C-MASC Newsletter: C-MASC Newsletter Fall 2021

1. Front Page: United Nations Food Systems Summit

  1. September 24, 2021 – The first-ever UN Food Systems Summit saw nearly 300 commitments from hundreds of thousands of people from around the world and across all constituencies to accelerate action and to transform food systems. The Summit process gave rise to several multi-stakeholders’ initiatives led by civil society, farmers, women, youth and indigenous groups that Member States commit to in order to deliver on the priorities, needs, and gaps identified in national pathways.

  2. September 22, 2021 - Dr. Lal was honored to participate in the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture's (IICA) UNFSS side event entitled: Living Soils of the Americas: a integrated approach to improve soil health and agrifood systems. The UN FSS will discuss, consolidate and operationalize actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food.

  3. Soil health is the foundation of our food systems. It is also critical to climate change mitigation and adaptation, enhancing above and belowground biodiversity, contributing to environmental restoration goals, and increasing food and nutrition security. Today’s soils face an unprecedented crisis. Over 40% of the Earth surface is currently degraded. Topsoil is being lost at a rate of around 75 billion tons annually, and soil carbon stocks are depleted by around 40-60%, equal to USD $400bn in lost agricultural production.

  4.  The overarching goal of CA4SH is to improve soil health globally by addressing critical implementation, monitoring, policy, and public and private investment barriers that constrain farmers from adopting and scaling healthy soil practices. The Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health will continue to thrive beyond the Summit. Be part of the global community to restore soil health and support farmers with equitable and transparent financial mechanisms and technical support for implementing healthy soil practices.

  5. Food systems are one of the most fundamental elements of human communities, societies, and economies, forming complex webs of food producers, supply and value chains, markets, and consumers. They are deeply interlinked with the defining global challenges of today: climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Lal's contribution may be found on page 7.

  6. Talk around the U.N. Food System Summit (UNFSS) this week is, quite literally, about how sustainable food systems can emerge from the ground upwards.

1.2. World Food Prize

  1. Dr. Lal is currently enjoying his first trip out of Ohio in over a year to Iowa to participate in the Borlaug Dialogues hosted by the World Food Prize. His heartiest congratulations to 2021 World Food Prize recipient, Dr. Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted and Borlaug Field Award recipient, Dr. Elliot Dossou-Yovo. He looks forward to presenting the Laureate Lecture for Global Resource Systems at Iowa State Univerisity on October 20th, 2021 at 3:30pm Central time and the Nutrition Roundtable: Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems.

  2. Corteva invites you a World Food Prize side event. Join with recent participants from the Climate Positive Leaders Program to discuss the progress made and explore the actions needed to achieve measurable food system transformation through climate positive agriculture.

    You may register for this side event hereCorteva World Food Prize Side Event

  3. The crisis triggered by COVID-19 has had a profound impact on Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), blurring many of the achievements of the past decade and increasing the region’s economic, social and environmental challenges. In response to this crisis, agriculture and agrifood systems have driven food security and socioeconomic reactivation, and are therefore called upon to serve as pillars of the region’s strategic positioning in this new global scenario.

  4. To achieve systemic transformation in food system and consumption patterns, we must begin by transforming soil health. Healthy soils are critical for producing nutritious foods, closing water and nutrient cycles, and sequestering carbon. The land is also the primary source of income for smallholder farmers globally. If we feed the soil, the soil can feed the world.

2. Quarterly Viewpoint

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated the global food insecurity and increased the prevalence of undernutrition from 691 million (M) in 2019 to 811 M by Dacewa 2020. As many as 3 billion (B) people cannot afford a healthy diet and more than 2B people are prone to malnourishment. The need to improve access to healthy, nutritious, and safe food will increase with increase in global population of growing affluence and changing values or lifestyle.

  2. Back from the United States and after obtaining my PhD, I had the opportunity to become head of the department of planning and programming of research and international relations of the National Institute of Agronomic Research of Algeria.

3. C-MASC: Arrivals

  1. By Anna Kolganova  – I was born in West Siberia, Russia, in a small town called Surgut. Even though this town is not well known, it is still one of the main energetic centers of Russia, where oil and gas industry is highly developed. Growing up in this colorless point in Siberia, I was always surrounded by news about how oil spots occur in rivers and on soil surface and how energetic industry makes unique Siberian ecosystems suffer. This is why at High School I decided to become an environmentalist.

  2. By Brittany Multer – Brittany received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Kansas in 2018. After graduation she worked at Arup, an engineering consulting firm, in San Francisco as a Civil Engineer on the Site Development team.

    Brittany is currently pursuing her master’s degree in the School of Environment and Natural Resources focusing in soil science. Her research interests include soil physics and the correlation between soil physical properties and the carbon sequestration potential of a soil.

