The consequences of climate change are here. And we must act now. More sustainable and resilient food systems have the potential to address multiple challenges, and accelerate the implementation of several international agreements, including the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. RUAF and partners work to transform urban agriculture and food systems in cities around the world, with events at the MUFPP Global Forum and COP26 and the launch of new resources.
Over the last two decades, RUAF has highlighted the environmental impact of food systems and the need for urban and city region food systems that are both sustainable and resilient to climate change impacts. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is a unique opportunity to build on the momentum by highlighting the intersection of climate and food challenges and bring food on the climate agenda.
For RUAF, ambitious actions on food systems and climate change must be aligned and the interconnection between these areas must be recognized to open up new opportunities and develop long-term solutions. In the run-up to COP26 and during the event itself, RUAF is involved in several events and collaborative efforts to raise awareness and provide cities with the tools they need to take action.
Strengthening our food systems by supporting cities to assess, monitor and measure their progress
The RUAF secretariat and some RUAF partners attended the 7th MUFPP Global Summit in Barcelona, with climate as the central theme. At the summit, we launched the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) Monitoring Framework Handbook and Resource Pack. Developed by RUAF, FAO and MUFPP Secretariat and supported by WLE, the handbook sets out practical steps, simple tools, top tips for cities to select, adapt or devise indicators to measure progress of their own priorities.
Connections and complementarities were established between the MUFPP Monitoring Framework and the Barcelona Challenge on Good Food and Climate, an initiative by the city of Barcelona, MUFPP and C40 for cities and their residents to commit to transformation of their food systems to tackle the climate emergency.
Also at the MUFPP Global Summit, RUAF and FAO publicised the forthcoming City Region Food Systems Assessment and Planning Process manual and online toolkit, based on the results and lessons learned from a total of 11 cities that piloted the process during two programme phases, from 2015 to 2018 and from 2019 to 2022. These resources are designed to accompany project teams through a participatory process to strengthen sustainability and build resilience to climate and pandemic-related hazards, and RUAF and FAO are committed to supporting ongoing shared learning between implementing city regions.
RUAF at COP26: Transform food systems to tackle the climate emergency
On November 3, RUAF and Rikolto will host the session ‘Resilience in practice: how cities are tackling climate change through inclusive food actions‘, which will show how cities are putting their local food ambitions into practice to tackle the climate crisis while ensuring social inclusion. This session is part of the broader Recipes for Resilience event organised by Nourish Scotland at the COP26 Food and Climate Zone. The objective of the event, consisting of numerous sessions, is to build awareness of the complex relationships of food, climate, nature and communities. It will facilitate the connection between stakeholders and encourage the concept that only by thinking of food as a whole system can we achieve the recipes of coherent policies that will deliver the food systems resilience needed.
RUAF and partners support the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, a commitment by subnational governments to tackle the climate emergency through integrated food policies and a call on national governments to act. The official presentation of the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration is scheduled to be held at the Glasgow City Chambers on the COP26 Nature Day on 6 November. There is still time for cities to sign the Declaration and show commitment to leverage integrated food policies to tackle the climate crisis. More information is available at www.glasgowdeclaration.org.
Another key event will be the Global Fork to Farm Dialogues, which will bring together 100 local government representatives with 100 practicing farmers to discuss how to strengthen local food policies and the resilience of local communities. The Global Fork to Farm Dialogues are based on the learnings of Local Fork to Farm Dialogues, which have been taking place this past year across four continents and more than 20 communities. Such initiative comes from the need to promote a just transition in food and farming that could benefit all by creating further synergies between local governments and food producers, who rarely get a seat at the table and have been excluded from decision-making.