IISD reporting services Friday, 24 June 2011
June 2011: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released a preliminary report outlining a strategy for green growth in the agricultural sector.
The report aims to identify the challenges and opportunities of a green growth path for the food and agriculture sector, including policies, management practices and indicators necessary. A green growth strategy for food and agriculture implies increasing output while managing scarce natural resources; reducing the carbon intensity and adverse environmental impacts throughout the food chain; enhancing the provision of environmental services such as carbon sequestration, flood and drought control; and conserving biodiversity.
The report outlines future challenges and opportunities of the agricultural sector, including: increasing demand for food and agricultural raw materials; climate change; growing pressures on natural resources; renewable energy; and innovation. On climate change, the report notes that moderate increases in temperature and higher concentrations of CO2 could have small beneficial impacts on productivity, whereas higher increases in temperature would lead to significant pressures on world food prices due to lower average yields and higher risks of crop failure. Agriculture is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, but it can also act as a carbon sink if the right management practices are applied.
The report identifies three priority areas for policy making: increasing productivity in a sustainable manner, in particular by prioritizing research, development, innovation, education, extension services and information; ensuring that markets provide the right signals, and in particular that prices reflect the scarcity value of natural resources as well as the positive and negative environmental impacts of their use; and establishing and enforcing well defined property rights, so as to ensure sustainable resource use. [Publication: OECD Preliminary Report on A Green Growth Strategy for Food and Agriculture]