  3. By Umesh Acharya – Dr. Umesh Acharya has recently (August 2021) joined Dr. Rattan Lal C-MASC, at the Ohio State University as Postdoctoral Scholar. Umesh completed his master’s and PhD in soil science from North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA. He developed a model to predict soil moisture integrating satellite imagery, weather station and soil data using machine learning algorithms.

4. C-MASC: Updates

  1. By Srabani Das and Kathleen Bridges – We started our Fall soil sampling, field measurements (OSU) and spectroradiometer measurements (KSU at our 14 sites (12 farms and 2 woods) and are towards completion. The rains got in way of the schedule at times, but overall everything worked well.

  2. By Steve Lyon – Dr. Steve Lyon recently convened a session entitled “Let citizens with smartphones modernize water resources management” at World Water Week. This year’s global event, with 13,000 participants from 188 countries attending the conference, had the theme of Water Security for All. Dr. Lyon’s session enjoyed a panel discussion exploring techniques and possibilities to secure sustainable use and equitable management of water resources through a modernization of monitoring approaches.

  3. C-MASC and Dr. Klaus Lorenz are energized to partner with Corteva Agriscience to develop the "Climate Postive Leaders Program." Corteva Agriscience launched  2021 Climate Positive Leaders Program to support farmers and ranchers around the world who have successfully implemented on-farm climate positive practices. The goal is to enhance agriculture with scalable, sustainable practices that leave the land richer for generations to come.

  4. By Hao Su – The 32nd session of the School of international affairs and public administration of OUC Academic Salon was held as scheduled on September 23, 2021. The lecturer of this session is Dr. Su. The topic of the lecture is The New Patterns of Food Security——Rethinking of Who Will Feed the Chinese? This salon was hosted by Associate Professor Yang and more than 50 teachers and students participated in the salon.

  5. By W Selvamurthy – Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India confers “Top Indian Academic Institution for Patents & Commercialization Award” to Amity University. India is emerging as a knowledge superpower in which Amity is making immense contribution by generating new knowledge, securing the knowledge in the form of IPR and translating them into application to the society through industry and commercialization.

  6. By US Heartland China Association – USHCA is proud to announce the release of a special report by the US Heartland China Association and The Carter Center:

  7. By Simi Mehta – Dr. Simi Mehta was a Fulbright Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow at Rattan Lal C-MASC, Ohio State University during 2015-16.

5. Where in the World is C-MASC?

  1. Dr. Kathleen Bridges and Dr. Srabani Das were pleased to present a lecture on October 1, 2021 for the Palmer Lecture Series Colloquium, Department of Geology, Kent State University, as invited by Dr. Joseph Ortiz. Entitled "Stark Sustainable Soil Initiative: an on-farm research collaboration" they discussed their findings from the last two years of their work under their grants for the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation in Stark County, Ohio. 

  2. Perhaps the greatest hope for a more sustainable future lies underfoot: our planet’s soil.

  3. At the inaugural John Innes Foundation lecture for the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development, Dr. Lal was honored to present his lecture, "Managing soils as the foundation for sustainable agriculture: what we need from the UN Food Systems Summit and COP26. 

  4. Dr. Lal was honored to be given the opportunity to address the British Society of Soil Science in their Presidential Lecture on September 7, 2021.

  5. The Indian Association of Soil and Water Conservationists, in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of Natural Resource Conservation and Management, is pleased to honour Prof. (Dr.) Rattan Lal by awarding him the IASWC Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2020. 

6. Publications & Presentations

  1. Acharya, Umesh, Aaron L.M. Daigh, and Peter G. Oduor. 2021. "Machine Learning for Predicting Field Soil Moisture Using Soil, Crop, and Nearby Weather Station Data in the Red River Valley of the North" Soil Systems 5, no.
  2. Bridges, Kathleen and Das, Srabani. 2021. Stark Sustainable Soil Initiative: an on-farm research collaboration. 1 October 2021. Palmer Lecture Series Colloquium, Department of Geology, Kent State University. Kent, Ohio, USA. Lal, R. 2021. GCSE Presentation. 8 June 2021. Session 2.2 of the Transatlantic Symposium. Virtual Transatlantic Symposium: Academic Research Institutions Advancing Sustainability. French Embassy and Global Council for Science and the Environment. Washington, D.C., USA.  
  3. World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Dialogue. 18 - 22 October. General Information HereLaureate Lecture for Global Resource Systems. 20 October 4:30pm. In person. Ames, Iowa. Side Event - IICA: Food Systems in the Americas: Challenges and Actions Needed. 21 October 2:00pm EST. Online. Free Registration Here
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