Developing a climate-smart agri-food system

As part of its official observer organisation status to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), WUN will host a workshop at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, France.  

This event will focus on how climate change and associated changes in weather patterns challenge agricultural outputs and interact with rising global demand for food. It is widely recognized that global food production will have to increase dramatically over the coming decades to meet the needs of growing populations and developing economies, and that this will be increasingly difficult as we feel the effects of climate change. To address these issues, research organizations worldwide are funding scientific research designed to deliver a ‘climate smart agriculture’, more resilient food systems.

Our panel of experts will discuss the challenge of mitigating or adapting to climate change; evolution of weather at fine spatial scales, evolution of the market – including demand side measures to change attitudes, waste and improved diets to mitigate. We would look at approaches incorporating GM to increase yield potential – which provide promise for increasing yields without increasing inputs on land already in use (sparing rather than sharing). We will also cover what sustainable intensification means to food security in a changing climate. Our specialist from the Global South will focus on efficient water use/irrigation management, adoption of composting and crop management, integrated pest and post-harvest management to meet some of the yield gaps.


Tony Ryan, The University of Sheffield


Tim Benton, The University of Leeds

Jon Price, The University of Sheffield

Michelle Holdsworth, The University of Sheffield

Colin Osborne, The University of Sheffield

Debra Davidson, The University of Alberta 

Steve Long, The University of Illinois