80. NASA Report & Climate Change Paper: Highest Recorded Temperature in the World and Antarctica
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that the rising temperature since the 19th century has accelerated further since 2000, with 2020 expected to be the hottest year in history. A paper published in Nature Climate Change (Clem et al.) also reported that over the past 30 years, Antarctica has experienced record warming more than three times the global average.
79. CGIAR COVID-19 Hub: Information dissemination hub to address food insecurity and regional economic risks caused by the pandemic
The CGIAR system, which promotes various researches around the world in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on food security and regional economy, has launched the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub on June 23, 2020 to provide a wide range of information that would help countries around the world to take appropriate measures.
78. JIRCAS Research Results Dashboard
JIRCAS conducts extensive research to improve technologies related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries in developing countries in the tropical and subtropical regions, in order to contribute in solving the global food and environmental problems and ensuring stable supply of agriculture, forestry and fishery products. We have summarized our recent research results and achievements in the ‘JIRCAS Research Dashboard’ which is now open to the public through our website. It is currently available in Japanese only.
77. World Agroforestry (ICRAF): Climate-smart Agriculture in Ethiopia and Beyond
The World Agroforestry, JIRCAS, WeForest, Mekelle University and Oregon State University published a book entitled “Climate-smart agriculture: enhancing resilient agricultural systems, landscapes, and livelihoods in Ethiopia and beyond” focusing on the importance of sustainable land use technologies and approaches to sustain ecosystem services and livelihoods, especially in areas facing soil degradation and desertification. In a review by Jim Hallett, vice-chair of the Global Partnership for Forest and Landscape Restoration, he mentioned that although it has a narrow focus on agricultural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly, Ethiopia, the papers present a comprehensive view of what a large proportion of humanity faces.
76. Science of The Total Environment: COVID-19: Lessons for the Climate Change Emergency
In June 2020, the journal Science of The Total Environment published an article entitled “COVID-19: Lessons for the climate change emergency. Given the commonalities between the COVID-19 crisis and the impending global climate emergency, the paper discussed how the present crisis could be a unique opportunity to provide lessons on how to survive the global climate crisis.
75. Nature Climate Change - Understanding and Managing Connected Extreme Events
In June 2020, a paper "Understanding and managing connected extreme events" was published in Nature Climate Change journal. Extreme climates and their impacts are intricately intertwined through the interaction of physical factors and social circumstances. Various human interventions can exacerbate the situation through feedback loops. The occurrence of interrelated events needs to be discussed through interdisciplinary collaboration, and the authors propose approaches such as climate information provision to facilitate decision making.
74. World Bank - Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All
In June 2020, the World Bank and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) released a report entitled “The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All”, as a companion to the World Development Report 2019 on the Changing Nature of Work. The report discussed how global trends particularly the adoption of digital technology may change the nature of work in Sub-Saharan Africa by creating new opportunities and challenges. The report concluded that realization of these opportunities depends on how government policy makers and businesses make choices and investments that will pave the way for the next generation of African workers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive.
73. FAO Special Feature – COVID-19: From a Global Health Crisis to a Global Food Crisis
The FAO publication “Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets” includes a special feature entitled “COVID-19: From a Global Health Crisis to a Global Food Crisis” contributed by Josef Schmidhuber of the Trade and Market Division, Economic and Social Development Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The article compared the “Great Lockdown” of 2020 with the “Great Recession” of 2009 focusing on international food markets, identifying differences and commonalities across countries and commodities, and providing an informative benchmark on how to return the market functioning to normality, even if the pandemic continues.
72. Global Food Security Article: Myths, Realities and Agenda on Agricultural Mechanization in Africa
The Global Food Security journal has published a paper examining propositions that resulted in state-led mechanization programs in Africa. The agricultural system in Africa is the least mechanized in the world, and there is a common view is that the introduction of mechanization has not achieved much progress and was even regarded as the “cause of unemployment”. On the other hand, in recent years agricultural mechanization has once again been included in the African development agenda. The authors found that most of the discourses on agricultural mechanization are “myths” with weak evidence, and research to support evidence-supported policies in considering sustainable and comprehensive agricultural mechanization.
71. Mammal Review: Emerging Zoonotic Diseases and Land-use Change
In June 2020, Mammal Review published a paper entitled “Emerging zoonotic diseases originating in mammals: a systematic review of effects of anthropogenic land-use change”, focusing on how various anthropogenic land-use changes (LUC) such as deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural intensification facilitate the transmission of zoonotic diseases from mammals to humans.
70. Nature Food Editorial: Public-private Roles Beyond Crop Yields
In June 2020, Nature Food published an editorial article (Public-private roles beyond crop yields) on the division of roles between the public and private sectors in agricultural research and development (R&D) for sustainable food production. Funding for breeding programs in the public sector in recent years has threatened public-private sector collaboration aimed at improving agricultural productivity to support a population of around 10 billion by 2050. The private sector tends to focus on applied crop technology from a business perspective of focusing on the market and profit, while the public sector tends to concentrate on research with low profit margins despite high social returns. Decreasing public funding in food and agriculture R&D can affect the sustainability of agricultural systems. The public and private sectors must work together and tackle the food system from a long-term and social perspective.
