S20 issues recommendations for a sustainable food future

The S20 engagement group representing the scientific community brought together over 200 scientists from G20 member countries in the city of Rosario, Argentina. Argentine Minister of Science, Technology and Innovative Production, Lino Barañao, attended the summit’s close.

The Science 20 (S20) Summit ended today in Rosario, Argentina, with recommendations towards achieving a sustainable food future, one of the three priorities of the Argentine G20 presidency this year. Over 200 scientists attended the summit.

After two days of discussions, the engagement group, which brings together the scientific community from G20 member countries, submitted an official document to Lino Barañao, Argentine Minister of Science, Technology and Innovative Production. The minister was also presented with four books containing research on food and nutritional security by the InterAcademy Partnership, an organization that represents 120 academies of science from around the world, for consideration by the G20 leaders.

“Soil, water and energy are vital resources to ensure global food security. Human dependency on soil is becoming a critical situation,” said Roberto Williams, S20 chair and president of Argentina's National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences (ANCEFN), at the summit’s close.

“Science can make a difference,” added Alejandro Vila, S20 co-chair and director of Rosario’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. “We must reassert the role of science as a part of contemporary culture. Science does not only read reality, but also builds it.”

The recommendations focus on two of the S20 work streams – food and nutritional security, and sustainable management of resources – and are structured in three sections. The first concerns the promotion of good soil governance. This can be achieved by limiting urban growth; creating strategies to adapt to climate change; monitoring soil to evaluate soil restoration programmes; using science as a starting point to legislate on soil conservation and protection; promoting education to raise awareness on the vital role of soil; and educating farmers on how to manage soil in a sustainable manner, among other objectives.

The second relates to promoting knowledge about soil, for which soil monitoring is critical. The third section encourages new international programmes to boost scientific cooperation with a focus on sustainable soil management and creating opportunities for professionals and scientists from less developed countries.

About the S20

The Science 20 was created during the German G20 presidency in 2017, when the importance of including the scientific community’s views in G20 discussions was acknowledged. It addresses scientific issues from a global perspective. Along the Argentine G20 presidency, the S20 is led by Argentina’s National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences (ANCEFN), and Rosario’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology.

To see the full set of S20 recommendations, please visit the S20 website