Urban Agriculture Summit

A call for action from the world’s leading experts: Stop an upcoming food crisis by securing food production in cities!

Press Release   •   Feb 08, 2013 06:27 EST

LINKÖPING, SWEDEN (31st of January 2013) – The 2nd Urban Agriculture Summit in Linköping 2013 gathered a global audience of agricultural experts, academia, companies, cities and organizations from nine countries and three continents. As the three-day Summit ended last week, leading speakers, contributors and delegates of the conference agree on presenting and collectively signing an Urban Agriculture Summit Statement addressing Urban & Peri-Urban food safety & security reforms. 

The statement declared that food is a basic human need and a fundamental human right and that we in order to combat starvation need to enhance the yearly food production substantially. At the same time, a large amount of arable farmland is already used up, and a large portion is severely depleted, according to the statement. The main message of the statement is that we need to take action to secure a sustainable food production system for our generations to come. 

The world’s food sector uses around one-third of total global energy use. Most of that energy usage happens after food leaves farms, and close to half of energy used in the food chain is lost due to food losses and waste. In addition to this, globally one third of all food is also thrown away each year, and the entire food supply chains contribute approximately one-fifth of total annual greenhouse gas-emissions. 

The Urban Agriculture statement suggests solutions on three major fields: Educative and transformative solutions, Politics and Market solutions. 

“Obviously, our actions must be educative and transformative, in order to deliver food solutions to over nine billion people in a rapidly developing society. High priority is important to institute inclusion in all relevant policy documents and strategies, pertaining to food safety and urban agriculture. To be resilient is necessary - both capable to deliver initial result and ensure long-term delivery and sustainability”, said Hans Hassle, Founder of Urban Agriculture Summit. 

Executive Summary:

  • Food is a basic human necessity and also a fundamental human right.
  • The traditional business model of economic development must begin to encompass moral values towards the society as well.
  • We believe that our efforts need global attention to counter the rapid crisis of access to basic food. Urban Agriculture is one of the important solutions in this endeavor. 

More information:

For the full statement please see this link. For more information about the Urban Agriculture Summit please go to http://www.urbanagriculturesummit.com 

Please also see the attached fact sheet listing the educative & transformative solutions, politics and market solutions the statement. 

Contact:

Hans Hassle, Founder of Urban Agriculture Summit, e-mail: maja.stilling@plantagon.com, ph: +46841016560


STATEMENT SUMMARY

Global Urban Agriculture Solutions 

Educative & Transformative solutions

  1. Urge the UN to set up a system for transformative innovative solutions, and that urban agriculture will be one amongst the selected innovative solutions.
  2. The first book on ’Urban agriculture & food production in cities’ with basic literature for common understanding of processes and benchmarks in this field of urban agriculture to be released at the 2014 summit under the auspices of the UN Charter.
  3. Establish a body of university heads / chancellors from global regions to create a network of education and research engagement group, with specific agenda focusing on urban agriculture and allied research.
  4. Launch the 'INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR URBAN AGRICULTURE' on bi-annual basis to increase professional networking on the subject.
  5. Launch / initiate urban agriculture as a social community innovation involving an integrated approach to urban and peri-urban farming, on a global platform.
  6. Utilize the power of the triple helix - academics, private corporations coupled with public enterprises and government bodies to network collectively to educate and implement the innovative solutions in the urban agriculture arena.
  7. Initiate the process of involving the community to become part owners of urban agriculture projects increasing local involvement and thereby creating a new level of corporate empowered enterprise. 

Politics

  1. Urban agriculture must be on the UN regular agenda, discussing food security and access to food as a basic fundamental human right.
  2. Urban agriculture must also be on the FAO regular agenda
  3. A global centre of excellence for urban agriculture to be established, and a chairman with a board of professionals to administer the functions of collective knowledge, with the aim to serve the UN group on urban agriculture.
  4. Urban agriculture must be on the World Economic Forum regular agenda.
  5. Urban agriculture must be positively backed by the multinational banks (World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Investment Bank etc.) regular agenda.
  6. Create a quarterly session to address the city mayors, governors & head of states in the area of urban agriculture on a city or regional level to generate tactical solutions using this global network of intelligence.
  7. Promote local food production to minimize logistics and add some aid / incentives within the state / city tax structure to promote urban agriculture. 

Market

  1. Creation of international guidelines for urban agriculture, including clear frameworks for energy, fertilizers, water, land-use, technology, processes, audit etc.
  2. Best-fit structures for inclusive energy efficiency within the cities, e.g. water, energy, logistics related to urban agricultural solutions.
  3. Governments should have incentive systems for promotion of urban agriculture in many main stream policies.
  4. The SymbioCity Research Centre Sweden in Linköping shall act as the pivotal arm of the global centre of excellence in urban agriculture, aimed at promoting a platform for efficient and effective development in urban agriculture. The main responsibility lies on Plantagon Companization. The research network presented at this very summit will open the study of food consumption patterns and create better public awareness for a healthy lifestyle. A systematic approach to integrating the knowledge will then drive the urban agriculture model for effective global demonstration.

Recently the UN estimated that the Earth’s population will increase by 40 percent and exceed 9 billion people by the year 2050. Simultaneously 80 percent of the population will live in cities. With traditional farming practices and consumption patterns, the Earth’s arable land will soon not be sufficient to produce enough food for the growing population. There is a need for new solutions for producing food inside cities, in order to avoid long transports and emissions, but also due to the lack of arable land near the cities. This requires new forms of cooperation, new business models and eventually new organizational models to be able to feed the mega-cities of tomorrow.