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Agriculture

Horizon 2020 - Investing in European success

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 8, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Horizon 2020 has a single overarching objective: the achievement of scientific, technological and societal impact based on excellent research and innovation projects. It aims to achieve economic impact by supporting industrial competitiveness, economic growth and job creation. It aims to achieve societal impact by developing the means to respond effectively, quickly and efficiently to the urgent societal challenges (climate change, loss of biodiversity, ageing, etc.) Europe is faced with.

This brochure, which presents examples of research and innovation projects funded through past EU programmes and constitutes a record of impact, shows that the ambitious goals set for Horizon 2020 are fully justified.

From 2014 to 2020, Horizon 2020 brings all EU research and innovation funding together under a single programme with three key objectives:

- Excellent Science: Strengthening the EU’s position as world leader in science and attracting the best talents to work together across Europe;
- Competitive Industries: Strengthening industrial leadership in innovation to get Europe back on the path to growth and job creation;
- Better Society: Innovating to tackle societal challenges shared by all Europeans, across seven key themes: Health, demographic change and well-being; Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy; Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; Europe in a changing world -inclusive, innovative and reflective societies; and Secure societies – protecting the freedom and security of Europe and its citizens
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The future of electricity transmission : cost-benefit analysis of a biodiversity-friendly vegetation management in forest corridors

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 30, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Vegetation is a threat for electricity transmission when overhead high-tension lines are crossing forest areas. For this reason, Transmission System Operators (TSO) often proceed by regular vegetation destruction in order to prevent any electrical blackout that could be triggered by trees, by contact or by fall.

The innovative LIFE Elia-RTE project (funded partly by EU) decided to think about alternative methods that could ensure not only electrical safety, but also enhance biodiversity ! These methods should aim at protecting species and natural habitats encompassed by the European Natura 2000 legislation. Indeed, for a good ecological state, we need core areas and connection corridors. This is where high-tension lines have a strong potential to be converted as green corridor for biodiversity.

On a 30 years timescale, biodiversity-friendly vegetation management has been estimated to be 1.4 to 3.9 cheaper than traditional vegetation management ! And not only for its cost savings, it also brings many other benefits.

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24
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Investing in African Livestock: business opportunities in 2030-2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
This paper depicts the medium to long term development prospects for the African livestock sector by reviewing data on the estimated consumption of animal-sourced foods and anticipated responses by producers for 2005/07, 2030 and 2050. Data and projections are elaborated by the FAO Global Perspective Studies Unit.
Increases in the demand for animal-sourced food are estimated extraordinarily high in Africa over the coming decades. By 2050, the meat market is projected at 34.8 million tonnes and that of milk about 82.6 million tonnes, an increase of 145 and 155 percent respectively over 2005/07 levels. More notably, over this period, Africa’s increase in volume of meat consumed will be on a par with that of the developed world and that of Latin America, with only South Asia and Southeast Asia anticipated to register higher growth. For milk, only South Asia will register stronger gains in market size than Africa. Furthermore, annual growth rates in both meat and milk consumption are projected to be higher in Africa than in other regions, with the exception of meat in South Asia (from a very low base). Within Africa, beef, milk and poultry are anticipated to provide favourable business opportunities for livestock producers, in both volume and value terms. However, market dynamics differ amongst the geographic hubs, including Western and Southern Africa; Northern and Southern Africa; and Central Africa.
Production will not keep pace with consumption. Africa is anticipated to increasingly become a net importer of animal-sourced foods. This represents a missed development opportunity, given the widespread societal benefits that inclusive growth of livestock can generate, particularly in a continent where the majority of rural dwellers depend fully or partly on livestock for their livelihoods. Consequently, investments, and policy and institutional reforms that target African livestock markets are required to ensure that the business opportunities generated by the growing demand for animal-sourced foods translate into widespread benefits for the population.
Formulating effective livestock sector policies and institutional changes require a flow of information on market conditions and on the constraints to market entry. These are rarely readily available and investments in data collection and in data collection systems should be given appropriate priority, as the basis for supportive policies and investment.2050
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14
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Options for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in the EU

