Food and Ecological Security: The Role of Public and Private Sector in Supporting Ecosystem Resilience

Food security is top on the global agenda. World population and food consumption are still on the increase adding more pressure to the food supply system. These trends of demography dynamics and consumption patterns, combined with the threat of climate change and irreversible ecosystem service degradation, would lead to higher uncertainties regarding our current dominating food production models. As "the largest group of natural resource managers on Earth," food producers both depend on and generate a wide variety of ecosystem services, and their actions can both enhance and degrade ecosystems. Therefore ecosystem management will be a key to successful environmental management and food security, due to the relationship between food production systems and maintenance of ecosystem service delivery. Furthermore, practices that can increase the resilience of ecosystems are required not only to continue to produce food with minimal environmental impact on ecosystem services but also to produce more in an era of climate change, resource scarcity and population increase.
In this proposed workshop, experts who are involved in undertaking case studies funded by the UN Development Account Programme in Punjab State, India as well as Cuba, analyzing the trade-offs between food production and various services provided by ecosystems, will be invited to discuss their findings with policy-makers and agri-business representatives. Following presentations, the panel are invited to participate in a dialogue focused on the following questions: 1) How should food security policies address the trade-offs among ecosystem services?; and 2) How can sustainable agricultural practices be promoted to improve ecosystem resilience in food insecure environments.

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