Tag Archives: development

Is Urban Farming Impossible?

By Achmad Solikhin

The adoption of the Urban New Agenda remains challenging for urban think tanks, most notably agriculturists who strive to resolve a dilemma between urban population expansion and agricultural land use. For instance, in Bandung, Indonesia, the increase in urban population growth needs two hundred hectares of agricultural lands to be converted into human settlements, industries, and other public properties. The increase also exacerbate the ecological burdens, such as pollution, water crisis, fossil fuel energy issues, and climate change.

Besides Bandung, the lack of agricultural landscape for farming that would feed the urban inhabitants has been an emerging issue throughout Indonesian cities. This is not in line with the Indonesia Government Regulation No. 19, 2016, which demands sustainable farming land for food. In addition, it is contradictory to paragraph 95 of the New Urban Agenda, that clearly supports urban agriculture and farming. Furthermore, if interlinked with nexus approach and Indonesian commitment for green house gas emission reduction and food security, 41% GHG reduction will be very tricky to be implemented in urban area over rural area.

With all these challenges, urban farming seems impossible on a scale. On the other hand, with new technologies and willingness to make a change, it can be done. As a possible solution, urban farming has been introduced to the urban sites, using various innovative techniques such as vertical gardens, aquaculture, small agriculture and rooftop agriculture,to name few. These techniques are demonstrated in the following projects, which are potent for tackling alarming urban farming burden, such as: Food Field, Farm, Sky Green, The Distributed Urban Farming Initiative, and Sharing Backyard. Inspired by these great initiatives as a potential urban landscape solution, a project called : “Carbon Farming Schools” initiated by the Indonesian Green Action Forum emerged.

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The Carbon Farming Schools are suported by UNEP Eco-Peace Leadership Center, Yuhan Kimberly, YUNGA UNFAO, UNESCO, and Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition. The project focuses on both food source and education. I tis run in Bogor, approximately 2 hour drive from Jakarta. Two elementary schools are engaged and supported young agriculturists of Bogor Agricultural University. Around 500 students have been actively involved.

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There is a wide participation also from other segments of society including other youth and local farmers. In the schools, the students are educated about climate change, urban farming, and ecological issues to find solutions and suggest innitiatives to tackle these issues. Subsequently the innitiatives are translated into real action plans. To test-run and implement them, they use a small agroforest in abandoned lands and limited spaces. And how does it look in practice? For example, a small number of fast growing and multipurpose tree species are coupled with vegetable plants. A vertical farming is also alternative technique suitable for limited spaces in front of a house or backyard. The great thing about the project is that it supports the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, making it more than just a collection of words on paper.

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News Letter Brief; Strengthening Policy for Young Women in the Changing World of Work, Case Study: Kampala Municipality, Uganda

Courtesy of Judith Mulwa, UN-Habitat

StWOW Publication Capturerengthening Policy for Young Women in the Changing World of Work, Case Study: Kampala Municipality, Uganda, is a research publication sponsored by UK-AID to Plan International UK. UN-Habitat played a key advisory role on policy at municipal level, to the innovation hub, which aimed to challenge social norms and practices that keep girls and young women in positions of powerlessness in the World of Work (WoW). This resonates to the Commission on the Status of Women 61, 2017: Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work. The research aims to elaborate the need for an enabling policy environment and/or enforce legislation that enhances gender equality for girls and young women in the WoW.

The publication appreciates that local governments are the key vehicles for formulating interventions, and a key partner in the implementation of a Local Economic Development (LED) strategy. In this regard, the local government is discussed to work hand in hand with other stakeholders in contextualizing gender gaps and addressing gender imbalances. This is relevant in addressing social and cultural practices that keep young women in positions of powerlessness in the WoW.

As a result, the publication contextualizes the position of the Republic of Uganda, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), on gender integration, mainstreaming and implementation, while also proposing interventions to progress the proposed recommendations and achieve the goals of inclusion and equality for women in the WoW. This was achieved through a Desk Study, a gender lensed policy analysis and a Key Informant Discussion (KID) to the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).

The methodology provided the background to existing policy as well as recommendations towards improving women’s economic, social, and political status. These recommendations include working with a variety of stakeholders to help strengthen partnerships, involving the private sector in gender mainstreaming and awareness raising, advocacy and lobbying, entrepreneurship training, and bridging the gaps between legislation and communities at the KCCA. This resonates with the gender-responsive nature of the recently adopted New Urban Agenda (NUA), which has been adopted to guide urban centers. In addition, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, in particular Goal 5, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and Goal 11, to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

To download the publication, click

https://unhabitat.org/books/strengthening-policy-for-young-women-in-the-changing-world-of-work-2/

Football Pitch Make-over through Design Thinking

A lot was happening in Mlango Kubwa’s football pitch last week. Mlango Kubwa is a ward in the Mathare informal settlement in Kenya. Mathare has approximately 500,000 residence; Mango Kubwa itself has approximately 50,000 residents of which 70% of the population is 24 and under.

