[Vision2020] Nov. 16, 2011 CCAFS Report: Global Commission: Achieving Food Security in Face of Climate Change

Art Deco deco at moscow.com
Thu Nov 17 11:38:01 PST 2011

Thank you for posting this, Ted.

This has local application.  In the long run if resources for adequate food production are to be available, then the lost of agricultural land to residential development in Latah County should come to an end.  Once this land is lost, it is hard to reclaim.

The same is true for water.  The earth is running out of potable water in part because of ground water contamination and over use of existing ground water.

The competition for food and water in the future is likely to spawn a great deal of unrest/wars/etc unless we vigorously plan and work to  keep and to develop the resources necessary now.


From: Ted Moffett 
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:13 AM
To: Moscow Vision 2020 
Subject: [Vision2020] Nov. 16, 2011 CCAFS Report: Global Commission: Achieving Food Security in Face of Climate Change


Global Commission Charts Pathway For Achieving Food Security in Face
of Climate Change

Scientific experts outline concrete steps toward a sustainable global
food system

COPENHAGEN (16 November 2011) — In the lead up to UN global climate
talks in Durban, South Africa later this month, an independent global
commission of eminent scientists today released a set of concrete
recommendations to policy makers on how to achieve food security in
the face of climate change. Based on a thorough review of existing
research, the commissioners urged immediate, coordinated action toward
transforming the food system to meet current and future threats to
food security and environmental sustainability.

The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change’s
“Summary for Policy Makers” outlines crucial policy responses to the
global challenge of feeding a world confronted by climate change,
population growth, poverty, food price spikes and degraded ecosystems.
The seven high-level recommendations include significantly raising the
level of global investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems
in the next decade; sustainably intensifying agricultural production
on the existing land base while reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and
reducing losses and waste in the food system.

Prof. Sir John Beddington, Chair of the Commission, summed up the
challenge: “It’s about reorienting the whole global food system – not
just agricultural production, and not just in developing countries. We
need a socially equitable, global approach to produce the funding,
policy, management and regional initiatives that will deliver
nutrition, income and climate benefits for all.”

In making their recommendations, the Commissioners cited the
interconnected relationship between agriculture and the environment.
As populations grow to upwards of 9 billion people, so will demand for
food, fuel and feed crops. This could put many agricultural systems
under immense stress and result in further depletion of soil
fertility, biodiversity and water resources and increase greenhouse
gas emissions to the atmosphere, according to the Commission.

The release of the Commission’s “Summary for Policy Makers” was timed
to inform pivotal, upcoming meetings on climate change, including the
UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to
December 9 and the Rio+20 Earth Summit next year. “Efforts to
alleviate the worst effects of climate change cannot succeed without
simultaneously addressing the crises in global agriculture and the
food system,” said Dr Bruce Campbell, director of the CGIAR Research
Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, which
convened the independent commission in February 2011. “The
commission’s invaluable contribution is to provide scientists and
policy makers with the most authoritative, evidence-based action steps
to date to achieve global food security.” The Commission’s detailed
final report will be issued in 2012.

The Commission brings together senior natural and social scientists
working in agriculture, climate, food and nutrition, economics and
natural resources from Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia,
France, Kenya, India, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the
United States and Vietnam.

Creating a safe operating space for people on this planet

“There is a strong risk we will live on a food-insecure planet in the
future,” said Commissioner Dr Marion Guillou, President of the French
National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), “and we need to
reshape food access and consumption patterns to ensure basic
nutritional needs will be met.” Today, a billion people are
malnourished while millions suffer from chronic disease due to
over-consumption. World population will grow to an estimated 9 billion
by 2050 and diets are shifting towards higher consumption of calories,
fats and animal products. Global demand is growing for food, fodder
and bioenergy crops, and food prices are rising.

“Climate change is already causing more extreme weather events, such
as high temperatures, droughts and floods, and will particularly harm
those people who already live on the brink of hunger and
malnutrition,” said Commissioner Professor Tekalign Mamo, Advisor to
the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture. “Food insecurity produces
widespread human suffering, even in the world’s wealthiest countries,
as well as political and economic instability, so it is clear the
status quo is not an option.”

Investment, innovation and empowerment

The Commission reviewed the scientific evidence base to develop a
package of solutions that address how food is produced, distributed
and consumed. Their recommendations support climate-resilient
agricultural production, efficient resource use, low-waste supply
chains, adequate nutrition and healthy eating choices that, together,
will constitute a sustainable food system.

The “Summary for Policy Makers” presents concrete, urgent actions to
be implemented simultaneously by a constellation of governments,
international institutions, investors, agricultural producers,
consumers, food companies and researchers. Recommended tactics range
from shifting economic incentives and making ‘fast start’ funds
available for agriculture to strengthening land rights and building
transparency in food markets.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution,” said Commission Vice-Chair
Dr Mohammed Asaduzzaman, Research Director at the Bangladesh Institute
of Development Studies, “but we know that success depends on a
combination of investment, innovation and deliberate effort to empower
the world's most vulnerable populations.” The Commissioners called for
significantly raising the level of global investment in sustainable
agriculture and food systems in the next decade.

