SE079 Urban Food Agenda. How can we bridge the local-national-global governance gap?


  • FAO
  • World Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CEMAS)
  • Milan Urban Food Policy Pact

Food and agriculture are being challenged by urbanization and growth of urban demographics. At least 55% of the world's population already lives in urban areas, who consumes an estimated 70% of all food produced globally. The next three decades will see spikes of urban expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. With this background it is safe to state that the actions taken in urban areas, and by urban dwellers, will have significant ample implications on the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda. FAO has recently launched the FAO Framework on the Urban Food Agenda in Rome and New York.

This Framework serves as a corporate strategy for responding to the demands for implementing the New Urban Agenda ensuring resilient food systems and good nutrition along the rural-urban continuum. The framework guides on integrated actions across sectors, actors and level of governments, arguably the needed essence for directing to the planet's sustainability. Indeed, breaking silos and promoting a systemic approach appear for once feasible through a place-based solution strategy leveraging action of local governments.

However, sub-national governments have reiterated in a number of occasions their need for a global Forum that goes beyond discussion and exchange of lessons learnt among the sub-national and local governments. They rather have urged multilateral independent organizations, in particular FAO, to facilitate action-oriented processes that engage the local leaders with national governments and international influencers (e.g. private corporations, philanthropic entities, international civil organizations, non-food sector alliances etc.) for discussing pertinent issues impacting food systems in urban areas and agree on a position as an independent forum.

This side event will foster a dialogue among global stakeholders for understanding ways to strengthen partnership around the urban food agenda and agree on relevant recommendations for developing a roadmap to facilitate a non-governmental forum for action.

The side event will include a keynote presentation on current and foreseen work of FAO with partners in the Urban Food Agenda. Examples of good practices of cities and territories to promote rural revitalization and overall food system transformation, will be highlighted. Following, a panel discussion will be guided to determine milestones needed to establish a functional mechanism that can influence the global urban food governance.


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