Information Analysis

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420. International Collaboration for Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in the Asia Monsoon Region

The Asia monsoon region covers the economies of East, Southeast and Southern Asia, and is estimated to account for more than 50% of the world's population. Given the importance of the Asian monsoon region to the global economy, it is important for Japan and the international community to build on the successes of sustainable food system transformation in this region. At the JIRCAS International Symposium to be held online tomorrow, November 17 (Wednesday), we will exchange views on cooperative mechanisms and platforms to achieve sustainable development through science, technology and innovation (STI), that takes into account the diversity of the Asian monsoon region and leaves no one behind. Please watch and join us!
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419. Fruits and Vegetables – Research and Action Opportunities for Human and Planetary Health – Symposium to be held online on December 6

This year is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables as designated by the United Nations. In the recent initiatives on food systems transformation, fruits and vegetables are important food groups to focus on due to their nutritional and health benefits and relatively low environmental impact. JIRCAS, in collaboration with the FAO Liaison Office in Japan, will hold an online  symposium "Fruits and Vegetables – Research and Action Opportunities for Human and Planetary Health " on December 6 (Mon), 2021 as an official side event of the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit (N4G).
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418. Ten New Insights in Climate Science 2021

On November 4, 2021, the report "10 New Insights in Climate Science 2021", which provides the key in determining the path to international cooperation on the climate crisis, was published. Among the new insights, the "rapid growth in methane and nitrous oxide emissions" is attributed to the agriculture and food sectors, and it is important to apply innovations in these sectors to reduce these greenhouse gases. At the JIRCAS International Symposium on November 17, international cooperation to achieve both food security and greenhouse gas reduction through innovation in the Asian monsoon region will be discussed.
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417. Impacts of COVID-19 on Food Security

Recently, the daily COVID-19 infections in Japan seems to have settled down compared to the past, and on November 7, there were no deaths for the first time in 15 months. Over the past two years, various changes have been seen not only in Japan but also around the world due to the pandemic. This Pick up introduces two review papers that comprehensively examine the impacts of the pandemic on food security.
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416. Announcement of Recipients of the 2021 (15th) Japan International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers (Japan Award)

Since 2007, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and JIRCAS have been presenting the Japan Award to young agricultural researchers from overseas who have made outstanding achievements or research results that will lead to future technological innovations, with the aim of further motivating young researchers to contribute to research and development on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and related industries in developing regions. The recipients of the Japan Award for this year were announced on October 29, 2021. Considering the current situation under the COVID-19, this year’s awarding ceremony will be filmed in advance and broadcasted on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
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415. Forest Ice Cream “Cherimoya”

The 15th Open House of the JIRCAS Tropical Agriculture Research Front (TARF) began on Monday, November 8. Located on Ishigaki Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, the TARF conducts research on the conservation and evaluation of genetic resources, development of breeding materials, and breeding of tropical crops in a tropical rainforest climate, one of the few subtropical regions in Japan. The year 2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, which was established by the United Nations to promote global awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables. This is everyone’s chance to get interested in tropical fruit trees.
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414. JIRCAS International Symposium 2021 to be Held Online ― Towards Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in the Asia Monsoon Region―

As we have already reported several times in this Pick Up, the JIRCAS International Symposium 2021 will be held online on November 17 (Wed), with the theme “The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in the Asia Monsoon Region: A Platform for International Collaboration”. Please register for the symposium and join us.
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413. Online Streaming of the 15th TARF Open House Starts on Monday

JIRCAS is the only national agricultural research institute with a tropical and island research base that enables empirical research in the cultivation environment of tropical crops, and has a major mission to contribute to agriculture in Japan and overseas. As a part of public relations activities for FY2021, the Tropical Agriculture Research Front (TARF) will hold the 15th Open House for one week from Monday, November 8.
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412. Status and Trends of Climate Change Adaptation in Africa

On October 26, the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) released a report on the status and trends of climate change adaptation in Africa. One in five people in Africa faced hunger in 2020, twice as many as in other regions. Climate change is expected to cause major changes in areas suitable for agriculture, and agricultural systems, food production and import dependency could change beyond imagination. The report states that the benefits of adaptation measures over the next 20 years will greatly outweigh their investment costs by a factor of five or more.

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411. Climate Change Awareness

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is currently being held in Glasgow, UK. The recent increase in awareness of climate change has led to the current global decarbonization initiative. However, in order to actually lead to policy and individual action, it is necessary to provide information to the wider community about proposals based on scientific insights.

