IDR Team Summary 4

Design agricultural and aquacultural systems that provide food security while maintaining the full set of ecosystem services needed from landscapes and seascapes.

CHALLENGE SUMMARY

Humanity needs to provide food security to 9 billion or more people through the second half of this century. This presents a major challenge on several fronts: agroecology and crop production; maintenance of adequate flows and quality of freshwater, retention of nutrients, maintenance of soil quality, and conservation of living resources; and social distribution of benefits and costs. Food security is commonly interpreted as access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. This definition encompasses not only access to sufficient quantities of food (i.e., calories), but also access to foods of sufficient quality (i.e., macro and micronutrients needed for growth and health).

Crop and cultivation advances yield sufficient quantities of food for our species, although provision of food is not synonymous with meeting nutritional needs to maintain optimal health. Furthermore, the institutions governing access deliver highly uneven distributions of food. An irony today is that while food-based indicators of global-average human well-being are increasing, as well as basic health indicators, the total numbers of those malnourished and in hunger are increasing as well. Much attention has been given to the production advances needed to feed a world >9 billion and to the means by which the distribution of food access could become more equitable. Much less attention has been given to environmental/ecosystem consequence of achieving either.

The growth of agricultural yield since about 1960 has been driven mainly by increased use of irrigation, fertilizer, and new crop varieties. As a



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IDR Team Summary 4 Design agricultural and aquacultural systems that provide food security while maintaining the full set of ecosystem services needed from landscapes and seascapes. CHALLENGE SUMMARY Humanity needs to provide food security to 9 billion or more people through the second half of this century. This presents a major challenge on several fronts: agroecology and crop production; maintenance of adequate flows and quality of freshwater, retention of nutrients, maintenance of soil quality, and conservation of living resources; and social distribution of ben- efits and costs. Food security is commonly interpreted as access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. This definition encompasses not only access to sufficient quantities of food (i.e., calories), but also access to foods of sufficient quality (i.e., macro and micronutrients needed for growth and health). Crop and cultivation advances yield sufficient quantities of food for our species, although provision of food is not synonymous with meeting nutritional needs to maintain optimal health. Furthermore, the institutions governing access deliver highly uneven distributions of food. An irony today is that while food-based indicators of global-average human well-being are increasing, as well as basic health indicators, the total numbers of those malnourished and in hunger are increasing as well. Much attention has been given to the production advances needed to feed a world >9 billion and to the means by which the distribution of food access could become more equitable. Much less attention has been given to environmental/ecosystem consequence of achieving either. The growth of agricultural yield since about 1960 has been driven mainly by increased use of irrigation, fertilizer, and new crop varieties. As a 31

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32 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES result, agriculture is the largest consumer of fresh water withdrawal globally and the largest polluter of that water. Among human activities, agriculture (including pasture) is the largest contributor to climate change. It also consumes more land area than any other activity and in the process is the largest driver of biodiversity loss. While the rate of growth in irrigated land and fertilizer applications is tailing off, in part because technology is facili- tating more efficient use, agricultural production is increasingly devoted to biofuels, animal feed, or human ‘junk foods’ that are of low nutritional value. In addition, most of the prime agricultural land of the world is in use, and some of it is being lost to urbanization or degradation processes. Importantly, food production increases have not had to pay for a large number of “externalities,” precisely those that draw down non-provisioning ecosystem services such as regulation of natural hazards, erosion, carbon storage, or freshwater flows and quality. It is expected that these externali- ties will increase in the future, demanding more attention relative to food security questions. In these conditions, it will be a challenge to provide food security to 9 billion people while reducing pressures on land, freshwater or fertilizer, decreasing net emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture and fresh- water pollution, increasing recharge of critical aquifers, moderating runoff and large floods, and building and conserving soil to sustain future food production. Key Questions • What matrix of farming systems are needed to meet dietary needs (both amount and nutrition) of 9 billion people? • How can provisioning of food and related ecosystem services be made resilient to massive environmental changes such as climate change or shocks such as emergence of new crop diseases? • What ecosystem services will be needed to support these systems? • How can these systems provision without drawing down other eco- system services? • How do these systems affect entitlements (food access institutions)? • How can tradeoffs between further agricultural expansion and greater intensification on existing land be evaluated?

