Food and Water in Arid Lands – Tucson 2016


The City of Tucson, the University of Arizona, and Pima County, with the support of local and international partners, will co-host the 2016 ITKI-UNESCO City of Gastronomy Conference in Tucson, Arizona, establishing Tucson, Arizona as the official headquarters of ITKI-US.

The conference itself will be held November 4 – 5, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona, in the beautiful Sonoran desert in the Southwestern United States. Our goal is to promote international knowledge exchange relating to food and water sustainability in arid land communities. We have six unique sessions planned – five to generate ideas through dialogue, the last a ‘working session’ for the future – featuring world-renown experts and practitioners both. The conference is free to all attendees.

2016 ITKI-UNESCO City of Gastronomy Conference in Tucson, Arizona, USA

Food and Water in Arid Lands: Dialogues across Contemporary and Traditional Knowledge

As the world undergoes climate change, urban and rural communities in arid lands need effective adaptive strategies for ensuring resilience in the face of increasing environmental variability, changing weather patterns, dwindling water resources, and intensifying strains on food systems and food security. Join us November 4 and 5, 2016 for discussions with expert panelists about their experiences with water management and water scarcity, their work toward just food systems and sovereignty, and their insights on the roles of local knowledge in adaptation and climate change.

This conference will be held in Tucson, Arizona, an urban community in the Sonoran Desert, which has been inhabited continuously for more than 4,000 years, and has the longest agricultural history in the United States. Tucson has long experience in international exchanges on water management, urban agriculture, and biodiversity conservation, and is becoming increasing engaged with UNESCO. Earlier this year, the City of Tucson collaborated with the University of Arizona and ITKI on an application for Tucson to join UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a City of Gastronomy to share experiences, ideas, and best practices for sustainable urban development through international exchanges of knowledge via the Creative Cities Network.

Topics discussed will include:

  • Transfer of Traditional Knowledge (TK)
  • Science and TK
  • Water management and TK
  • Local food systems and food security
  • Urban agriculture
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Climate justice
  • Conservation of cultural landscapes
  • Sustainable models for arid lands