This week, the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford was officially designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre on Population Approaches for NCD Prevention.
By Hannah Rowlands.
The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food is building relationships with organisations in the Oxford area which have an interest in food system research, including the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.
The RAU, established in 1845, is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the delivery of education, research and consultancy, in and relating to, agriculture and the rural environment.
But one link already exists. Many of the beautiful, agriculturally themed 18th and 19th century paintings on the walls at the RAU are on permanent loan from the University of Oxford.
We were fortunate enough to have Professor James Jones, University of Florida, one of the principal investigators on AgMIP, speak to us recently in Oxford about "Model-Based Integrated Assessment of Food Security".
By Abrar Chaudhury.
In a recent panel discussion at the World Economic Forum 2014 - “Doing Business the Right Way” an audience member asked Richard Goyder, CEO of Wesfarmer and Australia’s G20 business leader about when businesses could be expected to formally adopt the triple bottom line (TBL) i.e. incorporate the social and environmental bottom lines along with the economic bottom line. His response was that “the only thing in the financial statements that (one) can believe in is the cashflow statement” as profits are somewhat arbitrary. Without “generating cash you go broke”, he emphasized, so businesses need to survive first before social and environmental responsibility can be demonstrated.
By Chase Sova.
Emerging economies often look to the United States as a model for how to grow their agricultural sectors. Doing so when climate impacts strike, however, may yield more questions than answers.
The role of agriculture has been the subject of serious debate at each of the last global climate change conferences. The most recent event, held in Poland this past December, offered no exception. Chants of “No agriculture, no deal” resonated along the Warsaw Stadium hallways, backed by a host of government, civil society and private sector actors.
Agriculture contributes to approximately 30% of total global green house gas (GHG) emissions when related deforestation and post-production steps are considered. Its treatment by the international community is thus of major consequence, both for mitigation and adaptation outcomes. Yet agricultural mitigation targets — and a binding agreement to back them — continue to be plagued by sticky issues around national security, terms of trade, and climate justice.
Most actors in the international arena have acknowledged the immediate and urgent adaptation needs of nearly 1.5 billion small-scale producers and have promised action. In fact, the world has become a testing ground for adaptation policies and projects in nearly all sectors.
By Lindsay Turnbull, University of Oxford
Organic farming is a trade off: it prohibits the use of certain chemicals and inorganic fertilisers, which usually results in lower yields, and hence higher prices. With arguments about health benefits inconclusive, one might ask what reasons there are to pay the organic premium.
With the closing of COP19 in Warsaw last month, some may be disappointed that negotiating parties put a hard stop around negotiating adaptation to climate change for agriculture and land use. Rather than reaching concrete political commitments now, debates remain around what should be done for policy and science in the future. Considering the complex difficulties in bridging gaps between what is and what should be, it is not surprising that the burden will be continue fall on 2.5 billion people depending on subsistence agriculture. This only highlights the utility of considering the future for action now.
Jessica Thorn, of the Systemic Integrated Adaptation program of CCAFS (Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security) reports on an impact evaluation study that was conducted in Nepal in recent months. Her research assesses the impact of adaptations to land management of smallholders on ecosystem processes, goods, and services. And many of the themes that arise hone in on cooperation, collaboration, and knowledge sharing to develop more sustainable solutions.