With support from the European Union, the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) Secretariat and the City of Bandung co-organised the 1st MUFPP Asia Pacific Regional Forum on 3-4 August 2022 in support of Indonesia’s U20 Mayors Summit and G20 Summit, to be held at the end of August and in mid-November this year respectively.
Titled “Improving City Food Security and Creating Work Through Urban Farming Based on Culture and Technology”, the event consisted of two activities – an international conference on Day 1 and field visits on Day 2 – and aims at addressing the issues of inequality in access to food and urging cities to make their food systems more sustainable to ensure greater food security and better economic opportunities. The event took place in the campus of the Parahyangan Catholic University, thanks also to the support of Rikolto Indonesia.
During the international conference, officials from cities in Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, the Philippines and others from the Asia Pacific region and the European Union as well as experts from international organisations working on food policy discussed challenges and solutions for urban food systems transformation. During the field visits, they had the chance to observe food policy practices and be inspired by Bandung, the first Indonesian city to sign the MUFPP.
Representing the EU to give all participants a warm welcome to the forum was Mr. René Sieron, Head of the Finance, Contracts and Audit Section at the Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. He emphasised the importance of issues related to the food system, which prompted the EU to launch the Farm to Fork Strategy as part of the European Green Deal two years ago. “The Farm to Fork Strategy aims to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally friendly. It brings sustainability to the heart of each step of the food system,” said Mr. Sieron.
Later, he noted the EU support to the regional forum as part of the “Food Policy Cluster” cooperation implemented within the EU-funded International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme. This cooperation includes a series of food policy training webinars co-organised with the MUFPP Secretariat. More importantly, several cities in Asia Pacific have become new signatories to the Pact, including two IURC pilot cities, namely Seberang Perai, Malaysia, whose officials are present at the forum, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. The training is attracting many officers of the Asia Pacific highlighting the growing interest in food policy in the region.
Bandung is chosen to be host of the first regional forum in Asia Pacific as the city is on the Steering Committee of the MUFPP. “We are deeply honoured for the opportunity to host the first MUFPP Regional Forum in Asia Pacific under the umbrella of G20 Indonesia, as we are very much committed to making our food system sustainable,” said Mr. Yana Mulyana, Mayor of Bandung. “One of the solutions Bandung has implemented is its Urban Farming programme, which forum participants will get to observe during the field visits. This is one way to overcome the issues of food quality and insecurity in our city as we encourage culture-based urban farming in our own yards to meet household needs.”
Within the IURC programme, Milan is the lead city for cooperation in the food policy cluster. Incollaboration with IURC, the Italian city has been organising a series of webinars on food policy training, which has paved the way in terms of knowledge exchange for the regional forum today.In a video message, Mrs. Anna Scavuzzo, Vice Mayor of Milan in charge of Food Policy, thanked Mr. Yana Mulyana, Mayor of Bandung, for his regional leadership within the Milan Pact. She noted that the MUFPP has grown into a global network of 250 cities committed to making their food systems more sustainable and inclusive.
“Since 2021, the Milan Pact has strengthened its commitment in Asia Pacific by working closely with the EU and the IURC programme, and with the MUFPP Steering Committee members, including Bandung and Seoul, and also by organising the Asia Pacific Food Policy Training and this regional forum,” said Mrs. Scavuzzo. “We show how cities are frontrunners for food system transformation. Just this year in Asia Pacific, we have welcomed a great number of new cities including Chiang Mai, Seberang Perai, Pekanbaru, Sukabumi, Semarang, Gorontalo, Makassar and Quezon City. We are hoping to welcome the first Vietnamese cities soon into the MUFPP as well thanks to the support from the EU.”
With the support from IURC, delegates from Seberang Perai, Malaysia, are among the high-ranking city officials from Asia Pacific attending the two-day event. In addition, IURC country coordinators are onsite to provide support and join activities, including Ms. Jacqueline Chang, Country Coordinator for Malaysia and Circular Economy Specialist, who is one of the speakers at the roundtable of international experts discussing the sustainable management of food systems from various viewpoints.
You can watch the full recording of the conference below
You can read the full report of the event here