Discussion at UNGA Showcases Path to a Sustainable Future

Steve Groff, Chief Executive Officer, Cedar Meadow Farm, Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, Director, Office of Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Food Systems Coordination HUB, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Geoffrey W. Whaling, Chair, National Hemp Association, Manfred Rene Ndonuie Nforngwen Awambeng, Director & Global Head, Client Relations, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Meghan Hagberg, Senior Vice President at BCIU, Joshua Dixon, Vice President, Corporate & Business Development, Valmont Industries

The Business Council of International Understanding (BCIU) and the National Hemp Association hosted a groundbreaking panel discussion on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78). The event, titled “Global Bio-Based Economy: Climate, Innovation, and Inclusivity,” took place in the iconic Rainbow Room at the Rockefeller Center, drawing attention to the urgent need to address climate change and agricultural innovation while fostering inclusivity and collaboration.

The world is at a crossroads, facing critical challenges related to climate change, resource depletion, and the need for sustainable agricultural practices. Traditional approaches have contributed to environmental degradation, demanding a paradigm shift towards more sustainable solutions. Existing policies, including the Farm Bill, often lack the necessary emphasis on promoting bio-based approaches and integrating carbon markets and sequestration strategies. However, these policies can serve as powerful tools to implement positive changes on a large scale.

One of the key issues in the global dialogue on bio-based economies has been the limited inclusivity of discussions, which often revolve around singular interests. This lack of inclusivity hinders the broader adoption of bio-based economies and inhibits the normalization of environmentally responsible practices across industries.

The panel discussion aimed to address these critical challenges by focusing on the creation of a more inclusive bio-based economy. The event brought together thought leaders, experts, investors and stakeholders from various sectors to explore market-oriented solutions that empower farmers and combat climate change effectively.

The event featured an esteemed lineup of speakers:

Manfred Rene Ndonuie Nforngwen Awambeng, Director & Global Head, Client Relations, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)

Joshua Dixon, Vice President, Corporate & Business Development, Valmont Industries.

Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, Director, Office of Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Food Systems Coordination HUB, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Steve Groff, Chief Executive Officer, Cedar Meadow Farm

Geoffrey W. Whaling, Chair, National Hemp Association

The panel discussion delved into issues related to policy reform, highlighting the need for changes and emphasizing critical aspects that can further promote bio-based economies. The conversation also shifted towards implementation best practices, setting the stage for actionable follow-up initiatives.

We face critical challenges related to climate change and sustainable agriculture. Traditional methods are no longer sufficient, and it’s time to transition toward bio-based solutions. This event emphasized the importance of bringing diverse voices together for a sustainable and inclusive bio-based future, with hemp playing a crucial role.

Geoff Whaling

Chair, National Hemp Assoication

 

This program attracted a diverse and global multi-stakeholder audience, fostering a collaborative spirit that is essential to driving meaningful change on a global scale. The discussions and insights shared at the event are expected to inspire greater collaboration and action, ultimately leading to a more sustainable and inclusive future.