⇒To View more details about GUPAP Work plan 2018-2020 (Go to GUPAP program concept note 2018-2020-_2)
In 2017, GUPAP was established as an independent Palestinian NGO with its own legal status. In the coming years, GUPAP will adopt the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and promote different actions for promoting local food production by:
- Promoting and strengthening urban and peri-urban food production and processing based on sustainable approaches and integrate urban and peri-urban agriculture into agriculture and food policies and city development and resilience plans.
- Seeking coherence between the city and nearby rural food production, processing and distribution, focussing on smallholder producers and family farmers, paying particular attention to empowering women and youth.
- Applying an ecosystem approach to guide holistic and integrated land use planning and management in collaboration with both urban and rural authorities and other natural resource managers by combining landscape features, for example with risk-minimizing strategies to enhance opportunities for agro-ecological production, conservation of biodiversity and farmland, climate change adaptation, tourism, leisure and other ecosystem services.
- Protecting and enabling secure access and tenure to land for sustainable food production in urban and peri-urban areas, including land for community gardeners and smallholder producers, for example through land banks or community land trusts; provide access to municipal land for local agricultural production and promote integration with land use and city development plans and programmes.
- Helping to provide services to food producers in and around cities, including technical training and financial assistance (credit, technology, food safety, market access, etc.) to build a multigenerational and economically viable food system with inputs such as compost from food waste, grey water from post-consumer use, and energy from waste etc. while ensuring that these do not compete with human consumption.
- Supporting short food chains, producer organisations, producer-to-consumer networks and platforms, and other market systems that integrate the social and economic infrastructure of urban food system that links urban and rural areas. This could include civil society-led social and solidarity economy initiatives and alternative market systems.
- Improving (waste) water management and reuse in agriculture and food production through policies and programmes using participatory approaches.
GUPAP will also adopt the Milan Pact Monitoring Framework that is currently under development.
GUPAP has defined the following goals and activities for the coming 3 years:
Goal (1): Consolidate the functioning of GUPAP
The goal is to consolidate the functioning of GUPAP as an independent NGO, maintaining sustained participation of its wide institutional member platform. Related strategic actions will include:
- Continue to facilitate the efficient and effective functioning of the platform, information exchange and joint policy lobbying and advocacy activities.
- Expand membership to new urban producer groups and value chains (e.g. vegetables, fodder producers).
- Develop a new 3 year joint action plan with all GUPAP members, with institutional commitment for its implementation.
- Regularly monitor GUPAP functioning, activities, results and impacts in order to improve performance.
Goal (2): Influence local and national (and where relevant regional and international) agriculture, food security, economic, local governance and other policies that bear on the development of sustainable and resilient urban agriculture in the Gaza Strip.
The GUPAP seeks in the coming period to enhance the understanding of the policy environment, legal, regulatory and planning framework relevant to urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Gaza Strip. This work will complement the past work done on policy review and revision. It will continue to work on MoA and MoNE policies around agriculture, consumer protection and food safety. A key objective will also be the development of a Palestinian urban agricultural policy (learning from similar national policies in other countries like Sri Lanka and Kenya) and corresponding implementation programme. To do so, continuing awareness raising and capacity building of involved stakeholders is key. Related strategic actions include:
- To continue to review and influence policies of the MOA and MoNE in so far they bear on sustainable and resilient urban agriculture development.
- Promote and support the development of a national Palestinian urban agriculture policy and programme.
- Enhance awareness of decision makers and technical staff on the importance of urban agriculture and the need for building a favourable policy and regulatory framework.
- Support local municipalities (in Gaza and the West Bank) to adopt the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and exchange experiences in its implementation.
- Support local monitoring of the Milan Pact, using the framework currently being developed by Pact secretariat, FAO and RUAF.
- Share experience and learning with other regional and international platforms working on similar activities.
- Sharing GUPAP experiences on international platforms and events.
GUPAP will continue to apply a participatory process (as done in the past years) to review the strategic plans, regulations and policies, to raise awareness and to advocate for policy revision, support formulation of revised policies, their institutionalisation, implementation and monitoring.
Goal (3) Consolidate the establishment of an on-line information resources centre on urban agriculture to facilitate broad user access to information from the Gaza Strip and other (Arab speaking) countries.
Currently, information on urban agriculture in Arabic language is fragmented, often out-of-date and dispersed among the many organisations working in this field. The importance of consolidating the established information and knowledge resources centre on urban agriculture in the Gaza Strip lies in the fact that it will bring together available information in one place and make such information publicly accessible. This will be done in an online resource centre, the latter including a unified, national, and interactive database published on the GUPAP website. This database will be linked to international database, like the Urban Food Action Platform under development by FAO and international city networks (see http://www.fao.org/urban-food-actions/areas-of-work/governance-and-planning/en/).
The above will facilitate improved access to information to a wide group of involved stakeholders (for example policy and strategy documents are not easily located nor accessible), increase efficiency of policy and project implementation (having needed information quickly available in one location) and accelerate local innovation and development (building on experiences and learnings already documented in local and international information materials). In addition, the collected information and resources will be made available to research, education and training organisations. Specific attention will be paid also in making available for urban producers and other market chain actors for agricultural production and value chain development and innovation.
Under this goal, the following specific strategic actions are pursued:
3.1 Developing an interactive and participatory website and database on urban and peri-urban agriculture in the Gaza Strip.
3.2 Collect and update existing information and develop new information materials on urban agriculture.
Goal (4) Strengthen institutional capacities in urban and peri-urban agriculture.
Following its past working approaches, the GUPAP will continue training needs assessment and capacity building for all its members and other involved stakeholders. Adult learning and learning by doing approaches (PLAR) will be applied in order to optimally benefit from local experiences, knowledge and resources. Also to ensure demand based and responsive training fitted to the local context. Capacity building will be focused on strengthening the skills of the GUPAP members in urban agriculture, policy review and revision as well as strengthening the skills of agricultural institutions and organisations to adopt participatory development approaches and practices of urban agriculture. The main strategic actions for this goal are to:
4.1 Increase capacities of the GUPAP members to enhance their effective and efficient engagement in GUPAP activities.
4.2 Provide training to urban and peri-urban agriculture farmers for improved production and marketing practices.
4.3 Facilitate links between GUPAP members and donor agencies for the implementation of urban agriculture projects (including for example school and home gardens, low space production systems, vegetable processing etcetera).