LUCENA CITY—Quezon Gov. David C. Suarez was recently invited to be one of the resource speakers of the two-day Asia and the Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization, in partnership with the World Health Organization, the United Nations World Food Program and the World Bank, the event gathered over 250 experts, policy-makers, academicians, civil society and the private sector from approximately 30 countries from Asia and the Pacific, North America and Europe.
Practical solutions and successful country experiences in implementing sustainable food systems were shared in the symposium, which also explored policies and program options for shaping the food systems and ways that deliver food for a healthy diet, focusing on concrete country experiences and challenges.
Suarez shared one of the provinces’ acclaimed programs, Quezon’s First 1000 Days of life or Q1K, on the topic “Moving Forward the First 1000 Days Agenda: The Role of Local Government Units.”
Also attending the symposium were Alona Party-list Rep. Anna Marie Villaraza-Suarez, Quezon Provincial Chief of Staff Webster Letargo, Provincial Agriculturist Roberto Gajo, and Joeann Reyes, member of the Technical Working Group of the Q1K program.
The symposium aims to enhance agriculture and food systems’ visibility, create policy and program options, promotes sustainable diets, and builds partnerships through transformational change in food systems toward sustainability, and their link to positive health and nutrition outcomes.
A child’s first 1,000 days critically impacts development and health throughout life, Suarez said at the meeting. Early nutritional deficits during this period can link to long-term impairment in growth and health. The Q1K program was concocted to address the gaps of low birth weight and malnutrition throughout the first two years of childhood, the governor said.
“It is a holistic approach to development that ensures good nutrition along with better care and feeding practices, water and sanitation and education and social protection can give the province a stronger and healthier generation of Quezonians,” he added.