Memorandum of collaboration and understanding between the FAO and the city of Valencia
In October 2016, the city of Valencia and the FAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Rome. Through this document, various forms of collaboration were established, aimed at improving sustainable urban food systems, collaborating in research, providing technical assistance, and disseminating and communicating topics of common interest. According to the second section of the aforementioned Memorandum, these included: topics related to agriculture, maritime-fishing activity, food, development, the rural and coastal economy, the promotion of the
sustainability of food systems, educating the general public towards a healthy diet and in particular, initiatives aimed at developing these sectors and areas within the countries which are most in need.
Thanks to the evident need to share these joint experiences which are aimed at analysing, strengthening and disseminating sustainable food systems especially in urban environments, these two entities have decided to direct their efforts towards joint initiatives for the proper execution of actions and projects with these common objectives.
“various forms of collaboration were established, aimed at improving sustainable urban food systems“
Mayors’ Summit for the signatory cities of the Milan urban food policy pact.
Valencia from 19 to 21 october 2017
From 19 to 21 October 2017, the Third Mayors’ Summit for the signatory cities of the Milan Pact took place. In light of this event, the city of Valencia has received international recognition of its position as a leading city in the development and implementation of sustainable food policies. The meeting brought together renowned experts, mayors and representatives from almost one hundred cities from all over the world, the directors of some of the most important city networks worldwide (C40, ICLEI, Global Parliament of Mayors, Sustainable Food Cities Network UK, Cities Network for Agroecology, Italian Healthy Cities Network, German Bio-Städte Netzwerk, US Conference of Mayors and City Deal “Food for the Urban Agenda” The Netherlands, among others), and senior representatives from other United Nations agencies.
“The Declaration of Valencia” has been of particular relevance. This text was drawn up in coordination with the more than 160 signatory cities of the Milan Pact. In this declaration, they called upon the United Nations, and in particular Secretary General, to allow for the greater involvement of local governments around the world in the processes of discussing and implementing activities related to food, climate change, the fight against hunger, the protection of small producers, food sovereignty, poverty and food waste. These key issues will be addressed mainly through three major United Nations programmes: Sustainable Development Goals or the 2030 Agenda, The United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025, and the New Urban Agenda.
In this context, during 2017, the city of Valencia developed a considerable number of actions and events by means of a comprehensive strategy that has involved all of the city departments and related sectors. Valencia being declared the World Capital of Sustainable Food 2017 served to raise the citizens’ awareness of local markets, small farmers, urban gardens and healthy diets based on seasonal and local products.
In parallel to the actions carried out throughout the year, two events were organised by the World Capital’s coordination office prior to the mayors’ summit. In April, the “Dialogues on Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems” took place at the Universitat Politècnica de València (Polytechnic University of Valencia) and in September, the “Civil Society, Food and Sustainable Cities” Congress was held at the Palau de l’Exposició (Municipal Exhibition Palace). Both events also constituted a meeting point for experts, academics, senior officials of European public institutions as well as the mayors and representatives of local authorities.
Valencia World Capital of Sustainable Food 2017 has provided an ideal framework of actions in coordination with the FAO. A model that has proven to be timely and effective and which has contributed to the regeneration of the urban-rural relationship and the concept of the city as a dynamic, participatory common space linked to adequate food and sustainability within a framework of rights and co-responsibility.
“The meeting brought together renowned experts, mayors and representatives from almost one hundred cities from all over the world“
Second International Symposium on Agroecology.
FAO Headquarters, Rome, 3 to 5 april, 2018
This meeting which was held under the motto, “Scaling up the Agroecology Initiative”, was a resounding success. It demonstrated the overwhelming interest of the diverse sectors and public decision-makers in working towards a more sustainable and responsible food production, management and consumption, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. A key factor in this new strategy is the role of the cities and their surrounding territories.
The adaptive capacity of the world’s cities is key to the success and consolidation of these policies. Likewise, aspects such as nutrition, climate change, the social protection of small-scale producers, family agriculture, questions of gender and food sovereignty are interconnected factors, which, if managed in the right direction may offer very valuable results.
“The adaptive capacity of the world’s cities is key to the success and consolidation of these policies“