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Measuring What Matters in Agriculture and Food Systems: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food

Future of Food

Alexander Mueller

  • TEEB Agrifood Study Leader and Managing Director, TMG - Thinktank for Sustainability

Kathleen Merrigan

  • Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University

Agri-food value chains are dynamically linked with socio-economic, cultural and ecological systems – from the local to the global level. These coupled ‘eco-agri-food’ systems provide income and wellbeing for more people than any other economic sector. At the same time, they shape the health of both people and the planet.

To date, little attention has been paid however to these diverse impacts and benefits provided by agri-food value chains, from farm to fork to disposal. Agriculture and food policies often follow a siloed approach, disregarding important interlinkages and tradeoffs between the multiple agri-food system components. This can lead to negative effects on health, livelihoods, and the environment.

Led by the U.N. Environment Program, the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) AgriFood initiative suggests a new evaluation framework through which eco-agri-food systems can be systematically analyzed and inherent complexities disentangled. TEEBAgriFood draws on the knowledge of over 150 experts from 33 countries, and uses a systems lens to evaluate both the monetary and non-monetary values of agricultural practices, products, and policy scenarios across diverse food value chains.

TEEBAgriFood suggests new avenues for improved decision making in policy, business, and farming to foster the transformation of agri-food systems that are sustainable, equitable, and healthy. In recognition, the initiative has been honored with the Future Policy Award 2018.

External guests may contact Mr. Venkat Ramachandran for registration.

Co-hosted by the Agriculture & Environment and Natural Resources Global Practices, World Bank Group.

Monday, December 10, 2018
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m - 12:00 p.m. AZ)