Over the past few decades, global food security indicators have improved, driven by the economic boom in China. Africa, however, still faces the same challenges of hunger and malnutrition as it did decades ago. To accelerate change to solve the problem, the continent itself must change, as discussed in this article on the African food system published in Nature Food.
870. JIRCAS International Symposium 2023 “Innovations to enhance the resilience of tropical forests and sustainability of the forest industry”
The JIRCAS International Symposium 2023, to be held on November 17, 2023, will bring together researchers, companies, and policy makers working in the field of global and Asian tropical forests to discuss opportunities and challenges that can combine tropical forest resilience and industrial sustainability.
Research on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from paddy fields and its mitigation started in the 1980s, and a great deal of knowledge has been accumulated so far. Although meta-analyses have achieved success to synthesize fragmentary knowledge, it has been two decades since GHG emissions from paddy fields were comprehensively reviewed. Therefore, JIRCAS together with international research experts, especially those from Nanjing Agricultural University, China, revisited the the mitigation of GHG emissions from paddy fields and published a comprehensive review paper from Nature Reviews Earth & Environment.
September 29, 2023 marks the 4th year of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste designated by the United Nations. Reducing food loss is necessary for the people and the planet.
From September 30 (Saturday) to October 1 (Sunday), JIRCAS will participate in the "Global Festa Japan 2023" event and present its research activities and international cooperation related to "quinoa".
The oceans play a dual role in climate change, absorbing a significant portion of the excess heat generated by increased greenhouse gas concentrations and serving as a sink for carbon dioxide emitted by humans. However, this absorption has triggered a worrying phenomenon known as ocean acidification, which poses a serious threat to marine ecosystems. In an effort to underscore the seriousness of this issue, researchers have developed a visualization tool called "ocean acidification stripes".
World Weather Attribution, an organization that analyzes the link between extreme events and climate change, highlighted that climate change played a role in the heavy rains that hit the Mediterranean region in the first half of September, affecting countries such as Spain, Greece, Bulgaria and Libya.
According to the World Bank's September 2023 update, food price increases outpaced increases in the consumer price index in 81 percent of the 162 countries for which data are available. While grain price indexes are declining overall due to falling maize and wheat prices, India's export restrictions are causing disruptions and price spikes in the rice market. Also of concern is the upward trend in prices of chemical fertilizers and other agricultural inputs in response to rising fuel prices.
860. Upcoming Seminar Next Week: “Millets - How to unlock their potentials to address nutritional, agricultural, and climate challenges"
One week from now, on September 26, a hybrid seminar entitled "Millets - How to unlock their potentials to address nutrition, agriculture and climate challenges” will be held on the occasion of the International Year of Millets 2023. During this event, distinguished researchers from national and international arenas will come together to talk about the latest advances in millet research and explore their vast potential applications. The main objective is to raise awareness about the role of millets in mitigating the effects of climate change and addressing nutritional concerns. We invite you to join us for this enlightening seminar.
The planetary boundary is a concept proposed by Dr. Rockstrom's group at the Stockholm Resilience Center in 2009. A recent article published on September 13 in Science Advances found that six of these nine planetary boundaries are in dangerous territory and calls for a systemic framework to address the anthropogenic impacts of human activities on the Earth.
Systemic change is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible in the fight against climate change and to achieve carbon sequestration where possible. If carbon dioxide sequestration is greater than emissions, it may be possible to achieve net negative emissions, where total emissions are negative. A paper published in PLOS CLIMATE in early September demonstrated the potential for the food system of the future to achieve net-negative emissions through multi-faceted "cradle-to-grave" and "land-to-sea" emission reduction strategies that incorporate emerging climate-smart agro-industrial technologies.
On September 8, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released a pivotal report assessing progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. The report was released ahead of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UNFCCC, which will take place in Dubai at the end of the year. The report unequivocally calls for stronger and faster action to combat climate change.
856. Green Asia Report Series No. 1 : Driving sustainable food systems transformation in the Asia-Monsoon region with science, technology, and innovation
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) launched the national initiative known as the Sustainable Food System Strategy "MIDORI" in May 2021. Based on this initiative, MAFF initiated the "Green Asia" project to promote the application of technologies that contribute to climate change mitigation and sustainable agriculture in the Asia-Monsoon region, which is currently being implemented by JIRCAS.
On September 8, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released its World Food Price Index.The August 2023 average was 121.4 points, down 2.6 points (2.1%) from the previous month, reversing last month's price increase and 38.3 points (24.0%) below the peak reached in March 2022.The decline was driven by lower prices for dairy, vegetable, and fruit products. This decline reflected decreases in the price indexes for dairy products, vegetable oil, meat, and cereals, while the price index for sugar increased moderately. Rice prices, on the other hand, showed an upward trend, increasing by 9.8% from the previous month.
On September 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its annual State of the Climate in 2022 report, announcing that many of the leading indicators of climate change, including greenhouse gas concentration, global sea level and ocean heat content, have reached record highs. Also on September 6, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that August 2023 will be the hottest August on record, prompting the UN Secretary-General to describe it as a "season of simmering" and warn of "climate breakdown".
The World Resources Institute (WRI) has published an analysis of data showing that forest fires have increased in recent years. In boreal and subarctic coniferous forests, a "fire-climate feedback loop" has emerged, while in tropical forests, increased human activity in forest areas has exacerbated vulnerability to forest fires. In temperate and subtropical regions, climate change and land-use change have contributed to the recent increase in fires. There is an urgent need to halt deforestation and forest degradation and to enhance forest resilience according to local conditions.
While the Northern Hemisphere experienced an unusual heat wave this summer, many parts of Asia also reported record high temperatures and extreme weather conditions. In August 2023, India, the world's most populous country, experienced its hottest and driest August on record, despite a monsoon rainy season and localized heavy rainfall. A recent study published in Nature uses deep learning to show how global warming is affecting the water cycle, causing extreme daily rainfall variability.