World Union of Municipalities Council Member, Sustainable Cities Network Global Board Member and Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer spoke at the Glasgow City Council as part of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26). President Soyer talked about their work in İzmir with the vision of “Another Agriculture is Possible”. Soyer will also attend the Scottish GLOBE COP26 Legislative Summit in Edinburgh today.
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer went to the United Kingdom to hold various meetings, attend the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, and make a speech on behalf of Izmir in four sessions, “Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration: COP26. He gave a speech at the Celebration of Local Leadership on Food and Climate” event in Turkey. Mayor Soyer talked about their work with the vision of “Another Agriculture is Possible” in Izmir at the Glasgow City Council. At the ceremony attended by Glasgow Mayor Susan Aitken, Scottish Urbanization Minister Shona Robison presented Mayor Soyer with a certificate of participation.
Fighting drought and poverty
Speaking at the event organized by Feeding Scotland (Nourish Scotland), the International Panel of Sustainable Food Systems Experts (IPES-Food), the Sustainable Cities Network (ICLEI) and C40 in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Glasgow Declaration partners, President Soyer made his speech “We Are Another In line with our Vision of Agriculture is Possible, we aim to both fight poverty and support climate-resilient food systems and equal citizenship.” Soyer said, “With this policy, we focus on two main problems; drought, which is a direct reflection of poverty and climate crisis in İzmir. Within the scope of combating drought, we give priority to agricultural products that are fed with rain water, do not require irrigation or can grow with low irrigation. We promote strategic products that are sustainable under İzmir's climatic conditions. In this way, we aim to reduce the amount of water used in agricultural irrigation by at least 50 percent by planting the right crop in the right place, with basin planning. We also support this by promoting modern techniques instead of wild irrigation. In the fight against poverty, we support agriculture as a process that starts from the seed stage and extends to the end consumer and includes all the rings of the agricultural sector. This new policy covers a multidimensional process from planning to product pattern in agriculture, logistics, branding, sales, export and training activities.
Climate-resistant food vision
President Soyer also talked about two important projects they implemented in İzmir within the scope of the climate-resistant food vision. Emphasizing that they created a common sales area under the name of People's Grocery, where agricultural development and production cooperatives can market their products and where citizens can access healthy, affordable and fair foods, Soyer explained that they bring together villagers and farmers from all over Izmir with the locals of Izmir on a regular basis every week, through local producer markets. . Soyer said, “In this way, we both support local producers and enable consumers to have healthy and economical products. The reason both of these projects are so vital is that we can help our citizens choose to be climate-resilient at every step. They can produce and consume climate-resistant food,” he said.
Invitation from President Soyer to Terra Madre Anatolia in 2022 in İzmir
Stating that they strengthen small-scale enterprises with equal opportunity with their vision of “Another Agriculture is Possible”, Soyer said, “Our policies also aim to ensure the stability of welfare for our farmers. This, of course, ensures that the consumer has access to healthy and sustainable, affordable food. Izmir Metropolitan Municipality not only creates market opportunities for farmers, but also puts sales guarantees on its agenda. Our most important goal in sales guarantee is to provide export. The fairs organized by İZFAŞ enable producers and farmers to reach buyers from all over the world.” President Soyer made a call to participate in Terra Madre Anatolia, which will be held in İzmir in 2022 and said, “Turkey's only olive and olive oil fair Olivtech, Turkey's only organic products fair Ecology İzmir and Terra Madre which will be held in Turkey for the first time in 2022. With our international fairs like Anatolia, we will make it possible for small producers to become direct exporters. I would like to conclude by emphasizing that we will continue to support small businesses so that they can produce climate-resilient and equitable food. We aim to support the efforts of our producers and to strengthen the sector. Thus, we will fight poverty in solidarity at every step.”
“We are growing Anatolian agriculture again”
President Soyer talked about the demand for strategic products that are produced in İzmir within the scope of the 2050 food system vision and 2030 targets, while respecting the nature and protecting human health. Soyer said, “This demand is increasing in the world agriculture and food market as it is in İzmir. As we all know, the 'Green Covenant' was designed for exactly this purpose. Therefore, with the advantage we gain from this, we produce İzmir agricultural products in accordance with the 'Green Agreement' legislation, which is not only approaching the domestic market but also exporting. For this, we work with important organizations such as İzmir Commodity Exchange, İzmir Chamber of Commerce and Aegean Exporters' Associations and İZFAŞ, our fair company working on this subject in İzmir. ICLEI and Slow Food International, the co-organizers of this dialogue, are our other key partners to implement our strategy. With İzmir Agriculture, we are growing Anatolian agriculture again in the homeland of wheat, sheep, goat, cattle, pears, cherries, grapes, figs, olives and many more productive products.
Declaration promotes joint action mechanisms
The Food and Climate Declaration, approved by İzmir, brings together local governments of all types and sizes, from big cities to regions, to encourage joint action mechanisms to renew their commitments to developing sustainable food policies and to call national governments to include food and agriculture in their climate emergency policies. brings.
The Declaration brings together 100 local governments from six continents: London (England), Paris (France), Washington DC (USA), São Paulo (Brazil), Solo (Indonesia) and Antananarivo (Madagascar).
The event moderated by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver (2014-2020), was attended by Teresa Jorda I Roura, Minister of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda from Catalonia, YOUNGO Food and Agriculture Working Group from Zimbabwe and Co-Chair of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Elizabeth Gulugulu. T. Vijay Kumar, Vice President of Machache, Rythu Sxadhikara Samstha, attended as a speaker. Director of Food and Agriculture from Indonesia Ir. R.Anang Noegroho Setyo Moeljono and International Relations Secretary Marta Suplicy from Sao Poula were online.