Global Food Systems Foresight Workshop
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Participants of the Global Food Systems Foresight Workshop

Foresight about possible futures is a key tool for government, business and civil society that aids in improving responsiveness to future risks and opportunities.

The Global Food Systems Foresight Workshop, March 22-23 at the Environmental Change Institute in Oxford, UK, was held to explore how foresight and scenario processes, when applied to global food systems, can help drive the policy change, business strategies and societal understanding required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal Two (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture). A key aspect of the discussion was the creation of a “Foresight4Food” initiative based on current foresight and scenario work done by a variety of organizations, including AgMIP.

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Announcement of Opportunity
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The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is seeking co-Principal Investigator(s) to join its Leadership Team.

AgMIP (www.agmip.org) is a major international collaborative effort coordinating the climate, crop, livestock, and economics modeling communities and nutrition scientists to conduct improved integrated assessments of stresses facing the agricultural sector and interventions to overcome them. Currently, AgMIP has over 850 participants from more than 45 countries contributing their expertise to over 30 projects and activities.

AgMIP has three research pillars: Coordinated Global and Regional Assessments; Next Generation Knowledge, Data & Tools; and, Modeling for Sustainable Farming Systems. Underway AgMIP initiatives include global crop model intercomparisons, global economic assessments, regional integrated assessments, data and tools to facilitate model improvement as well as multi-model and multi-discipline assessments, and cross-cutting themes to help interpret agricultural model results for decision-making. AgMIP operates under a living Charter that provides guidance on operations, standards, and protocols for its work.

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Interdisciplinary Lessons from the South Africa Regional Reseach Team
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The SAAMIIP team (from center bottom) Olivier Crespo, Thembeka Mpuisang, Andries Fourie, Wiltrud Durand, Weldemichael Abraha, Davide Cammarano, and Hlamalani Ngwenya Photo by Koketso Molepo

Interdisciplinarity and Diversity
is our strength

By Hlamalani Ngwenya, Olivier Crespo, Wiltrud Durand, Thembeka Mpuisang, Andries Fourie, Weldemichael Abraha, and Davide Cammarano

The Southern Africa Agricultural Models Intercomparison and Improvement Project (SAAMIIP) is investigating farming systems in South Africa and Botswana and is one of seven AgMIP regional research teams in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. One of the principles of AgMIP research is the necessity of interdisciplinarity. This piece presents the experience of the SAAMIIP team as its members navigated through the complexities of interdisciplinary research at all levels. Interdisciplinary research is three fold: 1) different expertises and disciplines (e.g. Climate, Crops, Socio-economic and Stakeholder Liaison); 2) engagement of a wide range of stakeholders from the different fields and at different decision levels; and 3) a wide range of outputs.

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Video profile – Indo-Gangetic Basin Regional Research Team

The Indo-Gangetic Basin research team is one of seven regional research teams across Africa and Southern Asia working to provide scientifically rigorous and relevant agricultural information to stakeholders and decision makers. These Regional Research Teams, following the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Protocols for Regional Integrated Assessments, are at the forefront of agricultural research.

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AgMIP at AGU 2016

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By Yurong Yu

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2016 brings together the Earth and space science community from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The technical program includes presentations on new and cutting-edge science, much of which has not yet been published. The meeting sessions are held at San Francisco, California, from 12 to 16, December.

AgMIP will organize two sessions this year on December 16. The sessions, “Improving the Simulation of Climate Impacts on Agriculture: AgMIP and Related Research I Posters & II,” (Session I & Session II) will include presentations and posters on the topics of “climate change and variability,” “agricultural systems,” “impacts of global change” and “land/atmosphere interactions.” Twenty-seven papers in total will be presented in these two sessions.

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AgMIP Town Hall at AGU

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Those of you who will be attending the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco this month are invited to please join us at the AgMIP Town Hall event on Tuesday, December 13th, at 6:10pm in Moscone West 2016.

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Presentation of FAO “The State of Food and Agriculture 2016”

By Yurong Yu, AgMIP Intern

State of Food and Agriculture - Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

How does climate change affect food security and agriculture? What can governments; farmers and food producers do to build resilience against the impacts of a changing climate? How should agriculture reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help stop global warming?

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a discussion on November 1st 2016 in New York to examine these questions and present their new report “State of Food and Agriculture – Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.” Cynthia Rosenzweig, the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Co-PI and Halldor Thorgeirsson, Director for Strategy, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change led the discussion. The hosts included the Permanent Missions of France, Indonesia and Morocco to the United Nations. The presentation by Rob Vos, Director, Agricultural Development Economics (ESA), Economic and Social Development Department, FAO, was held the same week as the Paris Agreement on climate change took effect and days before the 22nd Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC in Morocco.

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AgMIP Rice Team Meeting in China

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Group Photo of the December 2016 AgMIP-Rice Team Meeting

The AgMIP research approach includes two tracks of activities. Track one focuses on model intercomparison and improvement for calibrating and evaluating models for use in different regions and crops. Track two encompasses multi-model assessments of climate change effects on food production and food security at regional to global scales. As part of the Track One initiatives, the AgMIP-Rice crop modeling team has been holding periodic meetings to provide an opportunity for the international rice modeling community to come together and improve tools needed to model rice production for future sustainability.

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RAPs and Scenarios Workshop in Zimbabwe

How can scenarios inform the future of farming in Zimbabwe?

By Sabine Homann-Kee Tui

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Stakeholders from district to national scales in Zimbabwe met with AgMIP researchers on revising pathways that reflect trade-offs between environmental priorities and fast economic growth, useful for decision makers thinking about the future of farming in Zimbabwe. Photo: S Homann-Kee Tui

On the 25-26, October 2016 the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) South Eastern Africa Regional Team held a workshop titled “Future scenarios to inform decision making processes: National Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) for Zimbabwe” at the ICRISAT Bulawayo office in Zimbabwe. The team is conducting research that aims at understanding climate change impacts on agriculture and prioritizing effective adaptation strategies.

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Article: Ensembles for Crop Modeling

Lessons from Climate Modeling on the Design and Use of Ensembles for Crop Modeling

By Yurong Yu, AgMIP Intern

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Daniel Wallach, lead author of Climatic Change article.

An important recent development in crop modeling is the use of model ensembles. The recently published article “Lessons from Climate Modeling on the Design and Use of Ensembles for Crop Modeling” in Climatic Change by Wallach et al., identified questions and approaches related to crop model ensembles, based on the experience of the climate modeling community. The benefits of this method not only include better estimates of uncertainty, but also improved predictions and closer collaboration within the modeling community. However there are numerous open questions about the best way to create and analyze such ensembles.

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