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Amman and Milan unite to transform urban agrifood systems

By : staff writer

Jordan Daily  – Amman and Milan municipalities have embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration to tackle food loss and waste management, marking a significant step towards sustainable urban development.

The initiative, facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Let’s Food, and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, aims to leverage the collective expertise of both cities to transform urban agrifood systems.

The collaboration kicked off with a hybrid meeting on May 20, 2024, aimed at engaging stakeholders, identifying needs and priorities, and outlining a one-year roadmap for effective peer-to-peer learning.

“Local governments are crucial contributors because they are the level of government closest to the people and they can address many food systems challenges at the city level and beyond,” said Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Agrifood Systems and Food Safety Division in FAO.

The initiative will continue with further virtual interactions, culminating in a workshop in Amman in November 2024. The workshop will involve cities across Europe and the Near East and North Africa Region, enhancing collaborative efforts and knowledge exchange.

FAO Representative in Jordan, Eng. Nabil Assaf, emphasized the transformative potential of such partnerships, stating, “The exchange between Amman Municipality and Milan Municipality holds the promise of catalyzing connections among existing initiatives at all levels, inspiring policymakers, other cities in Jordan, resource partners, the private sector, and eventually unlocking resources to achieve real changes in Amman and beyond.”

The Deputy Chief of the Italian Embassy, Emilio Fralleone, highlighted the importance of food waste management, reducing food loss, and strengthening food chains. He recognized the pivotal role played by municipalities in achieving these objectives, especially given the growth of urban populations.

The Mayor of Milan, Mr. Giuseppe Sala, stated, “There is a great scope to reinforce food systems at national and international levels by building on the experience of cities”. He added, “Food waste is one of the main drivers of food systems transformation.”

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture in Jordan, Eng. Mohammad AlHayari, indicated that this initiative in peer learning comes to produce a new pioneering model for cities around the world, based on the specific challenges facing Jordan and relying on the responsible human element that can be creative and turn challenges into opportunities.

On behalf of the Mayor of Amman, the city director, Eng. Ahmed Al-Malkawi, said that this workshop between Amman and the municipality of Milan in the field of organic waste management of vegetables and fruits would enhance cooperation, exchange experiences, and explore solutions that achieve common goals for developing organic waste management, trusting that the workshop would be a platform for exchanging ideas and experiences that support sustainable growth in the field of organic waste management from vegetables and fruits, which is considered one of the challenges that requires sustainable solutions to reduce negative impacts on the environment and public health.

This collaborative initiative builds upon FAO’s Priority Programme “Achieving Sustainable Urban Food Systems,” and recognizes food loss and waste management as powerful entry point to catalyze systemic transformation in urban and peri-urban areas.

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