October 16 was World Food Day which provided an opportunity to remind us that the way we produce, consume and waste food is taking a heavy toll on our planet. To mark our 400th blog, today’s Pick Up briefly features Prof. Ruth DeFries’ argument on the relation between the earth systems, food systems and innovation.
399. Development of New Production Technology for Larval Shrimp～Balancing Basic and Applied Research～
There are many species of shrimp, but the most widely farmed shrimp in the world is the whiteleg shrimp of the family Penaeidae. The current production methods that support the huge shrimp farming industry are not very efficient and place a heavy burden on the parent shrimp. Based on biological findings, JIRCAS is promoting research to develop a new maturation promotion technology that is friendly to shrimp and efficient.
397. International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2021: International Cooperation for Developing Countries
The United Nations has designated October 13th as "International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction" to promote global risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Disasters have a significant impact on food and nutrition security through their impact on agriculture. This year’s theme is “International cooperation for developing countries to reduce their disaster risk and disaster losses”.
394. Practical application of global research results and establishment of a model platform for promoting private-sector research collaboration and creating new business ventures (Research applications/ventures)
Floods and droughts due to climate change and changes in rainfall patterns at the global and regional levels due to rising temperatures are having a major impact on food security and human well-being through changes in the agricultural season. On October 5, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its white paper, 2021 State of Climate Services: Water, stressing the urgent need for policy development and investment in sustainable development goals, climate change adaptation, and disaster crisis mitigation.
Today, October 6th is International Cooperation Day, which has been established in 1987 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Since its establishment as the Tropical Agriculture Research Center (TARC) in 1970, JIRCAS has been a leader in international joint research on agriculture, forestry, and fisheries in tropical and subtropical regions and other developing regions for half a century, and currently conducts joint research with 66 research institutions in 29 countries. In order to promote joint research with research institutes in these regions, we also invite administrators and researchers from joint research partners to Japan.
The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in Glasgow, UK from October 31 to November 12, 2021. This conference is seen as the last chance for the international community to take control of the climate emergency. Climate change action requires a global response, and while many countries are setting ambitious goals for COP26, the fact is that many developing countries need support for capacity.
Sugarcane white leaf disease is causing serious damage to sugarcane production in various parts of Asia, especially in Thailand, the world's second largest exporter of sugar. This article introduces some of the research JIRCAS has conducted in collaboration with local research institutes and other organizations on the development of methods to control sugarcane white leaf disease, as well as some aspects of research life in the field.
In September 2021, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a new report on the relationship between climate change and sustainable development goals (Climate Development and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections). Of the 17 SDGs, the one affected by all seven indicators is SDG 2, "Zero hunger," and requires the use of scientific and technological innovations to address climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
Today, September 29th, is the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste as designated by the United Nations. Globally, food loss and waste account for 38% of the total energy used in the global food system, which could feed 2 billion people, and 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to food loss and waste. Goal 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce food loss and waste, and action to reduce food loss and waste cannot wait.
The United Nations Food Systems Summit, an international discussion on food system transformation, was held on September 23, 2021. This summit, positioned as the “People's Summit”, is the first time that a UN summit has been held so openly. The Chair's Summary Statement of Aactions listed five key areas on how to make global progress on the SDGs and ensure basic human rights, namely, (1) Nourish all people, (2) Boost nature-based solutions, (3) Advance equitable livelihoods, decent work and empowered communities, (4) Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses, and (5) Support means of implementation.
In September 2021, the World Bank released a report on population movements caused by climate change. The report predicts that by 2050, there could be 2.16 million population movements caused by climate change in six regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, South Asia, North Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Basically, people will move from areas with low water access and crop productivity, and areas susceptible to sea level rise, to cities and areas suitable for agriculture. The report states that up to 80% of internal migration due to climate change can be avoided through global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and through environmentally friendly, inclusive and resilient development.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) formulated the "Green Food System Strategy" in May 2021, emphasizing the importance of innovations that can reduce environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions without affecting food productivity. While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all innovation, sharing knowledge on promoting social implementation among regions that share similar environmental and social conditions is expected to ensure food and nutrition security and accelerate climate change response. For Japan, which is located in the Asian monsoon region, it is extremely important to promote innovation in the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors through networking with agricultural research and development institutions active in the region. JIRCAS will hold an international symposium online on November 17 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”.
On September 16, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other UN agencies released "United in Science 2021," a compilation of the latest climate science information, calling for all nations to commit to climate change action. The following day, on September 17, the UN released a report summarizing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to be submitted to the UN by each of the 191 member states of the Paris Agreement, welcoming the countries that had set ambitious targets but calling for further reduction targets.