Expo Milan 2015
This year Milan is hosting the Universal Exposition, running from 1 May to 31 October 2015. The chosen theme - "Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life" - shares a common ground with the activities of Italian Development Cooperation. Nutrition, sustainability, research and development are the focus around which the event will concentrate to find a way to secure food and water for the entire world population.
Participating countries will bring their skills and knowledge in the fields of agriculture, industrial production, product trade and scientific research. Drawing from this expertise, the aim is to find development models that can ensure that the whole of humanity has access to good, healthy and sustainable nutrition, which is also capable of protecting the biodiversity that is essential to the health of our planet.
At the end of the Exposition, the six months of work, meetings and seminars will leave a legacy of know-how enabling optimization of the food chain, by opening new perspectives, reducing wastefulness, increasing food security and regaining the nutritional value of food.
The participation of Italian Development Cooperation at the Milan Expo 2015 focused on the following topics:
- the post-2015 Development Agenda and its significance for governments and citizens, with special attention to the impact that personal choices can have on global processes;
- scientific and technological challenges related to food and nutrition security and sustainable agricultural development;
- roles and responsibilities of actors involved in the new post-2015 Development Agenda.
- Italian Development Cooperation will especially focus on these themes:
- the post-2015 Development Agenda for food and nutrition security;
- empowerment of women;
- coherence of development policies;
- science and technology for sustainable agricultural development;
- food loss and waste;
- water and energy.
Focus on Food and Nutrition Security
For the international community, themes such as food and nutrition security and the fight against food loss and waste are now the focus of attention. They were discussed at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), jointly organised by the FAO and the WHO, which was held in Rome in November 2014. These themes play a key role in the negotiations over the post-2015 Development Agenda. Traditionally, such issues take centre stage in Italian Development Cooperation programmes, which has always been committed to improve food systems and agricultural production in partner countries, as was recently underlined also in the Guidelines for 2014-2016.
Italian Development Cooperation is tackling these issues with its main partners: representatives of civil society, academic and research institutions, private sector, international organizations (especially FAO and other United Nations agencies that deal with food, nutrition and agriculture) and the European Commission. Food and nutrition security is actually a crucial part of the "Zero Hunger Challenge", the main theme for the United Nations participation to Expo 2015. The Exposition in Milan will take place in 2015, which is also the "European Year for Development". With 147 participating countries and about 20 million visitors expected, the Expo offers an amazing opportunity to focus the world's attention on these themes, that are crucial to development, and to foster a real partnership between all the stakeholders involved, from political institutions to civil society and the private sector.
The common objective must be the promotion of food and nutrition security, as well as a significant reduction of food waste and loss, through the application of coherent policies, technology transfer, production system improvement, better market access and up-to-date distribution and consumption models. Italian Development Cooperation will collaborate with the European Union, United Nations agencies and other partners like NGOs, universities, scientific and research institutions and the private sector, with the aim of contributing to the world debate on these themes, of such seminal importance today, through the organization of about 30 conferences, seminars and workshops.