Food security and sustainable intensification

17 February 2014

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

Published 17 February 2014 doi: 10.1098/rstb.2012.0273 Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 5 April 2014 vol. 369 no. 1639 20120273

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The current edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B is a special Discussion Meeting Issue on ‘Achieving food and environmental security: new approaches to close the gap’, following a meeting that took place at the Royal Society, in London between 3 and 4 December 2012, to explore some of avenues that science is currently pursuing. The special edition, organized and edited by Guy Poppy, Paul Jepson, John Pickett and Michael Birkett, includes a paper by Professor Charles Godfray and Dr Tara Garnett, of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food at Oxford University, which sets out the case for Sustainable Intensification, arguing that more food needs to be produced but with less impact on the environment. The paper also investigates how Sustainable Internsification may interact with other food policy agendas, in particular, land use and biodiversity, animal welfare and human nutrition. In the paper, they explain the logic underlying Sustainable Intensification: -That increased production must play at least some role in meeting the food security challenge of the next fifty years -That the vast majority of this increase must come from existing agricultural land -That increasing the sustainability of food production is of equal importance -That we must consider a broad range of tools and production methods to achieve these goals.