After its inauguration by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, it became the centerpiece of Design Thinking workshop organized to give it a sustainable make-over.

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The football pitch is the cornerstone of the community, strategically placed and accessible for all Mlango Kubwa’s residents. Used primary for football, sport and play, at times it’s also a place for talent shows, celebrations and other community events. But time, weather conditions and lack of resources have left a toll on its appearance and condition. What was once an astonishing sport facility in the midst of a slum is now rapidly deteriorating public space.

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To try to help out and bring new ideas and perspectives on the issue, UN-HABITAT teamed up with GIZ Sport for Development Africa programme and Prof. Dr. Falk Uebernickel from University of St. Gallen, an expert in Design Thinking methodology, to run a 2-day workshop with the community. Ran as a pilot in a difficult context of poor urban community, the hope and expectation was to come up with new strategies to revitalize and sustainably maintain the field.

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Despite slow start, the community members attending the workshop came up with some amazing ideas of how to improve the current state of the pitch.  Through rather complex and at times quite challenging steps of the Design Thinking methodology, the community looked at the most pressing issues, including safety and security, drainage, waste management and communication. Here are just few examples of simple interventions that were born that day:

  • Adequate fence around the pitch perimeter, with some kind of roofing to protect from rains
  • Paid caretaker(s)
  • Build-in drainage
  • Regular clean-ups, with competitions between school
  • WhatsApp group to inform the community of events and happenings at/around the pitch

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Funding remains a challenge and will determine the successful implementation of all the ideas that the community envisioned for the football pitch but everyone remains hopeful that over time, they will achieve everything what they set themselves for. UN-HABITAT will continue to support the Mlango Kubwa community and hope that together we can make it happen.

For the global urban youth

On April 17th this year in Nairobi, Kenya, UN-Habitat and Urban Youth Academy (UYA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to their mutual global cooperation. UYA is a Korea based organization that is aiming to empower global urban youth especially underprivileged youth in developing countries. UYA is also the implementing partner for running a “Lotte Window” for UN-Habitat’s Urban Youth Fund later this year. The Urban Youth Fund “window” is a part of a platform for rising additional funding for the popular youth fund that has proved youth are able to developed innovative solution to urban challenges that they face worldwide.

Lotte shopping, which is the benefactor of the window, is Korea’s undisputed leader in department stores and operates a number of outlets in all major cities across the country. The window will run under the theme “practicing and expanding peace and sustainable development through arts and culture activities”. Ten (10) eligible projects from youth-led groups across Asia will benefit from this funding to implement their creative projects.

David Kim, representative director of UYA, while meeting with Doug Ragan, the head of the Youth Unit at UN-Habitat said, “Through our joint programs, UYA is willing to support the global youth for a better world and to educate unprivileged youth to become ideal global citizens who strive to make a peaceful world”.

 

International #YouthDay: Join the Twitter discussion!

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On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

The theme of International Youth Day, 12 August 2015, is “Youth Civic Engagement.” The engagement and participation of youth is essential to achieve sustainable human development. Yet often the opportunities for youth to engage politically, economically and socially are low or non-existent.

On this occasion, The UN Secretary General Envoy on Youth is hosting a Twitter chat, where several UN agencies and civil society organisations will join in on the discussion. So can YOU(th)! Check out the schedule for the thematic chats below, and join in!

The hashtags for the event is #YouthNow and #YouthDay

For regular updates from the discussion, follow: @AhmadAlhendawi, @unhabitatyouth @action2015youth, @restlessdev, @myworld, @MToomeyUN, @undp, @undp4youth, @unhabitat, @unfoundation

Thematic twitter discussions: (times are Eastern Standard Time)

9am-9:30am EST   |   A Chat with Youth and Civil Society on Youth Engagement  

  • Youth and civil society organizations chat about Youth Engagement

9:30am-10:00am EST  |   #AskYouthEnvoy: A Chat with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

  • Ask the SG’s Envoy on Youth about youth-related issues

1:30pm – 2:00pm EST  |  My World: A Future Defined by 5 Million Young People Globally

  • The My World Survey findings explained and elaborated

2:00pm – 2:30pm EST  |   Youth Civic Engagement and the United Nations

  • How can youth engage in the UN?

2:30pm-3pm EST |  Topic: Youth Mobilization for Global Action and Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • How can youth contribute to the implementation of the SDGs?

Log on to twitter.com and contribute, or simply enhance your knowledge about how youth are and can be drivers of positive change around the globe.