May 29, 2013
During 2013 and 2014, WRI is releasing on a rolling basis a series of "Creating a Sustainable Food Future" working paper installments. Each installment will analyze a menu item from our proposed "menu for a sustainable food future" and recommend policies and other measures for implementation. The series will not, however, cover all menu items. Questions each installment will consider include:What is the menu item?How big an impact could it make in food availability, economic development, and environmental benefits?Where might the menu item be most applicable?What are the three to five most promising, practical, and scalable approaches for achieving this menu item?What are the obstacles -- economic, political, technical, or other -- to implementing these approaches?How can these obstacles be overcome?What "bright spots" of success exist, and what can be learned from them?Each installment will be coauthored by its own cohort of WRI researchers, WRR partners, and renowned experts. Authors will engage representatives from target audiences during the research and writing phases. After the series has concluded, WRI will consolidate the installments into a final World Resources Report. To avoid overlap with upcoming installments, this first working paper does not cover many of the issues that may be important for the food-development-environment nexus. For instance, it does not cover international investments in agricultural land ("land grabs"); the merits of small-scale versus large-scale agricultural systems; the influence of land tenure, property rights, and generational succession laws and norms on agricultural productivity; and policies for providing access to clean energy services for agriculture. Future installments will address some of these issues. Many of the analyses in this series are global in nature and use global datasets. We recognize that they may not fully account for the ethical, cultural, and socioeconomic factors of specific locations. Moreover, the menu for a sustainable food future is designed for the long term; it is not a menu for tackling acute, near-term food shortage crises.