Paul Collier

Were you interested in the keynote from the provocative Paul Collier? View his TED talk on his book "The Bottom Billion"

Ensuring Food Security While Safeguarding the Environment

Tropentag 2010 - Keynote Lectures Tuesday Challenges in feeding the world is not only an issue of production but also an issue of demand, said Christian Nellemann from the United Nations Environment Programme GRID Arendal today at the Tropentag Conference in Zürich. He stated later on that while agriculture surely has impacts on the environment, but more important to understand is how the environment provides the platform for food production. Land degradation and loss of ecosystems services will cost 5-25% of food production by 2050. Some of the causes are considered to derive from uses of pesticides, nitrogen, and phosphate fertilizers which have increased since 1961-1999. Furthermore, the irrigated land today has doubled. Water is also a huge deal of an issue. From the water that we consumed, 75% of it goes to food production. More interesting to realize is that wastewater pollution from ineffective irrigation systems require more water and result in greater run-off, in which we loose 50-70% of N and P.

Livestock and world food security

Tuesday - Keynote26 Jimmy Smith, a lead economist from the World Bank Institute is working in Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in Africa. At the Tropentag conference in Zurich, he was talking about the role of livestock for the world food system. What was very important to the speaker, was the definition of food security. According to him, food security exists, when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Since lifestyles have changed during the past decades in developed countries as well as in developing countries, there is a enormous gain in consumption of different foods like milk, meat or crop. A problem is the availability and accessibility of those foods in developing countries. As feeding people does not nourish them, it is important to increase the accessibility of markets, so those people who are directly or indirectly depending on livestock for their livelihoods are able to nourish themselves. There are different opportunities and challenges that must be faced, like the discounting of domestic markets, different types of emissions that are caused by agriculture or the human-animal health, which, according to Jimmy Smith, should be linked to the so called "one health".

Welcome Adress: About the World Food System

Michael Kreuzer, Professor for Animal Nutrition at the ETH Zurich and Vice-President of the North-South Centre, delivered the opening speech “About the World Food System” of this year's Tropentag. Being held for the first time outside Germany, the Tropentag just beat the records: There are 1.228 registrations from a total of 83 countries, more than 1.100 abstracts were submitted, of which 522 were accepted for presentation, and there will be 130 oral presentations and almost 400 poster presentations. Thus, it promises to be a very diverse, multi-faceted and interesting conference! The World Food System is a major area of research of the North South Centre of the ETH Zurich. Founded in 2007 from its predecessor, the Centre of International Agriculture (ZIL), the North South Centre brings together various academic disciplines, ranging from agricultural sciences and information technology, to environmental studies and social sciences, thus offering an interdisciplinary approach for analyzing the World Food System.

Introduction of the Student Reporter Team

Student Reporters During the Tropentag conference there will be 12 active student reporters running around, blogging, tweeting and taking pictures and video. They will introduce themselves to you below. Do not hesitate to approach them about interesting topics or if you want to share your thoughts or give feedback about the conference! We would also like to encourage you to comment on our blogs, tweets and facebook posts. If you like you can join the twitter conversation as well: just add #tropentag to your tweet!

Important links

We actively upload and post content on several websites, including Youtube, Flickr, and Twitter. Also be sure to visit the ETH Multimedia Portal for accessing all keynote presentations. Check it out! Tropentag Flickr Channel

Student Reporters at Tropentag 2010

This year's Tropentag features a brand new innovation: Student reporters who will document the conference in real time online. Twelve international students were chosen to write a blog, do interviews, shoot videos, take pictures. By doing so we hope to increase the outreach of the Tropentag, to make the event accessible for those who cannot join the conference and to familiarize the larger public and e-community with issues of agricultural and rural development.

We, the twelve student reporters, arrived at the ETH Zurich on Monday, September 13, and were briefed in a workshop by a team from the School of Communication Sciences of University of Lugano, Switzerland. Yesterday, we focused mainly on various Web 2.0 applications and organizational matters, today the briefing continues and we deal with technical issues of using this blog, Twitter and handling Flickr for pictures taken at the conference.

The conference will start at 13:00 GMT, so stay tuned!

Tropentag 2010 - latest news

The assessment of the submitted contributions has been communicated. The authors should confirm their presentations before July 18th - otherwise it is assumed that the contribution is withdrawn.

All necessary information is also posted on our website:

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