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33 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 Reading Freibauer A, Mathijs E, Brunori G, Damianova Z, Faroult E, Gironagomis J, O’Brien L, and Treyer S. Transition toward sustainable food consumption and production in a resource-constrained world. E.U. Standing Committee on Agricultural Research. The Third Foresight Report. European Commission, Brussels, Belgium, 2011. 150 pages (Executive Summary on pp. 5-9). McNamara PE, Ranney CK, Kantor LS, and Krebs-Smith SM. The gap between food intakes and the pyramid recommendations: measurement and food system ramifications. Food Policy 1999; 24(2-3):117-133. [Abstract available.] O’Brian P. Dietary shifts and implications for US agriculture. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:1390S-1396S. [Abstract available.] Pelletier N, and Tyedmers P. Forecasting potential global environmental costs of livestock production 2000–2050. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2010;107:18371-18374. Quinton JN, Govers G, Van Oost K, and Bardgett RD. The impact of agricultural soil erosion on biogeochemical cycling. Nature Geoscience 2010;3:311-314. Ramankutty N, Evan AT, Monfreda C, and Foley JA. Farming the planet: 1. Geographic distribution of global agricultural lands in the year 2000. Global Biogeochem Cycles 2008;22:GB1003. Rosegrant MW, Ringler C, and Zhu T. Water for agriculture: Maintaining food security under growing scarcity. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 2009;34:205-222. [Abstract available.] Smith P, Martino D, Cai Z, Gwary D, Janzen H, Kumar P, McCarl B, Ogle S, O’Mara F, Rice C, Scholes B, Sirotenko O, Howden M, McAllister T, Pan G, Romanenkov V, Schneider U, Towprayoon S, Wattenbach M, and Smith J. Greenhouse gas mitigation in agriculture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 2008;363:789-813. The Royal Society. Reaping the benefits. The Royal Society: London, 2009. Because of the popularity of this topic, three groups explored this subject. Please be sure to review each write-up, which immediately follow this one. IDR TEAM MEMBERS—GROUP 4A • Christopher B. Craft, Indiana University • Jonathan A. Foley, University of Minnesota • Rebecca L. Goldman-Benner, Inter-American Development Bank • Patrick Goymer, Nature • Abby McBride, Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Roseanna M. Neupauer, University of Colorado • Gabriel P. Olchin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency • James W. Raich, Iowa State University

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34 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES • Robert J. Roehr, Freelance: BMJ, Medscape, Scientific American on- line. AAAS • Mary E. Stromberger, Colorado State University • Cranos M. Williams, North Carolina State University IDR TEAM SUMMARY—GROUP 4A Abby McBride, Science Writing Scholar Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDR Team 4A took on the challenge of developing an approach to feed nine billion people—the estimated global population in 2050—while maintaining ecosystem services. Designing agricultural systems for food security is a many-faceted problem. Agriculture must meet the current demand for food while also preparing to meet future demands, in anticipation of population growth and shifts in diet. It must do so sustainably, without destroying the eco- system’s ability to provide food or other ecosystem services. In addressing each of these requirements, agriculture must fight a staggering array of conflicting economical and sociopolitical forces. Five Steps to Achieving Food Security The world is home to seven billion people, a billion of whom are currently not getting enough to eat. By 2050 there will be an estimated nine billion people on the planet. Meanwhile, people around the globe are shifting their diets, eating more meat and other environmentally expensive foods. As a result, experts estimate that by 2050 the world’s food production will have to at least double in order to keep up with demand. At the same time, society will have to reduce its negative impact on the environment— otherwise, food security will be short-lived and other ecosystem services will be compromised. Agriculture is the most damaging of all human activities, in terms of land use, water use, water pollution, and greenhouse gases. Is it even mathematically possible to double food production while cut- ting environmental costs? One team member, who had recently published a major paper addressing that question, reported that the answer is yes: it is physically and biologically possible to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security—provided that we make some major changes in the way we

