At a time of increasing pressures from population growth, climate change, social and economic inequity and instability, the continuing need to avoid further loss in ecosystem biodiversity, and pressures on other critical resources (such as water and energy), there are major challenges in delivering food and nutrition security. While agriculture has a central role to play in tackling food and nutrition security, viewed more broadly, food and nutrition security also relies on physical, biological, socio-political and economic environments. Furthermore, tackling the challenges of sustainable agriculture requires the deployment of all available approaches, including both traditional and novel, building on the existing achievements of good agronomic practices.
For food (including nutrient and micronutrient) security, there is an ongoing need to identify and tackle key targets and to link health-related indicators with the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals. Under the project, work will focus on food production issues as well as issues related to the demand-side and other considerations (e.g. the need to reduce food loss and waste, and the impact of changing food preferences and dietary composition).
The project will produce four regional reports along with a global synthesis that highlights the similarities and differences between the regions, providing advice and recommendations for implementation at global, regional and national levels, customised according to local circumstances and strategic needs. Indeed, a core part of this IAP activity is to combine the twin goals of delivering strong, consensus messages at the global level, with clarification of the scientific basis of current disparities in policy expectations and objectives and future options in different regions of the world.
First project meeting
The project was initiated with a meeting at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle (Saale), Germany, on 31 May - 2 June 2015. This meeting sought the advice of experts from around the globe to clarify the choice of topics where work by IAP and its regional academy networks might add value to the considerable work already conducted by many other scientists in seeking to advise policy-makers. To this end, experts from IAP’s affiliated regional networks discussed the issues at stake, drafted a project roadmap, and agreed on a focus of the working groups’ activities as well as a suitable timeline.
Each of IAP’s regional networks has initiated its Working Group to produce the regional deliverables, identifying inter-regional issues and providing information to feed into the global phase. A review meeting in Hermanus, South Africa, on 28 February 2016, provided an update on the status in each of these four regional activities, with estimates of the timetable to completion. Now the four regional networks are planning their first Working Group meetings.
A Project Coordinator will be engaged with the project for the entire project duration, who will attend the regional networks’ meetings and ensure that the project stays on track. Once the four regional networks’ statements are available, they will be used to feed into a global statement, to be launched at an international event and disseminated among policy-makers and stakeholders world wide.
Professor Volker ter Meulen, Co-chair, IAP for Science, & past president, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Anja Geissler, IAP project assistant, German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina - email@example.com
Secretariat, InterAcademy Partnership - firstname.lastname@example.org