Workshop Report on Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture

While the stability and security of the food system is underpinned by its environmental resource base, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that these resources are being depleted and damaged in ways that threaten food production in the long term and also have broader implications for human wellbeing. Much of this damage is caused by the food system itself - food is both agent and victim of environmental harms.

There is therefore increasing concern about the prospects for food security over the next forty years. It is feared that as populations grow, recent progress to reduce hunger will not be sustained and more people will go hungry. Attempts to increase food production to meet demand will generate more environmental damage, and this in turn will undermine our future capacity to produce food.

This document looks at one particular suggested approach to food production: that we seek to ‘sustainably intensify’ production.

This report is based on discussions held at a two day workshop held in January 2012, co-organised by the Food Climate Research Network and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food. The workshop was facilitated by Kath Dalmeny of Sustain and funded by the Foresight Programme and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.

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