Empowering cities and local governments towards sustainable and inclusive urban and territorial food systems transformation

Empowering cities and local governments towards sustainable and inclusive urban and territorial food systems transformation

Side Event – CFS 50

With 70% of global food consumed in urban areas, the role of cities is becoming important for food systems transformation. The role of cities was recognized during the Food Systems Summit and as result, the Global Urban Food Systems Coalition has been established.

At the same time, technology and demographics transform the local food systems landscape and the sharp dichotomy between rural and urban areas progressively disappears. Urban food systems are tightly connected to rural areas and the territories and can play a critical role in the transformation of local and national food systems.

Experience has shown that local and regional governments should become major actors in the policy agenda and in the provision of public goods and services to ensure food security, affordable healthy diets and sustainable food systems. Increasing their role should, at the same time, go hand-in-hand in strengthening their financial, technical capacity and policy space. However, quite often urban administrations and local governments are not recognized as key players in food systems management at national level. At national level, food does not resonate adequately in the strategies of decentralization` of power to local governments. In global fora and platforms related to food (such as the CFS) a robust representation of urban and local governments needs to be strengthened.

This side event focuses on the empowerment of cities and local governments and territorial governance dimensions of the food systems transformation. It will be a fundamental innovation for the CFS in line with the implementation of the outcomes of the UN-FSS. The event will focus on ways in which national governments and other regional and global fora and platforms can create an enabling environment for local governments and other local stakeholders to make a fundamental contribution to sustainable food systems transformation.

The debate at the side event aims at identifying multi-level governance structures which better reflect the importance and potential of urban and territorial food systems through the enhanced representation of urban and local actors in national processes but also regional and global multi-stakeholder bodies. Specific objectives of the event include:

  1. Local governments recognized as key players for achieving sustainable food systems transformation A multi-level food systems governance recognized as a central component to strengthen local the engagement of local governments in the implementation of food systems national pathways.
  2. National governments and other stakeholders discussing ways to strengthen the ecosystem of support to local/territorial/city-region/urban food systems stakeholders.
  3. Raise awareness on the importance of strengthening alliances and coalitions on urban and territorial food systems and soliciting support for and participation in the urban food systems coalition.


Opening Remarks

  • Maximo Torero, Chief Economist, FAO


  • Kostas Stamoulis, FAO


  • Lehmann Bernard, Chairman, Steering Committee, High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE-FSN) of the Committee of World Food Security (CFS)
  • (Video) Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), from the 7th UCLG World Congress and Summit of Local and Regional Leader
  • Manuel Lapao, Director of Cooperation at Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) 
  • Marylaure Crettaz Corredor, Head Food Systems Section Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Switzerland
  • Anna Scavuzzo, Vice Mayor City of Milan
  • Gibran Rakabuming, Mayor of Surakarta, Indonesia [tbc]
  • Mohamed Soufiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Marocco [tbc]

Closing Remarks, by the Moderator

*The event will be held in English, with live interpretation in Spanish and French.