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Biodiversity

Innovation with a Purpose: The role of technology innovation in accelerating food systems transformation

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Global food systems today are in need of transformation. Billions of people are poorly nourished, millions of farmers live at subsistence level, enormous amounts of food go to waste and poor farming practices are taking a toll on the environment. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will require food systems that are inclusive, sustainable, efficient, nutritious and healthy.
Achieving a true transformation of food systems requires a holistic approach – one engaging all stakeholders and deploying a wide array of actions such as improved policy, increased investment, expanded infrastructure, farmer capacity-building, consumer behaviour change and improved resource management. Technology innovations, combined with other interventions, can play an important role in enabling and accelerating food systems transformation.
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42
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Global Environmental Outlook: Assessment for the Pan-European Region

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Publication date: 
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) Assessment for the pan-European region paints a comprehensive picture of the environmental factors contributing to human health and well-being at the regional level. It argues for more urgent action, both through existing policies and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), to address the challenges that the region is facing.
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376
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Tourism for Development Volume I: Key Areas for Action

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Publication date: 
Friday, June 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The report is structured around the five key elements of sustainable development to which tourism stands to make a significant, lasting contribution:
1. Sustainable economic growth
2. Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
3. Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
4. Cultural values, diversity and heritage
5. Mutual understanding, peace and security
The report demonstrates – through theory and practical case studies – how tourism can contribute to these key areas of development.
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144
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A forest-based circular bioeconomy for southern Europe: visions, opportunities and challenges

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Thursday, June 14, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This report analyses the challenges and opportunities to develop a forest based bioeconomy in southern Europe.
Current bioeconomy strategies of southern European countries focus on developing biobased sectors, especially agriculture, with no clear connection to related environmental or industrial policies. However, there is a wealth of knowledge, resources and relevant developments that can help the transition from a niche to the norm.
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124
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Towards a sustainable European forest-based bioeconomy

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This science-based study provides a synthesis of existing knowledge for policymakers on the prospects for a sustainable, inclusive forest-based bioeconomy in Europe, including:
• The importance of forests and the forest-based sector in contributing to a European bioeconomy;
• The assessment of a forest-based bioeconomy in view of innovation and economic, social and environmental sustainability;
• Future issues that may affect the development of a forest-based bioeconomy.
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162
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The State of World's Fisheries and Aquaculture

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Publication date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
In addition to reporting major trends and patterns observed in global fisheries and aquaculture, this edition of the "State of World's Fisheries and Aquaculture" scans the horizon for new and upcoming areas that need to be considered to manage aquatic resources sustainably into the future, including cooperation through regional fisheries bodies and advances such as blockchain technology.
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227
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The State of the World's Forests: Forest Pathways to Sustainable Development

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a commitment made by countries to tackle the complex challenges we face, from ending poverty and hunger and responding to climate change to building resilient communities, achieving inclusive growth and sustainably managing the Earth’s natural resources.
As governments determine how best to commit national efforts to achieve transformational change, The State of the World’s Forests 2018 (SOFO 2018) analyses the role that forests and trees – and the people who use and manage them– can play in helping countries achieve their objectives and bring about a brighter future. It shines a light on the profound interlinkages that exist between forests and many other goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda, enabling policy-makers to strike the right balance in actions, investments and partnerships directed towards food security, poverty alleviation, ecological conservation and, ultimately, to find pathways to sustainable development.
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139
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Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth

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Publication date: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The focus of this report is on harnessing AI systems today, and as they evolve, to create maximum positive impact on urgent environmental challenges. It suggests ways in which AI can help transform traditional sectors and systems to address climate change, deliver food and water security, protect biodiversity and bolster human well-being. This concern is tightly linked with the emerging question of how to ensure that AI does not become harmful to human well-being.
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52
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State of the World’s Plants - 2017

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Last year's State of the World’s Plants report focused predominantly on synthesising knowledge of the numbers of different categories of plants: How many vascular plants are currently known to science? How many are threatened with extinction? What is the number of plants with uses? etc. We also looked at the main threats to these plants, including climate change, land- use change, invasive plants, disease and over-exploitation. However, simply knowing how many plants there are and how many are under threat is not enough – what is also needed is an understanding of why some plants are more vulnerable than others. This year, therefore, we have also examined the emerging evidence for the characteristics of plants that appear to make some types less/more resilient to current and future threats.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. In this year’s State of the World’s Plants, we also highlight the rapidly accumulating discoveries and knowledge that provide important sign-posts to the next food crops, medicines, timbers etc. Information is now also emerging on the effectiveness of conservation actions and policies in protecting some of the most important plant species and communities across the globe. While there is still much more to do, these positive outcomes demonstrate that with scientific knowledge and evidence-based global actions, it is possible to conserve the extraordinary diversity of plants on Earth and to build on the unique combination of beauty and science which can together provide some of the solutions for the global challenges facing humanity today.
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100
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Farm performance and climate

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, May 15, 2017
Abstract in English: 
This study examines the effect of climate variability and climate change on the productivity of Australian cropping farms between 1977–78 and 2014–15. The productivity of Australian cropping farms is heavily affected by climate variability, particularly the occurrence of droughts. While Australian farmers are well accustomed to managing this variability, the emergence of climate change is presenting some new challenges.
This study combines ABARES farm survey data with spatial climate data to estimate the effect of climate conditions (such as, rainfall and temperature) on cropping farm TFP (Total Factor Productivity, i.e the combined productivity of labor and capital). The study then presents climate adjusted productivity estimates with the effects of climate removed. For comparison, similar results are generated for farm wheat yields using the same data sources and methods.
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71
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