This is pretty exciting. Habitat III– the UN’s Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development just finished yesterday in Quito, Ecuador. There was history-making attendance and the New Urban Agenda which has been in the making for the last two years with input from all over the world was approved. It calls for much more sustainable urban development given the last couple decades of uncontrolled growth. As part of this new agenda the new Guidelines on Urban and Peri-Urban Forestry have been released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Yujuan Chen, a colleague from Virginia Tech now working in Rome was one of the authors. Thanks Yujuan for helping to get food forests into the guidelines!!! What does this mean?
What does this mean? The more food forestry language is incorporated into agency language and guidelines the better the chances for integrating them into our cities. This is a slow process, but every step counts. Having the language in FAO documents is a great big step forward. You can use this language when writing proposal to get a community food forest funded in your town!
Key actions (p.84)
Policy and legal framework
• Eliminate policy and regulatory barriers to the development of urban “food forestry” and promote coordination among municipal authorities and civil society actors on food production in urban forests.
Planning, design and management (p.85)
• Assess the “environmental footprint” and social impact of urban forest food production.
• Promote the potential contribution of urban forests and other green infrastructure to the food and nutrition security of residents, and incorporate urban food forestry and agroforestry (e.g. in community gardens and orchards) into municipal plans.
• Encourage the use of public lands such as parks, schools, vacant lots and streets for the production of urban food through the creation of food forests and community gardens, including the use of tree species that produce edible fruits, nuts, syrups, honey and edible leaves.
• Adopt silvicultural treatments (e.g. tending, thinning, selective felling and enrichment planting) in ways that create suitable conditions for the growth and productivity of edible tree species and other non-wood forest products (e.g. mushrooms, berries and wild meat).