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Urban Food Policy Assistance

Supporting national and local governments to design urban food policy and attract investment










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    Book (stand-alone)
    Pro-poor legal and institutional frameworks for urban and peri-urban agriculture 2012
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    Urbanization is one of the key drivers of change in the world today as the world’s urban population will almost double by 2050. Providing support to the most vulnerable in an urbanizing world demands discussions on food, agriculture and cities in the context of rural- urban linkages. Policies need to address a very wide range of issues in order to link urbanization, food and nutrition security and livelihoods: how and where to produce enough food for urban dwellers? What infrastructure is needed ? How can cities preserve the surrounding ecosystems? The “Food for the Cities” initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) promotes a food system approach supported by a great variety of areas such as urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) and forestry, support to small producers in urban and peri-urban areas, land tenure, food supply, nutrition education, school gardens, waste management and re-use of wastewater. All stakeholders from the public sector, the private sector and the civil society need to work together at global, national and local levels. FAO seeks to bring these stakeholders into a neutral forum for international discussions. This legislative study aims to promote an understanding of the key elements and issues to be addressed by a pro-poor legal and institutional framework for the practice of urban and peri- urban agriculture. Several case studies from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Ghana, and Uganda are included to this end. It is hoped that this study will provide guidance to national legislators, ministers and administrations, mayors and other municipal officials, as well as lawyers involved in drafting legislation and regulations or advising on or advocating for better legal frameworks for urban and peri-urban agriculture.
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    Document
    Food, Agriculture and Cities. Challenges of Food and Nutrition Security, Agriculture and Ecosystem Management in an Urbanizing World 2011
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    Urbanization is one of the key drivers of change in the world today. The world‟s urban population currently stands at around 3.5 billion. It will almost double to more than 6 billion by 2050. This is a challenge not only for urban areas but also for rural areas, because many people, especially the young, will migrate from rural areas to urban areas over this period. When addressing urbanization challenges, we are also addressing, directly or indirectly, rural and territorial development. What do we have to do to ensure people‟s access to good nutrition in cities? What do we have to do to produce enough food for urban dwellers? What infrastructures are needed and what kind of food production is possible in cities? How can cities preserve the services of the surrounding ecosystems? A very wide range of important issues links urbanization and food security. The “Food for the Cities” multidisciplinary initiative started in FAO in the year 2000. It has covered a great variety of areas such as food supply, nutrition education, school gardens, urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry; how to support small producers in urban and peri-urban areas, waste management and re-use of wastewater. The experience shows conclusively that we all need to work in partnership when addressing issues of urbanization and food security, from the public sector, the private sector and civil society. Local authorities are key players in this context, however, urban actors have often not considered th e food system an important issue when designing, planning and managing cities. The perception has been because food is there and one can easily buy it in the supermarkets or along the streets, that food will always be there. This perception was altered for many in 2008, when the food prices peaked. More than 20 countries around the world experienced food riots in urban areas. Hunger, now in both rural and urban areas, has now become vocal, and this is changing the political scene. All stakeholde rs need to work together at global and local levels, for advocacy, for project implementation, but also for raising awareness on urbanization and food security as one of the key issues of our times. This position paper addresses a wide audience, from field workers to decision makers, to help understand the challenges that continuing urbanization brings to food, agriculture, and the management of natural resources. The approach proposed here is based on four dimensions that characterize, design a nd implement food systems for cities. The paper has been prepared as a support for all actors to help advocate for political support and to assist in developing operational strategies adapted to local realities. Food and nutrition security in cities can not be taken for granted. It is part of a complex system. Supporting the most vulnerable groups in an urbanizing world demands discussions on food, agriculture and cities in the context of rural-urban linkages.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Urban food systems and COVID-19
    The role of cities and local governments in responding to the emergency
    2020
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    Cities, with their high population density, are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and many cities in developing countries do not have adequate capacity to address the disruptions caused by the response to the health emergency. The risk is particularly high for the 1.2 billion people living in the congested and overcrowded informal urban settlements where conditions are already unsafe and unhealthy for human living. The very poor and those living in slums have extremely limited access to essential health and sanitation facilities, nutritious food and adequate infrastructure such as piped clean water and electricity. The spread of the virus in crowded cities could have extensive morbidity and mortality consequences for urban populations. The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting urban food systems worldwide, posing a number of challenges for cities and local governments that are obliged to deal with rapid changes in food availability, accessibility and affordability – which strongly impact the food security and nutrition situation of urban populations. The majority of the urban population in developing countries relies on informal sector activities and casual labour including those related to food systems (street food vendors and those working in wet markets) and have access to limited or no assets or savings. Policies to limit the effects of the virus such as lockdowns, or physical distancing can spell disaster for the livelihoods of those individuals and their families leading, inter alia, to food insecurity and deficient nutrition.

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