FAO urges countries to address urbanization challenges to achieve sustainable development
The Food and Agriculture Organization welcomed the New Urban Agenda that countries agreed on at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Equador, that recognizes that addressing the challenges posed by urbanization is key in achieving sustainable development and eradicating hunger.
“The New Urban Agenda places food security and nutrition at the center of urban sustainable development,” FAO Regional Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean Raúl Benítez said in a statement.
Benítez said the New Urban Agenda represents a fundamental step towards linking urban and rural communities in the planning and development of food systems that will serve as the foundation for food security and improved nutrition for all.
UN Habitat executive director Joan Clos said the New Urban Agenda is “a vision for a better and greener urban future, where everyone has access to the benefits of urbanization”.
The Habitat conference is held only once every 20 years and the FAO and its partners pushed the negotiation process in the New Urban Agenda to make sure that a clear reference to food security and nutrition was made in the declaration of the outcome.
“Urbanization represents one of the most rapid and profound shifts in human history,” the FAO said. “By 2050, most of the world’s population – two thirds – will live in towns or cities, but these urban centres will still depend strongly on rural communities for the provision of food. As such, food security strategies need to foster new synergies, which incorporate the necessary links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas.”