Food security/Climate change at ESOF Dublin 2012
The European Joint Programming Initiative FACCE hosted “The Great Debate – on the Battle to Feed a Changing Planet” in Dublin.
Dr Marion Guillou (INRA), Chair of the Governing Board of the “Joint programming initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change” (FACCE – JPI) was invited to speak on Food Security vs Climate Change in a panel including Nobel Prize laureate Prof Rajendra K. Pachauri and other world renowned scientists on the occasion of a large and interactive debate on Food Security and Climate Change at ESOF Dublin 2012.
Initiated by France (INRA) and the UK (BBSRC), FACCE-JPI brings together 21 EU or associated countries to respond to the major societal and interconnected challenges of sustainable agriculture meeting the impacts of growing world food demand under climate change in European Research. Joint Programming Initiatives follow a concept introduced by the European Commission under the French presidency in July 2008 aiming to build an integrated European Research Area.
Through intergovernmental collaboration and on a purely voluntary basis, member countries work to align their national research agendas and to achieve joint programming in order to increase the value of national research, avoid gaps and overlaps, and provide critical mass.
At a time when global demand for food is expected to increase by 50% by 2030 and to double by 2050 due to population growth, while global climate change is expected to threaten food production and its supply at a global scale, it is necessary that public awareness on the issues of agriculture sustainable intensification, food security and climate change quickly spread.
The “Great Debate on a Battle to Feed a Changing Planet” organized on July 13th in the Convention Centre auditorium, was part of a series of events organized jointly at ESOF by FACCE-JPI with Teagasc to address a wide forum of citizens on the burning questions of our time regarding the world’s future food security in the face of climate change, and to work to promote cooperation with other related international initiatives.
Attended by more than 400 people in the audience and many more who followed the debate through live streaming, it starred 5 high level panelists in the ESOF auditorium, including Nobel Prize Laureate Rajendra K. Pachauri (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), Professor Louise Fresco (University of Amsterdam), Professor Lynn Frewer (Newcastle University) and Professor Pamela Ronald (University of California, Davis), contributing to the debate with arguments of high scientific quality and eventually shaping the audience’s vision and participation through questions and instant opinion polls.
The polls showed that awareness of the role of agriculture in reducing GHG emissions, for instance, had significantly increased at the end of the debate. Live tweets gradually fed a highly interactive debate moderated by the Irish scientific journalist Leo Enright. The Great Debate was highly praised by its participants, both in terms of scientific quality and outreach.
Founded in 2004, the Euroscience Open Forum takes place every two years in a different European city and acts as an arena to spread innovative scientific knowledge, interact with a wide public including students, scientists, policy makers and science journalists, and reflect on the place of science in the European society and European policies.
The 2012 edition was held in Dublin and welcomed among others 5 Nobel Prize laureates, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, Máire Geoghegan Quinn, President of Euroscience Prof. Enric Banda, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, and many ministers, as well as more than 4 800 participants.