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					GECAFS SCENARIOS RESEARCH Scenarios Research Scoping Workshop Monday 3 & Tuesday 4 May 2004 FAO, Rome, Italy WORKSHOP R EPORT Prepared by Monika Zurek, FAO Introduction One element of the GECAFS research effort is to investigate medium and long-term prospects of food security and its relationship with Global Environmental Change (GEC). For this purpose GECAFS is currently developing ideas for building a set of comprehensive ‘plausible futures’ or scenarios, portraying possible future changes in food systems and GEC. A workshop was held in Reading, UK, in August 2003 to discuss the role of scenarios and possible methods for their construction. In May 2004 a second workshop was held in Rome, Italy, hosted by FAO. Meeting participants included experienced scenario builders, experts on food security, food systems and GEC issues, representative of various funding agencies and members of the GECAFS Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) (Annex 1.) The workshop objectives were to lay the foundation for GECAFS scenarios research by determining: • • • • the major uncertainties regarding GEC and food systems; key questions that GECAFS scenarios should help to answer; which approaches the GECAFS scenario analyses can follow; and next steps for setting up the GECAFS scenario exercise.

Workshop discussion The workshop started with presentations of the GECAFS project and its major research questions; and background paper prepared for the meeting which covered scenarios definitions and methods, ways of linking scenarios across geographical scales and possible elements of a GECAFS scenario exercise. Starting from the major questions that the overall GECAFS project is addressing1, the participants brainstormed major uncertainties with respect to the development of food systems in the future, the factors that influence change in food systems and the role and importance of GEC.


These questions are: • How will Global Environmental Change affect the vulnerability of food systems in different regions? • How might food systems be adapted to cope with GEC so as to enhance food security? • What would be the consequences of adaptation options for environmental and socioeconomic conditions?


A number of major questions with sub-questions were identified: How will GEC affect the vulnerability of food systems? • Which regions are most vulnerable? • What makes these regions vulnerable? • Which regions will benefit from GEC? • What are the breaking points/thresholds in the earth system that pose a particular risk to the world food system? • What are the thresholds in the food systems that are relevant to GEC? How might food systems be adapted to cope with GEC so as to enhance food security? • Which strategies for enhancing coping capacity are generally applicable and affordable in many parts of the world? • What is the level of awareness of GEC in different countries and where is the level of awareness so low that it undermines the coping capacity of the country? • How will the coping capacity of different parts of the world change, and will that add up to higher or lower global food security? What would be the consequences of adaptation options for environmental and socioeconomic conditions? • How will adaptation measures such as food aid and the realignment of world food trade affect the environment and livelihoods? • How will adaptation measures feed back to GEC? Another set of questions identified key aspects which can be used to differentiate between the GECAFS scenarios. What are the food systems/security aspects of a world driven by: • Heightened levels of economic globalisation without controls on the distribution of wealth or environmental change? • Enhanced globalisation moderated by policies towards better distribution of wealth and environmental protection? • Measures to protect and restore environmental assets?

As a first step towards the identification of important scenario elements, participants discussed driving forces that effect ecological systems and food systems. These can be used to describe the interactions between GEC and food systems: 1. 2. 3. 4. Aspects of population development: distribution, age structure, migration Economic development: subsidies, income, distribution, PPP, GDP Political stability Production technology/Science: access, development, biotechnology, availability, GMOs, application 5. Consumption Patterns 6. Types of agriculture: small scale, intensive/commercial 7. Urbanization 8. Nature of demand for food: dietary preference 9. Environment/ecosystems 10. Soil Quality


11. Water: scarcity, quality, irrigation 12. Climatic constraints 13. Trade policies 14. Retail/distribution mechanisms for food 15. Political Preference 16. Cultural Shifts 17. Ocean governance 18. Education 19. Civil Society 20. Global/Local Shifts 21. Property rights One of the breakout groups carried out a first analysis of these driving forces according to their importance at the global or regional scale and the uncertainty with respect to their effect on changing food systems (Figure 1). This is an important step in the scenario development process as it allows the identification of the most important uncertainties and questions that decision-makers are likely to face in the future. These questions will later help to focus the scenarios and to decide which ones of many possible options to include in the scenario set. A question, for example, that global GECAFS scenarios could include is how the interactions of varying trade polices, mechanisms to govern the oceans and changes in terrestrial ecosystems influence the economic system and what the implications will be for food systems in a particular region. They could show different development paths for each driver. In addition, each driver varies with respect to its importance at different geographical scales as well in the impact it will have at various geographical and time scales.

