69 Agricultural Transformation Pathways Towards the SDGs

Presenting existing initiatives and sharing of lessons learned in striving for SDG2 and related goals

Organizers: France, Uruguay, IDDRI and Rothamsted Research, Millennium Institute

Abstract

In 2015, world leaders agreed on ambitious goals to achieve sustainable development under a changing climate. With this came the recognition that considerable shifts away from “business as usual” trajectories might be required to implement these ambitious goals. Agriculture has the potential to become a role model for such change, e.g. by providing multiple-wins in terms of climate change adaptation, mitigation, food security and nutrition. To harness such synergies, there is need to learn about the potential of transformative changes in complex and interlinked agricultural food systems. Innovative ideas and promising pilot projects will be key to sustain the momentum created by the new development agenda, particularly in the field of agriculture and food systems in a changing climate. At this side event, two promising initiatives on transformative approaches – the Changing Course in Global Agriculture project and the Agricultural Transformation Pathways Initiative – will be presented. They will showcase examples on how transformative pathways towards 2030 can be initiated and sustained. Based on these examples, the participants will discuss the role and applicability of agricultural transformation pathways for SDGs implementation in food security and nutrition and how the CFS could address this approach in its deliberations.

Key speakers

Sylvie Lemmet, director of European and International Affairs at the Ministry of Environment of France

Sébastien Treyer, director of programs at IDDRI

Hans Herren, president of Biovision and the Millenium Institute

José Bervejillo, Ministry of Agriculture of Uruguay

Alex Mwaniki, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Kenya

Main themes/issues discussed

The agenda 2030 calls for a determined shift from business as usual. Agriculture has the potential to become a role model for such, by providing multiple-wins in terms of climate change adaptation, mitigation, food security and nutrition. To harness these synergies and sustain the momentum for the SDGs implementation, innovative ideas and promising pilot projects can lead the way.

Right after the plenary session of the CFS43 "'From Agreement to Action Towards Implementing the 2030 Agenda", France, Uruguay, Iddri and Biovision organized a side event on "Agricultural Transformation Pathways towards the SDGs", where two promising initiatives on transformative approaches were presented: the Agricultural Transformation Pathways Initiative and the Changing Course in Global Agriculture Project.

Summary of key points

In her keynote speech Sylvie Lemmet, director of European and International Affairs at the Ministry of Environment of France, stressed the importance of a policy planning approach that addresses the interlinked implications from measures on the different SDGs. In particular the challenges posed by climate change require a long-term and integrated assessment. Reflecting on France’s priority on agro-ecology, she stressed the need to scale-up and disseminate sustainable agricultural approaches, anticipating the evolution of agricultural model.  

Sébastien Treyer, director of programs at IDDRI, introduced the ATP initiative and explained how a participatory backcasting approach is applied. José Bervejillo, from the Ministry of Agriculture of Uruguay, then provided an insight to the initiative that was conducted in the pilot beef production sector in Uruguay. Hans Herren, president of Biovision and the Millenium Institute, introduced the approach of the CCGA project that is based on four pillars: cross-sectorality, foresight studies, participation and empowerment. Finally Alex Mwaniki, from the Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya, presented the way the project is currently implemented in Kenya and the first results from a scenario run on fertilizer subsidies. Please find attached the slides for the presentations and background reports on these two projects.

Key outcomes/take away messages

Overall, the side-event emphasized the need for mid- to long-term pathways with prioritized objectives. These need to be tailored to the context of countries and informed by sound science and participatory approaches. Questions during the debate focused on the technical details of the projects such as the resulting recommendations for agricultural practices, farm typologies, environmental and social issues. Finally the panel emphasized the need for the CFS and other international platforms to support the sharing of knowledge and good practice in policy planning towards the SDGs.