In our last newsletter, we shared an invitation to the launch of the European Network for Agroecological Food systems (ENAF) as the next step of what we previously called the ‘network of networks’. The launch took place on January 26th and was attended by representatives from a wide range of networks, associations, and EU programmes. The agenda and related outputs can be accessed here https://www.ae4eu.eu/launch-of-the-european-network-of-agroecological-food-systems-enaf/
At the end of the event, participants were invited to indicate whether they wanted to be actively involved in the further co-creation of ENAF as co-founder, or just be participant in that process, or whether they just want to stay informed as ‘friend’ of ENAF. Currently, conversations are being held with those who indicated their interest in being co-founder. Based on the outcomes of these conversations, it will become clear who will be hosting ENAF after the AE4EU project finishes (end of 2023), and these co-founders will also decide on which initial (online) activities for 2023 will be organized. We hope to be able to provide an update on this process soon. This will then be posted on the dedicated page on the AE4EU website, https://www.ae4eu.eu/european-network-for-agroecological-food-systems/
Apart from the more internal processes of ENAF, we are also exploring appropriate connectivity of ENAF with new EU partnerships that are being launched this year, notably the EU partnership on ‘Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures’ (https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/research-area/agriculture-forestry-and-rural-areas/ecological-approaches-and-organic-farming/partnership-agroecology_en). It connects to the EU Farm-to-Fork strategy, which calls for the promotion of agroecology as one of the sustainable farming approaches with the capacity to help meet the European Green Deal objectives in relation to agri-food systems. The expected duration of the partnership is seven to ten years. The total indicative budget for the duration of the partnership is EUR 150 million. Many of the foreseen activities of the Partnership are in line with the ambitions of ENAF. Other EU partnerships which we are reaching out to are the EU partnership on sustainable food systems (https://www.foodpaths.eu/sfs-partnership/), and Biodiversa+ (https://www.biodiversa.eu/).
There will be activities before that time as well, but the next big milestone for ENAF is the first live meeting as side-event of the Agroecology Europe Forum 2023 in Hungary (16-18 November 2023) https://www.agroecology-europe.org/agroecology-europe-forum-2023/. That will also mark the handover of the secretariat of ENAF from the AE4EU project to the co-founding networks/associations, and we expect to know in a few months who that will be.