Figure 1: Identification and ranking of factors affecting food systems and GEC
Session two group one - Classification of Issues Global
Where numbers are grouped, the issues should be used to derive questions for scenarios at the global level

14 20 1 21 12 19 18 11 4 2 10 3 14 20 6 Regional Certain Uncertain 15 9 13 8 17 16 5


The group also developed diagrams to show how to link the components of food systems and GEC for analysis and as a guide for the scenario storyline development (Figures 2&3).


Figure 2: Framework describing food systems and GEC interactions developed by workshop participants
Global/regional storylines/visions Drivers of resource use/behaviour
Demography, economic development, technology, cultural, socio-political

Global environmental change
Land use, Emissions, Pollution, Water availability, soil degr. Climate, Sea level

Food system drivers Governance
International/national/ regional policy, trade, institutions

Land, technology, supply, pests, mechanisation, labor, resource access, education

Production Availability

Res. & Dev.
Breeding, fertilization, irrigation, new technology, new practices

Price, employment, education, food preferences, equity, demand, policy

Access Food provision/ food security

Adaptation Adapted food provision/security

Figure 3: Framework to analyze and describe food systems and GEC interactions developed by workshop participants
Indirect Drivers -Demography -Economy -Technology -Cultural -Institutional Distribution Other -Food policy -Demand Production Direct Drivers State of Food System Access - affordability Impact on food security Response

GEC -Water -Climate


Another topic of discussion was potential audiences for GECAFS scenarios and the interactions between scenarios developed at global and regional levels. The likely audiences for the scenarios developed at the global level were thought to be international research networks, such as the IGBP, IHDP, ICSU, CGIAR, and aid agencies, such as USAID or EU aid agencies. In addition, global institutions such as the World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, WBCSD or a number of NGO networks that work on food systems, poverty and global environmental change related issues, are likely to use results of the presented scenarios analysis. On a regional level it is easier to involve a lot of potential users in the scenario development process. Taking Southern Africa as an example, participants saw the following categories of people and organizations as part of the scenarios development/user team: International bodies (such as NEPAD and SADC), national governments from the region and their agencies, private sector organizations from the region involved in food production and distribution, science organizations and universities and NGOs for the particular countries.

Workshop outcomes and next steps The workshop discussions confirmed the result of the first Scenarios Workshop in Reading which stated that scenarios development has an important role to play in meeting the overall goal of the GECAFS research effort. The workshop participants agreed the main aims of the GECAFS scenarios work as: 1. Define a set of generic, qualitative global scenarios based on existing scenario exercises and modeling efforts; 2. Build more detailed qualitative-quantitative regional scenarios, based on the GECAFS global scenarios, for the GECAFS project regions which focus on issues important to the region; and 3. Design an iterative process on how both scenario processes can inform and update each other. It was recommended that a small task force is established to take the scenario development process forward on a global and regional level with respect to conceptual and logistical issues. The task force should develop a network of collaborators at the global scale and in the three existing GECAFS research regions (the Indo-Gangetic Plain, Caribbean and Southern Africa). A number of steps are needed to initiate the scenario development process on both the global scale and in the GECAFS regional components. Background work on some of the issues will have to go hand in hand with discussions between the scenarios working group and stakeholders during a series of scenario development workshops.


Next steps: • • A survey of potential user audiences on a global and regional level to elicit their main questions with respect to GEC and food security interactions. A review of the most recent global scenario studies to gain a good understanding of basic storylines and to compile findings on food security, food systems and GEC issues. A second paper describing the major attributes of and factors and actors influencing food systems and GEC. Integrating the results of this workshop together with the scenarios review, the food systems-GEC interactions paper and additional literature to frame the main provocative issues and uncertainties regarding food systems-GEC interactions. In stakeholder discussions the major questions will have to be discussed and revised. The development of the basic structure and linkages between food systems, food security, GEC and their drivers of change to guide the scenario development process on the global as well as the regional scale. The development of the methodology for the iterative process of how the global and regional scenarios work can feed into each other.

• •



The scenarios work needs to be closely linked to the GECAFS Decision Support Systems (DSS) research. Scenarios research can provide the background for the DSS development as scenario development includes the discussion of key uncertainties and upcoming decisions for stakeholders in the future. In addition, scenario development includes the analysis of driving forces that change the system and of their interactions with each other. These are also elements included in the DSS analysis. Both methods can also complement each other. While scenario building provides a broader understanding of possible development pathways and their implications for different groups of society, DSS can be used to devise a set of concrete recommendations for action to steer the system towards one pathway and away from another one that might be less desirable. Therefore DSS development helps to analyse the direct tradeoffs implied in decisions taken in the future that the scenarios foreshadow.



