CGIAR Resilient Cities Initiative and local government of Quezon City sign historic memorandum of agreement in commemoration of World Food Day

The CGIAR Resilient Cities Initiative and the Local Government of Quezon City (QC-LGU) joined forces on October 16 by signing a historic Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The Agreement signed by CGIAR Resilient Cities senior advisor Dr. Gordon Prain and Quezon City Mayor Hon. Maria Josefina G. Belmonte at the Quezon City Hall promises to help make agrifood systems in Quezon City resilient and sustainable, contributing to improved food security in the city and greater climate resilience.

CGIAR Resilient Cities senior advisor Dr. Gordon Prain and Quezon City Mayor Hon. Maria Josefina G. Belmonte sign Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at the Quezon City Hall in commemoration of World Food Day – PHOTO BY / Michael Varcas-The Philippine STAR.

The world is witnessing unprecedented challenges in food security fuelled by climatic shocks and stresses, soaring prices of essential food commodities driven by a complex web of local and international factors, climate change-related natural disasters, the absence of crucial post-harvest facilities, warehousing, cold-chain infrastructure, insufficient food hubs, farmer’s markets, and inefficient food distribution systems have compounded these challenges. Rapid population growth in urban setup further exacerbates the urgency of action.

Quezon City is one of the most populous and dynamic urban centers in the Philippines. As a rapidly growing metropolis, the city is committed to addressing the challenges of urbanization, including food security, environmental sustainability, and resilience to climate change. It is the policy of the Local Government of Quezon City to collaborate with parties who are willing to support its projects addressing livelihood and food security, and economic issues, further, the Quezon Food Security Task Force (QC FSTF) through the city’s Grow QC—Kasama ka sa Pag-unlad sa Pagkain, Kabuhayan, at Kalusugan Food Security Program to addresses hunger, loss of livelihood and better health as a recovery response to the COVID-19 pandemic which includes conduction of feeding programs and community kitchens.

The CGIAR Resilient Cities initiative sees the importance of producing evidence-based research that translates to sound policy and impactful programs that directly impact the informal agrifood sector in fast-urbanizing cities of the Global South like Quezon City. The evidence focused collaborative approach plays a significant role in the efforts to strengthen Quezon City’s food system and enhance resilience in the face of global challenges, including the impacts of climate change and disruptions in the global food supply chain. It brings together the unparalleled evidence in sustainable agriculture research and innovation and the vigor of Quezon City.

Dr Simon Heck, Director General of the International Potato Center (CIP), and the Lead of the CGIAR Resilient Cities Initiative involvement in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing ceremony highlights the strong commitment of both CIP and the CGIAR Resilient Cities Initiative to the collaborative efforts. Photo by: Arma Bertuso/CIP

Resilient Cities works with public and private sector partners to identify, adapt, and promote technologies and business models that support the reduction, recovery, and safe reuse of urban food waste and other urban organic waste and wastewater. Our main entry points include: (i) technologies and public/private partnership business models for turning waste into safe organic fertilizers and animal feed, (ii) incentive systems for increasing food safety in crop farming and livestock keeping, and along value chains in and around cities, and (iii) evidence to enable circular urban and regional planning and policy development. With this partnership, we are not just signing an agreement; we are signing a pact with the future – a future where urban and peri-urban agrifood systems are robust and sustainable, where communities are food-secure and climate-resilient, and where innovation and collaboration pave the way for a brighter urban tomorrow.

The signing of the MOA held on October 16, 2023, in Quezon City, Philippines, is part of an innovative journey to address solutions to the challenges faced by urban and peri-urban agrifood systems in many cities of the Global South.  Resilient Cities Initiative and QC-LGU will work together to develop and implement new technologies and practices that promote sustainable food production, improve access to markets, and strengthen the capacity of local farmers. Ultimately, the goal is to revolutionize the urban agrifood landscape, making it more resilient, sustainable, and adaptable to the challenges of the 21st century.

CGIAR Resilient Cities initiative:  CGIAR Resilient Cities research initiative seeks to harness the dynamism of urban societies and economies to catalyze technological, institutional, and social change. By enabling agrifood system innovations and investment strategies for inclusive job and business opportunities, the Initiative aims to ensure access to healthier diets for all, safeguard human health, and minimize environmental risks. The initiative generates evidence, technologies, and capacities that help improve urban food systems and secure equitable job and business opportunities, healthy diets for all, human and environmental health, and a reduced carbon footprint. It forms part of CGIAR’s new Research Portfolio, delivering science and innovation to transform food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis.

Quezon City Local Government Unit (QC-LGU)Local Government Unit in the Philippines, has been actively pursuing initiatives to improve food systems, enhance urban food production, and address the challenges of food security and economic development. The QC Food Security Task Force, through the “Grow QC—Kasama ka sa Pag-unlad sa Pagkain, Kabuhayan, at Kalusugan Food Security Program,” has been at the forefront of these efforts. In 2022, the QC-LGU signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP) binding the city’s commitment to further the work on food systems improvement and development and leverage the partnership to tap the best practices on food security and food systems from nations and their cities who signed the pact.

For more information contact CGIAR Resilient Cities Senior Communication Specialist, Martha Awinoh at