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Tackling global food insecurity

7 March 2019

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched its new Urban Food Agenda in Rome today (Thursday 7 March 2019).

The new framework will guide UN efforts, investment and interventions on urban food, tackling issues of sustainability and insecurity.

Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning and Director of Impact at the School of Geography and Planning, Roberta Sonnino, has played an integral role in the development of the new Agenda. She is a passionate advocate for the innovative role research can play in the development of practical, measurable and sustainable interventions to stimulate greater food security.

Professor Sonnino was responsible for early drafts of the new framework, working with a team of Cardiff University colleagues including Dr Helen Coulson, Professor Terry Marsden and Professor Kevin Morgan, with contributions from Dr Antonio Ioris and Dr Peter Mackie. She has since collaborated closely with FAO colleagues, providing constructive input and reviews to the current version.

“I’m very proud that this new action plan, which will support the FAO in helping sub-national and local governments to promote sustainable food systems and tackle food insecurity, has been published today.”

Professor Sonnino added: “I firmly believe that embracing a creative and enabling food policy is an investment in future human and environmental health. It is vital that we address unequal access to food, and consider the kind of food market we want to create and promote in communities around the world. Solutions are available to us, but we must work in partnership - researchers, policymakers and legislators – to effect real and lasting change and achieve our target of a #ZeroHunger world by 2030.”

The Agenda was formally launched at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy, by the Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, which included a panel discussion.

Professor Sonnino is an internationally recognised authority in food geographies and an advisor to the European Commission and as well as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. Her research expertise includes local food systems, public food procurement and urban food governance.

Read the full publication: Urban Food Agenda - Leveraging sub-national and local government action to ensure sustainable food systems and improved nutrition.

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