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The newly established Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land Use and Energy (FABLE) Pathways Consortium is coordinated by IIASA, SDSN, and EAT Foundation, and operates as part of the Food and Land-Use Coalition (FOLU). It held its inaugural meeting on 6-8 December 2017 at IIASA in Vienna to discuss how countries can develop integrated pathways towards sustainable land-use and food systems that are consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (including the Sustainable Development Goals) and the Paris Climate Agreement. This meeting was attended by scientists representing 13 country or regional teams, who agreed on a program of work with first outputs due in mid-2018.

Today, deforestation, agriculture, and other land-use changes account for a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. The world is losing biodiversity at unprecedented rates, using too much freshwater, and releasing vast quantities of nutrients into the oceans. At the same time, over 800 million people are undernourished, some 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and an estimated 2 billion are obese or overweight. Today’s food systems do not deliver healthy diets. As most of the population growth occurs in areas with low-yield agricultural production, the challenges of unequal access to food are expected to be exacerbated. Following current trends, the SDGs and commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement relating to land-use and food systems will not be met.
Addressing these integrated challenges of sustainable land-use and food systems is extremely complex and requires bold action at country, regional, and global levels.

To this end, members of the FABLE Consortium will develop national pathways towards sustainable land-use and food systems that are consistent with global objectives, such as keeping the rise of average temperatures to well below 2°C. This will require developing integrated modeling tools covering agriculture, bioenergy, food security, diets, water, biodiversity, and other critical dimensions of food and land-use systems, which can analyze the long-term impacts of policies. Such analyses will also assess international spillover effects to help countries determine the impact of their policies on other countries and to anticipate impacts on their land-use and food systems that may emanate from developments in other countries.

Country specific analysis will be conducted by country teams comprising eminent research institutions from the nation. International research organizations, such as the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) will provide technical support as needed. In this way, the FABLE Consortium will provide the analyses necessary to understand how the SDGs and commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement that relate to land-use and food systems can be achieved at national and international levels.

The FABLE Consortium is coordinated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the EAT Foundation. It currently comprises 13 country and regional teams from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa and the USA. Additional country teams are being set up. Each team and the secretariat liaise with governments, business, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to consult on the modeling and ensure that the pathways can inform national and international policy processes. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and other leading research institutions support the consortium.

The FABLE Consortium operates as part of the broader Food and Land-Use Coalition to provide the integrated analysis that can support relevant stakeholders in undertaking the deep transformations needed to achieve sustainable land-use and food systems. Individual members of the FABLE Consortium can draw on the expertise and reach of the Food and Land-Use Coalition.