The Mansholt lectures, named for the great Dutch European politician and thinker Sicco Mansholt, are organised by Wageningen University & Research to discuss European policy and issues in the domain of Wageningen University & Research: food, agriculture and sustainable livelihoods.
Mansholt lecture 2018
Natural resource use of modern food systems can be reduced substantially through a shift from linear to circular systems. These systems make better use of the structure and functioning of natural ecosystems to reduce both external inputs and waste. The Mansholt Lecture 2018 is held by professor Louise O. Fresco, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and two leading WUR scientists, professor Imke de Boer and professor Martin van Ittersum. They will present the five steps needed to enable a shift from a linear to a circular food system.
Humanity faces the challenge of how to achieve good quality of life for its growing population without exceeding planetary boundaries. Good quality food and drinks are a basic necessity for our survival, health and wellbeing. It is widely recognized, however, that food production generates a broad range of environmental impacts. Food production is responsible for about 25% of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, drives deforestation and biodiversity loss, pollutes fresh and marine water, and uses about half of the ice-free land area of the Earth.
Shifting from linear to circular food systems
A circular food system is built on regenerative natural resources, and uses these natural resources effectively to produce nutritious food. A circular food system thus minimizes the consumption of finite resources, encourages recycling and reuse of all resources and minimizes losses to air, water and soil.
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President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, Prof. dr. Louise O. Fresco gave a keynote speech and two documents were presented:
A forum with international experts discussed both documents.
The first Mansholt lecture was organised in September 2016 with the title ‘Towards a Common Agricultural and Food Policy’. This lecure emphasized the need to involve all stakeholders into a broader common agriculture & food policy. This in order to cope with five major challenges: food and nutrition security & safety, climate change & water and energy use, ecological impacts, healthy diet for a lifelong healthy lifestyle, and inequality.