Solutions for Agri-food Sustainability in the Mediterranean

Event date: 5 March 2015 - 6 March 2015

Venue: Aula Franco Romani University of Siena
City: Siena
Country: Italy
Register: Solutions for Agri-food Sustainability in the Mediterranean

Agri-food sustainability in mediterranean

Description: Sustainable development is a holistic concept with four interconnected dimensions: economic development, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and good governance. Measures taken to improve one dimension often improve others. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressing these four dimensions and their concrete targets for the post-2015 era are expected to be agreed on by the global community in 2015. The priorities for these targets will vary because each country needs to choose its own sustainable development path, with realistic, achievable targets that connect to the overall global goals.

Agriculture and food will play a prominent role in the post-2015 agenda, for all countries in the Mediterranean and beyond. A sustainable development path for future food systems will require transformative changes in technologies, policies and behavior of all actors along the whole food chain. Many interventions are needed and not all can be done at once and in every country. Changing diets towards more healthy, less resource-intensive food is likely to be a slow, uneven process. On the supply side, a critical issue is to increase production on existing crop land by  closing yield and efficiency gaps and thus utilizing natural resources more widely, but all this needs to be done in the context of meeting consumer demands for safe, high-quality food. Wide access to state of the art knowledge and technology is a prerequisite for achieving a sustainable intensification of agriculture.

Many of the solutions exist or could, with wise investments, become available in the next 10-20 years. The Mediterranean region has a long history of food production and food culture in an environment that presents many socioeconomic and biophysical challenges. New technologies and new business models for farming and food processing will need to play a major role in the region’s future development. This conference will explore possible pathways and solutions for the region to become a showcase for sustainable agro-food culture, with responsible business development as a key driver for rural development and sustainable use of natural resources for high-quality food production.

The conference will provide a platform for debate and exchange of information for network partners, policymakers, scholars and stakeholders who have an interest in agro-food sustainability in the Mediterranean region. The outcome of the conference will be an advancement in the definition of a Mediterranean perspective on agro-food sustainability within the post-2015 era, as proposed by SDSN. Outputs of the Conference will include a position paper summarizing a discussion of specific challenges facing Mediterranean societies, an exchange of views on relevant regional indicators and targets for sustainable agriculture, as well as the adoption of possible solutions.