FABLE: How to get food and land use systems on track

02/03/2023 - Sustainable futures for food and land use systems are only possible with coordinated, major efforts around the world in the next decade. This is what a team of researchers, including PIK, from 20 countries found by using FABLE (Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-Use and Energy) modeling tools. The results are now published in a Special Issue.
FABLE: How to get food and land use systems on track
Foto: Adrian Infernus/Unsplash

“We live in a world where millions of people do not have enough food and nutrition-related diseases are widespread. FABLE helps to identify pathways to sustainable food and land use systems“, says PIK scientist Hermann Lotze-Campen.

The FABLE Special Issue shows that more ambitious actions are urgently needed to meet national and global sustainability targets on climate, biodiversity, freshwater use, and food security. Under current trends, none of the 12 countries examined in the special issue can reach their sustainability targets. The research shows also that the goal of keeping the planet livable for our children is still within reach - with a major, concerted effort.

To meet Paris Agreement targets, deforestation must stop, and greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, including the agriculture, forestry, and land use sector, must fall drastically by 2030. For meeting the provisional post-2020 global biodiversity goal of halting and reversing biodiversity loss requires a sharp increase in the area of natural ecosystems where biodiversity can thrive, through stronger conservation and restoration actions. Also, policymakers need to introduce stronger incentives for consumers and businesses to shift their consumption and production patterns in line with pathways for sustainable future.

The FABLE Consortium members from 88 institutes – including Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) - and 20 countries have worked together to produce a FABLE Special Issue, a series of 14 peer-reviewed papers presenting the science and solutions from FABLE’s work to find pathways to sustainable food and land use systems. These pathways focus on topics as conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, shifting diets, improving agricultural productivity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and less resource-intensive consumption patterns. The same key leverage points are identified in multiple countries.