FABLE inaugural meeting in Austria

The FABLE Consortium (Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land Use and Energy) is a self-governed consortium, convened by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the International Institution for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The FABLE country teams develop science-based targets and integrated, long-term pathways in their respective countries using modelling tools and analyses covering agriculture, bioenergy, food security, diets, water, biodiversity, and other critical dimensions of food and land-use systems.

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.

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The FABLE Consortium held its inaugural meeting on 6-8 December 2017 at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. Discussions centred on how countries can develop integrated long-term 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. Scientists representing 16 country and regional teams took part in the meeting and agreed that most countries lack the modelling tools required to undertake an integrated analysis of climate and food policy options on land-use change. Those present committed to support countries in developing and using the required modelling tools by joining the Consortium and agreeing on a programme of work. The first outputs of the FABLE workplan are due in mid-2018.

Country specific analysis will be conducted by country teams comprising eminent research institutions from the nation with the technical support provided by IIASA as needed. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC|A) and other leading research institutions also support the Consortium. Currently, FABLE country and regional teams include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Nordic Region, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa and the USA. Thus, covering most G20 economies. Each team and the secretariat will liaise with governments, business, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders to consult on the modelling and ensure that the pathways can inform national and international policy processes.

What next?

The FABLE Consortium is currently creating a simplified Excel modelling tool for country teams to test and use in developing pathways. FABLE teams will populate the tool over the coming months, aiming to deliver initial results by summer 2018, which will offer an indication of how countries can achieve SDGs related to food and land use systems.

A Latin American FABLE meeting in Argentina in March will bring together teams from Argentina, Brazil and Colombia to develop a regional approach and build on existing capacity and knowledge.

A second meeting of the Consortium is planned for June 2018 to take stock of progress and further strengthen the network.

For more information: Please reach out to Guido Schmidt-Traub (guido.schmidt-traub@unsdsn.org ), Executive Director at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.