F2.2. The state of global foresight in food and agriculture


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Robin Bourgeois

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  • At GCARD1 (2010) in a parallel session authors of 10 long-term outlook works related to the future of agriculture and food discussed with a broader audience the main points they had synthesized from previous exchanges they had together. They highlighted in particular, several points of convergence as follows:Three thematic issuesBullet 1:Future evolution of global food availability in 2050 is not so much a production problem but a local food access problem, which is a call to...Bullet 2: There is a huge challenge about the understanding of the situation of poor rural people, particularly farmers Bullet 3: Impacts ecosystem degradation and climate change will put more pressure on poor farmersOne process issue bullet 4
  • These are the cases used for this analysis and the report on foresight at global level. Not all works are here, this is not a 100% comprehensive inventory, some people could not contribute to the inventory and we may have missed some works, but so far this is the best we have and we believe that the analysis quite correctly reflect the current state of foresight. Any addition, complementary information on other works will be welcome. Documenting global foresight is an ongoing process under taken not just for the GCARD2.
  • Bullet 1: Global foresight works indicate that … because it will be very close to the “business as usual” scenario of agricultural researchBullet 2:Global research (including foresight) has to … and their implications into the existing technological, biological and economic approaches. Bullet 3: The focus should be progressively to…
  • Bullet 1: Balanced distribution of quantitative, mixed and qualitative methodsBullet 2: DurationBullet 3: only estimates including in-kind cost of manpower, quantitative studies are less expensive because less people involve Bullet 4: with the exception of the UK foresight study as we have seenBullet 5: they are more usually consulted at the end of the process as users or providers of feedback about the results
  • This is what came out from the Briefs when we asked the authors to highlight the lessons they would like to share from their experience in the practice of foresight at global level.
  • RA/FD: raising awareness and fostering debates at a large scaleLS: linking stakeholders DM: contributing to development of methods internally and externallyTIP: directly transforming internal policies/priorities/orientations TEP: directly transforming external policies/priorities/orientations OC: directly provoking organizational/functional changes
  • Action proposed in the Briefing paper as a starting point for the discussion in this session. These actions would not require additional resources from stakeholders, but the willingness to actively engage some of the existing resources in these actions
  • The second series of collective action would require additional resources or specific large-scale programme investment:First bullet point is about linking incorporating local and national/regional scales in global foresight work. Bullet 2: Arenawhereforesightpractitioners and decision makers from the various sectors of the society can interact on how to turn foresight results into actions for research, innovation and policies. Rio + 20 and the GCARD2 are policy arena where foresight has been included in either pre evens or full event. This can be further put into practice but we must think also about having dedicated events to this foresight policy exchanges.Bullet 3: Undertaking as a specific project
  • F2.2. The state of global foresight in food and agriculture

    1. 1. The state of global foresightin food and agriculture Robin Bourgeois GFAR Secretariat
    2. 2. What do we know: global foresight Turn food security attention to the needs of the poor, urban and rural, and particularly of poor farmers; Focus on farmers and their perspectives for the future; Ecosystem degradation and climate change; A range of scientific approaches, paradigms, concepts and methodologies must be maintained in order to develop research on more and more complex issues.
    3. 3. The Inventory: 14 cases• Sustainable food consumption and production in a resource-constrained world• A table for seven billion: Six billion have enough to eat – (only) one billion to go• Biofuels and agricultural markets: Implications for food security• Towards sustainable world food systems: drivers, key issues and research needs• Does Less Meat for Some Mean Cheaper Food for Others?• Exploring the limits of food and farming systems: the Agrimonde scenarios• World food supply in a context of environmental change and increasingly competing claims on natural resources• Debunking the water scarcity myth: understanding future water use challenges• What are the likely developments in world agriculture towards 2050??• What challenges is agriculture facing? Five scenarios for 2050.• The Future of Food and Farming• Climate change impacts on agricultural yields• Global bioenergy potentials from agricultural land in 2050• Food Security, Farming, and Climate Change to 2050: Scenarios, Results, Policy Options
    4. 4. Adjusting the international research agenda with new dimensions• Maximizing the volume of production per unit of factor cannot fully respond to the new challenges.• Incorporate broader and long-term societal dimensions• Guide research towards outputs that will – Optimize how resources are used for food production given sustainability objectives and social choices, – Respond to the conditions that wider dimensions beyond agricultural production will impose on different types of farmers in different places.
    5. 5. Observing current practices Methods: Quantitative Mixed Qualitative 18 months (from 3 to 36) Quantitative Mixed Qualitative Less than US$ 500 000 (starting from less than 50,000) Quantitative Mixed Qualitative Include less than 50 people mostly scientists Other stakeholders are rarely directly engaged all the way through the process
    6. 6. Lessons learnt from current practices linking different disciplines in an interdisciplinary way, not as a collection of discipline skills; combining quantitative modelling with qualitative scenarios; involving broad stakeholders groups, widening the scope of the studies.
    7. 7. Impactimpact Category of Diffusion Evaluation Influence Change Influence on Sustainable Food Consumption in a resource-constrained RA/FD LS DM TIP TEP OC Public Reports Articles/Book Conferences Yes/NoBrief 01 x x noawareness andBrief 03 world A Table for Seven Billion x x x x no Biofuels and Agricultural markets: implications for foodcapacity to fosterBrief 09 security x x x x noBrief 15 Does less meat mean cheaper food for others? x x x nodebatesBrief 10 Exploring futures of food and farming systems: the Agrimonde scenarios x x x x no Towards sustainable world food systems: drivers, keyBrief 13 issues ans research needs x no Impact policiesBrief 17 World food supply in a context of increasingly competing claims x x x x x no Debunking the water scarcity myth: understanding futureinternally or externallyBrief 21 water use challenges x no What are the likely developments in world agricultureBrief 38 towards 2050? x x x no What challenges is agriculture facing? Five Scenarios forBrief 40 2050 x x x x x x yesNo BriefNo Brief The Future of Food and Farming Development and Climate Change x x x x x x x x yes noNo Brief Global bioenergy potentials from agricultural land in 2050 x x noNo Brief Food Security, Farming, and Climate Change to 2050 x x noTOTAL 10 2 2 8 5 0 7 6 5
    8. 8. Towards improving global foresight= Participating to the Forward Thinking Platform bringing together foresight practitioners from various sectors to advance thinking, tools and methods in foresight for agriculture;= Helping the incorporation of multiple visions based on foresight as orientations for the SRF Action Plan;= Supporting and engaging in foresight practitioners - decision makers policy dialogue arena at global level
    9. 9. Towards improving global foresight+  foresight processes; Regular engagement of national and regional actors in global+  Regular foresight and policy dialogue arena;+  on the Farmers of the Future. A collective multi-disciplinary multi-sector foresight investigation
    10. 10. THANK YOU
    11. 11. The report proposes collective actions towards improvedforesight (pages 26-30). In your opinion, what should theinternational agricultural research and development communitycommit, in relation to these collective actions?