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35 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 farm and eat. The paper had identified five tasks that must be accomplished simultaneously: 1. We have to stop deforestation. When we expand agriculture to take over new land, the loss of ecosystem services far outweighs the gain in food. 2. We have to close yield gaps. Many regions around the world are not yielding as much food as they are capable of producing. 3. We have to use resources more efficiently. Through less-than-optimal use of water, fertilizers, and other resources, we are both polluting the envi- ronment and failing to make the most of limited resources. 4. We have to shift our diets and reduce biofuels. By devoting agricultural resources to livestock feed and nonfood crops, we are producing fewer calo- ries for human consumption than we could be. 5. We have to waste less food. We make food security less attainable by throwing away unused and past-expiration food, particularly meat. To avoid reinventing the wheel, IDR Team 4A reached a consensus to base further discussion on this set of five steps for achieving food security. The team agreed to (a) assess whether accomplishing those five steps would have a net positive impact on other ecosystem services, (b) identify mecha- nisms for accomplishing each step, and (c) identify what to do next, outside of the NAKFI conference. How Will the Five Steps Affect Other Ecosystem Services? IDR Team 4A assessed whether accomplishing the five steps would have a positive or negative impact on other ecosystem services, in addition to food availability. The team selected a handful of important ecosystem services and devel- oped a table (Figure 1), listing some of the impacts that each food security step would have upon each ecosystem service; impacts are simplified as positive, negative, or neutral symbols. Some of the food security steps were estimated to have an especially strong positive impact. The team had access to data showing that the strong positive effects in the “Improve Resource Use Efficiency” category more than compensated for the negative effects in the “Close Yield Gaps” category. This table gave the team a rough indication that the five food secu- rity steps would cause more positive than negative impacts on ecosystem

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36 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES The Five Steps to Achieving Food Security (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Stop Close Use Shift Diets Reduce Deforestation Yield Gaps Resources & Reduce Food More Biofuels Waste Ecosystem Services: Efficiently Carbon Sequestration ++ +, – + + Improved Water Quality + – ++ +/0 Soil Fertility + ++ + – Emission Reductions ++ – + +, – + Water Provisioning +, – – ++ + Biodiversity ++ – + Food Availability 0 + 0 + + FIGURE 1: Hypothetical impacts of the “five steps to achieving food security” upon selected ecosystem services. Impacts are strongly positive (++), positive (+), neutral (0), or negative (–). services. It furthermore identified areas in which care must be taken to minimize environmental harm. Actions and Agents for Accomplishing the Five Steps Satisfied that the five-step plan would benefit other ecosystem services along with immediate food needs, IDR Team 4A tackled the question of how to begin accomplishing the plan. Since each step is an enormous task fraught with difficulties, the team members looked for ways to break it down into more manageable pieces. For each step they considered four sub-categories in which actions must be taken: • Research and development; technology • Economics

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37 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 • Institutions and governance • Culture and norms; politics Actions: Thinking in terms of the four sub-categories, the team identi- fied some of the individual actions that would bring us closer to achieving each of the five food security steps. For example, one of the steps for food security is “use resources more efficiently.” When the team members consid- ered that problem through the lens of research and development, the actions they came up with included “improve irrigation technology” and “develop perennial crops.” When they considered the same problem through the lens of culture and norms, they thought of actions such as “discourage farmers from applying extra fertilizer for insurance.” Agents: Then, the team members identified some agents who would need to be involved in carrying out each action. For the research and development example above, they identified agribusinesses, universities, government agencies, and funding groups as the agents that would play a role in improving resource efficiency. For the culture and norms example, they identified farmers and the media as relevant agents. For each of the five steps, the team members constructed a table that listed actions and agents, broken into the four sub-categories. They noticed that many of the same types of agents recurred across the different steps and subcategories. Moving Closer to Real-World Application The members of IDR Team 4A had established that the five-step plan could achieve food security while benefiting other ecosystem services. They had identified some of the actions and agents necessary to accomplish each step of the plan. Finally, they sketched out strategies to move toward real- world application. The team proposed further research to determine the minimum extent to which each of the five steps must be met. Such knowledge would allow activists to best allocate efforts in the face of economic, social, and political opposition. Another strategy that the team suggested is convening a workshop to evaluate the United States government’s current priorities in agriculture, food, the environment, and health. The team proposed looking for align- ments and efficiencies among these different concerns, to find opportunities for harmonizing efforts and funds.

