TIGERS-TALK 11: 07.11.16 - Mario Giampietro

Integrated approaches to food security, low-carbon energy, sustainable water management and climate change mitigation

Carl-Vogt at 12.15

Abstract:

In this talk, I will present the project “Moving Towards Adaptive Governance in Complexity: Informing Nexus Security” (MAGIC); a four-year project (2016-2020) funded under the H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage programme, topic “Integrated approaches to food security, low-carbon energy, sustainable water management and climate change mitigation” (WATER-2b-2015). In the third millennium, the shift from an “empty world” to a “full and globalized world” is reaching its maximum speed and this generates new challenges for the governance of sustainability. Conventional solutions, such as re-adjusting the mix of production factors –substituting a less-limited resource to compensate for a shortage of another– or externalization of the problem by taking full advantage of presently favourable terms of trade, may become unsustainable in the long run. Implementing policies involving the nexus between water, food, energy and land use calls for an urgent overhaul of existing theoretic and analytic tool-kits. Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM) is an innovative approach to the analysis of the nexus. It is based on complexity theory and in particular on relational analysis across scales and dimensions. It allows us to carry out integrated, non-equivalent checks on societal metabolism with regard to its: Feasibility–compatibility with external constraints, which are determined by processes beyond human control; Viability–compatibility with internal constraints, determined by processes under human control; Desirability–compatibility with normative values found in society, determining the stability of its institutions. I will briefly outline the MuSIASEM approach and present several examples of its application. 


Short Bio:
Mario has a BSc in Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences (Università la Sapienza, Rome), an MSc in Food System Economics, and a PhD in the Social Sciences (Wageningen UR, NL). Since 2007 he is ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB). Previously he has held positions at the Istituton Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione (INRAN), Rome, Italy (1985-2007).
He has been visiting fellow/professor at Cornell University (USA); the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Ispra, Italy); Wageningen University; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Pennsylvania State University; Arizona State University; and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) (South Africa). He has been active in the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) (2005-07), the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2004-05), and the Strategic Workshop of the UNEP International Resource Panel “The Nexus between Natural Resources” (2014).
He has thirty years of experience and has (co)authored over 150 publications, including 6 books, in innovative, interdisciplinary research themes such as multi-criteria analysis of sustainability; Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecosystem Metabolism (MuSIASEM), integrated assessment of scenarios and technological changes; evaluation of alternative energy technologies; science for governance. Recent research has focused on the nexus between land use, food, energy and water in relation to sustainable development goals.

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