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Joint Call on Food Security and Land Use Change

Collaborate Research Action between FACCE-JPI and the Belmont Forum

Food Security is a global challenge which can only be tackled with an international approach. Today, about one billion people do not have access to sufficient calories. This imbalance will only increase in time, as the global world population is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050 while natural resources continue to diminish. Current methods of producing food impact on the environment, with significant local degradation of soils, water resources and biodiversity in many parts of the world. Land use change, occurring worldwide due to human development dynamics, is arguably the most significant driver of environmental change including loss of biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation and alteration of hydrological cycles. The need to produce more food, animal feed, fibre and biofuels, as well as the need to use land for conservation or recreation will impose growing pressure on already scarce land resources to sustain ecosystem health and services. Such pressures will be exacerbated by the impacts of climate change.

Understanding the dynamic interactions between food security and land use change, a challenge confronting nearly all continents and of paramount interest to policy-making, science and society, requires a global strategic approach and cooperation between national research programmes. To this end, the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE – JPI) together with the Belmont Forum launched a Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on July 17th, 2013. The call brougth together funding partners from Cyprus, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Romania, France, the UK, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, South Africa and the USA.

This Collaborative Research Action focused on the two-way interactions between the dynamics of food systems and land use change, including the implications of the change on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The call offered two types of projects: Type 1 projects promoted the building of interdisciplinary communities/networks that effectively engage relevant stakeholder groups. Type 2 projects build on established networks which are ready to embark on large-scale projects (3 - 5 years and up to EUR 3 million). FACCE-JPI partners earmarked EUR 5.25 million on a total budget of around EUR 10 million. Seven projects were funded; 3 'Type1', and 4 'Type 2' projects.