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38 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IDR Team 4A lastly proposed collaborating with existing groups to fine-tune the lists of actions and agents they identified, by collecting and conducting more research. The team suggested contacting and engaging those agents, to set the wheels in motion for achieving food security through sustainable agriculture. IDR TEAM MEMBERS—GROUP 4B • Robyn Abree, University of Georgia • Sandy J. Andelman, Conservation International • Richard M. Anderson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory • Joel J. Ducoste, North Carolina State University • Kathleen A. Farley, San Diego State University • Gayathri Gopalakrishnan, Argonne National Laboratory • Adena R. Rissman, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Mark A. Zondlo, Princeton University IDR SUMMARY —GROUP 4B Robyn Abree, NAKFI Science Writing Scholar University of Georgia Statement of the Problem IDR Team 4B was asked to design agricultural and aquacultural sys- tems that provide food security while maintaining the full set of ecosystem services needed from landscapes and seascapes. Instead, based on the group’s unique specialties, it narrowed the challenge to studying ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes only, specifically designing solutions that cross the traditional urban-rural divide. The group drew inspiration from Joel Cohen’s keynote speech about the potential challenges that come because of increases in human popu- lation. According to Cohen, who is a professor and head of the lab of populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University, urban expansion is growing at a super-exponential rate; a new city is in the process of being built somewhere in the world every few hours. The group found this trend to be highly threatening in regard to maintaining food security in the coming decades. It pointed out that rapid urban expansion may not be

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39 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 a big deal in places with plenty of land, like North America, but in devel- oping countries such as India, food production would diminish due to the conversion of agricultural land for urban use. Goals The group decided that its primary goal should be to think about how to equitably distribute healthful foods by increasing food production in urban, suburban, and exurban areas where the majority of people live. That is, agricultural systems should be integrated into existing and developing urban infrastructure in order to adequately feed future city populations. Constructing vertical farms in every newly built city is one way to support this unique merging of uses between agricultural and residential landscapes. The group agreed that vertical farms, which are essentially high rises with floors of fields that produce crops all year round, would also help them achieve a second goal: to prevent new conversion of forests, grasslands, and wetlands into prime agricultural land to sustain urban areas. The group also suggested provisions to reuse waste normally filtered out into urban fringe areas in order to power the new urban-agricultural food production systems. For example, food towers require artificial light to operate, and hydrologic power from recycled wastewater would provide the energy needed to sustain agricultural operations. And because it’s estimated that by 2050 most of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, agricultural infrastructure in urban areas would incidentally slash transportation costs and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with importing and exporting foods long distances. By the same token, group members surmised that by moving farms closer to where people live, some communities could maintain themselves entirely with the food produced within their own city limits. Approaches/Gaps in Technology In order to bring this new agricultural infrastructure into being, the group came up with three different strategies. One: educate consumers and producers about the amount of resources it takes to produce and transport food, and thereby adjust cultural norms for waste expenditure. One idea was to put sticker barcodes on each individual food item. Ideally then, con- sumers and producers would be able to use their smart phones to scan the barcode and see the amount of energy it took to produce that single food

