Urbanization, Rural Transformation and Implications for Food Security - Online consultation on the background document to the CFS Forum | Land Portal


Dear all,

Urbanization and the transformation of agriculture, food systems and rural spaces present challenges and opportunities for inclusive growth, poverty eradication, economic, environmental and social sustainability, and food security and nutrition. As a result, there is an increasing focus on rural-urban linkages and approaches which can address these issues in a holistic and integrated manner in order to fully address the challenges and maximize the opportunities.

This online consultation invites you to contribute to the elaboration of a background document that the CFS Secretariat is preparing to support the discussions at the Forum on Urbanization, Rural Transformation and Implications for Food Security to be held at CFS 43 in October 2016. The Forum’s outcomes will inform next year’s work which will be focused towards the development of policy guidance for endorsement at CFS 44 in October 2017.

The current working version of the Zero Draft is informed by input received during a technical workshop held in February 2016, where key areas and existing approaches related to addressing rural-urban linkages were discussed. In order to make best use of this online consultation, we invite you to reflect on the following questions:

  • Are the key challenges and opportunities related to food security and nutrition in the context of changing urban-rural dynamics addressed? Are there issues missing or any that are included that don’t seem directly related?
  • Is it clear how each of the dynamics explored affects food security and nutrition? If not, how could this be better clarified?
  • Have the key elements of governance issues and integrated approaches to addressing rural-urban linkages been captured? If not, what is missing?
  • Where/how do you think CFS can add the most value to current initiatives aimed at addressing food security and nutrition in the context of urbanization and rural transformation?

The outcomes of this online consultation, will feed into the further elaboration of the background document and design of the Forum at CFS 43.

We thank you in advance for your time and for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us.

Deborah Fulton,

CFS Secretary


Many thanks,

Neil Sorensen





Dear Land Portal users,

This is your chance to ensure that land rights are taken into consideration adequately in the upcoming Food and Agriculture Organization of the Unoted Nations Committee on Food Security CFS), which will take place this October at the FAO headquarters in Rome.

In addition, it is an opportunity to share your specialized expertise on land issues and urbanization, which will provide much technical guidance to the government negotiators.

If you share your insights here, we will provide feedback directly to the Secretary of the CFS, which will be taken  into account seriously.





I find "rural-rural" linkages or exchanges missing in the discussion on "territorial approaches" and/or "smart systems" in pages 17-19 of the Zero Draft. I will like to suggest the inclusion of rural-rural linkages or exchanges (or partnerships, interrelationships, cooperations) within the territorial or/and smart systems approaches.


In the context of food security, it is important to recognize that rural areas have to be primarily food secure to contribute to broader food security at regional or national levels. And as different rural areas have different concentration of agricultural or food systems, they need to partner and link with each order to attain a more balanced security and then have a stronger potential for urban-rural cooperation. Although little or no research efforts have been dedicated to rural-rural linkages, it has been in operation and only need to be further sensitized as part of the broader picture.


In another way (and from a system perspective), what I am saying is that the "rural" and "urban" as two systems and internally driven by sub-systems such as "urban-urban" and "rural-rural" first. But in the case of "rural" where the primary food sources are mostly generated, a "rural-urban" system that is not supported by a "rural-rural" system will not be sustainable to rural transformation, hence, will not have the best impact on global Food Security and Nutrition.

The entire 26-page document has no word or phrase like "tenure security" or "land tenure security". Land use planning and land tenure security can provide strong links on how the issues mentioned in the Zero Draft can connect to food security.


Tenure security is directly connected to food security. Considering that most developing countries and rural areas depend largely on land-based activities and/or natural resources for their food security attainment, it will be good to mention the need to make land tenure more secure.


Concerning land use, let's give a thought to "tenure responsive land use planning" -that is conducting land use planning in ways that lead to tenure security improvement, hence, will have a high impact on food security.

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