Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Hosts Mayors Summit at FAO Headquarters

Nina Sparling

From October 13-14 2016, the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) Mayors Summit will convene at the U.N. Food and Agriculture (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy.  Mayors and city officials, alongside a diverse group of experts, researchers, and leaders in the food system, will gather to carry the MUFPP into its second year. The international conference celebrates a continued acknowledgment of the opening lines of the agreement: “The cities which host over half the world’s population have a strategic role to play in developing sustainable food systems and promoting healthy diets.”

The 2015 MUFPP agreement between mayors and local government officials was the first of its kind—an international pact on urban food policies that addresses the need for more resilient, diverse, affordable, and healthy sustainable food systems in cities around the world. The pact articulates a set of commitments alongside a framework for action to address the policies and practices that shape urban food landscapes. It identifies a pressing need for access to healthy, nutrient-rich food and suggests that smallholder and family farmers play a critical role at the intersection of sustainable food systems and thriving cities.

Panel discussions at this year’s summit will cover topics including best practices for monitoring the implementation of the MUFPP, avenues for city-to-city cooperation, and strategies for building effective alliances and partnerships in cities across the globe. In its first year, the MUFPP created the Food Networks’ Alliance to encourage communication between signatory cities about their work developing urban food policies and projects. 49 of the best practices established by participating cities in the past year have also been collected into the eBook Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Selected Good Practices from Cities.

This year, the Summit brings an official celebration of World Food Day with remarks from Josè Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the FAO. Mauricio Esteban Rodas Espinel, Mayor of Quito, Ecuador, will also contribute a statement on the role of urban food strategies. He will focus on the New Urban Agenda, to be presented at the Habitat III Conference unfolding in Quito the same week. Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank, will moderate the Milan Pact Awards Ceremony, which highlights success stories from the first year of the MUFPP.