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40 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES item. Because putting a barcode on every piece of produce may be overreach- ing, the group also suggested putting devices on delivering trucks to track the miles and the amount of carbon emissions released to transport food. Using this new information about the history of produce, group members hoped that stakeholders, consumers, and producers would challenge current systems and vie for more sustainable urban-agricultural practices. The group’s second strategy suggests using government regulations to enact new production systems and provide incentives for agricultural busi- nesses to adopt environmentally sustainable practices. Unlike other groups, this group emphasized the importance of rooting research in community decision-making processes. In order to help local government officials make informed decisions about food systems and land use, the group thought that a suite of metrics that integrate the resources used to produce food should be developed. Examples of these metrics are as follows: carbon and water footprints, food source and location, energy type, land use and biodiversity. As such, the group’s third and final strategy was to design and build the technology using the new set of metrics that explains the link between land use management, food production, hydrology, biogeochemical cycles, and socioeconomic systems. Above all, each group member agreed that it was necessary to identify the thresholds and “safe operating spaces” of agricultural ecosystem services as it pertains to climate change before new systems are put into place. With climate change, changes in ecosystem services are imminent, and as such, areas where agricultural lands thrive are subject to change as well. The group predicted that recognizing these thresholds would influence policy maker decisions about how and where food is produced, thus perhaps providing a bigger incentive to adopt urban-agricultural farming techniques like verti- cal farming. Integrating Land Use and Food Systems Before building a new city, policy makers should consider a variety of factors in order to integrate urban land use and food production and delivery. Most obviously, cities should designate certain areas of the city for food production only, and incorporate enough room for food production systems like vertical farms. Moreover, policy makers and architects should design systems that harness hydrologic power from wastewater facilities. Lastly, government regulations to banish mono-crop industries should be implemented in order to put power back into the hands of the individual

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41 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 farmer, increase agricultural diversity and provide incentives to adopt sus- tainable, urban-agricultural farming practices. Conclusion/Benefits The group sees vast benefits in adopting integrated urban and agri- cultural infrastructure. For one, due to an increasing dependency on local agriculture, and consequently, a sharp reduction in carbon emissions for transportation, the group thinks that air quality will dramatically improve. Likewise, implementing local agriculture systems in poor, urban areas will inevitably improve access to healthful foods for vulnerable populations. Moreover, the group expects that recycling wastewater to power urban- agricultural food systems will cut down on water pollution. Instead of grey water and storm water from urban areas trickling out and polluting hinterlands and fringe areas, the water would be continuously cycled back to power the food production system. Government regulations of mono-cropping industries would encour- age biological and agricultural diversity, thereby also enhancing overall ecosystem resilience and the retention of nutrients in soil. Finally, the group agreed that one of the most overlooked but beneficial outcomes would be the improvement of the aesthetic, recreational, and cultural quality of life. The reduction of air and water pollution, combined with less land conver- sion for agricultural use, would result in cleaner outdoor spaces, ideal for leisurely activities like biking, hiking, walking, and even eating. IDR TEAM MEMBERS—GROUP 4C • Camille M. Antinori, University of California, Berkeley • Kamaljit S. Bawa, University of Massachusetts, Boston • Heida L. Diefenderfer, U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Science • Alan J. Franzluebbers, U.S. Department of Agriculture • Gillian L. Galford, The Woods Hole Research Center • Douglas A. Landis, Michigan State University • Sarah E. Lester, University of California, Santa Barbara • Kirk McAlpin, Georgia Sea Grant, University of Georgia • Alison G. Power, Cornell University • Todd V. Royer, Indiana University • Scott M. Swinton, Michigan State University

