March 20th, 2015 @ 1:12 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Scientists and policymakers from around the world convened this week in France at the 3rd Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA).
Every nation and person has a stake in ensuring that our global food supply meets the challenges associated with climate change. CSA has a profound appreciation of the importance of global scientific collaborations that allow us to utilize multiple tools to meet and overcome a variety of environmental challenges.
UC Davis has been a co-sponsor of this conference since its inception in the Netherlands four years ago. We all know that agriculture is the economic sector most affected by climate change, especially in nations that still lack the economic advantages of those in the West.
While we in California have many advantages of infrastructure and other resources, we are feeling environmental affects acutely in our agriculture sector as we enter our fourth year of drought.
We need experts from multiple disciplines, all stakeholders and decision-makers, and the public and private sectors to collaborate, which is what CSA is all about. The involvement of farmers, land managers, agro-foresters, livestock keepers and fishers is essential to finding solutions that ensure sustainable livelihoods for everyone.
We know that science is not enough. Without these partnerships, collective action and policy that employs theory demonstrated by scientists, we will not accomplish truly sustainable agriculture.
Our science must engage with and inform policymakers through integrative approaches that can help ensure sustainable increases in food production, poverty alleviation and biodiversity as we adapt to climate change.
As French President François Hollande noted, the solutions needed to address climate change reside in innovations. The solutions for food security lie in how well we can apply those innovations through Climate-Smart Agriculture.
The stakes are high and the challenges daunting, but the commitment and passion I saw in all of the attendees make me optimistic about the future of agriculture on our planet.