Approval of eight additional JPI projects
At the end of 2014, the Swiss National Science Foundation approved eight additional projects that were submitted in the context of the Joint Programming Initiative Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE – JPI).
The projects will be part of the National Research Programme "Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource" (NRP 68). They will contribute to improving our knowledge about soil systems and develop tools to assess and evaluate soil.
The eight projects are the result of three calls for proposals issued by FACCE-JPI. The project "Climate-Cafe" of Johan Six and his team at ETH Zurich was submitted in response to a call of ERA-NET Plus on the topic of "Climate Smart Agriculture" or adapted agricultural systems; in collaboration with international partners the researchers will model the adaptability of crop management for agricultural plants including forage crops to climate change in Europe.
Five projects with Swiss participation were approved in the context of the joint call by ERA-NET BiodivERsA and FACCE-JPI. They investigate synergies and conflicts between food production, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some projects focus on how biodiversity can support agricultural ecosystems and crop production systems in times of global change. Other projects develop political measures and mechanisms that would benefit the systems mentioned above as well as biodiversity and ecosystem services. The Swiss project partners are Sven Bacher of the University of Fribourg, Annelie Holzkämper of Agroscope, Roland Olschweski and Niklaus Zimmermann of WSL and Paul Mäder of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture.
For its third call in the area of food security and changing land use, FACCE-JPI joined forces with the "Belmont Forum". Swiss researchers are involved in two of four large-scale projects that were approved. In collaboration with partners in South Africa and France, Peter Messerli and his team at the University of Bern explore the dynamics of the African food industry, the agricultural systems, and the use of land and natural resources in the context of global changes in agricultural, food and energy systems. In the second project, Nina Buchman and her team at ETH Zurich investigate feedback effects of the dynamics of changing land use and food security in collaboration with partners in Australia, Brazil, France, India, South Africa, UK and the USA.
The projects have a running time of three to four years and will get under way in the course of 2015. The Swiss National Science Foundation supports the Swiss partners with almost CHF 3 million.
In total, NRP 68 now comprises 12 projects of the Joint Programming Initiative Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE–JPI) as well as 21 projects selected in the context of its own call for proposals.