Wednesday, 29 April 2015
In the course of the ongoing discussions at the United Nations on the post-2015 development agenda, a consensus emerged that current and future social, environmental and economic challenges are interlinked and must be addressed through an integrated approach. In this spirit, the intergovernmental Open Working Group (OWG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forward, in July 2014, a proposal comprising 17 goals and 169 targets. This discussion paper aims to contribute to the development of an integrated, science-based set of indicators to monitor progress towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns which support achievement of the SDGs. The paper highlights a number of potential indicators which can serve for different goals and targets and which thus contribute to making the targets more actionable and transformative, by promoting an integrated approach.
We have a large range of choices in the way future food demand might be met. Meeting this future food demand has frequently wrongly been articulated as a crisis of supply alone, but in fact the crisis can be avoided by the choices we make. The food security debate will be enriched by a rigorous evaluation of all these choices and recognition that the eventual solution will reside in a mixture of these choices. We could move to a paradigm where ecological sustainability constitutes the entry point for all agricultural development. Such a paradigm shift could reposition world food production from its current role as the world’s single largest driver of global environmental change, to becoming a critical part of a transition to respect the planet’s biophysical processes and functions.
Adaptation seeks to reduce the harmful consequences and harness any beneficial opportunities arising from the changing climate. However, adaptation itself also has the potential to generate further pressures. Policies designed to encourage adaptation may conflict with regulation aimed at preserving environmental quality. To highlight this, we analyse the trade-offs between two fundamental ecosystem services: provisioning services derived from agriculture and regulating services in the form of freshwater quality. Results indicate that climate adaptation in the farming sector will generate fundamental changes in river water quality. These findings illustrate the importance of anticipating the wider impacts of human adaptation to climate change when designing environmental policies.
seeks to assist towns to transition to a new future beyond the negative effects of Peak Oil and Climate Warming. A 12 Step Programme helps identify key sectors of transitioning, such as reducing energy use and providing more local food supplies and employment. A parallel movement is spreading through the United States; the EcoDistrict organization communicates its ideas through an active website, annual meetings and the development of university course linkages. These two examples of grass-roots activism provide an important addition to the ways in which urban places can become more sustainable and locally resilient.
"I’ve just reviewed a lot, and I mean a lot, of research bids. I review research bids regularly, as do a lot of senior academics. Some of them are great and some of them are decent, sensible and worth doing. But more of them could be like this. I’m always pretty shocked when I get bids where the basics haven’t been attended to. I know that there are more issues than are here on my list, but honestly, I’d be a pretty happy reviewer if all the bids I get/have to read attended to these ten simple things."
Agriculture contributes 9% of the UK’s greenhouse-gases (GHG) emissions burden and 10-12% globally. Although there is a long-term declining trend from UK agriculture, the sector may account for a larger share of overall emissions in the future as other sectors reduce emissions. This POSTnote focuses on reducing GHG emissions from growing and storing arable and horticultural crops
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Ploughing On Regardless