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410. The 15th TARF Open House ―Online Event from November 8 (Mon) to 14 (Sun), 2021―

The JIRCAS Tropical Agriculture Research Front (TARF) will hold the 15th Open House from November 8 (Mon) to 14 (Sun), 2021, as part of its public relations activities for this fiscal year and to introduce its research activities to the general public. For the first time, we will be holding this event online, and we have organized various exhibitions and interactive activities that everyone from children to adults and from anywhere in the world can enjoy.

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409. Towards Sustainable Food Systems in the Asian Monsoon Region

JIRCAS will hold an international symposium on the realization of a sustainable food system in the Asian monsoon region on November 17, 2021. Today's Pickup summarizes the characteristics of the Asian monsoon region and the state of agriculture in the region.
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408. Net Zero Concept

The term "net zero" has become a hot topic in the international debate on climate change. Just at the end of October last year, the Japanese government announced its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Net-zero is understood to mean that for every ton of carbon emitted from the use of fossil fuels, one ton of carbon from the atmosphere will be absorbed and fixed through afforestation. However, it is impossible to keep converting rocks into trees forever, and we need to reduce the use of fossil fuels while preserving nature, including the biosphere.
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407. Record High Greenhouse Gas Concentration and Temperature in Asia in 2020

On October 25, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2020. Then on October 26, it released the "State of the Climate in Asia 2020", reporting that Asia has its warmest year on on record in 2020. Improving the food and nutrition security situation in Asia will require innovations that are resilient to extreme weather risks and mitigate climate change. In particular, innovations must be adapted to local conditions to enable reductions in greenhouse gases from agricultural sources while maintaining food productivity.
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406. The Concept of Food Sovereignty

Food sovereignty is often contrasted with food security. As the definitions of the two have changed, they have become non-conflicting concepts, but the difference is that food security is an explanatory concept and tool for understanding hunger and malnutrition, while food sovereignty involves political strategies.

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405. Limiting Global Temperature Rise to 1.5°C

The Paris Agreement, and also COP26, which will be held from October 31, discusses limiting the increase in average temperature to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels and within 1.5°C as much as possible. According to the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report published in 2018, in a 1.5°C warming world, climate-related risks would be higher than today, but lower than in a 2°C-warming world, allowing more time to develop adaptation measures. A rapid and widespread system transition in energy, land use, cities, infrastructure, and industry will be required to avoid exceeding 1.5°C.
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404. JIRCAS International Symposium 2021 ― Program and Start of Registration

Registration is now open for the JIRCAS International Symposium 2021 to be held on November 17, 2021. The theme of this year's symposium is “The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in the Asia Monsoon Region: A Platform for International Collaboration” with the aim of contributing to the ‘Strategy for Sustainable Food Systems, MeaDRI’ and to provide a forum for discussion with various stakeholders from research institutes, universities as well the general public towards the realization of sustainable food systems.
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403. Impacts of Climate Change in Africa

On October 19, 2021, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the State of the Climate in Africa 2020 report. Weather and climate change in Africa is increasing, causing disturbances in economic, ecological and social systems. One of the most symbolic effects of climate change is the melting of glaciers, which at the current rate could disappear by the 2040s. It is important for Africa to aim for a sustainable and green recovery from the effective pandemic of climate change.
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402. Contribution of Fruits and Vegetables to Improved Nutrition and Challenges in the Food System

This year is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables as designated by the United Nations. According to a study on the state of vegetable and fruit consumption in low- and middle-income countries conducted by researchers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), millions of people in Asia and Africa are suffering not from food insecurity, but from a lack of healthy food, mainly because vegetables and fruits, though nutritious, are expensive and not readily available. In addition, agricultural and development policies have focused on cereals and vegetables such as onions and tomatoes, and not much attention has been paid to healthier leafy vegetables.
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401. Elucidating the Unique Reproductive Behavior of Desert Locust Leads to Reduction in Use of Pesticides

Desert locusts are found in semi-arid regions from West Africa to India, where they often cause serious agricultural damage. JIRCAS is conducting research to develop efficient control technologies based on the ecology of desert locust. In this article, we introduce our research on the reproductive behavior of the desert locusts, which can lead to environment-friendly pest control that does not require the use of pesticides more than necessary.