Efficiency throughout food supply chains

“Our global system wastes food, reducing efficiency in agricultural
productivity,” according to the Australian Commissioner Dr Megan
Clark, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Scientific and
Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). For example, roughly
one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted
across the global food system. In addition, land clearing and
inefficient use of fertilizers and organic residues make agriculture a
significant contributor to greenhouse gas pollution on the planet.
“Investments to increase efficiencies in agriculture and supply chains
while also mitigating greenhouse gas emissions are critical for
economic and environmental health and will realise important benefits
to the global food system,” she said.

“An estimated 12 million hectares of agricultural land – and their
potential for producing 20 million tonnes of grain – are lost each
year to land degradation,” explained Commissioner Professor Lin Erda,
Director of the Research Centre of Agriculture and Climate Change at
the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. “At the same time, many
regions have large gaps between potential and actual crop yields.”

The Commission notes the importance of sustainably intensifying
agricultural production on existing land – including improving
supporting infrastructure and restoring degraded ecosystems – while
reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. “Sustainable
intensification is essential,” said South African Commissioner
Professor Bob Scholes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR), “and will be most successful at reducing greenhouse
gas emissions if we improve land tenure and have strong land-use
planning in place to protect forests, wetlands and other critical
remaining natural ecosystems.”

Supporting the most vulnerable

A large section of the human population is highly vulnerable to
extreme weather events and food price volatility. Severe food
insecurity can lead to humanitarian crises such as the current
situation in the Horn of Africa. Specific recommendations to assist
vulnerable populations include insurance against climate shocks,
strategies to moderate food price fluctuations and safety net
programs. Education, health and nutrition programs provide much needed
pathways out of food insecurity.

“Building resilience to climate change must be deeply rooted in social
systems beyond agriculture,” said the Commissioner Dr Rita Sharma,
Secretary of India’s National Advisory Council. In India, for example,
a program to guarantee rural employment is being used as a strategy to
boost income and therefore reduce vulnerability.

“Global donors can help promote better climate change risk management
through a more coordinated, multi-benefit approach,” said Mexican
Commissioner Dr Adrian Fernández Bremauntz, Senior Consultant at the
ClimateWorks Foundation. The Commission calls for national and
international agricultural development policies to prioritise boosting
productive assets and infrastructure.

Better information for integrated decision-making

“We are already in the business of managing significant risk and
navigating trade-offs,” said U.S. Commissioner Professor Molly Jahn of
the University of Madison-Wisconsin. “Agricultural greenhouse
emissions are undeniably a significant issue. We need to innovate
approaches to deal with this, but not at the expense of food
production by poor farmers today.” The Commission highlights the
importance of improved monitoring and modelling to support integrated
decision-making for economic growth, agricultural productivity,
poverty reduction and long-term environmental sustainability.

“If we are armed with real-time, spatially explicit information about
land uses, markets and human populations, we can do a much better job
of meeting our needs and taking care of the planet,” said Commissioner
Dr Carlos Nobre of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and
Innovation. “This means better capacity to forecast crises as well as
testing specific interventions and scaling up the ones that work.”

Policy kick-start

At the same time, global and national policies need to increase the
focus on sustainable agriculture and continue the momentum that has
built on food security in order to kick-start a transformation of the
whole food system. “Agriculture and food security tend to fall between
the cracks of global policy making,” explained the Kenyan Commissioner
Professor Judi Wakhungu, Executive Director of the African Center for
Technology Studies (ACTS). The Commission points out the need for
higher importance of agriculture in discussions concerning the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and at the Rio+20 Earth
Summit to be held in Brazil in June 2012.

Commissioners stress the need for multiyear commitments of financial
and technical assistance to help agricultural producers build
resilience to climate variability and improve their livelihoods, while
contributing to climate change mitigation. Commissioner Dr Nguyen Van
Bo, President of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science said,
“Policies and finance streams must engage and empower poor rural
farmers to improve yields and incomes on existing land bases without
new environmental impacts.”

The Commission’s final report, upon which the recommendations are
based, will be released early in 2012. The Commission will share its
recommendations at the upcoming Agriculture and Rural Development Day
in Durban, South Africa and other policy forums throughout 2012.

The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change is
identifying what policy changes and actions are needed now to help the
world achieve sustainable agriculture that contributes to food
security and poverty reduction, and helps respond to climate change
adaptation and mitigation goals. The Commission is an initiative of
the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food
Security (www.ccafs.cgiar.org), with additional support from the
Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.

The Commission’s Action points

(Full details elaborated in “Summary for Policy Makers” document at

Integrate food security and sustainable agriculture into global and
national policies

Significantly raise the level of global investment in sustainable
agriculture and food systems in the next decade

Sustainably intensify agricultural production while reducing
greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts of

Target populations and sectors that are most vulnerable to climate
change and food insecurity

Reshape food access and consumption patterns to ensure basic
nutritional needs are met and to foster healthy and sustainable eating
habits worldwide

Reduce loss and waste in food systems, particularly from
infrastructure, farming practices, processing, distribution and
household habits

Create comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems that
encompass human and ecological dimensions
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

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