WHAT ARE CITY REGION FOOD SYSTEMS
City region food systems (CRFS) encompass the “complex network of actors, processes and relationships to do with food production, processing, marketing, and consumption that exist in a given geographical region that includes a more or less concentrated urban centre and its surrounding peri- urban and rural hinterland; a regional landscape across which flows of people, goods and ecosystem services are managed.”
WHY ARE CRFS IMPORTANT
CRFS are not a total solution to food and nutrition security, but they can play a critical role in helping to develop the Future that We Want, that is often taken for granted, including:
- RIGHTS-BASED FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION: CRFS can play a vital role in ensuring a resilient supply of affordable, healthy food – particularly for vulnerable popluations across the rural-urban nexus
- SMALL-SCALE FOOD PRODUCTION AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS: CRFS can provide livelihood support for small-scale food producers and family farming, within formal and informal food systems – both in rural and urban areas
- DEMOCRATIZATION OF FOOD GOVERNANCE AND THE RIGHT TO FOOD: CRFS provide increased scope for local participation in food systems development, planning and governance and can represent a key platform for operationalizing the right to food and food sovereignty
- BALANCED RURAL AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: The scope for improved regional, territorial, or “landscape based” management of ecosystem services for food – including those linked with water and energy security.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO SUPPORT THEM – A CALL FOR ACTION
The importance of CRFS is increasingly recognized, and there is increasing amounts of innovation both in food systems practice and in food policy development within various city-regions around the world. However, there is a pressing need to help bring this knowledge together and increase political awareness in order to maximize the potential presented by various international policy processes leading up to the Habitat III summit in 2016 (e.g. Sustainable Development Goals and the climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC)
If this is not done then an important chance to level-the-playing field for the evolution of more democratic and sustainable food systems will have been missed, alongside the opportunity to advance a more systems-based and integrated approach to rural and urban development by integrating agriculture and food concerns to the sustainable urbanisation agenda.
A specific website – www.cityregionfoodsystems.org – has therefore been dedicated to the promotion of a Call for Global Action for stakeholders across the world to engage in a concerted global effort in order to:
- Increase awareness of the value and importance of CRFS
- Develop and exchange knowledge on how to protect, support and further develop CRFS
- Catalyse further action on the ground
This Call for Global Action was defined with support from – FAO Food for cities initiative, Global Food Security Cluster/Urban Working Group, Habitat International Coalition (HIC), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, ILO, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Urban Food Network (IUFN), International network of Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food security (RUAF), UN-Habitat, UNCDF, and Prince of Wales’International Sustainability Unit (ISU).
We are now calling on others to join our efforts. Sign the Call for Global Action at www.cityregionfoodsystem.org today and join the international community engaged for city region food systems and sustainable urbanization.