Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS

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    139. FAO: The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2020

    On September 23, 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched the latest edition of The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO 2020) report with the underlying theme of “Agricultural markets and sustainable development: Global value chains, smallholder farmers and digital innovations”.
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    138. World Meteorological Organization: Second Lowest Arctic Sea Minimum

    The Arctic sea ice, which is an important climate change indicator, has reached its annual minimum extent after the summer melt season this year. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that this year the Arctic sea ice has shrunk to the second lowest extent in history. It is believed that the heat caused the sea ice to melt over a wide area from above and below due to the extremely high air and water temperatures.
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    137. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers Report

    On September 15, 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released the 2020 Goalkeepers Report with an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on progress being made around the globe on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the introduction, Bill and Melinda Gates noted that the spillover effect has become devastating and the vaccination rate has been set back about 25 years in about 25 weeks. CEO Mark Suzman calls for the world to unite more than ever to mark COVID-19 in history and rekindle progress towards the SDGs.
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    136. IMF: Investing in a Green Recovery

    In the Fall 2020 issue of Finance & Development magazine of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Professor Ulrich Volz contributed an article “Investing in a Green Recovery”, emphasizing the importance of enabling sustainable investment in preparing to a looming climate crisis as well as the return of the pandemic in the future.
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    135. Africa’s Food Future at the Intersection of Agriculture and Conservation

    On September 10, 2020, the article “Re-Imagining Africa’s Food Future at the Intersection of Agriculture and Conservation” was published on State of the Planet blog of the Earth Institute of Columbia University. The report emphasized the need to find a solution that balances improved food production, reduced climate footprint and conservation of natural capital to achieve resilience and sustainability.
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    134. Progress Report on Food and Agriculture-related SDG Indicators 2020

    The food and agriculture-related SDG targets under the jurisdiction of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are Goal 2 (zero hunger), Goal 5 (gender equality ), Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), Goal 12 (responsible consumption and production), Goal 14 (life below water), and Goal 15 (life on land). The second report on the indicators for the 6 SDGs under FAO custodianship “Tracking progress on food and agriculture-related SDG indicators 2020” was published on September 15, 2020.
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    133. Renewable Energy Plays a Central Role in Eliminating CO2 Emissions in Industry and Transport

    On September 9, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a summary of the new upcoming report “Reaching Zero with Renewables”. It is expected that seven industry and transport sectors (steel, chemicals, cement, aluminum, aviation, shipping, road freight transport) will account for 38% of total CO2 emissions in 2050 unless renewable energy solutions become available. Renewable energy plays a central role in reducing CO2 emissions from these so called hard-to-decarbonise sectors in order to limit global temperature rise at 1.5-degree target.
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    132. Living Planet Report 2020: Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss

    The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, has published “Living Planet Index 2020: Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss”. The report which uses the Living Planet Index (LPI), a measure of the state of the world’s biodiversity, showed that the population of vertebrate species has decreased by as much as 68% between 1970 and 2016. In order to recover from this decline in biodiversity, the report is proposing efforts that combine measures for environmental conservation with measures for sustainable production and consumption.
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    131. The Future(s) of Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems: An Analysis of High-level Policy Documents

    The paper "The Future(s) of Digital Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems: Analysis of High-Level Policy Documents" was published in the journal Ecosystem Services. Many researchers and policy makers look forward to the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in the current food production through data-based decision making. However, the fact remains that there is no clear vision yet on what the future of digital agriculture will look like, and the article pointed out the need to include ecosystem researchers to contribute to the evaluation of the environmental impacts of digital agriculture.
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    130. Science Advances – A “Global Safety Net” to Reverse Biodiversity Loss and Stabilize Earth’s Climate

    On September 4, 2020, a research article entitled - A “Global Safety Net” to Reverse Biodiversity Loss and Stabilize Earth’s Climate - was published in Science Advances. Conserving areas indicated on global safety nets can be expected to prevent further biodiversity loss and reduce the potential for zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19 from emerging in the future.
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    129. United Nations: United in Science 2020

