Translating the Sustainable Development Goals into action: A participatory backcasting approach for developing national agricultural transformation pathways

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Kanter, D. R., Schwoob, M. H., Baethgen, W. E., Bervejillo, J. E., Carriquiry, M., Dobermann, A., Ferraro, B., Lanfranco, B., Mondelli, M., Penengo, C., Saldias, R., Silva, M. E. and De Lima, J. M. S. 2016. Translating the Sustainable Development Goals into action: A participatory backcasting approach for developing national agricultural transformation pathways. Global Food Security. 10 (March), pp. 71-79.

AuthorsKanter, D. R., Schwoob, M. H., Baethgen, W. E., Bervejillo, J. E., Carriquiry, M., Dobermann, A., Ferraro, B., Lanfranco, B., Mondelli, M., Penengo, C., Saldias, R., Silva, M. E. and De Lima, J. M. S.
Abstract

A new set of objectives for sustainable development are now in place, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and countries need to develop concrete policy roadmaps to achieve them. This is particularly challenging in the agricultural sector given the heterogeneity of local conditions, the diffuse nature of its environmental impacts, and the important interactions with various aspects of sustainable development – from education and poverty alleviation, to human health and the environment. And yet it is precisely because of these interactions that vibrant, resilient and sustainable national agricultural sectors are key to the SDGs’ success. This paper presents a practical backcasting approach and methodological toolkit – developed by the Agricultural Transformation Pathways (ATP) initiative under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – for countries to develop policy roadmaps towards 2030 using local tools and expertise that could help transform national agricultural sectors in a way that is consistent with the SDGs. This approach is illustrated using the Uruguayan beef sector as a case study, where productivity and environmental targets were developed in tandem with a wide range of stakeholders in order to maximize productivity, while minimizing a suite of environmental impacts – from carbon footprint and biodiversity, to nitrogen losses. This marks the beginning of a new approach to achieving the SDGs in the agricultural sector: participatory target setting and pathway development across a number of areas crucial to sustainable development – all under a harmonized framework provided by the ATP initiative. We hope the methodological approach and results of the Uruguay case study will become a touchstone for future work in this area.

KeywordsSustainable Development Goals; Transformation pathways; Agriculture; Backcasting; Uruguay
Year of Publication2016
JournalGlobal Food Security
Journal citation10 (March), pp. 71-79
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.gfs.2016.08.002
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online16 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted05 Aug 2016
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN2211-9124
PublisherElsevier Science Bv

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