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42 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IDR TEAM SUMMARY—GROUP 4C Kirk McAlpin, NAKFI Science Writing Scholar University of Georgia IDR Team 4C was asked to design agricultural and aquacultural sys- tems that provide food security, while maintaining the full set of ecosystem services needed from landscapes and seascapes. The team listed priority traits of a desirable system across diverse landscapes and geographical re- gions that could produce high food yields while maintaining ecosystem services, and envisioned an international design competition that could help fill crucial gaps in our knowledge of production systems. The advent of agriculture has, slowly but surely, changed the size and nature of human populations as advances have occurred during the past thousands of years. As people became able to control food production, the world’s population increased, as did human beings’ ability to live in cultur- ally and economically productive societies. There is no doubt that Earth’s already large population of some seven billion people will continue to grow at a rate that will create serious new demands on food production, as well as natural ecosystems. There will be significant challenges to feeding the growing population of the world, chal- lenges made even more difficult because of the need to protect the natural systems important to humans and animals, often known as ecosystem ser- vices. Simply put, the worlds’ ecosystems provide vital services to human populations and to the natural world itself. Historically, agriculture has caused major deforestation, depleted topsoil, and decreased water quality and biodiversity throughout the word. Other forms of human activity have also caused soil, water, and air pollution, hatibat loss, desertification, disease dissemination, climate change, etc. In addition, current food production and the systems through which food is distributed still leave two billion people in the world without adequate nutrition. Natural ecosystems provide all of the nutrients and life cycles needed to ensure regeneration, but they also provide services that are imperative for human survival, such as food, clean water, clean air, minerals, energy, nutrients, seeds, and carbon sequestration. Without the combination of all necessary ecosystem services, living conditions could become very difficult, and eventually impossible with the addition of two billion more people on Earth, which is projected to occur by 2050.

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43 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 The Creative Challenge There is no one solution to the challenge of balancing massive food production and protection of ecosystems on a global level. Agricultural, financial, geographical, and cultural standards are diverse. For that reason, IDR Team 4C decided that the best way to tackle the problem of design- ing agricultural and aquaculture systems that provide food security while maintaining a full set of ecosystem services was to first, describe the current system and its benefits and failings, second, to determine what a desir- able system would look like, and third, come up with tactics for potentially improved food production systems. The goal is a long way off, but assem- bling a base of knowledge and data is a practical start to the huge problem humans face. If a desired set of outcomes were agreed upon, farmers, sci- entists, and citizens from varied cultures and geographies across the world could work to solve the food crisis with a system of best practices based on a global agricultural design competition. Mapping the Road Between Unsustainable Food-Production Systems and a World of Adequate, Sustainable, and Nutritious Food If our present methods of agriculture continue while we have to feed another two billion people by 2050, it is hard not to imagine a dramatic impact on ecosystem services globally. To design a better future, it is impera- tive to know where we are, and how we got here. Because agriculture is a large producer of greenhouse gases and the biggest polluter of fresh water, change in agricultural practice is imperative. Twentieth century agriculture was very successful in using fertilizers, irrigation, and crop technology to meet the growing food needs of billions of people around the world. How- ever, those methods have created a situation in which many ecosystems have become depleted of important resources and may not be able to support agriculture in the future. As climate changes, further threats to agriculture and ecosystems will occur, creating new challenges for solving the problem of food security—a term used to mean that people can count on sufficient nutrition day by day to be healthy. Meeting demands for a broad, local-to-global effort to feed nine bil- lion people will require policies, institutions, and markets that will lead to reduced demand, improved efficiency of food systems, intensification of agriculture in some places, and more equitable access to food that provides sufficient calories and nutrients in places in the world where people are now

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44 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES undernourished. Because the team chose to focus on the actual elements of the food production system, distribution of wealth and political feasibility were considered outside the scope of the IDR challenge. Traits of a Desirable Food Production System In order to feed nine billion people, humans will have to eat less meat and eat more grains, because farm animals consume large amounts of grain themselves and take up valuable agricultural space, which could be devoted to feeding humans. Ideally, diets emphasizing grains, vegetables, and fish would also provide necessary nutrients in addition to necessary calories. Ideal agricultural systems would also be designed to be resilient to changes in the environment, such as drought and climate change, so that negative environmental events would not wipe out entire crops and put people at risk of famine. This could possibly be achieved through innovative farm- ing methods and advances in crop science. On a social and political level, education about food systems is extremely important so that producers and consumers can make more informed choices to help protect food produc- tion and understand the value of ecosystem services. Knowledge Gaps and Research Needed Acknowledging that human food production systems are a long way from a path to a sustainable production system to feed nine billion people, and that there is no current comprehensive plan to deal with the problem, IDR Team 4C took the approach of identifying important impediments to learning how to create a balance between food systems on multiple scales and natural ecosystems, and how those barriers could be incorporated into a de- sign competition challenge with the hope of inspiring innovative solutions. 1. Important and necessary elements of a multi-scale food production system The team agreed that, first there is a need for research on improved strat- egies for food production, in addition to strategies for valuation and protec- tion of ecosystem services. These strategies could include growing more food on current agricultural lands where appropriate, rehabilitation of degraded agricultural land, and research on new production methods that produce high yields while not compromising the ecosystem. This system would include multi-scale ‘foodsheds’, or the idea that food security extends from the groceries you put on the family table to large-scale global agriculture.

