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The Charter of Milan, an innovative way to assure, extend and protect the right to food

Part of Expo2015 legacy, the Charter addresses private actors to cooperate for a sustainable future

The Charter of Milan, an innovative way to assure, extend and protect the right to food

Claudia Astarita

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Laboratorio Expo - managed by Expo 2015 and Feltrinelli Foundation, an institution established to preserve and make available to scholars and interested members diverse materials - elaborated the significant Charter of Milan. Promoted by the Italian Government, the document is also known as the "immaterial legacy of Expo 2015" and it has a noble goal, i.e. to assure the right to food to future generations.

The document is based on a participative approach and calls every citizen, association, company and institution to play an adequate role and take his own responsibilities in order to manage food resources in a sustainable way. To do so, the Charter focuses on four main areas: sustainable and effective economic productive models; kinds of sustainable agricultural practices able to produce a sufficient amount of food; technologies to reduce inequalities within the most populated cities and how to consider food also as a socio-cultural identity.

Salvatore Veca - one of the most famous Italian contemporary philosophers - was the coordinator of this ambitious project. Through an interview to internimagazine.it, Professor Veca stressed the peculiarities of the Charter. Firstly, it differs from other documents since it was born as a "charter for a global citizenship". In fact, it is based on a bottom-up approach, not addressing governments but private citizens and companies. Secondly, its basic principle is to look at the right to food as a fundamental human right, to be assured, protected and extended to others. Furthermore, it was developed following a multidisciplinary method, focusing at the same time on a social sustainability, environmental and cultural one.

It is possible to consult the Charter on the ad hoc website, where besides the utterance of the rights, the beliefs and the actions to be undertaken, a section on "challenges" stands out realistically. In fact, notwithstanding all the obstacles appropriately acknowledged by the authors, the Charter is a valuable document whose goals should be achieved through a joint cooperation.

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