Participants of the GECAFS Scenarios Research Scoping Workshop May 3&4, 2004, FAO, Rome, Italy
Dr Jacqueline Alder Fisheries Centre, Lower Mall Research Stn 2259 Lower Mall, Rm 212 The University of British Columbia Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z4 CANADA TEL +1 604 822 6903 FAX +1 604 822 8934 Gerold Boedeker ESDG, FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY TEL +39 06 FAX +39 06

Professor Joseph Alcamo Executive Director Center for Environmental Systems Research Kurt-Wolters-Straße 3 34109 Kassel GERMANY TEL +49 561 804 3898 FAX +49 561 804 3176 Oonsie Biggs CSIR Environmentek PO Box 395 Pretoria, 0001 SOUTH AFRICA TEL +27 12 8413487 FAX +27 12 8412689 Professor Mike Brklacich Department of Geography and Environmental Studies Carleton University 1125 Colonel By Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6 CANADA TEL +1 613 520 2600 ext 7553 FAX +1 613 520 4301 Dr Tim Carter SYKE - Finnish Environment Institute PO Box 140 Mechelininkatu 34a FIN-00251 Helsinki FINLAND TEL +358 9 4030 0315 FAX +358 9 40300391 Katie Dodsley GECAFS International Project Office NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford Wallingford, OX10 8BB UK TEL +44 1491 692464 FAX +44 1491 692313 Thomas Henrichs European Environment Agency (EEA) Kongens Nytorv 6 1050 Copenhagen K DENMARK TEL +45 33 36 7280 FAX +45 33 36 7128

Jelle Bruinsma Chief, Global Perspectives Studies Unit, ESDG, FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY TEL +39 06 5705 3406 FAX +39 06 5705 5618

Marion Cheatle Global Environment Outlook Section Division of Early Warning and Assessment United Nations Environment Programme P.O.Box 30552, Nairobi 00100 KENYA TEL +254 2 623520 FAX +254 2 623944/3 Professor Peter Gregory Department of Soil Science The University of Reading Whiteknights PO Box 217 Reading RG6 6DW UK TEL +44 118 319 8910 FAX +44 118 378 7424 Dr David Hess Office of Natural Resources Management USAID 1300 Pensylvania Avenue, NW Washington DC 20523-2110 USA TEL +1 202 712 4093 FAX +1 202 216 3174 John Ingram GECAFS International Project Office NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford Wallingford, OX10 8BB UK TEL +44 1491 692410 FAX +44 1491 692313

Dr Oran Hesterman WK Kellogg Foundation One Michigan Avenue East Battle Creek Michigan 49017-4058 USA TEL +1 269 969 2060 FAX +1 269 969 2693


Dr Pramod K Joshi South Asia Coordinator, International Food Policy Research Institute South Asia Office, CG Block, NASC Pusa New Delhi 110 012 INDIA TEL +91 11 5517 0178 Dr Rebecca Letcher School of Resources, Environment and Society Australian National University Building 48A, Linnaeus Way Canberra 0200 AUSTRALIA TEL +61 2 6125 8132 FAX +61 2 6125 0746 Dr Andy Morse Department of Geography University of Liverpool P.O. Box 147, Liverpool L69 7ZT UK TEL +44 151 794 2879 FAX +44 151 794 2866 Dr Prabhu Pingali Director, Agricultural and Development Economics Division FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY TEL +39 06 5705 4217 FAX +39 06 5705 5522 Peter Torrekens FAO Land and Water Development Division Room B706 Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY TEL +39 06 5705 3806 FAX +39 06 5705 6275

Dr Wulf Killmann Director, Forest Products Division FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY TEL +39 06 5705 3221 FAX +39 06 5705 5618

Professor Richard Mkandawire NEPAD Advisor on Agriculture PO Box 1234 Halfway House Midrand, 1685 SOUTH AFRICA TEL +27 11 313 3153/3716 FAX +27 11 313 3450; Martin Muchero CEO, MT Muchero Management Consultancy Services PO Box MP556 Mount Pleasant, Harare ZIMBABWE TEL +263 4 301250 FAX +263 4 301759 Dr Mahendra Shah International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis 1 Schlossplatz A-2361 Laxenburg AUSTRIA TEL +43 223 6807 508/234 FAX +43 2236 807 533; Adrian Trotman Agro-Meteorologist Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology Husbands, St James PO Box 130, Bridgetown BARBADOS TEL +1 246 425 1362/3 FAX +1 246 424 4733 Dr Richard Washington University of Oxford Centre for the Environment Mansfield Road Oxford, OX1 3TB UK TEL +44 1865 271927 FAX +44 1865 272705

Dr Luis Vieira EMBRAPA Department of Research and Development Planning - DPD Estacao Parque Biologico - PqEB 70.770-901 Brasilia, DF BRAZIL TEL +55 61 448 4451/36 FAX +55 61 347 2061 Dr Monika Zurek Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis Division (ESA) - FAO Room C-309 Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY TEL +39 06 5705 4489 FAX +39 06 5705 5522


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