Food and Agriculture | Wilson Center

Food and Agriculture

Telling Tales of Complex Connections

Policy wonks and academics produce voluminous tomes on sustainability issues, but how to get these before a larger audience? One wonkish think tank hard at work on this problem, the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, is producing a series of short films to tell the stories that move these concerns toward a wider audience. The idea is to take complex, interacting factors and show how they affect real people.

China’s Water-Energy-Food Roadmap: A New Global Choke Point Report

China Daily Reported Documentary Cotton Road Screening at Wilson Center

A documentary film, The Cotton Road, directed by Laura Kissel was shown on March 18th at the Woodrow Wilson Center as part of the 23rd Environmental Film Festival in Washington. The film takes viewers on a journey with cotton from South Carolina to China that tries to stitch together some answers. More than 160 films from 31 countries are screened to promote dialogue and build understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities.

CEF Associate, Susan Chan Shifflett, Interviewed by the Guardian on China’s Food Security and Safety

For the past three decades an onslaught of urban development, desertification, and pollution has been eating away at China’s once-endless sprawl of tiny farms. China is facing radical challenge to feed its large population. “You have urbanization — people travel abroad,” says Susan Chan Shifflett, China Environment Forum’s associate. “They go to France, they see cheese, and they think, ‘why can’t I have brie in China?’ They’re changing their diets — meat consumption has quadrupled over the past 30 years.”

A Global Choke Point Report: China's Water-Energy-Food Roadmap

The water-energy-food nexus is creating a complicated challenge for China and the world. Energy development requires water. Moving and cleaning water requires energy. Food production at all stages—from irrigation to distribution—requires water and energy. As the most populous country and the world’s manufacturing hub, China demands all three resources in ever increasing amounts, leading to shortages that are creating serious choke points to the country’s development. Pressure on water is at the heart of these resource constraints facing China. 

Food Security & Population Dynamics in the Sahel

Africa’s Sahel region is one of the most harsh environments on the planet with one of the highest birth rates as well. Food security, particularly when combined with population dynamics and the impact of climate change, is a monumental challenge. The Wilson Center’s Roger-Mark De Souza just returned from Niger, where he met with experts from a variety of countries for the purpose of identifying what works and what doesn’t. We discuss what he learned in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

CEF Associate, Susan Chan Shifflett, Quoted by Politico on Future China-US Apple Trade

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is ramping up talks with China, the world’s largest producer of apples, to allow both countries to ship more of the produce item across borders. China produced roughly half of the world’s supply, but it is a much bigger consumer of apples than exporter, according to the USDA, and the country will likely ship mostly Fuji apples to the United States, which will not add up to much — about 10,000 tons per year. The U.S., meanwhile, is the world’s largest exporter of fresh apples.

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