WRI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are sponsoring three workshops to explore potential technical measures to both mitigate climate change and boost food security.

Workshop One: The first workshop occurred over two days, August 3-4 2021, and focused on the mitigation measures that are most commonly discussed today. It included sessions exploring the evolving scientific understanding of soil carbon, and the different viewpoints about the feasibility of increasing soil carbon on working agricultural lands. Additional sessions focused on soil health in sub-Saharan Africa, ways of mitigating emissions from rice production, including an integrated mitigation/adaptation project in Bangladesh,  ways of reducing emissions related to nitrogen use, and silvopastoral systems.

Additional workshops will focus on promising livestock management changes, promising technical innovations to address each category of emissions and ways in which directly addressing food security by boosting yields can be used to reduce deforestation and emissions.

Speakers and Presentations

Day One – Monday August 4th

Summary of the food production, food security & emissions challenge

Tim Searchinger, Senior Fellow and Technical Director, WRI

 


The Basic Science of Soil Carbon: What is it, what do we know about what causes it to persist, and what do we know about how agricultural practices affect it?

Dr. Johannes Lehmann, Professor of Biogeochemistry, Cornell University

Dr. Margaret Torn, Ecologist and Biogeochemist, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Dr. John Kirkegaard, Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO

 

Rice & Integrated Adaptation/Mitigation Project in Bangladesh

Tim Searchinger, Senior Fellow and Technical Director, WRI, Princeton University

Dr. Abu Syed, Senior Fellow, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies

 

Nitrogen

Tim Searchinger, Senior Fellow and Technical Director, WRI, Princeton University

Dr. David Powlson, Professor Emeritus, Rothamsted Research

Eileen Kladivko, Professor of Agronomy, Purdue University

 

Day Two – Tuesday August 5th

Dr. Johannes Lehmann, Professor of Biogeochemistry, Cornell University

Dr. David Powlson, Professor Emeritus, Rothamsted Research

Richard Conant, Professor of Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University

 

Challenges & opportunities regarding soil carbon in Africa

Ken Giller, Professor of Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University

Pauline Chivenge, Principal Scientist, Africa Plant Nutrition Institute

 

Silvopastoral systems

Julian Chara, Research Coordinator, CIPAV

 

Workshop Two: The second workshop occurred over two days, October 19-20 2021, and focused on livestock systems, which generate most of agricultural emissions and use most of the land. It also focused on proposed technical innovations related to nitrogen, manure management, and soil carbon with a policy discussion about how to encourage innovation. 

The third workshop to occur later will focus on “produce and protect” strategies to boost yields while protecting forests and other natural habitats. 

Speakers and Presentations

Day One – Tuesday October 19th

Topic: WRI and the Gates Foundation Present: Technical Opportunities for a Sustainable Food Future: Part Two 

Start Time : Oct 19, 2021 06:27 AM 

Introductions & Summary of First Workshop

Tim Searchinger, Senior Fellow and Technical Director, WRI 

 

Livestock

Mario Herrero, Chief Research Scientist of Agriculture and Food; Professor of Sustainable Food Systems and Global Change, CSIRO; Cornell University 

Ermias Kebreab, Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, University of California at Davis 

Solomon Mwendia, Associate Scientist, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

Michael Peters, Tropical Forages Program Lead, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

 

Innovative methods for soil carbon increases: suberin & deep roots, silicate rock spreading, biochar, remote soil carbon measurements 

Joanne Chory, Professor and Director, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute

David Beerling, Sorby Professor of Natural Sciences, Sheffield University

Claudia Kammann, Professor, Hochschule Geisenheim University

Keith Shepard, Principal Soil Scientist, World Agroforestry Center 

 

Innovations for using perennial crops 

Morten Ambye-Jensen, Associate Professor, Aarhus University 

James Astwood, Chief Technology Officer, TerViva 

 

Day Two – Wednesday October 20th

Topic: WRI and the Gates Foundation Present: Technical Opportunities for a Sustainable Food Future: Part Two 

Start Time : Oct 20, 2021 06:29 AM 

Introduction to Second Day 

Tim Searchinger, Senior Fellow and Technical Director, WRI 

 

Nitrogen: Biological nitrification inhibition, microbial additions, balancing nutrients 

Guntur Subbarao, Senior Scientist and Group Leader, JIRCAS  

Adriana Botes, R&D Director, Azotic Technologies 

Ken Giller, Professor of Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University 

 

Panel regarding precision agriculture & timing of fertilizer application 

Pauline Chivenge, Principal Scientist, African Plant Nutrition Institute 

David Powlson, Professor Emeritus, Rothamsted Research 

Harold Mathjis van Es, Professor, Cornell University 

 

Innovations to address demand: food loss & waste & plant-based meats 

Jessica Vieira, Senior Director of Sustainability, Apeel Science 

Liz Specht, Vice President of Science and Technology, Good Food Institute 

 

Policies to promote Innovation – Panel discussion 

Daniel Vennard, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta 

Kathryn Zook, Program Analyst, USDA 

Bill Hohenstein, Director of Office of Energy and Environmental Policy (OEEP) within the Office of the Chief Economist, USDA