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A Road Map to Sustainable Agriculture


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


26 January 2016 - 29 January 2016

MESSE ESSEN GmbH Exhibition Centre @ Norbertstraße 2, 45131 Essen, Germany

Ipm Essen 2016

The international trade fair for plants (IPM ESSEN) is the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture.

It is the only specialist trade fair of its kind to cover the entire value chain of plants, including production, technology, floristry, garden features, and the point of sale. No other plant fair offers trade visitors such a comprehensive market overview and so many multifaceted novelties.

The 33rd edition of the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture breaks new records in 2015: more than 1.600 exhibitors from around 50 nations present the newest botanic displays, innovative technology, and trendy floristry. Until Friday, 30 January 2015, all important decision makers and buying agents of the international green industry meet in the Ruhr region to exchange ideas and order products for the new season.

The international trade fair for plants is represented with additional events in Moscow, Dubai, Beijing and Bangalore.

Visit IPM Essen website for full details.

Featured Event


28 January 2016

@ Messeallee, 45131 Essen, Germany

AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards 2016

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) is pleased to announce that FloraHolland is to be the Headline Sponsor at the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards 2016.

FloraHolland is a co-operative organisation of and for growers of horticultural products, and brings the floriculture chain together in several ways. It is an open marketplace where suppliers of floriculture products and their customers can meet to do business. With its new strategy ‘Flowering the world together. Planting seeds of opportunities for all our members.’ it creates opportunities for our industry to encourage the consumer to spend more money on more flowers and plants. It provides benefits to its members and their customers by contributing to their margins by optimising its own logistics and taking control of floriculture standards.

AIPH Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe, commented, “FloraHolland is a major business in the ornamental horticulture industry. As an increasingly international organisation the partnership with the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards is the perfect match and I am very much looking forward to working with them to promote to the world the very best ornamentals growers”.

Floris Olthof, Manager Cooperation & Communication, FloraHolland, comments, “FloraHolland has been a member of AIPH for years. The cooperative also supports the Horticultural Entrepreneur Award where the most innovative and enterprising company from the horticultural sector is awarded. Winners of this competition are also recommended for the International Grower of the Year Award. We feel strongly about promoting innovation and successful entrepreneurship in this sector and warmly support both awards”.

The Awards which recognise best practice in ornamental horticultural production from all over the world, organised with founding partner FloraCulture International, invite growers of ornamental crops anywhere in the world to enter.

The Awards Gala Dinner will take place at the Messe Essen on Thursday, 28 January 2016. They will be hosted during IPM Essen in Germany, the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture.

For more information visit: www.aiph.org/groweroftheyear



Tim Briercliffe, AIPH Secretary General
Email: sg@aiph.org Tel: +44 (0) 118 9308956 Mobile: +44 (0) 7885 750324
Website: www.aiph.org
Follow AIPH on Twitter @AIPHglobal