Vulnerability of Agricultural Production Networks and Global Food Value Chains due to Natural Disasters


Vienna, June 20th to 24th, 2016


Programme rationale

The agenda is considered to start broadly and then narrow the focus to specific agricultural production networks and food value chains. The challenge is to combine outstanding scientists from three groups: economics, natural resource management and risk research. At the same time we support the uptake of research into policy and decision making.

The conference is scheduled for 3.5 days not including the arrival day. Two days, June 21st and June 23rd are reserved for four conference sessions; June 22nd is reserved for an excursion to experience the rural landscape in relation to the conference topic. The final half day is the wrap up session "The way forward" with the aim to finalize a book presentation on the topic (or a special issue of a journal).

We plan four scientific sessions, two on June 21st, 2016 and two on June 23rd, 2016. The topics of the sessions are: 1) The nexus of agricultural production networks and global food value chains and natural disasters 2) Natural disasters and agricultural production: numbers, models, measures and current policies, 3) Lessons to be learned for agricultural production networks and food value chains 4) Decreasing vulnerability against natural disasters in agricultural production networks and food value chains.

Session 1 gives a broad overview of what is in the topic of the conference. The nexus between agricultural production and natural disasters is in focus. Session 2 depicts the status quo of what information is already available and what measures and policies could be immediately exchanged within OECD countries. Session 3 informs on ways of how to protect agricultural production networks and food value chains by learning from methods in other economic sectors. Session 4 informs on how to decrease vulnerability within agricultural production networks and food value chains to become more robust against the increasing burden of natural disasters. Four of the participants will also be session leaders and help to reach the aims related to their sessions and the overall aims of the conference. Each session and each presentation consists out of three parts: the presentation  of the resource person, a discussion promoted by a discussant/co-discussant and a policy  dialogue.

June 22nd 2016, we will visit the "Wachau Cultural Landscape" a UNESCO world  heritage site. This outstanding rural landscape will serve as an example to demonstrate  the interactions of the different segments of the conference topic. Locals altered the value chain  of agricultural products in a remarkable way. While natural disasters are rare, extreme climate  events like flooding, drought, frost have a major impact on the economic output. The  interconnection between agriculture, forestry, tourism, water and soils resources, land  management, Alpine risks and disaster prevention will be exemplified.

June 24th 2016, ends with a 3 h discussions and synthesis session. The aim here is to pull together what we have heard into a joint publication describing a set of  principles for engagement that provide benefit to OECD/ERIA and be adopted by the  participants amongst their own organizations. This will become the showpiece product from the conference.

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