Euro-Mediterranean Assembly hears calls for Support for Food Security in the Mediterranean
A plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), today heard calls for the European Union and the Union for the Mediterranean to consider developing a macro-regional strategy for food security and food sovereignty in the Mediterranean region.
Agnès Rampal (FR/EPP), Deputy Mayor of Nice and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Commission of the Grand Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, presented a report on ‘Agriculture and food security in the context of climate change in the Mediterranean’ as part of a round-table discussion entitled ‘A new Green Deal for the Mediterranean: The Agenda 2030 for a Greener Med.’
In her report, Ms. Rampal called for resilient agricultural practices, the promotion of the Mediterranean diet and support for food sovereignty in the Mediterranean.
This report covers one of the five policy areas highlighted in the EU’s New Agenda for the Mediterranean, published by the European Commission on 9 February, namely the green transition.
In addition to calls for the development of a macro-regional strategy for food security the report also calls for the promotion of an agro-ecological transition towards practices that preserve soil and agro-biodiversity, and the introduction of a ‘Mediterranean products’ label. It also requests that regions and cities should seek to become a driving force behind efforts to develop agricultural approaches that are more resilient to dramatic climate changes in the Mediterranean region.
Speaking about the report, Ms. Rampal said, ‘In the face of global warming, which will exacerbate tensions in the Mediterranean area, we must act to maximise the beneficial effects of sustainable agriculture. I call for true resilient food sovereignty, thanks in particular to an upgraded Mediterranean diet, adapted to climatic conditions, respectful of natural resources, vigilant with regard to health and able to ensure proper remuneration for farmers.’
Nine operational proposals were also made on how local and regional authorities could bolster Euro-Mediterranean cooperation for sustainable and resilient agriculture and guarantee food security in the context of climate change. These include:
- A meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) agriculture, environment and health ministers focusing on food security and adapting Mediterranean farming systems to changing climate conditions.
- A Charter for Euro-Mediterranean food sovereignty with a common policy declaration and targets for signatory countries and local and regional authorities.
- Work to be carried out on the creation of a common Euro-Mediterranean Response to food system crises with an Emergency Plan and an Agricultural Solidarity Fund.
- Inclusion of sustainable agriculture, agronomic R&D (agritech), bioeconomy and food security/sovereignty in the Mediterranean region within the European programmes and funds.
The report was adopted by the ARLEM members and follows last year’s ARLEM plenary on January 23rd, 2020, when local and regional leaders called for a Green Deal for the Mediterranean.