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Stockholm Dialogue: Can we deliver sustainable transformations to our agri-food systems?

Global agriculture is one of humanity’s great success stories. Yet, the growth in agricultural production has come at high environmental and social costs, including soil degradation, overdrawn and polluted water supplies, biodiversity loss and socio-economic inequities.

Over the last few decades, many different sustainability solutions have been developed in response, demonstrating sustainable agriculture’s potential contribution to food security and environmental restoration. These solutions range from approaches such as agroecology, participatory natural resource management, to new biotechnology driven innovations like water/climate tolerant seed varieties. Evidence for what could be best taken forward is growing, and there are some success stories. However, many of these remain isolated or at the proof of concept stage and we have not been able to scale up the transformations that are urgently needed.

The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems, the Stockholm Resilience Center and Swedish International Agriculture Initiative are organizing a half-day dialogue to stimulate the debate on how the CGIAR together with its Swedish partners could better address these issues. The dialogue will build on existing collaborations and independent work carried out by both the CGIAR and Swedish organizations. We are looking forward to have a diverse group of stakeholders at the event (researchers, development practitioners, development partners and INGOs). 

Purpose and objectives

The dialogue aims to build understanding of how to better address sustainability into our food and agriculture systems, through exploring the opportunities and constraints to scaling, of a series of promising approaches and technologies. The specific objectives of the dialogue are to:

  • Share innovative solutions from WLE and Swedish organizations that have potential for transformation towards more sustainable food and agriculture systems that deliver sustainable and equitable livelihoods
  • Identify what we need to do to bring these solutions to scale
  • Identify synergies between the WLE and Swedish organizations and potential collaborative activities

Through an interactive panel debate and working groups, the dialogue will answer the following questions.

  • What examples do we have of transformative change? What can be learned?
  • Who needs to be involved? Who is being left out in conventional projects?
  • What are technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in agriculture and natural resource management?
  • What are the trade-offs and risks of focusing on landscape/basin scale change in terms of social equity and decision-making?
  • How can youth and women be better included in such large-scale initiatives?

Date and Venue

  • Time: March 29, 2017, 13.00 – 17.00pm
  • Location: Stockholm Resilience Center, Kräftriket, Stockholm 104 05, Sweden

Proposed Themes

Working groups will discuss ways to achieve transformational change by using specific cases as talking points. The following thematic areas have been identified of mutual interest.

  • Transforming livelihoods: Integrated land and water management solutions - a number of integrated solutions for land and water management have been tested - how can we bring a suite of options together and enhance uptake and implementation.
  • Incentives for sustainable management of land (carbon, payment for ES), do they work? The vision of sequestering significant amounts of carbon in soils has gained momentum. There are now quite a few national and international initiatives aimed at mitigating climate change in that way. But is this realistic? This session will look at solutions related to mitigating climate change through soil sequestration.
  • Circular economy: waste water recovery and reuse both WLE and Swedish partners are working on innovative solutions that capitalize on waste to reduce the damage from growing cities to communities and the environment.
  • Managing Risk: strengthening resilience to mitigate crisis and disasters - Innovative work to mitigate impacts from disasters and climate change such as work on flood and index based insurance, green and grey infrastructure.
  • Assessing and accounting for sustainability: Agricultural production practices when scaled can be come major drivers of degradation. Assessing sustainability at scale with cost accounting of agriculture’s externalities are a means of recognizing both trade-offs and synergies of scaled production practices. This session will focus on WLE work to assess sustainability at scale and its potential for leapfrogging degradation trajectories in agricultural development.

Registration

For more information contact:

  • To RSVP send to Mala Ranawake at wle@cgiar.org
  • For information on agenda write to Michael Victor, Partnerships and Engagement Coordinator, WLE email: m.victor@cgiar.org

Picture credit: Stockholm Resilience Center

For more details visit here the SIANI website.