Knowledge for better food systems

Fodder: The FCRN Newsletter

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Network updates

In Fodder this week

Research library

Image: USDA, Alley cropping, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

So-called natural climate solutions in the United States (such as changing management of forests, grassland and agricultural land) could create annual emissions savings equivalent up to 21% of current US emissions according to this paper.

Image: edward musiak, coconut farm, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

This paper performs a cost-benefit analysis for various climate-smart agriculture practices on farms in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Uganda, including switching annual to perennial crops (e.g. coconut), crop rotations, using organic fertiliser and intercropping maize and beans.

The World Resources Institute has published a new report outlining solutions for feeding 10 billion people without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty.

The Centre for Biological Diversity has calculated the emissions produced by the food offered at the ongoing COP24 climate conference, arguing that the many meat-based options mean the menu has an “unnecessarily high carbon foodprint”.

Non-profit organisation Ceres has produced an overview of resources (standards, methodologies, tools, and calculators) for assessing greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production and agriculturally-driven land use change.

The Food Research Collaboration continues its series on Brexit (for our non-UK readers, the UK’s upcoming departure from the European Union) with an exploration of the paths that UK pesticide regulation could take: either deregulation and allowing greater pesticide use, or strengthening of regulations in line with or beyond those of the EU.

This forthcoming book by Ludivine Petetin and Mary Dobbs analyses how British agricultural law might change following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Image: Crabmanners, Large Dungeness Crab, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations has taken legal action against 30 fossil fuel companies, arguing that the crab fishing industry is being harmed by climate change. Algal blooms, made more likely by warming ocean waters, have cut short crab fishing seasons.

The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University has launched a new website on agroecology, containing information about related projects, publications, policy statements and videos.

Opportunities

The Environmental Audit Committee of the UK’s House of Commons has launched an inquiry on the subject of Planetary Health. The Committee will investigate the effect of environmental damage and climate change on health. The inquiry will examine this emerging field of study, including the use of technology to mitigate risks, global interdisciplinary collaborations, and action taken by the UK Government. The Committee is particularly interested in the risks relating to nutrition for UK and global human populations.

The Committee is inviting written submissions on the subject of planetary health. The terms of reference outlines the main themes of the inquiry, and can be used as a basis for written submission.

Written submissions should be no longer than 3000 words. The deadline for submissions will be Friday 21 December. Written evidence can be submitted via the evidence portal here.

FCRN readers may be particularly interested in the following questions in the enquiry, relating to crops and nutrition:

8. How might crops (produced both globally and in the UK) be affected by climate change?

9. What risks relating to nutrition for UK and global human populations might there be as a result of climate change? In particular, how might planetary health affect non-communicable diseases, such as obesity?

10. What steps should the UK Government take to protect crops and food products from the effects of climate change? What steps should the Government take to reduce the impact of climate change on non-communicable diseases such as obesity?

11. What is the relationship between the use of agricultural chemicals and biodiversity loss in the UK?

12. What are the risks to the UK of declines in pollinator populations?

The Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy has opened abstract submissions for its conference on research at the nexus of agriculture and food systems, nutrition and health to be held in India from 24 - 28 June 2019 (city TBC).

For more details, see here. The deadline is 6 January 2019.

The Department of Population Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is seeking to appoint a Research Fellow in Nutrition to work on the evaluation of three nutrition studies in rural India and Nepal.

The three studies cover the impact of nutrition-sensitive agriculture extension using locally made videos on maternal and child nutrition, video-based approaches to improve diets and family planning in five Indian states, and tailored iron supplementation and behaviour change intervention on diets and anaemia among pregnant women in India and Nepal.

Applicants should have a PhD in nutrition, public health, economics, or another quantitative discipline, with a substantial nutrition component, some understanding of nutrition and agriculture in south Asia, and experience of conducting household surveys in low-income settings.

For more details, see here. The deadline is 9 January 2019.

Consulting company ICF is seeking an experienced Senior Consultant or Managing Consultant to join a well-established practice within ICF that develops, analyses and evaluates environmental policies, in areas including biodiversity protection, marine and fresh water management, environmental finance, environmental governance, green growth and climate change.

The role will involve overseeing research, analysis and evaluation, managing project budgets, and developing relationships with public sector clients. Candidates should have at least five years of experience, expertise in environmental economics and/or evaluation of environmental policies and programmes, and experience of managing large and complex projects.

For more details, see here. Apply by 10 January 2019.

The Agropolis Fondation has opened applications for the following prizes.

  • The Agropolis Fondation Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize, which has three categories:
  • The Young Promising Scientist Prize (€5,000 cash prize and a €15,000 worth of scientific mobility grant) is awarded to a junior scientist with at least five years of professional experience
  • The Distinguished Scientist Prize (€20,000 cash prize) is given to a senior scientist with at least 15 years of professional experience
  • The Outstanding Career in Agricultural Development (€20,000 cash prize) is handed to someone whose professional career is devoted to agricultural development, be it in the field of agriculture and food research, innovation, capacity building, development or policy.
  • The Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security (US$75,000), which recognises an innovative scientific research project for its potential impact on the availability, affordability, accessibility or adequacy of food.

For more details, see here. The deadline is 28 Feb 2019.

 

Events

The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council will hold a workshop in London in 31 January 2019. The workshop will bring together researchers and industry experts to develop a UK network on the topic of quality and food loss in horticultural crops and potatoes.

For more details, see here. The deadline for applying to the workshop is 3 January 2019.

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society will hold a talk on 20 February 2018 in Glasgow. Pete Ritchie, director of Nourish Scotland, will discuss the Scottish Government’s ambition for Scotland to become a “Good Food Nation”.

For more details, see here.