20February2017

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A Road Map to Sustainable Agriculture

organicconnectmag_sustainableagriculture

An independent commission of scientific leaders from 13 countries has released a detailed set of recommendations to policymakers on how to achieve food security in the face of climate change.

In their report, the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change proposes specific policy responses to the global challenge of feeding a world confronted by climate change, population growth, poverty, food price spikes and degraded ecosystems. The report highlights specific opportunities under the mandates of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Group of 20 (G20) nations.

"Food insecurity and climate change are already inhibiting human well-being and economic growth throughout the world and these problems are poised to accelerate," said Sir John Beddington, chair of the commission. "Decisive policy action is required if we are to preserve the planet's capacity to produce adequate food in the future."

The report was released today at the Planet Under Pressure conference where scientists from around the world are honing solutions for global sustainability challenges targeted to the Rio Summit to be held June 20-22 in Brazil.

The commission was created in 2011 and charged with identifying the best research-based approaches toward global food security in the face of climate change. The new report,available here, outlines seven recommendations they hope to see implemented concurrently by a constellation of governments, international institutions, investors, agricultural producers, consumers, food companies and researchers. They call for changes in policy, finance, agriculture, development aid, diet choices, and food waste as well as revitalized investment in the knowledge systems to support these changes.

"It's past time to realize that farms of every size all over the world are fundamental to providing for human nutritional demands and economic well-being, but they also face critical choices with significant implications for the way we manage the planet for long-term sufficiency," says U.S. Commissioner Molly Jahn, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Further, changes in agricultural practices have the potential to deliver benefits for both adaptation and mitigation of climate change. For example, in China, nearly 400 kilograms of chemical fertilizer are used on every hectare of farmland and, in Mexico, agriculture accounts for 77 percent of domestic water use, in part due to substantial subsidies for water and electricity used for irrigation.

Such practices offer both challenges and opportunities to refocus policies and budgets, say Jahn and the other commissioners, and they have urged the UNFCCC to establish a work program that addresses these issues together under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.

In addition to tackling agriculture, the commission's recommendations explicitly recognize the "demand side" of food insecurity, calling for policies and programs to support healthy and sustainable eating as well as those explicitly designed to empower vulnerable populations.

In particular, they underscore the need for improved data and decision support for land managers and policymakers.

"The elements of the food system — soil, water, climate, energy, people — are intimately connected and it is critical that we understand how they work together as a system, and get that information into the hands of those who need it most," Jahn says.

The commission's report presents a stark picture of the challenges ahead and calls for decisive action on a global scale to ensure a "safe operating space" for current and future generations.

"Many public and private sector leaders are already taking steps to overcome technical, social, financial and political barriers to a sustainable food system," says Bruce Campbell, director of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, which convened the commission in February 2011. "The commission's work spells out who needs to do what to take these early efforts to the next level."

The commission is financially supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. 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. Additional materials can be found here.

Commission recommendations:

1. Integrate food security and sustainable agriculture into global and national policies;

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

3. Sustainably intensify agricultural production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts of agriculture;

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

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

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

7. Create comprehensive, shared, integrated information systems that encompass human and ecological dimensions.

Source: organicconnectmag - A Road Map to Sustainable Agriculture

Featured Event

05
Mar
2017

05 March 2017 - 06 March 2017

RDS Simmonscourt @ Simmonscourt, Merrion Rd, Dublin 4, Ireland

The Hardware Show 2017

Date & Time: Sunday 5th & Monday 6th March 2017 from 9.30 - 5.00pm.

The Hardware Show 2017, Ireland’s premier trade event for hardware/DIY retailers and builders merchants takes place on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th March at the new larger venue of RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin. Off the back of increased confidence in the industry, the show is set to be the biggest event of its kind next year.

Kieran Burke, Commercial Director of Grafton Merchanting ROI and Vice-President of Hardware Association Ireland, comments: ‘The 2017 Hardware Show will build on the success of the 2015 Show by enhancing both the visitor and exhibitor experience. The Show will be larger with clear emphasis on attracting greater visitor numbers. To facilitate the ‘bigger and better’ Show, we are delighted that the Show will take place in Ireland’s premier conference facility, RDS Simmonscourt. I would encourage all stakeholders in the industry to participate, it’s your Trade Show!

The show will feature:

  • Innovation Awards
  • Presidents Ball
  • Hardware Education Hub
  • Industry Advice & Presentations
  • HAI Hub
  • All the Latest Products and Innovations
  • Over 3500sqm Exhibition

Organized by Hardware Association Ireland (HAI), the industry’s trade association, the biennial show is already 66% sold with over 2,400sqm taken and has the capacity to go to 3,600sqm. New features of the show include a Demonstration Zone, involving best practice and handling for tools and products from four key areas – Building Materials, Paint/Décor, DIY/Hardware and Plumbing/Bathrooms; a Skills Zone where apprentices will show off their skills in the areas of Electrical and Plumbing and HAI have joined forces with Google who will bring the latest innovation and technology to the show.

The Hardware Show is recognized for bringing together leading brands across the retail and merchant sector and the extra capacity at the RDS means more opportunities for suppliers and visitors alike.

Companies who have already booked space include ABC Abrasives, Amalgamated Hardware, Ames True Temper, Aquasource Distributors, Arc Building Products, B&G, Birkdale Sales, Bostik Industries, Brett Martin, Calor Gas, Canadia Distributors, Classic Hardware, Contech, Core Software, CPL Fuels, Crown Paints, CQFD Profiles, Curust, John Dargan & Sons, Deanta Doors, DFE Ltd, Donal Lynch Hardware, Dosco, Draper Tools, DS Supplies, Dulux, Eastern Agencies, Ecological Building, Fleetwood, Frisco, Gorilla Glue, Henkel, Herbst Software, Homeline, IITC, IKO Ltd, Intact Siftware, Irish Cement, Jefferson Professional Tools & Equipment, John Murphy Castlerea, Keypoint Abrasives, Kilsaran, Larsen Building Products, Locks & Hardware, McLoughlins RS, N and C Enterprises, OHRA Regalanlagen GmBH, Olympics Fixings Ireland, Pipelife, Portwest, Rawlplug, Regatta Professional, Retail Distribution Systems, Rhino Distribution, Ronseal, Shop4choice, Sika Everbuild, Snickers Workwear, Solus Bulbs, St. Gobain, Stafford Fuels, Tegral, Timco, Tucks Fasteners, Tucks O’Brien, United Hardware, Uppercross Enterprises, Varian IS & Co, Waterford Stanley, WEEE Ireland, Westaro Hosing, Whiteriver Group and Wood Concepts.

More brands and additional show features will be announced over the coming months.

Annemarie Harte, CEO of HAI said: "We are delighted that having made the move to the RDS the industry has responded well and with just under six months to go we are in excess of 50% exhibitor space sold. We are responding by introducing new features to attract more visitors and to ensure this will be the biggest and best show yet.”

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About Hardware Association Ireland (HAI):
Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) is the national representative body for hardware/DIY retailers and builders merchants, as well as manufacturers/distributors to the trade. We uniquely represent all levels of the supply chain and include within our membership ranks national and international companies, multi-branch chains and smaller independent hardware businesses. HAI speaks with one consolidated voice and fulfills a unique and vital role in connecting merchants with their suppliers in a non-commercial environment. HAI members play a key role in the construction supply chain, providing an efficient and effective route to market for building material products and a vital source of credit to customers.

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