From Competition to Collaboration between Agriculture and Conservation: moving toward convergence between agro-ecology and conservation biology

Agriculture has become the single largest driver of environmental change in the Anthropocene and is taking us across several planetary boundaries for humanity’s safe operating space. In addition to conserving biodiversity in protected areas we need the spaces in between to be more friendly to species of all kinds. The session will present opportunities for convergent visions and strategies between the agricultural and conservation communities. Agriculture is itself entering a new phase of reflection and innovation around an agro-ecosystem approach as farmers, scientists and policy makers explore how to work with nature to reduce fossil energy subsidies, tighten nutrient cycles, better manage water use, contain the use of biocides, and take advantage of more complex and diverse systems to deliver more resilient and sustainable flows of food and fiber. These innovations in agriculture are being driven by forces such as the rising cost of energy and a recognition that society will eventually require that agriculture account for its externalities (such as 30% of climate change emissions and large scale pollution of fresh, ground and marine waters). They also reflect the (re)discovery of innumerable landscape and farm-level “nature-based solutions” to these complex problems and a passion among farmers and their allies for biodiversity, family and community; factors now attracting both market-driven change as a result of the global food movements for happier diets and better health, and public policies that draw attention to the rights of farmers and the hungry rather than national production statistics. This may be the perfect time for conservationists to make common cause with these movements in agriculture.

Opened with a message for HRH Prince Charles, a long dedicated advocate of the integration of conservation and agricultural thinking, this panel will feature leading figures from the conservation and agricultural science and policy communities who will trace out in greater detail how we can work together to tackle these issues at global and landscape scales.

Speakers:

• Introduction from Ms. Julia Marton-Lefèvre: Director General, IUCN
• Video Address from HRH Charles, Prince of Wales
• Conversation facilitated by Dr. Ken Wilson: Executive Director, The Christensen Fund
o Dr. Johan Rockström: Executive Director, The Stockholm Environment Institute and The Stockholm Resilience Centre
o Dr. Abdul Hamid Zakri: Director, United Nations University- Institute of Advanced Studies; Former Co-Chair Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board
o Dr. Braulio Dias: Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity
o Mr. Alexander Müller: Assistant Director-General, FAO- Natural Resources Management and Environment Department
o Dr. Emile Frison: Director General, Bioversity International- CGIAR Consortium Research Centre
o Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz: Executive Director, Tebtebba Foundation; Past-President, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
o Dr. Celia Harvey: Vice President of Global Change and Ecosystem Services, Conservation International
o CBE Patrick Holden: Director, The Sustainable Food Trust; Former Director, Soil Association
o Dr. Sandy Andelman: Executive Director, Vital Signs Africa and Vice-President, Conservation International
o Dr. Hans Herren: President, Millennium Institute; Co-chair The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology
o Dr. M.S. Swaminathan: Attributed Co- Founder of the Green Revolution; Chairman, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation; Former President, IUCN; Twice Chair of the FAO Board; World Food Prize Recipient

Geographical scope:

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