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention. It focuses on options for increasing agricultural productivity whilst adapting to the effects of climate change and reducing emissions from agriculture, the means of reversing continued declines in farmland biodiversity, the reduction of food wastage, ways to achieve a more resource-efficient food sector, and the options for using wastes and residues to meet biomaterial and bioenergy needs in a sustainable way. It brings together some of the analysis and results of five commissioned studies in a synthesis, considering the state of play today and some of the key developments on the horizon moving towards 2050. The European Union has strongly developed common environmental and agricultural policies, and a recently reformed Common Agricultural Policy with a greater emphasis on both the environment and innovation, providing Member States with an opportunity to initiate a change in direction. At the same time, there are major challenges to increasing productivity in an appropriate way whilst reducing damage to European agricultural and natural resources and biodiversity. It will be important to produce more with less in Europe and to cut wastage.
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129
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The Future of Cohesion Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The report Future of cohesion policy examines the main issues of debate around the cohesion policy in order to set up the political framework of discussion. Methodologically, this first report is based on an analysis of past debates, predominantly in regional EU fora. Desk-based research was supplemented by thematic discussions with other EU institutions, experts and key stakeholders in the scope of a seminar. Furthermore this study series on the Future of cohesion policy should provide a new impetus to the work of the Committee of the Regions and its members in the policy debates on the efficiency and effectiveness of Cohesion Policy from the perspective of local and regional authorities as well as the main topic of the research: The Cohesion Policy beyond 2020.
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196
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Global Food Security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 25, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The overall risk of food insecurity in many countries of strategic importance to the United States will increase during the next 10 years because of production, transport, and market disruptions to local food availability, declining purchasing power, and counterproductive government policies. Demographic shifts and constraints on key inputs will compound this risk. In some countries, declining food security will almost certainly contribute to social disruptions or large-scale political instability or conflict, amplifying global concerns about the availability of food.
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58
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Preparing the Commission for future opportunities

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 13, 2015
Abstract in English: 
At a time when the new European Commission announced that it will concentrate on bold initiatives, it is important to recall that any policy decision has complex ramifications. Indeed, an increasing number of decisions affect several policy portfolios, and they need to take into account an increasing number of parameters, like geopolitics, economics, finance, security, health, environment, climate change, sociology, urbanisation, ageing society, and integrate fundamental European social values such gender equality and ethics. In addition, the technological breakthroughs are accelerating as never be-fore in history and social innovation (e.g. social media) augments the speed of information gathering and dissemination.
Because societies become ever more complex, collaborative long-term anticipation must replace the "silo" thinking habits and the short-termism that has characterised many aspects of policy-making in Europe.
Foreseeing is not sufficient anymore because it is only a tactical extrapolation of current trends; it is the future of the past. Foresighting however is strategic because it is based on more disruptive views; it is about the future of the future.
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201
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The challenge of resilience in a globalised world

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The challenge of resilience in a globalised world discusses the concept of resilience from different perspectives and the role of science in the continuous process of building a resilient, stable, competitive and prosperous Europe.

Resilience is a fundamental prerequisite for Europe as the largest integrated economic area in the world and has an important social dimension which requires the active cooperation of all stakeholders; citizens, the private sector, governments and NGOs included.
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76
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At the Center of Africa’s Transformation: Strategy for 2013–2022

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Africa is now the world’s second fastest-growing continent. In this decade of seismic shifts in the global economy, Africa has defied the pessimists, accelerating its economic pulse and seeing significant improvements in its Human Development Indicators. But these positive developments have been tempered by a crisis in jobs, youth unemployment and growing inequality. These are now the challenges. Growth must bring jobs and opportunities for all. That will happen if growth is sustained and leads to the structural change and economic transformation that will enable the continent to join global value chains. It will do this by closing the infrastructure gap, speeding up economic integration, dealing with conflicts old and new, and developing human capital.
This is what makes the next decade so decisive. This is what makes this new Bank Strategy for 2013–2022 so vital.
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44
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Natural Resources in 2020, 2030, and 2040: Implications for the United States

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Based on the general contention that the world is entering an intensified period of resource stress, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) asked Chatham House in July 2011 to conduct research to identify the most important natural resource trends affecting US national security over a 2020, 2030, and 2040 time horizon. The requested analysis covers water, fuel, food, and metals (also referred to as materials). The identified trends—which include patterns of demand, supply, availability, price levels, and price volatility—are shaped and influenced by emerging climate changes, evolving demographic patterns, increasing economic development, and human induced environmental degradation. The result is this report which considers how local and global availability of natural resources will affect US security interests in the medium term (to 2020) and long term (specifically 2030 and 2040). The 2020 date was selected to identify the most pressing policy relevant issues; 2030 was selected to support development of the NIC’s longer-range Global Trends series; and 2040 to support ongoing NIC projects exploring the national security impact of global food, water, and energy security.

The major assumption underpinning this analysis is that mounting prosperity in both the developed and the developing world will continue to drive increased consumer demand for key resources. At the same time, constraints in energy, water, and other critical natural resources and infrastructure, together with socio-economic shifts, will bring new and hard-to-manage instabilities. There will be an increasing risk of discontinuous and systemic shocks to 2040 as a consequence of these factors.

This report identifies potential natural resource stresses (in terms of aggregate availability, absolute prices, or rapid price changes) and analyzes their likely impact on the United States and states/regions of interest to the United States. The report also explores how these stresses will interact with one another and other pre-existing conditions, including poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions. Summary tables (Annex A) provide an overview of key resource-related threats and their potential impact on the United States and other major economies. The risk assessments are based on a continuation of today's practices and trends; alternate policy choices, market actions, and technology developments will likely change future risk assessments.
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112
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