Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Enhancing Food Security in an Era of Global Climate Change
CID Working Paper No. 198
July 2010
William C Clark, Patti Kristjanson, Bruce Campbell, Calestous Juma, Noel M Holbrook, Gerald Nelson and Nancy Dickson
Center for International Development at Harvard University

Acknowledgements: FANRPAN acknowledges Center for International Development (CID) as the source of this document

The goal of the workshop was to build a more strategic and integrated perspective on the threats and opportunities latent in the food / climate issue, and to discuss the hard challenges of moving forward toward common goals in a private, off-the-record setting. An executive session convened by the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Venice International University on June 6-9, 2010 attracted more than 25 of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business to San Servolo Island for an intensive three day session (see text for a list of the participants). The discussions were off-the-record, with each participant present in his or her own capacity, rather than representing an organization. The session was one in a series on Grand Challenges of the Sustainability Transition organized by the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University with the generous support of the Italy's Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea. This particular session was held in cooperation with the new Mega Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security being developed by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership. This summary report of the session is our synthesis of the main points and arguments that emerged from the discussions. It does not represent a consensus document, since no effort was made at the Session to arrive at a single consensus view. Rather, we report here on what we heard to be the major themes discussed at the session. Any errors or misrepresentations remain solely our responsibility.

Grand Challenges of the Sustainability Transition:
This report emerges from the fourth in a series of intense workshops and study sessions on Grand Challenges of the Sustainability Transition, organized by the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University, hosted by Venice International University, and supported by the Italy's Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea.

The first session in the series addressed Grand Challenges in Sustainability Science. It was convened in October 2006 by William Clark, Co-Director, Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University; John Holdren, President, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Professor, Harvard University; and Robert Kates, Co-Chair, Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability.

The second session held addressed goals and concerns surrounding the debate over government policies related to the greater use and production of biofuels. It was convened in 2008 by Henry Lee, Ricardo Hausmann, and Robert Lawrence at Harvard University and Melinda Kimble, United Nations Foundation.

The third session held addressed actionable solutions for making water a force for improved human health and well being in the development agenda. It was convened in 2009 by Michael Kremer at Harvard University; Alix Zwane at Global Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Azzam Alwash at Nature Iraq.

The reports of these workshops are available at:

The Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University:
The Sustainability Science Program at the Center for International Development harnesses Harvard University's strengths to promote the design of institutions, policies, and practices that support sustainable development. The Program addresses the challenge of sustainable development by: advancing scientific understanding of human-environment systems; improving linkages between research and policy communities; and building capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability. The Program supports major initiatives in policy-relevant research, faculty research, training of students and fellows, teaching, and outreach. Further information is available though the Program web site at, or from co-Directors William C Clark () or Nancy Dickson (), at the Center for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA.

Venice International University:
Venice International University (VIU) is an association made up of ten universities, the Foundation of Venice, the Province of Venice, the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory (IMET) and the Italian National Research Council. The aim of this international center is to manage higher education and research centers on the island of San Servolo in Venice. VIU's work on sustainability is pursued through The Center for Thematic Environmental Networks (TEN). Further information is available through the TEN web site at, or from Professor Ignazio Musu (), at VIU, Isola di San Servolo 30100 Venice, Italy.

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