Academic and Research Seminar

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  • DATE / TIME:
    December 15, 2015    10:00 - 12:00

    The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA)  invites the general public to a  seminar. This is to share information with stakeholders on research being conducted by two of the Institute’s visiting scholars.

    Date: 15th December, 2015

    Time: 10-12pm

    Venue: UNU-INRA Office, 2nd Floor, International House, University of Ghana campus, Legon, Accra


    Details of the Seminar

    Bioenergy Supply and Environmental Impact on Cropland: Insights from Multi-market Forecasts in Great Lakes Subregional Bioeconomic Model, by Aklesso Egbendewe-Mondzozo

    By integrating multi-market price forecasts into a spatially explicit bioeconomic model of energy biomass supply from cropland, we develop a nuanced picture of land use substitution and environmental impact. Using subregional models of crop production choices in central Wisconsin and southwest Michigan, we predict biomass production, land use, and environmental impact with details that are available from national scale price endogenous biomass supply models. The results suggest that subregional models with exogenous prices tend to overestimate the supply of land available for biomass production, along with the area devoted to environmentally beneficial perennial energy crops. Incorporation of multi-market price feedbacks and realistic policy parameters points to the likelihood of higher threshold prices for biomass to be produced, lower biomass output, more serious environmental impact (due to the role of annual crops rather than perennials), and regional specialization in energy biomass production.

    Implementation of Green Agriculture in Africa: The Role of Agricultural Institutions, by Melissa McCullough

    The future of agriculture lies in the challenges humanity faces in the 21st century. There is an undeniable empirical reality that global food productions, with their system-wide negative externalities, are unsustainable. There is also an emerging awareness that our current practices will fail to deliver a yield that keeps pace with population growth. Policy response to these twin challenges – that is, reducing the environmental footprint of global agriculture while increasing its output – is seemingly infinite and contains contradictions in terms of philosophies, approaches and priorities. UNEP’s Framework for a Green Economy – with its sector guidelines on agriculture – is a promising tool that has the potential to harmonise discordant sustainable development initiatives such as, how best to farm in local climate-stressed agro-ecological zones? However, the transition to green economy agriculture is fraught with challenges. One such challenge is creating new institutional arrangements that are capable of designing, implementing and reviewing green economy policies. It is this central question of how to instigate transformational change in agriculture at the institutional level, in line with the vision of the UNEP’s Framework for a Green Economy, that forms the basis for this research project.

    The seminar presentations will share more information on the two research.

    About the Speakers

    Aklesso Egbendewe-Mondzozo, a Visiting Scholar at UNU-INRA, holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Science degree in Economics from Texas A&M University (USA). He worked as an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Subsequently, he served as a senior researcher both at the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change & Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in Italy. He is currently an assistant professor of Economics at the University of Lomé (Togo).

    Melissa McCullough is also a Visiting Scholar at UNU-INRA. She holds a combined Bachelor’s degree in Communications and International Studies (UTS, Australia), and a M. Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies (USYD, Australia), as well as PRINCE2 certification in project management. With over ten years’ experience as a research and strategic communications specialist, Melissa has worked extensively across the University of Sydney, and with not-for-profit and government sectors in Australia. Melissa is currently undertaking a research degree in green economy agriculture with the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney.

  • Praise Nutakor

    Communications and PR Associate, UNU-INRA

    Tel: +233-302- 213850. Ext. 6319