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From local to global

This is the sixth meeting in the series and many of our discussions so far have looked at land use change and demand for resources at a global level. This month, we are changing scale and using the overlapping interests of the three witnesses to explore questions that focus on the impacts of changes in land use, climate change and the demand for resources at a local level. 

Dame Barbara Stocking, the Principle of Murray Edwards College is interested in talking about land grabbing and giving a practitioner's view of the connections between land use, food security and climate change.

Dr Toby Gardner from the Stockholm Environment Institute is keen to explore some of the issues around "the tropics in transition" and how our increasingly globalized and interconnected world is driving rapid processes of change across tropical developing nations, with myriad and hard to predict outcomes. More specifically, he would like to speak to some of the sustainability challenges and opportunities that brought into particularly sharp focus at forest-agricultural frontiers  - where the global and the local often collide.

Professor Tim Wheeler is the Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development and he is currently on secondment from the University of Reading where he is Professor of Crop Science. He is particularly interested in how climate change could impact on the sustainability of agriculture and food and has carried out research in a range of countries including Bolivia, Honduras, The Gambia, Uganda, China and India. 

To help to set the scene for their introductions, they have sent us some papers and a lecture and you can download these by following the links on the right.



Dame Barbara Stocking will base her introduction on the Inaugural Gates Cambridge Annual Lecture she gave in November last year.

Listen to the lecture (1 hour)

Toby Gardner's briefing examines the challenges for sustainability governance in agricultural-forest frontiers – areas that still retain large areas of forest yet continue to be deforested through agricultural expansion – and provides examples from the Brazilian Amazon.

Download the discussion briefing

Toby Gardner's chapter considers the challenge of transforming the world’s largest tropical forest biome into a sustainable social-ecological system.

Download the paper

Tim Wheeler's Science paper calls for a ‘climate-smart food system' to prevent climate change from slowing progress in eradicating global hunger.

Read the press release