Local Public Policies for Food Sovereignty - Call for Action-Research
A couple weeks ago some of the members of this platform were present at the International Seminar on Local Public Policies for Food Sovereignty in San Sebastian, Spain. The event was hosted by TNI, FIAN and the European Coordination of la Via Campesina, and counted with the presence of over 100 scholars, policy-makers, farmers and activists from many corners of the world. It was a interesting melting pot of ideas and discussions about different strategies and struggles related to translating food sovereignty into policy at the local level.
Experiences of municipal land banks to integrate new farmers into agroecological production from Red Terrae (Spain), public policies that encouraged participation of rural women in agroecology in Brazil, or public procurement schemes and short supply chains for organic food in school canteens in Sweden and the Canary Islands were some of the cases amongst many examples (see program attached).
The presentations were followed by 4 themed working groups:
a) Access to land and the commons
b) Public policies, education and food
c) Urban food policies from a territorial perspective
d) Local public policies for the development of agroecology
Initiatives emerging from grassroots movements and from policy makers increasingly aware of the importance of food in the local political agenda were presented. Debates intertwined both urban and rural struggles, constructing the potentials for food sovereignty and it's actual practices from a territorial perspective. On the discussions of the group on Access to land and the commons (in which I participated), a few of our final points were:
1) the continuous need for expanding research on strategies to provide access to land for new farmers, and on different ways to conceptualise and use the commons.
2) Actual and future challenges faced by the translation of a claim originally coined by peasant social movements into the arena of municipal, national and international policy.
3) Creatively use action-research as a tool to further the development and implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure, negotiated and adopted by the Committee of World Food Security (CFS).
4) Finally, research on cases of both formally and informally institutionalised food sovereignty are also needed to keep giving strength for the movement.
Is anyone in this group researching something related to those themes? If yes, I propose we open up a discussion here on ideas for action oriented methodologies and theoretical frameworks that can grasp the multiplicity of food sovereignty.
I have also written an account of the Seminar, from the perspective of the forum on Territorial Development that I took part it in. The link to my blog-post is here: https://foodgovernance.com/2016/12/05/local-public-policies-for-food-sovereignty-a-recap-of-the-international-seminar-in-donostia-spain/
In short, I highlight 4 main areas of work and research I would be quiet interested to see if Working Group members here have any thoughts on:
- The need for inclusive and participatory food governance mechanisms
- How to effectively link urban and rural institutions through territorial approaches
- Going beyond public food procurement policies
- The benefits and drawbacks of institutionalizing food sovereignty
Looking forward to your thoughts and constructive criticisms!
We have just initiated an action research process with the organization called Cargonomia in Budapets, Hungary: http://cargonomia.hu/?lang=en
The organization itself has very diverse goals, providing healthy, local, organic food for urban citizens is one of them, but Cargonomia's goals also include to educate people about the importance of food, organic and local production, to strengthen rural-urban relationship, etc.
We do not have the focus of the research established yet, but i can keep you updated.
One of the project Cargonomia participated this year was also to connect grass-root organizations (which aim is to make urban life more sustainable) to decision makers. Some of the results can be found in the document attached.
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