Mayor Claudia López participated virtually in the closing stages of the World Forum of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, which was held in Barcelona, Spain.
“According to the FAO report, in 2020 levels of undernourishment in South America reached a staggering 7.8%.” Mayor López explained over a virtual link, “in Bogotá alone, we’ve implemented the basic minimum wage for the poorest households. This way, we can contribute to the protection of the nutritional scheme of our citizens. This will of course benefit more or less 1,357,650 households and contribute to our city’s resilience.” Mayor López then continued to outline the various initiatives that the capital of Colombia has been implementing to ensure food security.
The objective of the event was the exchange of good practices and experiences to inspire local and regional governments to strengthen urban food systems. The focus of the chat circled around how to best navigate the escalating climate emergency that is bound to affect us all. Additionally, we saw the launch of the "Barcelona Global Challenge for good nutrition and climate."
The Deputy Director of Food Supply of the Secretary of Economic Development of Bogotá, Hugo Rojas, also participated in the forum. He took a moment to underline the city's commitment to a sustainable and inclusive food infrastructure. This is done through strategies that facilitate the public’s access to food, especially among the most vulnerable. Furthermore, market places of all kinds, including plazas and grocers will reactivate. By extension, so too will we see the return of proper waste management.
The Executive Director of the C40 Climate Leadership Group, Mark Watt, tabled the challenges of facing the climate emergency unprepared and invited his audience to be more conscientious of the food systems that they build. “Although cities represent 2% of the surface on the planet, they generate nearly 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. this is precisely why they are such key players in the transformation of food systems.”
The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, echoed these sentiments and stressed the importance of the role that cities and local governments play. "Cities have fewer budgets than national entities, however, we make greater efforts to implement sustainable systems and generate real change."
By the end of the meet, the representatives of Bogotá accompanied the delegates from cities such as Milan, Valencia, Glasgow, Quelimane, to name a few. Together, led by the city of Barcelona, ideas were tabled that call for the transformation of urban food systems to face the climate emergency, a message that will resonate during COP26 in Glasgow.
In a year‘s time, these six cities will follow up on the Barcelona Challenge for good nutrition and climate and will present their results at the VIII World Forum of the Milan Pact to be held in Rio de Janeiro.