69. UNCTAD: COVID-19 Induced Contraction of International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment Due
In June 2020, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) showed that international trade and foreign direct investment fell sharply in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest data released by UNCTAD on June 11, merchandise trade fell by 5% in the first quarter of this year, and is expected to fall by 27% in the second quarter and a 20% annual decline in 2020. UNCTAD also released a report on foreign direct investment (FDI) on June 16th, forecasting a sharp drop to 40% in 2020. Developing countries will be hit hardest by the contraction of international trade and FDI.
68. UNFCCC: Need for More Ambitious Action to Achieve Kyoto Protocol Goals
On June 17, 2020, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released a new UN Climate Change assessment showing that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions of 18% compared to the 1990 goal levels under the Kyoto Protocol’s second phase can be fully achieved. However, this assessment applies only to 37 countries, and the continuous global increase in emissions indicates the need for more ambitious action. The year 2020 is critical because the Kyoto Protocol Parties will submit new targets or update efforts to reduce GHG emissions. If the current trend continues, the global average temperature could rise by more than 3 oC. Based on the Paris Agreement, the temperature rise should be kept as much as possible to 1.5 degrees C or below 2 degrees C.
67. UN Policy Brief: COVID-19 Impact on Food and Nutrition Security
On June 9, 2020, the United Nations announced a policy brief titled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security and Nutrition”. A new coronavirus pandemic is a health and humanitarian crisis that threatens food and nutrition security for people who were originally suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Without extensive coordination of COVID-19 measures and mitigation measures for the impending global economic downturn, the functioning of the food system could collapse, leading to a health and nutrition crisis. The food system is also one of the causes of climate change and the global environmental crisis, and it is time to think about transforming the food system into one that is more comprehensive, sustainable, and resilient.
66. Desertification and Drought Day
The United Nations has designated June 17th each year as “Desertification and Drought Day”. To meet the demand of about 10 billion people by 2050, people need to change their lifestyles and change their consciousness. One of the biggest causes of soil degradation is the expansion of farmland to feed a rapidly growing population. Also, trees are cut down for charcoal production, which leads to land degradation. In Africa, the growing demand for food and fuel due to urbanization is causing the loss of the rural ecosystem and land degradation, and there is no alternative but to seek sustainable management methods.
65. IMFBlog: Safeguarding Africa’s Food Security in the Age of COVID-19
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a blog with a warning that food security in the Sub-Saharan Africa is under threat in the age of COVID-19. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most climate-affected areas of the world with food security problems, and repeated natural disasters exacerbate the problem. As part of a fiscal stimulus package for pandemic response, Sub-Saharan Africa should prioritize on policies targeted at reducing food security risks. It was also suggested that these policies should focus on increasing production and strengthening households’ ability to withstand shocks.
64. FAO June 2020 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published the Food Price Monitoring and Analysis (FPMA) Bulletin monthly report on the latest price trends at the global, regional, and national levels and provided detailed information about the situation. According to the May 2020 preliminary report, international prices of wheat declined in May after the increase in the previous month, following a good supply outlook for the 2020/21 season. The maize export prices continued to decline due to large export availabilities and good supply prospects, with no sign of price increase for some time. On the other hand, rice prices recorded a fifth consecutive monthly increase.
63. The Impact of COVID-19 on Global Poverty
On June 8, 2020, the World Bank released the latest estimate of the world poverty rate, which incorporates the effects of COVID-19. As a result of examining the impact of a pandemic on the level of global poverty based on the growth forecast model of the June 2020 global economic outlook, it is predicted that COVID-19 will push of 71 to 100 million people into extreme poverty. The outlook for 2020 indicated that Sub-Saharan Africa would be hit hardest. The new forecast is particularly pessimistic for India, where the poverty is expected to grow in South Asia.
62. FAO: The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020
On June 8, 2020, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published the 2020 edition of The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA). The "Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries" was adopted in 1995, and the importance of responsible and effective use of fisheries and aquaculture resources as well as the need to implement operational policies based on science are now widely recognized and prioritized. Global fisheries production reached 179 million tons in 2018 with sale value estimated at US$ 401 billion, of which 82 million tons and US$ 250 billion were from aquaculture.
61. 2020 World Environment Day Biodiversity
The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is biodiversity. The United Nations website provides an overview on biodiversity as the basis for all life on land and underwater, and how changes and partial defects in biodiversity have a negative impact on the entire system. It is mentioned that it would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that human made on nature each year. As long as this trend continues, it could lead to the collapse of human society, including the collapse of the food and health system.