During its 50th Plenary Session (10 – 13 October 2022), the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE-FSN) to produce a report entitled “Strengthening urban and peri-urban food systems to achieve food security and nutrition in the context of urbanization and rural transformation” which will be the 19th report of the HLPE-FSN. The overall aim of the report is to explore the issues surrounding urbanization, rural transformation and their implications for food security and nutrition (FSN). The report was also tasked to develop action-oriented policy recommendations on urban and peri-urban food systems that will encourage coordinated policies for FSN across rural, urban and peri-urban areas, taking into account the specific needs of diverse rural and urban contexts and the linkages between them.

The report will be presented at CFS 52th plenary session in October 2024 and provide recommendations to the CFS workstream “Strengthening urban and peri-urban food systems to achieve food security and nutrition in the context of urbanization and rural transformation”.

Context

As the CFS Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPoW) 2024-2027 indicates, “growing urbanization, combined with the reorientation of urban and peri-urban agricultural lands to more profitable uses, have been gradually leading to a “geographical decoupling” of urban areas from sources of food supply, posing higher risks for food security and nutrition. In the absence of specific food systems planning across the rural-urban continuum, the sale and consumption of highly processed foods is growing in most urban centers, while local commerce that delivers healthy, fresh food at affordable prices is neglected, with negative impacts on food security and nutrition.”

Over 50 percent of the world’s population already live in urban areas, and that proportion is set to increase to over 70 percent by 2050. Approximately 1.1 billion people currently live in urban informal settlements, with two billion more expected in the next 30 years. Correspondingly, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms is increasingly an urban challenge, with 50 percent of urban populations in the least-developed countries being food-insecure, compared with 43 percent in rural areas.

It is imperative to address the challenges of urbanization in relation to rural transformation to “build back better” in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of climate change and conflicts. The current multi-layered global food crisis points to the importance and potential of the territorial dimension of food systems – addressing poverty and inequality, building resilience and social inclusion and fostering sustainable livelihoods.

To respond to this CFS request and as part of the report development process, the HLPE-FSN is launching this e-consultation to seek inputs, suggestions and comments on the V0 draft of the report.

HLPE-FSN V0 drafts of reports are deliberately presented early enough in the process – as work in progress, with their range of imperfections – to allow sufficient time to properly consider the feedback received in the elaboration of the report. E-consultations are a key part of the inclusive and knowledge-based dialogue between the HLPE-FSN Steering Committee and the scientific and knowledge community at large.

Questions to guide the e-consultation on the V0 draft of the report

This V0 draft identifies areas for recommendations and contributions on which the HLPE-FSN of the CFS welcomes suggestions or proposals, in particular addressing the following questions:

1.The V0 draft introduces a conceptual framework informed by key principles established in previous HLPE-FSN reports (HLPE, 2017; HLPE, 2020).Do you find the proposed framework effective to highlight and discuss the key issues concerning urban and peri-urban food systems?Is this a useful conceptual framework to provide practical guidance for policymakers?Can you offer suggestions for examples to illustrate and facilitate the operationalization of the conceptual framework to address issues relevant for FSN?
2.The report adopts the broader definition of food security (proposed by the HLPE-FSN in 2020), which includes six dimensions of food security: availability, access, utilization, stability, agency and sustainability.Does the V0 draft cover sufficiently the implications of this broader definition in urban and peri-urban food systems?
3.Are the trends/variables/elements identified in the draft report the key ones to strengthen urban and peri-urban food systems? If not, which other elements should be considered?Are there any other issues concerning urban and peri-urban food systems that have not been sufficiently covered in the draft report?Are topics under- or over-represented in relation to their importance?
4.Is there additional quantitative or qualitative data that should be included?Are there other references, publications, or traditional or different kind of knowledges, which should be considered?
5.Are there any redundant facts or statements that could be eliminated from the V0 draft?
6.Could you suggest case studies and success stories from countries that were able to strengthen urban and peri-urban food systems? In particular, the HLPE-FSN would seek contributions on:a) evidence-based examples of successful interventions in urban and peri-urban food systems with the principles behind what made the process work;b) efforts made to enhance agency in urban and peri-urban food systems;c) efforts made to enhance the right to food in urban and peri-urban settings;d) examples of circular economy and urban and peri-urban food system and climate change adaptation and mitigation, preferably beyond issues of production; ande) examples of national and local government collaboration on urban and peri-urban food systems.

The results of this consultation will be used by the HLPE-FSN to further elaborate the report, which will then be submitted to peer review, before finalization and approval by the HLPE-FSN drafting team and the Steering Committee (more details on the different steps of the process, are available here).

This consultation is open until 18 January 2024.

Comments can be submitted in English, French and Spanish.

Co-facilitators:

Évariste Nicolétis, HLPE-FSN Coordinator
Paola Termine, HLPE-FSN Programme Officer

Follow this link to read and submit contributions for this e-consultation

Join the CSIPM Working Group on Urban and Peri-Urban Food Systems

To participate in this CFS policy process and contribute to the development of the V0 draft, we invite you to join the CSIPM Working Group on Urban and Peri-Urban Food Systems. By joining the working group, you will have the opportunity to dialogue and collaborate with social movements, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society organisations from across regions and constituencies to collectively define CSIPM’s demands and policy priorities in this CFS convergence process which is scheduled to unfold throughout 2024 and 2025. To join, please click on the following link https://www.csm4cfs.org/policy-working-groups/join-the-working-groups/

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