In the last years, the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact has been developing its cooperation with many cities in the Asia Pacific region. This year, a new crucial partnership was created between ASEAN and the MUFPP, which already counts 17 signatory cities from its member states.
Following the approval of the cooperation between MUFPP and the ASEAN Health Sector, the effort of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact to strengthen its relations in the Asia Pacific region has taken an important step further.
To celebrate and start off with this new collaboration, the MUFPP organized a series of webinars on Food and Nutrition in ASEAN cities, engaging city officers and experts working on the themes of nutrition, during which the MUFPP Secretariat and signatory cities will share best practices and lessons learned on food and nutrition programs in global and ASEAN cities along with key insights from partners.
The aim of the series is to disseminate skills among cities, facilitate and promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences in food policy and food system transformation, and support them in identifying the best strategy to tackle their local issues with a multisectoral approach, to secure the right to nutritious food for all.
On the 2nd of October 2023, the MUFPP Secretariat and ASEAN organized the first introductory webinar with the aim of introducing the work of the MUFPP in the ASEAN member states and disclosing the role of cities in urban and national food system transformation.
The introductory webinar saw the participation of the Vice Mayor of Milan, Anna Scavuzzo, and the Dr. Chanthanom Manithip, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health – Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the current Chair of ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development.
After the welcome remarks, the Secretariat provided an overview of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact in ASEAN. Later, the signatory city of Bandung showed the participants its experience in the network, by presenting Buruan SAE, its integrated urban farming program, and an example of the leadership plan they implemented in the Asia Pacific region during the last years as members of the Steering Committee.
The webinar was a successful first step for our collaboration and left us inspired to continue fostering meaningful connections.
DEVELOPING A FOOD POLICY STRATEGY WITH A MULTILEVEL APPROACH
On the 16th of October 2023, the second webinar of the series on Food and Nutrition with ASEAN cities took place. The aim of this webinar was to disclose the topic of developing a food policy strategy with a multilevel approach.
The webinar started with an overview of the Milan Pact, which provides strategic options to cities aiming to develop their food policy through a framework of 37 recommended actions organized into 6 categories. Due to the topic of the webinar, the focus was put on the category of Governance, which features 6 recommended actions targeted to developing effective actions in cities.
After this introduction, the first speaker, Cecilia Marocchino, Urban Food Agenda Coordinator, Food Systems and Food Safety Division at FAO, explained how the UN and its agencies recognize the importance of local government and cities in creating tangible change. She presented how FAO supports partners and cities with its Urban Food System Agenda because, especially for food system transformation, urban governments are crucial to identify where and what change is needed.
Later, Andrea Magarini, Director of the Food Policy Department of the City of Milan, presented the experience of the Milan Food Policy as an example of policy that implements a multilevel governmental approach and constantly assesses governance indicators, with the aim of ensuring access to healthy food for all citizens.
Lastly, Pornphrom N.S. Vikitsreth, Adviser to the Governor of Bangkok, presented the experience of the city in the journey from the signature of the Pact to the launch of their first Bangkok Food Policy Strategy which will take place in November 2023 and will last until 2027.
The second webinar was very successful as it saw the participation of more than 80 officers from ASEAN member states.
“QUADRUPLE HELIX OF INNOVATION” FRAMEWORK AND FOOD TRAILS ACTION CANVAS TO DEVELOP A MULTISTAKEHOLDER APPROACH TOWARDS HEALTHIER FOOD SYSTEMS
On the 8th of November 2023, the third webinar of the series on Food and Nutrition with ASEAN cities took place. After the webinar on the multilevel governance approach, the aim of this webinar was to dive into a discussion on how to involve the local stakeholders in developing and implementing a food strategy.
The first contribution was brought by Pius Sugeng Prasetyo, Dean of the Faculty of International Relations at Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR), who explained that the Quadruple Helix of Innovation Framework is a framework that consists of a collaborative approach among four different actors of society: academia, civil society, government, and industry, and he provided examples on how the city of Bandung implemented it when developing their food policy. The speaker also addressed the participation of NGOs such as Rikolto which worked along with the government and supported the city during the whole process. By working together, these actors can create change and innovation while addressing complex challenges.
Later Elisa Porreca, officer of the City of Milan under the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project Food Trails presented some tools that Food Trails provides to support cities that are going through the process of development of food policies, such as the Stakeholder’s Analysis Tool and the Food Policy Action Canvas developed together with the Politecnico University of Milan.
Lastly, Chew Eng Seng, Assistant Veterinary Officer of Seberang Perai City Council, presented the food strategy for the city elaborated with the support of the MUFPP Secretariat and the employment of methodology and tools provided by Food Trails. The main objective of the city is to accelerate and upscale urban farming, sustainability, and the fight against waste.
Lastly, the Q&A session took place, which was very much participated and insightful.