Coalition to Promote Territorial Food Systems Governance
The importance of adequate territorial institutions to foster local, national, and supra national coherent and complementary food systems policies has been increasingly recognized, especially after the food price crisis of 2007–2008 and the reform of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). During the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), territorial governance emerged as an important theme from national, regional, and independent food systems dialogues (FSDs) as well as from all Action Tracks. They all emphasized the importance of a multi-level governance architecture allowing, amongst other aspects, increased stakeholders’ coordination and policy and program coherence to transform our food systems. However, strengthening a multi-level food systems governance architecture demands innovative and systemic territorial approaches, government leadership, stakeholders’ involvement and dedicated resources. The proposal is to build a Coalition by national governments and other relevant and interested actors, to strengthen a multi-level governance architecture to promote sustainable territorial food systems, healthy diets, and the right to adequate food.
Science based evidence to prioritize this coalition
Food systems governance comprises complex, overlapping, multi-sector, jurisdictional, and stakeholder forms of decision-making, with varying degrees of autonomy, participation, coordination, competition, and cooperation. Governments have a key role to play. According to the 2021 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, more than three-quarters of countries reported having multisectoral mechanisms to coordinate nutrition work – most commonly involving health, agriculture and education. However, in several countries food systems governance is not inclusive, still fragmented, sectorially siloed and is not coherently linked with other decision making levels (local and supra- national). Recent territorial approaches for food systems can support building and adequate institutional multi-level governance framework by bringing together actors from different spatial levels, sectors and institutions to formaly work in an aligned and coordinated way. Research and field action have generated an expanding evidence base, and experienced practitioners. Effective models have also cropped up all around the world and knowledge can be exchanged involving governments and other relevant stakeholders. This is the case of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) member States that managed to design and implement a multi-level food system governance architecture from the local to the global level. The existence of a global critical mass of actors such as Territorial Perspective for Development (TP4D) to finally support the institutionalization of food systems territorial governance is now more important.
Mechanisms of implementation
The coalition should strenghen long-term institutionalized and focused support to food systems governance including: i) Promote vertical and horizontal Integration; ii) Generate data and knowledge to inform multi-level territorial food systems governance and iii) Improve financial systems and tools. Knowledge exchanges will be developed. Experience shows that decision and policy makers greatly benefit from exchanging with peers from other geographies. These exchanges will support Coalition governments in identifying possible institutional and policy reform needs to promote vertical and horizontal integration. At the same time data, evidence based and scientific information and tools such as participatory territorial food systems diagnosis, will be designed to inform negotiation, planning and policy development by local, national and supra-national stakeholders. Improvement of financial models will encourage investments discussed and agreed in global, national and local food systems governance mechanisms, reflecting multi-stakeholder ́s territorial priorities and strategies.
Member states that have confirmed or expressed interest: Angola, Brazil, Cape Vert, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome e Principe, Timor Leste, Italy, Japan and France. Other countries being invited. Several international organizations participating in the “ad hoc working group on sustainable territorial food systems”, including FAO, IFAD, UNEP, UNCDF, CIRAD, UN HABITAT, OECD, ECHO AGRICULTURE PARTNERS AND CARE have already expressed their willingness to be involved. The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD) is also committed to strengthen the governance architecture for food systems at all scales to enhance appropriate stakeholder consultation and decision- making processes and is being contacted.