Annual Conference 2024

Where: Hosted by University College Cork

When:  30-31 October 2024

Registrations Open

DSAI Conference 2024 Banner (VS)

Conference Theme

Food is central to all life on the planet, and yet, access to food has never been more contested. Globally, food systems are under pressure now more than ever, and complex challenges arise with great frequency at the intersects between food, climate, and conflict(i). Climate change is affecting some communities’ ability to achieve the same crop yields as previously, and droughts, flood, or soil degradation means that in some places, harvests are lost temporarily, or lands are becoming permanently unsuitable for farming(ii).  

Increasingly, people’s ability to grow food has been significantly impacted by agribusiness, which dominates seed and fertiliser production and the purchase and processing of crops(iii). In places, this has led to conflict over land and or resulted in a reduction of farmers’ access to sustainable means to grow crops(iv).  

Finally, ever larger numbers of countries are currently experiencing conflict, which has led to mass displacement, loss of access to land and increasingly to hunger among the displaced. The ability of communities to adapt to these challenges, as well as the opportunities for local, national and international actors to deliver humanitarian aid where needed, is becoming more difficult and unpredictable. In January 2023, the UN stated that the world was then witnessing more conflicts than ever, since it started tracking conflicts after WWII(v). New conflicts have erupted since, with devastating impacts, notably, the conflict in Gaza. In March 2024, estimates suggest that without immediate ceasefire and granting full access to humanitarian agencies, parts of Gaza will be experiencing ‘full blown famine’(vi), caused by relief goods being held up at the border and not reaching civilians in need. This is happening five years after the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 2417 on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, which explicitly references the use of starvation as a weapon of war(vii).  

So far in 2024, the world has already experienced devastating floods in Brazil and Afghanistan and fires in Canada and below-average rainfall in southern Africa. The EAT-Lancet Commission two reports on Report on Food, Planet, Health were published in 2019 and 2023. According to the latest update on the Planetary Boundaries, Earth is now “well outside of the safe operating space” for humanity, having already transgressed six of the nine Planetary Boundaries(viii). Women and children are 14 times more likely to die from climate disasters than men and 80% of those displaced are women(ix). 

Mitigating the worst effects of climate change can only be achieved by a transition to sustainable food systems and planetary health that continue to be hindered by global financial injustice. A report by ActionAid has highlighted that fossil fuels and industrial agriculture are the two biggest drivers of the climate crisis(x). As the crisis escalates, these industries continue to expand and thrive. This compounds poverty and inequality and undermines attempts to alleviate poverty.  The root causes of the global food system, conflict and climate change and their inter-connection needs to be honestly analysed, in order to find sustainable solutions. This year’s DSAI conference aims to tackle head on the root causes of this polycrisis and re-think models for cooperation that are rooted in human rights and environmental protection. 

 

Programme Detail Coming Soon 

 

 

Fee and Registration

Early Bird Individual - Conference + Annual Membership (to 30th September)€40.00
Individual - Conference + Annual Membership€50.00
Early Bird Student/Unemployed - Conference Only (to 30th September)€10.00
Student/Unemployed - Conference Only€15.00
HEI - Conference x 2 + Annual Institutional Membership€1,000
NGO (Large*) - Conference  x 2 + Annual Institutional Membership€1,000
NGO (Small*) - Conference  x 2 + Annual Institutional Membership€500

* Large NGO = Organisations with annual income over €1m. Small NGO = Orgnaisations with annual income less than €1m

Registration Open

 

 

 

References

1 The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, Jan 2024, The Sahel: A Deadly New Era in the Decades-Long Conflict, available: https://acleddata.com/conflict-watchlist-2024/sahel/, and, United Nations Climate Change, July 2022, Conflict and Climate [blog], available: https://unfccc.int/news/conflict-and-climate

2 Grüter R, Trachsel T, Laube P, Jaisli I. Expected global suitability of coffee, cashew and avocado due to climate change. PloS one. 2022 Jan 26;17(1):e0261976.

3 Anderson, T, 2024, How to fix the finance flows that are pushing our planet to the brink. Available: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2024/05/01/how-to-fix-the-finance-flows-that-are-pushing-our-planet-to-the-brink/

4 Hall R, Scoones I, Tsikata D. Plantations, outgrowers and commercial farming in Africa: agricultural commercialisation and implications for agrarian change. The Journal of Peasant Studies. 2017 May 4;44(3):515-37.

5 UN 2023, With Highest Number of Violent Conflicts Since Second World War, United Nations Must Rethink Efforts to Achieve, Sustain Peace, Speakers Tell Security Council. Available: https://press.un.org/en/2023/sc15184.doc.htm

6 UN, 2024, Security Council hears Gaza famine ‘almost inevitable’ unless aid is massively scaled up, Available: https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/02/1146997

7 UN, 2018, Adopting Resolution 2417 (2018), Security Council Strongly Condemns Starving of Civilians, Unlawfully Denying Humanitarian Access as Warfare Tactics. Available: https://press.un.org/en/2018/sc13354.doc.htm

8 EAT Lancet reports and additional information available at: https://eatforum.org/

9 Action Aid (2023) How the Finance Flows. Available: https://actionaid.ie/climate-crisis-fund-our-future-campaign/