Modelling Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security — MACSUR
Launch of the Science-Policy Knowledge Forum (MACSUR SciPol Pilot)
The European Joint Programming Initiative for Agriculture, Food Security and ClimateChange (FACCE JPI) commenced the MACSUR SciPol as a pilot to bring science and policy together to strategically design a response to climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges in the agri-food sector in Europe. The SciPol pilot will generate key lessons to establish and operationalise a science-policy knowledge forum. The forum works on model generated knowledge synthesis for evidence-based policy support to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, adapt to climate change and understand synergies and trade-offs in achieving these targets.
The MACSUR SciPol will be implemented from June 2021 for 18 months as a follow up to MACSUR 1 and 2 (https://macsur.eu/). It will initially address key policy questions from eight participating countries with the aim to expand to further policy needs and transnational initiatives for long term functioning. The key policy questions are connected to the 70% emission reduction targets for 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050 under the Green Deal or the Paris Agreement, and to core themes of the FACCE Strategic research agenda. These topics are categorised into Mitigation, Adaptation, and Impacts. Mitigation topics address emission reduction strategies linked with livestock, cropping and aquaculture systems, carbon sequestration, consumer preferences, and conflicting land demands. Adaptation topics address measures to implement in agriculture, livestock, and consumer trends in different climatic conditions. Topics associated with the impacts focus on assessing ecosystems services and biodiversity, human and animal health, rural development, equity and the global footprint, spill over and rebound effects on the food and nutrition security.
The MACSUR SciPol pilot adopts a transdisciplinary co-design process with deep engagement of stakeholders. It consists of a coordinated network of scientists, policy makers, and stakeholders from farming, civil society, and business. The results from modelling assessments will be discussed in participatory multi-stakeholder dialogues to support the policy decisions. As a result, research syntheses will become increasingly relevant and sensitive to policy issues.
The core output of the MACSUR SciPol is an established procedure of science-based response to policy questions that proved operational in exemplary cases related to mitigation and adaptation measures, their impact, synergies, and trade-offs.
Download: MACSUR SciPol Pilot Summary
MACSUR presented on the 10 Year Event of FACCE-FPI
The Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) celebrates its ten year anniversary by engaging in a high-level science-policy discussion on 26 & 27 November 2020. The aim was to highlight the European societal challenges including the key research concerns, to explore potential new pathways by showcasing past scientific results, and to prioritise science-policy discussion with the national and European decision makers about the strategic urgencies. MACSUR was invited to present the knowledge hub and the outcome of our work. Here is the video that has been performed on this event:
The Knowledge Hub FACCE MACSUR brings together the excellence of research in modelling grasslands, livestock, crops, farms, and agricultural trade in order to improve the modelling of climate change impacts on European agriculture and in order to illustrate to political decision makers how climate will affect regional farming systems and food production in Europe. To achieve this goal, MACSUR engaged in a range of activities, including methodological comparisons of models and use of their outputs (scaling, uncertainty), linking of complementary models from different sectors, involvement of stakeholders, training of young scientists, and establishing a community of practice across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The five-year project started in June 2012.
FACCE MACSUR is organized as a Knowledge Hub, a new financial and organizational instrument. The novelty of MACSUR lies in the in-kind contributions of 2 million euros which, in addition to the 6 million euros of new money, contribute to facilitating the convergence of already funded and ongoing research, as well as funding new research [financial figures refer to the period 1 June 2012 - 31 May 2015 and were established on preliminary accounting data]. The project includes currently 70 institutions from 18 countries. Activities are funded by national agencies, with the amount of funds and the regulation of their use governed at the national level.
|Collaboration across countries and disciplines||Advancing modelling for risk assessment of climate change impacts||Outlook and remaining challenges||Interaction with stakeholders: bridging the gap|
|Video summary of the Bilbao Colloquium|
- Creating a forum for knowledge exchange across science disciplines.
- Adoption of good-practice examples from other scientific communities.
- Structured description of models and comparisons of model performance.
- Selection of regional case studies as showcases of integrated and inter-disciplinary modelling work.
- Training of young scientists.
- Development of European Representative Agricultural Pathways as input to global scenario exercises.
- Development of a data classification and rating tool for exploration of existing data sets.
- Advancement of knowledge in modelling of crop production, grassland production, price development.
- Collaboration on new funded projects.
- More than hundred papers on methodological aspects of modelling food security published in peer-reviewed journals.
- Overview papers in high-profile journals.
- Major international scientific conferences and workshops.
MACSUR made significant progress in the linking of models and scientific communities across individual disciplines for contributions to regional and European assessments. As a result of MACSUR activities models could be compared and then improved, crop rotations have been included in modelling, and methods have been refined for upscaling model results. Evaluating and comparing models for assessments at farm-scale and including livestock has been a major step forward for providing the basis for regional and European-scale assessments. At the aggregated European level, adaptation and mitigation, economy and environment, policy and consumer interests meet, so that modelling becomes very complex.
Several important conclusions emerged: Improving animal health and welfare are important adaptation and mitigation strategies; crop, livestock, farm and socio-economic models should be able to respond to adaptation measures and provide links to climate and land use change; linking models across scales, interaction with stakeholders, and cross-sectoral learning are vital for supporting decisions at policy level. With improved modelling of crops and livestock, socio-economic models developed and applied in MACSUR, the Knowledge Hub now provides the links to global and regional economies and links to the internationally agreed shared socioeconomic pathway (SSP) scenarios. The key message from the assessments is that future legislative frameworks for mitigation, adaptation and resource management as well as consumer behaviour are crucial for how well regional and European agriculture can deal with climate change.
Research in MACSUR has been documented in more than 200 peer-reviewed publications including significant strategy papers, several special issues of journals, numerous presentations, and a great number of interactions with policymakers and stakeholders along the agro-food chain.
Regional case studies
The purpose of regional case studies is a simultaneous and interlinked development of a common conceptual framework and actual models and model links to assist policy makers and actors in the agri-food chain in identifying effective and efficient adaptation and mitigation measures and potential consequence scenarios, e.g. impact on food yield, quality, nutritive value, disease load etc. in perceived hotspots of climate impacts. The studies are geared to ansower the question "what would be the different contributions of different European adaptation strategies to global food security until 2050 at different scales (farm to EU) while keeping the GHG targets?"
Three case studies in Northern Savo (Finland), Mostviertel (Austria), and Oristano (Sardinia, Italy) have been selected as showcase pilot studies to represent the farming systems in northern, central and southern Europe. The case studies expand existing case studies. For compatibility with international research networks AgMIP and ISIMIP the Regional Pilot Studies will apply the new Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (especially SSP2 "continuation" but also SSP3 "fragmentation") in conjunction with the Representative CO2 Concentration Pathway of 8.5 W/m2 (most similar to the SRES A2 emission scenario of the IPCC reports).
FACCE MACSUR integrated Regional Pilot Studies, Workshop results