Plataforma Global de las Escuelas de Campo de Agricultores

Organic matter management (Part 2) Supporting transformative change and transitions towards sustainable agriculture and food systems

18/11/2020 18/11/2020

3:30 – 4:30 PM (Rome Time - CET)

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Interpretation in Spanish and French will be available.


The world’s agriculture and food systems are not presently delivering desirable outcomes on food security and nutrition. In 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted, with SDG2 committing to ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture’ by 2030. The SDGs recognized, well beyond previous global goals, the strong interconnectivity among development goals. Successful transitions towards sustainable agriculture and food systems would likely benefit from holistic and people-centred approaches that embrace a long-term vision, such as agroecology, which is increasingly acknowledged for its potential to bring about transformative changes required to meet the SDGs. The webinar series will focus on three complementary perspectives of organic matter management optimization as key components of system redesign efforts supporting transformative change and transition towards sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Part 2 - Managing Organic Resources in a Circular Economy: Challenges, Opportunities, and Known Unknowns: The stable functioning of Earth systems is a prerequisite for a thriving global society and for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, human activity has already pushed several aspects of the Earth system outside of the safe operating space. Three elements lie at the nexus of these tipping points and food security—carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Each of these elements plays a critical role in sustainable natural and human systems, and has either crossed already or is in danger of crossing safe thresholds. Sustainable management of these elements—and, thus, the organic resources in which they are concentrated—is critical. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus are present in the world’s biomass wastes and residues in large enough quantities for improved resource-use efficiency to be transformational. These elements each play different yet interconnected roles in food security and climate. However, being intertwined in organic resources demands that only a joint view of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus management will provide the synergies needed to address both food security and climate change. Effective management of this massive and diverse resource therefore demands an information infrastructure that can support a systems view encompassing soil health, climate change, bioenergy, and nutrient-use efficiency among others. This presentation will look at what is known about global biomass flows, how we can support the transition to a sustainable circular food system using information systems, and at some of the trade-offs and synergies that characterize the complex decision processes about managing organic resources for a sustainable future. 



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Descrizione generata automaticamenteDominic Woolf is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Cornell University. He has a BSc in Applied Physics from University College London, an MSc in Energy Resources Management from London University, and a PhD in Physical Geography from Swansea University. His research aims to address the question of how best to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide through an optimized portfolio of methods that make the best use of available natural resources in terrestrial agro-ecosystems. There are important environmental, social and economic trade-offs in using land to provide climate-change mitigation in addition to all the other demands we require of it, such as habitat, food, fiber, and ecosystem services. Dr. Woolf’s research uses quantitative modeling to provide improved understanding of processes and impacts at both the regional and global scales. These analyses are then applied to inform policy decisions about the most appropriate choices of technology, land use and land management, taking into account economic and environmental trade-offs and synergies, particularly between food security and climate-change mitigation. The main foci of his research in recent years have included soil carbon sequestration; restoration of degraded land; climate-smart agriculture; biochar; and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

For more information please contact: [email protected]