The unequal distribution of food and conflict over control of the world's dwindling natural resources present a major political and social challenge to governments and policy makers. The new report launched today by the International Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) – endorsed in Johannesburg by delegates from over 60 countries – draws global attention to the issue which is likely to reach crisis status as climate change advances and world population expands.
Along with the launch, GreenFacts is releasing an official reader-friendly overview of the assessment. This summary, freely available at www.greenfacts.org/en/agriculture-iaastd/, offers a convenient tool for digging into the findings and recommendations of the IAASTD. The assessment was initiated by the World Bank and the FAO (UN Food and Agricultural Organization) to evaluate how to make better use of agricultural knowledge, science and technology to reduce hunger and poverty, improve rural livelihoods, and foster equitable and sustainable development. To help communicate its findings, the IAASTD, through Com+ Alliance, called upon GreenFacts, an independent non-profit organization based in Brussels, to provide the general public with plain-language version of the findings of the assessment.
“Business as usual is not an option”, says Professor Robert Watson, Director of the IAASTD, “the public needs to know and we are pleased that the summary by GreenFacts brings the findings and recommendations of our experts to the reach of a much wider audience.” Professor Watson elaborates, “Agriculture can do more than just focus on production. It can help supply clean water, it can help to protect biodiversity, it should be managed in a way that manages our soils sustainably. Without this realisation we risk undermining the capital of the agricultural sector.”
Highlights of the IAASTD
The assessment raises key issues for the sustainable development of agriculture, and suggests paths for action:
In the fight against poverty, small-scale farmers would benefit from greater access to knowledge, technology, and credit, and, critically, from more political power and better infrastructure.
Ensuring food security is not merely a matter of producing enough to eat: food must also be available to those who need it. Stronger local markets and preparedness for sudden price changes and extreme weather events are needed.
Agricultural sustainability means maintaining productivity while protecting the natural resource base, for instance by improving low impact practices such as organic agriculture.
Human health can be improved through efforts to diversify diets and enhance their nutritional value, but also through enhanced food safety infrastructures and through coordinated prevention of the spread of infectious disease.
Achieving greater equity in agriculture requires investment to bring technology and education to rural areas. Fair access to land and water and fair prices for agricultural products are crucial, as is the involvement of stakeholders in decision making and resource management.
Stephanie Mantell | alfa
Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge
Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
20.06.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
22.06.2017 | Life Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences