Distance Learning Programs for Urban Agriculture

The recent food and financial crisis have shown the importance of and need for urban food security programmes. Changes in climate, only add to challenges faced by cities and specifically the urban poor. This is not only the case in the global South, but also relevant for the global North where for example the number of people that are dependent on support by food banks is steadily increasing. In order to contribute to these discussions, Ryerson University, ETC Urban Agriculture and the Resource centres of Urban Agriculture and Food security (RUAF, www.ruaf.org) will be offering in the coming months 2 distance learning courses, the first on "Dimensions of Urban Agriculture" and the second on "Urban Agriculture Policy Making".

The first course "Dimensions of Urban Agriculture" will start in September and will deal in detail with the different dimensions of UA: its food security dimensions, environmental, health and social dimensions, economic dimensions and UA as a strategy to increase cities' resilience.  It will quantify and qualify UA impacts in these various areas where possible, discuss how to asses these impacts at local level and illustrate policy and intervention strategies as to enhance UAs' contribution in the various fields. In short, a course that will provide you more food for thought and inputs for action planning or policy lobbying. The second course "Urban Agriculture Policy Making" will start in January 2010. It will discuss participatory policy formulation processes leading to sustainable development and institutionalisation of urban agriculture. It starts discussing tools and methodologies for analysing stakeholders, farming systems, land uses, and regulatory frameworks. Next steps involve strategic planning, followed by the formulation of action projects and policies and their implementation (considering contrasting disciplinary perspectives), and finally, monitoring and evaluation. The course highlights lessons from a wide array of cities around the world. Both courses will be fully offered on-line and does not require participation in any face-2-face meetings or sessions. Costs for participation amount to 474 Canadian Dollars (for Canadian and international participants alike). For further information on course content, set up or inscription please contact: Reg Noble, Ryerson Coordinator of the Food Security Certificate Email: food@ryerson.ca

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