CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

Respecting safe operating spaces: opportunities to meet future food demand with sustainable use of water and land resources

Project description

Sustainable management of natural resources

Rapid increases in food production to meet the growing needs of a growing population worldwide is resulting in water and land scarcity. The world’s population growth and climate change will represent further challenges for natural resources. Until now, scientists assess water and land scarcity separately. The EU-funded SOS.aquaterra project will assess water and land scarcity together, aiming to identify vital standards to address future food demands and prevent water and land scarcity. The project will develop innovative integrated modelling and data analysis methods to exploit together with the constantly growing global open spatio-temporal data sets the products from global agrological and hydrological models. SOS.aquaterra will also develop an innovative integrated model to combine the possibilities of conventional and innovative measures.

Objective

Although the human population has quadrupled over the past century, per capita food availability is globally higher than ever - at the expense of environment: scarcity of water and land as well as exceedance of several planetary boundaries. Projected population growth and climate change will further increase the pressure on feeding the planet with sustainably managed natural resources.
SOS.aquaterra takes up this challenge by identifying feasible measures to meet future food demand while staying below water and land scarcity thresholds. The project develops novel integrated modelling and data analysis methods to fully exploit the rapidly increasing global open spatio-temporal datasets together with outputs from global agrological and hydrological models.
In the proposal, instead of assessing water and land scarcity separately, which is the current practice, the assessments are integrated. The second novelty in SOS.aquaterra is developing an integrated model that combines for the first time the potential of conventional and innovative measures -e.g. yield gap closure, alternative protein sources- towards increased food availability. The feasibility of these measures, within the safe operating space resulting from scarcity assessment, is explored by analogical problem solving and clustering methods.
The innovative integration of measures using the latest datasets and modelling tools holds high risks, yet it significantly advances the scientific and technological state of the art to meet food demand with sustainably managed natural resources.

Host institution

AALTO KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR
Net EU contribution
€ 1 982 113,00
Address
OTAKAARI 1
02150 Espoo
Finland

See on map

Region
Manner-Suomi Helsinki-Uusimaa Helsinki-Uusimaa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 1 982 113,00

Beneficiaries (1)