A grand challenge facing society in the coming decades is to feed the growing human population in a sustainable and healthy manner. This challenge is central to many of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs), including the zero hunger goal but also those for human health, water, terrestrial biodiversity and sustainable production and consumption.
This problem is made more complex by an increasingly globalised food system and its interactions with a changing climate. Agri-food system actors - including policy makers, corporations, farmers, and consumers - must meet this challenge while considering potentially conflicting priorities, such as environmental sustainability (e.g., minimising disturbance to ecosystems via greenhouse gas emissions and the use of water, land, fertilisers and other inputs), economic viability (e.g., revenues for food producers and guaranteed access for consumers), nutritional balance and quality (e.g., addressing overconsumption and undernourishment), and resilience to climate change.
This growing complexity of agri-food systems, which can involve global supply chains and difficult environmental and societal tradeoffs, needs to be better understood.
The type of product (e.g. plant or meat based, fresh or processed), as well as the location and method of production, can play an important role in improving the nutritional quality and environmental sustainability of global food production, to enable healthy and sustainable diets. Quantifying and assessing these multiple outcomes while accounting for the linkages, interconnections, and scales of local and global supply chains will be essential for informing decisions aimed at developing sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.
This session welcomes submissions that quantify and assess a range of outcomes from agri-food systems across multiple spatial and temporal scales, and the trade-offs or synergies between them. The session will include studies providing improved methods for quantifying multiple environmental, economic or social dimensions, studies that incorporate the role of food trade into solution-development, and studies that seek to achieve multiple sustainability goals together.
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