Senior Nutrition & Food Systems Officer, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Dr. Lee co-ordinates food systems and nutrition related policy, programmes and research in the Asia Pacific region. He supports countries to implement food systems and nutrition related programmes. Dr. Lee is also interested in undertaking scientific and implementation researches to generate evidence-based nutrition policies and programmes.
While working at FAO headquarters, Rome (2012-18), Dr. Lee headed the Nutrition Assessment and Scientific Advice Group at the Nutrition and Food Systems Division, FAO. He coordinated programmes on nutrition assessment, human nutrient requirements and Codex scientific advice on nutrition.
Before joining FAO, Dr. Lee has been faculty members at University of Surrey, U.K., The Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia and. He is recognized for his research contributions to public health nutrition, nutrition and bone health in particular. Dr, Lee holds a BSc in Human Nutrition from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and a PhD from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a U.K. Registered Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist (Public Health).
Food Systems Solutions for Healthier Diets, Better Nutrition and Health amidst Climate Change
Food systems (FSs) have a great potential to fulfill food security and nutrition (FSN) for providing year round healthy and affordable diets for all. Currently, however, FSs fail to deliver its full potential, leaving billions of people food insecure and unaffordable to healthy diets, millions of children are stunted and wasted, and the rising prevalence of obesity and non-communicable diseases – FSs fail to deliver its mission! In Asia Pacific, the situation is exacerbated by population growth, urbanization, changing consumption patterns, COVID-19, Ukraine war, and complicated by climate change leading to unhealthy diets, poor nutrition and health, and unsustainable livelihoods and environment.
Climate affects Agri-food production which, however, is also a contributor to climate change. One-third of GHG emissions generated from FSs. Climate change influences the entire FSs: poor soil fertility and reduced crop yield, biodiversity loss, pest diseases, reduced nutrient density and bioavailability in foods, etc. Thus, climate change increases malnutrition and health risks, deteriorated livelihoods and unsustainable environment. Sustainable and resilient food systems transformation, coupled with nature positive solutions, including climate-smart agriculture, and aligned with contextual ecosystem functions, biodiversity and environmental conservations are warranted to ensure healthier diets and health, to mitigate and adapt the impact of climatic and food system interaction on diet, health and environment. FSs transformation can harness FSs’ power to benefit humanity and the earth.