Project: Targets for Sustainable And Resilient Agriculture

Acronym TSARA (Reference Number: 43)
Duration 01/09/2016 - 31/03/2019
Project Topic Towards Sustainable And Resilent Agriculture (TSARA) investigates means to support and develop pathways to delivering to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and targets. The UN SDGs replace the Millennium Goals for the period 2015-2030 and most heads of UN governments are expected to sign up to the SD agenda at the end of September 2015. TSARA consists of five scientific and one management Work Packages (WP). WP 1 classifies EU agricultural land-use and management into major types. WP 2 suggests levels of delivery to SDGs and their associated targets and indicators – for instance a 30% reduction in GHG emissions. WP 3 researches and develops models and collects the baseline data needed to run those models in order to forecast the outputs and wider impacts of agriculture over the next 15 years (for the SDGs) and up to 2050 for FACCE-JPI. This WP also sets up the key operational framework for use in TSARA: a series of tables known as dashboards that record the changes in indicators of sustainable agriculture in the EU needed to achieve the desired targets for SDGs by 2030. The approach is known as ‘backcasting’ and consists of setting out the expected or desired state of agriculture in 2030 and then taking backward steps to see what conditions would have to be like in 2025, then 2020 and then 2015(6) in order to achieve this state. Having set up the current (baseline) and desired states of EU agriculture in WP3, WP4 actually runs these analyses, populating the tables with a number of routes through the intermediate years to the targets. In this way, we develop a range of alternative pathways and provide options in support of the setting and pursuit of ambitious levels of national and transnational delivery in policy to the SDGs and targets. WP4 also investigates tradeoffs between the delivery to different goals as well as social and political impediments along the way. TSARA thus iterates pathways to goals and targets as well as helping with the setting of ambitious levels of delivery to those targets. As well as detailed studies in the three key EU nations in TSARA (i) – France, the Netherlands and the UK – the project will investigate (ii) EU-wide agriculture more broadly, support detailed case studies in (iii) Italy and Poland if additional funds can be secured and liaise with ongoing work in (iv) China, Uruguay and Tanzania that is adopting the same backcasting approach to delivery to the SDGs. WP5 engages with stakeholders to understand their concerns and reservations about pathways and targets so as to ensure buy-in at all levels of society with the eventual project outputs, which will be a series of strategies to deliver challenging improvements in the sustainability of EU agricultural practice.
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Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Rothamsted Research Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations IDDRI Partner France
3 Wageningen University Partner Netherlands
4 AgResearch Observer New Zealand