaborative Multi-stakeholder Sustainable Food Systems Platform within the United Nations One Planet Network in the Mediterranean for Accelerating the 2030 Agenda’s SDGs in the Region
17. A Mediterranean Contribution on Environment and Sustainable Co-Development to the “ Summit of the Two Shores”
18. Connecting Mediterranean Countries: From Expo 2015 Milan to Expo 2020 Dubai Through the Suez Channel
The thematic sessions will contribute to the development of the technical background document of the Conference. “The 2019 Palermo Call for a Common Action in the Mediterranean Towards More Sustainable Mediterranean Food Systems. CHANGE OF ROUTE: A Transformational Change in the Region” will be issued at the Conference’s conclusion.
Along with the Thematic Sessions, 4 SIDE EVENTS will be run:
Networking EuroMediterranean Countries for Sustainable Food Consumption and Production Strategies using the Mediterranean Diet for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases, coordinated by General Medical Council
Sicilian Sea Food and Sea Women, coordinated by the Sicilian Mediterranean Fisheries Dept.
Training for the Agri-Food Sector in Sicily, coordinated by Sicilian Training and Education Dept.
Food Education and Training for a Healthier Future, Coordinated by Dept of Health Activities and Epidemiological Observatory (DASOE)
In addition to the scientific and cultural contents of the Conference, you will be fascinated by the visit of Palermo, the regional capital of Sicily. Our City is a unique historical place, pervaded by a magical atmosphere, a place of mystery and charm that goes beyond the imagination and expectations of travellers with its incredible mix of distant cultures and dominations perfectly blended in an extremely cozy melting pot. Go out and take a walk in the labyrinthine cobbled streets of its city center, one of the largest across Europe, visit the world-renowned historical markets (Vucciria, Ballarò, Capo) and savor the amazing variety of colors, voices and street foods, spend a few hours going along the coast, from the astonishing marina of Mondello, Addaura, Vergine Maria, Arenella, up to S. Erasmo and Acqua dei Corsari, enjoy looking at the breathtaking Pellegrino promontory, sitting on the green grass of Foro Italico, exactly as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe did during his Italian Journey: “Monte Pellegrino, with its many elegant outlines, in full light; on the left the coast, with its bays, isthmuses, and headlands, stretching far away into the distance… the most beautiful headland in the world”. Almost every corner of Palermo is plenty of artistic treasures, especially those belonging to the Arab-Norman architecture. In 2015, Arab-Norman Palermo and its neighboring cathedrals were granted status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: “An outstanding example of a socio-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic, and Byzantine cultures. This interchange gave rise to an architectural and artistic expression based on novel concepts of space, structure, and decoration that spread widely throughout the Mediterranean region… The innovative re-elaboration of architectural forms, structures, and materials and their artistic, decorative, and iconographic treatments – most conspicuously the rich and extensive tesserae mosaics, pavements in opus sectile, marquetry, sculptural elements, paintings, and fittings – celebrate the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins”. Several Palermo quarters are also full of wonderful Baroque churches and Art-Nouveau palaces and villas, many of which were designed by the famous architect Ernesto Basile, including the Grand Hotel Villa Igea. In this context, the impressive Teatro Massimo Vittorio Emanuele is by far the biggest opera house in Italy and one of the largest in Europe: it will capture you with its ancient and neoclassical exterior and its decorations with a variety of Pompeian motifs mimicking classical Greek ornaments. In 2018, Palermo was both the Italian Capital of Culture and host of the 12th edition of Manifesta, Europe’s most prestigious itinerant festival of contemporary art. Palermo is an authentic city, where ancient customs and ancient history are mixed with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation: it loves to welcome its guests with its unsurpassed hospitality.
On behalf of the Organizing Institutions we are pleased inviting you to join us in Palermo in these international transdisciplinary dialogues.