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Cultivating Solutions: Agriculture in the New Normal

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How can we grow enough food to feed 9 billion people while protecting the ecological integrity of our planet? IonE director Jon Foley and four other global food experts had some hopeful thoughts to share at Aspen Environment Forum 2012: Living in the New Normal, held recently at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colo. Panelists (from left) were Foley; World Wildlife Fund senior VP for market transformation Jason Clay; former U.S. secretary of agriculture Dan Glickman; and World Resources Institute senior fellow Chris Reij. National Geographic executive editor Dennis Dimick (right) moderated the conversation.

Foley began by sharing a five-step plan for boosting global food production while reducing environmental impact. Among the other points panel members made:

  • Innovations are going to happen where local meets global through social media.
  • We need to measure parameters like waste and calorie production if we are to better manage them.
  • It's important to celebrate successes such as the greening of the Sahel and then scale them up.
  • Government will be key to success in global food produciton.
  • Much of the opportunity for progress lies not in new technology but in dissemination of new practices.
View the video of the panel discussion above. Then check out the AEF website for videos of other AEF panel presentations on energy, communication, biodiversity and more. Good stuff.

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  of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.