Stories tagged: environment

Global Landscapes Forum: Nairobi

29th – 30th August

Nairobi, Kenya

Every year, Africa loses an estimated 2.8 million hectares of forest, with deforestation and land degradation seriously affecting its environment and people. The 2018 GLF Nairobi will help build and align international, national and private sector support for forest and landscape restoration, and will pave the way for turning this support into action. By bringing together actors from all backgrounds and sectors, the conference will spark a global conversation around Africa’s landscapes.

The 2018 GLF Nairobi will showcase and explore success stories and challenges across the continent and will foster political and community commitment to implement the AFR100 Initiative: restoring 100 million hectares of degraded landscapes across Africa by 2030.

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Hashtags: #ThinkLandscape, #glfnairobi2018

#Nexus2020 Twitter Chat Summary – “The Most Important Questions for Business”

In celebration of World Environment Day (5 June 2015), Farming First and the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) hosted an engaging twitter chat on the Nexus2020 project around the most important questions for business.

Over 300 tweets were shared during the chat; exploring what research is needed to help business manage their dependencies and impacts upon food, energy, water and the environment (FEWE). Asking the right questions is an important first step for enhancing business sustainability – and CISL are calling for input from people from all backgrounds and expertise. If you’d like to help them collect more questions, email [email protected]

The expert panel included Dr Bhaskar Vira (Director of the Conservation Research Institute), Richard Black (Director of the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit), Chris Gerrard (Climate Change and Biodiversity Manager at Anglian Water), Eileen Hoffman (Director of the Economic Growth and Trade, Chemonics International) and Gemma Cranston (Senior Programme Manager at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership). (Check out the full biographies of the panelists here)

Did you miss our chat? Want to submit more questions? Tweet your question using #Nexus2020 or submit it via the electronic submission form here.

Discussions were based around five guiding questions that Farming First put forward to the panel:

Q1 How do businesses impact & depend on food, energy, water & environment (FEWE)? What can be done to make these impacts and dependencies more sustainable?

Q2 How can research help businesses manage FEWE impact and dependencies? Research needs to be relevant and practical for business. Should business play an active role in this research design process?

Q3 How do business practices affect other stakeholders operating within FEWE? What research could improve interaction? Business impacts can have a ripple effect on many other stakeholders and considering these interactions is crucial. Can research alleviate some of these trade-offs and tensions? 

Q4  How does policy influence business practices around FEWE? Could research around policy interventions enhance management? There are a number of political frameworks in place that help guide business towards better management, but these policies need to be backed by some thorough research.

Q5 How do consumers influence business practices around FEWE? Could research in this space improve management? Civil society and consumers also have a role to play in guiding business practices and management. Do we need more research about the dynamics between consumers and businesses?

Panelists responded with insightful and provoking responses:






A number of other participants enabled the discussion to spontaneously evolve through real-time questions of their own:

b1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 b8 b9 b10

Everyone, from audience to panelists, reinforced the idea that not only a larger amount, but also better targeted research is necessary for businesses to sustainably manage their impacts and dependencies on food, energy water and the environment. Important questions were raised about the role of policy and legislation, ecosystem markets, tools and techniques, education and awareness, data and analytics, scalability, and incentives for action in influencing business practices.

Thanks to all of you who submitted questions – keep in the loop and submit more questions using #Nexus2020 or by clicking here.

Did you miss the chat? Explore the chat’s main content below:

Land Use Futures: Making the Most of Land in the 21st Century

Picture 2The UK Government’s Foresight Programme has released an in-depth analysis of the future of land use in the UK, examining the challenges faced over the next fifty years. The study, which was carried out over two years, examines the interaction of human use of land with natural processes, highlighting agriculture as ‘probably the single most dominant influence on the landscape’.

Agriculture occupies almost 74% of the UK land surface. Foresight’s report, ‘Land Use Futures‘ notes three main drivers of agricultural land use in the UK: agricultural policy, the conditions in international markets, and the technologies that markets and regulation introduce to the sector all play primary roles in determining what farmers produce on their land and how they produce it.

The report states that a rise in global population, strains on natural resources, climate change and changes in diets will put additional pressure on the land used in agriculture. The study highlights the importance for action to be taken to improve on agricultural productivity whilst reducing its impact on the environment.

The report offers the following recommendations for ensuring that the way agricultural land is used today can meet future needs:

Greater investment in science and technology, requiring collaborations among many public and private stakeholders, will help to accelerate sustainable practices of land use in agriculture whilst helping to improve the productivity of agriculture.

Maintaining high-quality farmland and supporting infrastructures such as land drainage systems will become of greater necessity in the advent of climate change and increased global demand for food and energy.

The multiple roles of agriculture that benefit society, other than food production, must be recognised, for example:   

  • Agriculture can generate positive environmental value, for example natural resource protection.  Reward systems for land managers through environmental stewardship programmes should be redesigned to help reduce agriculture’s negative impact on the environment, and help promote the wider ecosystem services it provides.            
  • Agriculture can provide vital climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration, flood risk management and protection of biodiversity. New governance systems are needed to create incentives for low-carbon agricultural practices.

New UK Government Report on Food Security for 2030

defraA new report issued by the UK’s Department for Enviroment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) outlines how the UK government intends to address future food security. According to the Guardian, the ‘Food 2030’ report takes the most comprehensive approach to agriculture policy since the Second World War.

The UK food industry is worth £80 billion and employs 3.6 million people. Driven by the triple threat of a growing population, the threat of climate change and a vulnerable supply of natural resources, the new policy by Defra outlines what the UK government perceives to be priority actions for the future, including:

  • increasing the amount of food grown in Britain
  • reducing the impact of agriculture upon the environment
  • reducing agricultural emissions by the equivalent of 3 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020
  • reviewing the impacts of UK consumption on agricultural economies in the rest of the world
  • addressing the issue of waste through reuse, recycling or energy generation
  • informing consumers about healthy, sustainable food choices.

The policy also spells out plans to double its investment in agricultural research to £80 million by 2013, with a focus on helping farmers in developing nations.  Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State of Defra, said:

By turning research into practical ideas, and by learning from what the best are doing, we can achieve a lot more. Science will also tell us when nature is under strain.

‘Food 2030’ seeks to improve the UK food industry from production to distribution, providing better resources to farmers, whilst using natural resources sustainably to help the global food industry.  Benn said:

We need to increase food production to feed a growing world population – there’ll be another 2-3 billion people in 40 years.

The Financial Times reports that plans detailing how these changes will be effectuated, including any necessary new legislation, will be released in the coming months.

Farming First Welcomes International Plant Nutrition Institute to its Supporters

1110092v1v1The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has become the newest supporter of Farming First.

According to its website, IPNI is:

a not-for-profit, science-based organization with a focus on agronomic education and research support…. The mission of IPNI is to develop and promote scientific information about the responsible management of plant nutrition for the benefit of the human family.

IPNI has a global presence with programmes in China, India, Southeast Asia, Northern Latin America, Brazil, Latin America-Southern Cone, the United States, and Canada, plus a new presence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and soon to be in Australia.

Its initiatives address the world’s growing need for food, fuel, fiber, and feed as well as global issues such as climate change and the relationship of crop production to the environment and ecosystems.