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World Center for Sustainable Food: The challenge of cities

World Center for Sustainable Food: The challenge of cities

The cities have the challenge of taking on challenges in healthy and nutritious food systems that preserve natural resources at the same time, a flag flying the new World Center for Sustainable Food that was inaugurated this Monday in Valencia in the presence of Queen Letizia.

Queen Letizia with the Director-General of FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva (right), and the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig (left), at the Valencia presentation of the World Center for Sustainable Urban Food. EFE / Manuel Bruque
Sustainable Food:

Under the umbrella of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the City of Valencia, this World Center for Sustainable Food (CEMAS) will start with the problem of obesity due to lack of quality in food.

In addition, this year will determine what are the challenges of feeding large cities in the 21st century and in 2021 their activities will coincide with the United Nations celebration of the international year of citrus and vegetables.

The event, held at the La Base de la Marina building in Valencia, headquarters of CEMAS, was attended by, among other authorities, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig; FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva; the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó; the Nobel Peace Prize 2007, Edward Rubin, and the activist for sustainable food Vandana Shiva.

The Queen, FAO’s Special Ambassador for Nutrition, has attended the raising of the United Nations flag by two volunteers of the international organization, 15 and 16 years old, and after visiting the office has held an informal meeting with the director of the FAO, the mayor of Valencia and the president of the Generalitat.

The Director-General of FAO, in his last act in office, highlighted the role of the city as an “agent of ever more important change” in the battle against poor diet.

“People are increasingly eating worse and it is because the systems have led to ultra-processed products, cheaper, more accessible and easier to prepare,” and this habit is leading to the obesity pandemic and affects importing countries with fewer resources. , like Africa or the Caribbean islands.

For her part, the Indian activist Vandana Shiva has claimed the role of women, especially in rural areas and has appealed to the “wisdom of grandmothers” and her traditional economic model of “sharing and caring,” in her opinion, an attitude worth following.

The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, has pointed out that the World Center for Sustainable Food ( CEMAS ) must be a center for “good food practices” and a “pole of actions” for sustainability, development, and peace and against hunger, in his opinion one of the “most humiliating” deaths.

Objectives of the World Center for Sustainable Food

  1. Turn the city of Valencia into a reference center through this permanent center with the technical support of FAO that allows gathering the available knowledge, applying solutions, replicating and enhancing and disseminating them.
  2. Promote and encourage communication, raise awareness, educate and disseminate global issues related to food, especially healthy and sustainable food systems in cities.
  3. Promote and coordinate the public and private resources of administrations, United Nations agencies, foundations, universities and the private sector for the development of projects and programs for the culmination of processes aimed at consolidating sustainable food systems in cities.
  4. Collect, archive and disseminate good practices in cities in the process of consolidating sustainable, healthy, proximity and seasonal food systems.
  5. Connect cities through pioneering initiatives, technology transfer processes, development, cooperation and models of agroecology and ecological and sustainable fishing.
  6. Identify technology partners and partnerships in the private sector to carry out projects and programs aimed at implementing and raising awareness of healthy and sustainable food processes in cities, fighting hunger, nutrition, etc.
  7. Encourage interaction and communication between departments linked to these issues of cities and regions of the world among themselves, with FAO and with United Nations entities related to these issues.
  8. Unify, monitor and analyze the actions and results obtained in the cities of the three major United Nations strategies for these issues: Sustainable Development goals. 2030 Agenda; United Nations Decade of Nutrition Action 2016-2025 and New Urban Agenda.
  9. Implement, through cities and regions, true agents of political action.
  10. Harmonize and encourage civil society, private sector, universities and local and regional administrations from anywhere in the world to fulfill political commitments.

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