Just Rural Transition

Meridian houses the Just Rural Transition Secretariat, a global initiative promoting people-centered approaches to food system transformation. We lead the initiative’s communications and engagement, foster stakeholder collaboration, and support integrated, inclusive policy and investment solutions.

Transforming our food systems to feed a growing population while protecting vital ecosystems is an urgent global priority. Through the Just Rural Transition (JRT) initiative, Meridian is identifying and scaling ambitious, intersectional approaches that deliver on global climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development goals—all with a focus on supporting people, particularly the most vulnerable. We are cultivating a diverse community comprised of governments, knowledge and implementation partners, stakeholder associations, food and agriculture value chains, and financial entities who commit to work individually and collaboratively in support of the JRT Vision.

The JRT was formally launched at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit. Meridian houses its Secretariat and supports a key workstream advancing policies to repurpose agricultural subsidies and other public support. In partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we are also collaborating with the investor community to accelerate investment and mobilize finance in support of sustainable, resilient food systems.

On the global level, we are engaged in meetings and processes driving the food and land use reform agenda while improving the livelihoods of the most vulnerable. For example, as a key supporter to the UK’s COP26 Presidency, the JRT will highlight sustainable agriculture and the principles of a just transition as part of the 2021 Nature Campaign. On the country level, Meridian is partnering with the World Bank to support governments in repurposing agriculture support. We are developing knowledge products and establishing a peer-to-peer learning platform connecting countries across the Global South and North.

Food systems transformation requires integrated and inclusive approaches, working with leaders at community, national, and global levels, across private and public sectors. Social equity and inclusion must be a core element of any transition pathway. As a trusted third party with deep experience in multi-stakeholder partnerships, Meridian helps different groups recognize and respond to complex power dynamics and political economies. We center the voices and needs of those most impacted by changes to food and land use systems—a focus that puts the just in Just Rural Transition.

Meridian is bringing people together to identify and share innovative policy and investment solutions that will make the JRT Vision a reality and co-create solutions to one of this decade’s most critical challenges.