26–29 March. London, UK. An unprecedented mixture of scientists, social scientists, industry leaders and decision makers is what the Planet Under Pressure conference in London hoped to achieve — in the quest for solutions to Earth’s acute environmental problems.

The declaration says that three changes over the last decade make scientists’ warnings qualitatively different from before.  
First, a decade of research is leading to the consensus that we inhabit a new epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans are dominating planetary-scale processes.
Second, science has revealed that many planetary processes are interconnected, as are, increasingly, society and the economy. This interconnectedness can confer stability and accelerate innovation, says the declaration, but it also leaves us vulnerable to abrupt and rapid crises.
Third, social research has demonstrated that our current ways of governing global environmental change are not dealing effectively with problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Many researchers conclude that local, national and regional partnerships are also needed as an insurance policy against failures of governance at a global level.
The declaration supports some of the ideas that are being promoted for inclusion in the Rio+20 agreement, to be finalised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (20–22 June) in Brazil.
These include: the need to go beyond GDP (gross domestic product) by taking into account the value of natural capital when measuring progress; a framework for developing global sustainability goals; the creation of a UNSustainable Development Council to integrate social, economic and environmental policy at the global level; and the production of regular global sustainability analyses.
Get the Commission ReportsOne key outcome of the meeting was agreement on the need to push forwarda scheme to redirect global change science, so-called ‘Future Earth’, which will pull together an wide variety of disciplines to answer questions that societies need to tackle. (Source: Scidev Planet is in critical state, warns science declaration, 30 March 2012)

The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change

Get the Commission ReportsThe Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change has identified which policy changes and actions are needed to help the world achieve food security in the face of climate change.

The Reports

The Commission’s final report on Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change is now available, along with key background studies. ASummary for Policy Makers is available in English, French and Spanish.
Commissioners from Africa:

  • Professor Tekalign Mamo, Ethiopia
  • Professor Robert Scholes, South Africa
  • Professor Judi Wakhungu, Kenya


How to feed the world in 2050: actions in a changing climate

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