"Agricultural intensification alone is not enough" says UK Science Chief

A carmer with a teak tree seedling, Rambad village (Bihar - India). Photo: P. Casier (CCAFS)

Climate-smart agriculture can achieve triple wins (co-benefits): adaptation, mitigation and food security, said UK Science Chief Sir John Beddington in a recent speech to policy makers, private sector and members of civil society. He highlighted that a shift to climate-smart agriculture is needed in order to feed 9 billion people in 2050 in the face of climate change.

Sir John, who also chairs the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, said a broad view is needed, that takes into account the food system in the context of various sectors that have until now been viewed mostly as separate:

Agricultural intensification alone is not enough; it must be sustainable and should be part of a holistic policy package. That package must focus on existing agricultural, deforested, and degraded lands, as well as fisheries, and protecting biodiversity. The recent Foresight report makes clear that policy makers cannot afford to neglect greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture or the potential for carbon sequestration through agriculture.

The Commission is currently working on on bringing together existing evidence on sustainable agriculture that contributes to food security and poverty reduction, and helps respond to climate change adaptation and mitigation goals, and will identify what policy changes and actions are needed now to achieve this. To learn more and up to date with all the Commission's activities, visit the Commission's website.