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45 IDR TEAM SUMMARY 4 2. Linkages between production methods and ecosystem services A fundamental aspect of the team challenge was to understand how production methods affect ecosystem services. There is not enough infor- mation in this area because technologies that produce data on ecosystem service losses are expensive and unavailable to people in many parts of the world. While feeding nine billion people, it will be important to measure and model the cumulative effects of agriculture and identify tradeoffs be- tween food production and ecosystem services. A system of identifying tradeoffs and synergies would combine what the team called an agro-ecosystem, where any food production system would take into account the effect on ecosystem services, such as soil quality, carbon storage in soils and forests, pollination of crops and wild plants, biodiversity and water quality. 3. Ability to quantify and document ecosystem services at multiple scales A major barrier to establishing the value of ecosystem services and the effect that agricultural production has on natural systems is the lack of readily available and cost-effective technologies to measure trends in ecosystem services. In order to be able to judge the effect of agriculture on the environment, the team acknowledged that it is imperative to be able to measure the effect on ecosystems from thousand-acre cornfields to intensive small-farming operations. Cost effective technologies to measure ecosystem services can enable performance-based policy. IDR Team 4C outlined important examples of how developing tech- nologies could enhance knowledge of ecosystem and agricultural tradeoffs. The team argued that traceability, meaning the ability to track calorie efficiency in a food system, especially with meat and grains fed to animals, water usage, and oil for transport, would be integral to knowing how much energy humans put into agriculture and what the effects are. Tracking nitrogen in food systems is also important because when it is overused in fertilizers and enters the environment, it can cause harm to the ecosystem. The team also acknowledged the need for better remote sensing techniques for carbon sequestration because of its important role in climate change. 4. Human choices of food production systems In order to fully grasp the global problem of producing food while maintaining a sustainable production system, it is important to understand the cultural norms and institutions of diverse societies, and what the eco- nomic and cultural tradeoffs of different agricultural systems are.

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46 ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Place-Based Sustainable Landscape Configurations: An International Design Competition To fill in the important gaps of knowledge, and to begin to create a system that could work in diverse environments on a global scale, IDR Team 4C proposed the creation of an international design competition to explore and apply the gaps in research so that there can be a large pool of resources and recommendations to draw upon in the creation of locally led, but globally relevant food production systems that value the preservation of ecosystem services. The first step in this process would be to identify and characterize informative landscapes throughout the world to provide the diversity of broad and applicable models. Once key stakeholders were engaged, participants would be given a set of design principles to use as a template for the concepts of model food production systems. Stakeholders, including governments, small farmers, agro-business personnel, and other producers and consumers would be encouraged to use real landscape data and local knowledge to evaluate sus- tainability, with the goal of proposing more resilient landscape designs that incorporate the valuation of ecosystem services. Comprehensive plans for diverse geographical regions would be sub- mitted to an international design competition committee to engage fund- raisers and key stakeholders. The program would be a long-term process, and results would be continually repeated to synthesize lessons learned. The team acknowledged that this would be a costly, ambitious, and long-term endeavor, but one that could potentially provide a template as a global model for locally led and globally inspired sustainability, ultimately which would lead to a balance between food production and ecosystem services. The World and Food Ahead Although 21st century food production challenges will persist, especially in the face of climate change and population growth, IDR Team 4C believes that bringing together the best technology and collaborative agricultural research, global and local, will produce results that can be used around the world to promote sustainable food production and consump- tion from the kitchen table to the largest agro-industrial operations.