Solutions from the Land is expanding its mission to combat the interconnected threats the world now faces, ranging from food and nutrition security, sustainable livelihoods, and climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The special initiative seeks to enable farmers to deliver solutions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which collectively call for action by all countries to work together and create strategies to end hunger, improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth, all while tackling climate change and protecting ecosystems.
"COVID-19 has sent shockwaves across the world, disrupting trade and commerce, compromising public health and upending the food system," said Co-Chair A.G. Kawamura, an urban farmer and produce shipper in California. "In concert with other challenges, including crop failures, locust plagues, regional conflicts, weather extremes, climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and erosion of ecosystem health and functionality, the pandemic is fueling a global food and nutrition security crisis and is compromising the ability to achieve global sustainability goals."
"Farmers around the world are facing the urgent question of how to sustainably feed a world population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 while ensuring the integrity of local and global ecosystems," said SfL Co-Chair Fred Yoder, an Ohio corn, wheat and soybean grower. "The critical importance of agriculture in meeting world food security, nutrition, health and wellbeing, livelihoods, a changing climate and other environmental goals has never been more visible than seen through the lens of the current global health pandemic."
"A crisis of this scope and magnitude is unprecedented in our generation," added Co-Chair Thomas Lovejoy, a professor and former Biodiversity Chair at George Mason University. "However, with data-driven technological advances as well as conservation and agroecology principles in its toolbox, modern agriculture has never had more potential to build solutions to the interconnected threats the world now faces."
The initiative will be led by a panel consisting of the Solutions from the Land Board of Directors, with Kawamura, Lovejoy and Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro, a senior fellow in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, serving as co-chairs.
These experts will be charged with outlining a vision for a 21st century "Agricultural Renaissance."