In November 2020, the United Nations reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on global food security and that hunger was rising again.
178. Impact of national institutions and policies on the trade-off between crop yields and nitrogen pollution
A paper published in Nature Food in November 2020 provided an analysis of the influence of national institutions and policies on farmers' decision-making regarding crop cultivation and technology adoption to address the trade-off between improving yields with nitrogen fertilizers and minimizing environmental impact, and made recommendations on how national governments can reduce global nitrogen pollution without having to sacrifice much agricultural production.
Only 10 years are left to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, but the progress achieved so far in poverty reduction may be reversed due to the coronavirus pandemic. On November 16, 2020, the World Bank published the 2020 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals to expand understanding of each of 17 goals using interactive storytelling and innovative data visualizations.
In November 2020, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the October 2020 global land and ocean surface temperature was the fourth highest for October since global records began in 1880, and the year 2020 is expected to rank among the three warmest years on record.
In November 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published the “Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets”. The report includes a special feature entitled “Recent trends in food import bills and export earnings: the COVID-19 challenge” by FAO's Dr. Josef Schmidhuber who gave a keynote lecture on the impact of COVID-19 on the global food system at the JIRCAS 50th Anniversary Symposium held on November 10, 2020.
On November 10, 2020, the JIRCAS 50th Anniversary International Symposium 2020 was held online, featuring the theme, "The role of international collaboration in agricultural research to address challenges in the post-COVID-19 global food system".
Understanding how the habitats of global species have changed in the past and how they will be affected by future climate change and land-use change scenarios due to agriculture and urbanization is necessary in developing effective conservation strategies. A paper published in Nature Communication shows that many species have lost their natural habitat areas due to long-term increase of land-use in tropical biodiversity hotspots.
The JIRCAS International Symposium 2020, commemorating its 50th anniversary was successfully held on November 10th (Tuesday) in a webinar format. In addition to congratulatory messages from JIRCAS longtime partners and counterparts, there were three keynote speeches and a panel discussion session on the modus-operandi of international cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era.
JIRCAS holds the International Symposium 2020 on "The role of international collaboration in agricultural research to address the challenges in the post-COVID-19 global food system” in a webinar format today, November 10th (Tue) from 15:00 to 17:30 Japan time.
To prevent climate change, the international community needs to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A paper published in Science found that even if greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels were significantly reduced, it would be impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and even more difficult to achieve the 2°C target, without reducing emissions from other sources including those coming from agriculture. The paper also emphasized the need for major changes in how food is produced in order to meet the central goals of the Paris Agreement.
A report of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics stated that pandemics have their origins in diverse microbes carried by animal reservoirs, but their emergence is entirely driven by human activities. The report also pointed out that the root cause of a pandemic is the same as the global environmental changes that cause biodiversity loss and climate change, such as land-use change, agricultural expansion and intensification, and wildlife trade and consumption.
On November 2, 2020, an article entitled "The Global Divide in Data-driven Farming" was published in Nature Sustainability. The article asserted that big data and mobile technology can bring about global agricultural transformation that benefits small-scale farmers. However, there are still challenges in accessing the internet among smallholders. The authors recommended that governments, developers and the private sector strive to create an environment that makes data-driven agriculture available to all farmers in the world.
It's been almost a year since the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was first confirmed in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. Since then, the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has rapidly spread around the world due to movement of people and economic activities. The impact of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis has swept the globe, particularly impacting vulnerable societies with limited access to the social insurance system, rapidly widening poverty and inequality, and the likelihood of a hunger pandemic has also become a serious concern. With the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns about global food security have increased, and the global food system has come to the fore as a channel of transmission. In discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the food system, distribution, consumption and production are of particular interest. On November 10, 2020, JIRCAS will hold a symposium on the theme of COVID-19 and the global food system to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its founding. The registration deadline is on November 4th until 5:00 PM. Please register and join us.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) published the "Cost of a Plate of Food 2020" report this month. The report, formerly known as "Counting the beans," has been renamed and is now in its third edition.
It has been 50 years since the Tropical Agriculture Research Center (TARC), the predecessor of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), was established in 1970. At this turning point, we have published a commemorative magazine of our 50th foundation anniversary in order to summarize the history of organizational changes and activities so far as we aim to further leap toward a new era.
On October 26, 2020, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the "State of the Climate in Africa 2019", a multi-agency report that highlights the current and future state of the climate in Africa. According to the report, increasing temperatures and sea levels, changes in precipitation patterns, and more extreme weather are threatening human health, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa.
163. JIRCAS 50th Anniversary International Symposium 2020 Program ― Introduction of Speakers and Panelists
On November 10, 2020 (Tue), JIRCAS will hold an international symposium on “The role of international collaboration in agricultural research to address challenges in the post-COVID-19 global food system” to commemorate its 50th founding anniversary. We are pleased to announce the program with a brief introduction of the speakers and panelists.
On September 28, the World Bank published a report “Addressing Food Loss and Waste: A Global Problem with Local Solutions." The report states that reduction in food loss and waste may contribute in reducing the environmental impact of food systems while meeting the nutritional needs of a growing population, which is expected to increase by 3 billion within the next 30 years.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Research (CCAFS), an international network of agricultural research institutes, has published "Perspective aricle: Actions to reconfigure food systems" in the journal Global Food Security. According to the article, reconfiguration of the food systems must include rerouting trajectories and appropriate intervention targeting must take into account the diversity of farmers and agricultural systems.
The CGIAR, an international research network in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, is working closely with the national agricultural research systems in low- and middle-income countries, and plays a critical role in developing agricultural technologies that would help avoid a global food crisis. According to an estimate by researchers from American universities, CGIAR research investments over the last 50 years have yielded about 10-fold returns, including contributions to improving the yield of staple food crops.