    On September 9, 2020, a group of key global partner organizations of the United Nations led by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) jointly announced “United in Science 2020”, a multi-organization high-level compilation of the latest climate science information. With the spread of COVID-19, there is no sign that the progress of climate change has stopped, and the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to increase.
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    128. Reset SDGs for a Pandemic World – Two-thirds of SDGs may not be achieved

    On July 9, 2020, a commentary article entitled "Reset Sustainable Development Goals for the Pandemic World" by Robin Naidoo and Brendan Fisher was published in the international journal Nature. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, two-thirds of the 169 targets under SDGs are unlikely to be met by 2030, more so, 10% of the SDG targets could worsen the impact of future pandemics.
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    127. Biofortification: Benefiting More Than 42 Million People in 63 Countries

    One of the solutions to combat the deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals is biofortification. Biofortification, unlike supplement intake and nutrient addition to foods, is an effort to promote intake of micronutrients by making crops with a high content of micronutrients that tend to be deficient in the area. HarvestPlus, one of the pioneers of biofortification, released a updated global map of biofortified staple crops showing that 63 countries have released or tested biofortified varieties as of the end of 2019.
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    126. Joseph Stiglitz—Conquering the Great Divide

    In the fall 2020 issue of Finance & Development magazine of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Professor and 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, Joseph Stiglitz shared his views on COVID-19 pandemic in an article entitled “Conquering the Great Divide”.
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    125. Visual Capitalist: 3D Mapping the Largest Population Density Centers

    On August 21, 2020, Visual Capitalist, an online publisher on topics such as markets, technology, energy and the global economy, introduced 3D mapping of the largest population density centers. The maps visualize population density in squares, with the height of each bar representing the number of people living in that specific square.
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    124: From Farm to Fork: How Food Systems can Power Climate Action

    On September 1, 2020, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), non-profit organizations EAT and Climate Focus published a report “Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions for Food Systems” providing measures that each country should adopt so as not to miss opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In developed countries such as the G20, more ambitious targets should be set in the food consumption and disposal sector, whereas in developing countries with food security challenges, it is necessary to support the establishment of sustainable and robust food systems.
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    123. Lancet Planet Health: COVID-19 and the future of food systems at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

    In the August 2020 issue, the Lancet Planet Health published an article entitled " COVID-19 and the future of food systems at the UNFCCC”. The two crises, the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, both impact the most vulnerable societies, highlighting the need for a global food systems transformation.
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    122. CIFOR – Meeting the Food Security Challenge for 9 Billion People in 2050: What Impact on Forests?

    Researchers from the International Center for Forestry Research (CIFOR) researchers published a paper in Global Environmental Change entitled “Meeting the Food Security Challenge for 9 Billion People in 2050: What Impact on Forests?”. This study reviewed the global agricultural, forestry and land use models, and summarized the impact of increasing food demand with increasing population on forest area.
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    121. IMFBlog — COVID-19: Without Help, Low-Income Developing Countries Risk a Lost Decade

    On August 27, 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Blog posted an article entitled,“COVID-19: Without Help, Low-Income Developing Countries Risk a Lost Decade”. The support from the international community is key to prevent the pandemic from “creating a COVID generation who loses out on schooling and whose opportunities are permanently damaged”.
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    120. The Conversation: Africa Has a Growing Food Security Problem – Why it can’t be fixed without proper data

    On August 27, 2020, researchers at the Centre for Competition Regulation and Economic Development of the University of Johannesburg published an article entitled “Africa has a growing food security problem: why it can’t be fixed without proper data” in the online forum, The Conversation. As the pandemic continues to spread, the article emphasized the need for access to accurate and timely information about market markets, food production and prices in establishing a resilient and integrated regional agricultural system over the medium to long term.