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Our global food system feeds people and provides a livelihood for many. But it is also one of the largest causes of global environmental problems. Finding ways to feed 10 billion people in an environmentally sustainable and socially just manner remains a major challenge of the coming century. There is a contentious debate on how this can best be achieved. Some advocate for new technological systems, such as genetic modification or vertical farming, while others argue for organic agriculture and local food systems. Still others argue that agriculture does not need a revolution and that we simply need to improve current farming practices. Even the overall objectives of this debate are not clear, with some arguing that we need to double food production by 2050 while others suggest that we already have enough food on this planet to feed 10 billion. In this talk, Professor Navin Ramankutty will broadly outline the challenge, and explore the available evidence supporting or opposing the various claims about the most sustainable way to farm on our planet.
Bio: Navin Ramankutty joined UBC in July 2014 as a Professor in Global Food Security and Sustainability, IRES. Navin’s research concerns global land use change and its implications, focusing on agricultural practice and the implications for environmental change and food security. He employs data and models to address the question of how to feed 9-10 billion people while reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint.
This lecture is part of The Future of Food Global Dialogue Series, bringing together food security and sustainability experts from across North America to engage the UBC community around global food security issues. The series is jointly sponsored by the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm.
No RSVP is required.