The Conference will take place on April 7th and 8th at Municipal Auditorium of Seixal, Cultural Forum.
Urban Agriculture is a dynamic concept containing a variety of systems and means, which can go from a sustaining production, as a mean to endure social and economic crises, to a profitable agricultural activity.
Urban Agriculture is a worldwide phenomenon, occurring in different social, economical and political contexts and presenting as a basic feature its diversity, being able to adjust to a great variety of urban circumstances and to the various needs of all parts involved. Urban Agriculture contributes to a sustainable urban development, through a positive impact upon social, economical and environmental spheres.
In 1991, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) established the advisory committee of urban agriculture, UAAC (Urban Agriculture Assessment Committee), which, in 1992, originated the Support Group for Urban Agriculture (SGUA), with representatives from all over the world. Right from the beginning of 1990 decade, SGUA included international institutions of great relevance, such as FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), IDRC (International Development Research Center), CIRAD (Centre de Coopération International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, France), among others.
SGUA and the related supporting organizations work, comprehends several areas like the increasing of policies in partnership with local authorities, looking for Urban Agriculture integration; research, focusing the withdraw of obstacles blocking the integration of Urban Agriculture in planning and in local and national policies; technical assistance concerning urban agriculture projects in developing countries and East European countries in a transition phase; Investments and credit, encouraging private and public investments to get viability to technical assistance and formation; Information and communications, by the exchange and dissemination of information connected to urban agriculture. Creation of RUAF (Resources Center for Urban Agriculture and Forestry) program, in order to get easier communication about urban agriculture and to ameliorate the documentation, exchange and diffusion of experiences.
The significance given to Urban Agriculture registered a fast grow in the past two decades, resulting in its inclusion in the international calendar, both in development policies terms, as well as in the concretization of projects. These organizations initiatives and work echoes today in the effective awareness of local and national authorities, about the importance that the access to the means to food production has in urban community’s resilience, starting to work with “urban farmers” instead of being against them.
Urban Agriculture has an increasing preponderance in the international calendar, being today considered as part of the solution to urban growth problems, including sustainability strategies, both in developed countries cities as well as in non-developed ones.
Luc J.A. Mougeot, in the book Growing Better Cities: Urban agriculture for sustainable development leaves a quite pertinent question: “Should municipalities begin to put the right question: What can Urban Agriculture do for my municipality? Instead of: What can my municipality do for Urban Agriculture?”
Having as a goal to find some of the right answers to the right questions, we propose the discussion of ideas and the exchange of experiences with national and international representatives. Seixal City Council, which through its citizens, technicians and politicians has been searching strategies to Urban Agriculture projects materialisation, during the pasting decade, offers itself to host the international conference on this matter, to be held next April. Seixal City Council relies upon the partnership with National School for Public Health of Universidade Nova de Lisboa and Coimbra Agricultural High School.
Tel.: 210 976 000