Catalysing sustainable development through regional food system governance: Strengthening the translation of regional food system policy guidance to national level in the Pacific

Publication Name

Sustainable Development


Recent food system shocks and increasing climate change exposures highlight the urgency of strengthening food systems at different scales, including global, regional and national, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This paper investigated opportunities to strengthen the translation of regional food system policy guidance to the national level in the Pacific Island region. We applied a theory-informed, empirical study design, based on interview data. We found that inadequate regional–national translation of food system policy guidance arises from (i) competing demands on limited resources, exacerbated by challenges of financing multisectoral initiatives; (ii) often weak regional–national dialogue; and (iii) perceived tension of economic, social and environmental priorities in dominant policy paradigms. These barriers may be addressed by establishing a regional food system governance structure and accountability mechanisms as well as a paradigm shift to balance focus between food system priorities. Current drives to implement National Food System Transformation Pathways may provide necessary impetus to realise these opportunities.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research



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