Governance

Food security in a globally-connected world will require better governance at all levels – local, national and international.

Researchers can, and are already, playing a major part in supporting leaders to create new policies that can help improve food security. A new article in Global Environmental Change provides valuable lessons that can be helpful in attempts to better connect food security science with policy-creation.

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If you missed Prof Jason Hill's talk last week on the "Sustainability Of Our Global Food System: A Life Cycle Perspective", you can listen again to his talk and download his slides.

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Lord John Krebs has been interviewed by Jim al-Khalili on the Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific.

Lord Krebs talks about how he was first drawn to biology, his research as an animal behaviour specialist as Professor of Zoology at Oxford University, and his work in policy as the first Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, where he was embroiled in controversial questions such as is organic food better for us and how can the spread of foot and mouth disease be stopped.

Lord Krebs is now Master of Jesus College, Oxford, but is still involved in issues where science meets public policy, in particular the debate over whether culling badgers will prevent cattle contracting TB.

Lord Krebs is also, among other things, the Chair of the Advisory Group for the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.

You can listen to the programme on the Radio 4 website

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Dr Tara Garnett, who runs the Food Climate Research Network, has brought out a major new report on the social, economic and environmental transformations in China’s food system.

Appetite for Change provides a detailed and integrative analysis of the dramatic changes in China’s food system over the last 35 years, and explores the linkages among the environmental, health, economic and cultural trends that are emerging.

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The Food Systems Research Group in the Environmental Change Institute and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food are organising a seminar series based on a number of food system levels: national, subnational, major cities and a provincial city.

The overall aim is to discuss the connections, linkages, food flows and governance arrangements at the different spatial levels. The seminars will cover a range of issues and how these issues change depending on the spatial resolution.

Time: 4.15pm

Location: Gottman Room, Oxford University Centre for the Environment

The talks will be 30-45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session and then a short wine reception. Everyone welcome.

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A Restatement of the Natural Science Evidence Base Relevant to the Control of Bovine Tuberculosis in Great Britain

FOR THE FINAL PUBLISHED RESTATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE, PLEASE VISIT THE bTB EVIDENCE PROJECT PAGE.

This project aims to provide a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base underlying bovine tuberculosis policy in the UK.  It has been led by Charles Godfray and Angela McLean from the Oxford Martin School and also involves Christl Donnelly (Imperial College), Rowland Kao (Glasgow University), David Macdonald and Gillian Petrokofsky (Oxford University), James Wood (Cambridge University), Rosie Woodroffe (Institute of Zoology), Douglas Young (MRC National Institute of Medical Research) and Robbie McDonald (University of Exeter).

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The current edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B is a special Discussion Meeting Issue on ‘Achieving food and environmental security: new approaches to close the gap’, following a meeting that took place at the Royal Society, in London between 3 and 4 December 2012, to explore some of avenues that science is currently pursuing.

The special edition, organized and edited by Guy Poppy, Paul Jepson, John Pickett and Michael Birkett, includes a paper by Professor Charles Godfray and Dr Tara Garnett, Oxford University, which sets out the case for Sustainable Intensification, arguing that more food needs to be produced but with less impact on the environment. The paper also investigates how Sustainable Internsification may interact with other food policy agendas, in particular, land use and biodiversity, animal welfare and human nutrition.

In the paper, they explain the logic underlying Sustainable Intensification:

  1. That increased production must play at least some role in meeting the food security challenge of the next fifty years
  2. That the vast majority of this increase must come from existing agricultural land
  3. That increasing the sustainability of food production is of equal importance
  4. That we must consider a broad range of tools and production methods to achieve these goals.
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A consortium brought together by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food has received a major award from the Wellcome Trust as part of their 'Our Planet, Our Health' programme.

The project will look at the consequences of the global increase in the consumption of meat, dairy and other animal-sourced foods and how it affects the environment and human health.  It will focus on how to achieve changes towards more sustainable and healthy diets.

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The Environmental Change Institute is pleased to announce that a Belmont Forum grant has been awarded for research planning on food system governance arrangements in southern African. Partners include the Universities of Newcastle, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Florida and Wageningen, with coordination by provided by ECI.

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Cross-university, interdisciplinary food systems training to improve food security and environmental outcomes

The Environmental Change Institute’s Food Systems Programme is pleased to announce an exciting new programme of teaching and learning for graduate students at the Environmental Change Institute and four other leading universities in England.

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