As part of OXFAM/RUAF project “Facilitating Development of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in Gaza” that was funded by SDC , the Gaza Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Platform (GUPAP) aims to enhance coordination, networking and linkages between key policy and institutional actors in the Gaza Strip. Policy review and formulation were identified in 2013 as one of the areas of intervention (mandate) of the GUPAP. In May-June 2015 a policy review and analysis of main Gaza and Palestinian plans and strategies bearing on market oriented urban and peri-urban agriculture was implemented.
On 6 September 2015 a GUPAP Multi-stakeholders workshop entitled ‘Towards a participatory vision and annual Planning’ was organized in the Light House Restaurant hall, Gaza City. The aim of this workshop was to discuss and validate GUPAP’s vision and performance monitoring (Outcome Monitoring), validate the earlier elaborated policy review and develop the GUPAP work plan for the coming period (Sept 2015-June 2016). Key documents for discussion were provided to all GUPAP members in advance, including draft Outcome Journal and the draft Agricultural Policy Review. An Agenda for the workshop is attached in Annex 1. Participants to the GUPAP meeting represented 30 organizations from various sectors (Government-private sector-civil-universities-agricultural funding institutions).
The GUPAP is seen a main Platform through which to contribute to the third strategy. GUPAP members agreed that there continues to be a need for a multi-stakeholder interactive and participatory forum or platform that brings all key actors involved in the development of resilient Palestinian Agricultural sector in Gaza Strip around the table. Further building the institutionalization of the GUPAP is considered key in this regard.
During the GUPAP workshop, workshop participants were divided into four working groups, to review and reformulate the proposed vision and the role of the GUPAP Platform, the performance and progress indicators and to identify their priority and importance.
As participatory learning and action space, GUPAP seeks to see longer-term developments and institutionalization of the platform to actively and successfully network and share knowledge, information, experiences and cooperation (locally, regionally and internationally) on urban and peri-urban agriculture to develop an agricultural sector featuring sovereignty and resilience among diverse stakeholders (Government and non-governmental organizations, private sector institutions, research institutions , agricultural funding institutions and influential players in agricultural value chains) in the Gaza Strip. All members of the Platform are committed to comprehensive development vision of it, which is recognized locally, regionally and internationally as participatory learning and action space to facilitate strategic planning, advice, lobbying and advocacy for good policies of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Gaza Strip.
- Continue to embrace and promote the project vision and approach with regard to facilitating and promoting the development of urban and peri-urban agriculture based on sovereignty, resilience and rights and drawing on the capacities, resources and real domestic needs in the Gaza Strip in order to facilitate the development of agricultural value chains within the market system in the Gaza Strip.
- Facilitate to internalize and institutionalize innovative approaches and methods of UPA
- Facilitate institutionalization of project’s approaches and methods with local agricultural key actors, besides facilitating capacity-building in this context.
- Facilitation and development of regular reviews of policies and strategies on urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Gaza Strip, and take lobbying and advocacy in favor of the adoption of its members-and other actors and donor institutions-for policies, strategies and plans leading to improved agricultural value chains and more resilient and appropriate funding opportunities and participation of stakeholders, particularly small producers and women producers.
- The development of participatory annual work and follow-up plans in order to learn, interact and develop the performance of members depending on the possibilities and sources of its members and through the mobilization of resources from other sources compatible with the vision of Platform.
- Build and develop the interactive and mutual relationships with local Platforms of value chains in the Gaza Strip and Palestine at large.
- To establish linkages/relations with other local Platforms and platforms and actors, working on topics of relevance for the project (municipalities, Gaza reconstruction, Food Security Sector , PNGO and others), raising their awareness on resilient urban and peri-urban agriculture development and enhancing its inclusion in projects and program developed by these other national, regional and global actors .
- Facilitate more interaction, innovation, exchange of experiences and knowledge and agricultural technology among key parties of interest (inside and outside the Platform) and among different sectors (governmental-NGO-private sector-universities and research centers-agricultural donor institutions and international institutions) in Palestine and at the regional and global levels.