UFV receives Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship funding for urban food systems exchange program

The world’s food supply is under pressure from climate change, population growth, drought, and other changing factors. A University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) study examining the sustainability of food production has received key funding from the recently established Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program.

The project, entitled Urban Food Systems in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and the Fraser Valley: Capacity Building for Policy and Planning, will receive $293,000 in funding to assist with sending six Queen Elizabeth Scholars to Africa and hosting two visiting scholars from East Africa over each of the next four years beginning in late May, 2015.

The study examines the sustainability of the world’s food supply in the face of daunting pressures. The first phase of the project focuses on developing sustainable agriculture in informal settlements, slums, and poverty-stricken urban communities.

UFV is partnering with the East African Institute of Aga Khan University (AKU) in Nairobi and Ardhi Regional University in Dar es Salaam. This project builds on important work initiated last year with AKU and UFV through Canadian government funding.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the exchange of important knowledge in the area of global food supply sustainability,” observed Cherie Enns, an associate professor of geography at UFV. “Queen Elizabeth scholars will be conducting applied research in East Africa, investigating urban agricultural practices, and providing food system education to urban areas facing poverty. The funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships makes this important work possible.”

The UFV project is among 46 from 34 Canadian universities sharing $40 million in funding through the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program and is funded through partnership with Universities Canada , Community Foundations of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the Rideau Hall Foundation.

These projects offer scholarship opportunities to more than 1,900 university students in the Commonwealth. Recipients are students in university-designed projects addressing problematic global issues. Participating students will spend three months to a year completing an internship in a Commonwealth country and students from Commonwealth countries will attend a Canadian university for masters or doctoral studies.

“The students receiving these prestigious scholarships are the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders, contributing both locally and globally,” noted Peter Geller, Acting Provost and Vice President Academic. “Involvement in the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program aligns well with many of UFV’s academic goals, providing opportunities for experiential learning through international internships for students and increasing internationalization by welcoming scholars from East Africa.”

Sustainable Food Systems Symposium – May 7, 2015

As part of the dialogue and continued research on food sustainability, UFV is hosting an international symposium on the increasing vulnerability of our global food supply on May 7 in Abbotsford, BC.

The workshop, entitled Sustainable Food Systems: East Africa, Punjab and the Fraser Valley, looks at the vulnerabilities of our global food supply.

Keynote speakers will be sharing expertise on sustainable food systems on topics ranging from food distribution, resource use, policy, and innovations in production. There will be breakout sessions with the experts followed by a public symposium with international guests.

Schedule:

1 pm — Workshops begin (Abbotsford Campus, Building C)

5 pm — Tour/Food trucks (UFV Campus Green)

7 pm — Public Symposium (Abbotsford Campus, Building B, Room 101)

Participation is free.

More information on the UFV Sustainable Food Systems Symposium can be found on the UFV events calendar.

Media should contact Dave.Pinton@ufv.ca or call 604.702.2606

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