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35th T B Macaulay Lecture - The Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture: Options and Challenges

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 15:00

Achieving increased levels of productivity using existing land whilst causing minimal environmental damage is one of the greatest challenges of modern agriculture.  Sustainable intensification, as the concept is known, was the subject of the 35th T.B. Macaulay Lecture, delivered by Professor Jules Pretty OBE, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex.

“Agricultural production gains have provided a platform for rural and urban economic growth worldwide.  Gains have come from expansion of agriculture as well as intensification on existing lands.  Recent experience includes successes in crop improvements, agroforestry and soil conservation, conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, horticulture, livestock and fodder crops, aquaculture, and novel policies and partnerships.  The challenge now is to spread effective processes and lessons to many more millions of farmers and pastoralists,” Professor Pretty said.

The 35th T.B. Macaulay Lecture was an event organised by the Trustees of the Macaulay Development Trust and the James Hutton Institute, to support sustainable land management through research and education.  Eric Baird, Chair of the Macaulay Development Trust and Professor Iain Gordon, Chief Executive of the James Hutton Institute, extended the invitation to the scientific, academic, policy and agricultural communities to attend the Lecture.

Professor Gordon said: “We were deeply honoured that Professor Pretty was able to deliver this year’s T.B. Macaulay lecture.  The James Hutton Institute is also very proud that we continued the long established tradition of hosting this prestigious lecture, which is so much a part of our legacy from the former Macaulay Land Use Research Institute.  In addition, for the first time this year, we relayed the lecture to our site in Invergowrie, Dundee.  Professor Pretty’s theme of maintaining high-yielding agricultural production while protecting our planet is at the very heart of what we are trying to achieve through our research.”

Eric Baird said: “The Macaulay Development Trust supports research into sustainable land use: it also supports education about this. Professor Pretty is at the forefront of thinking in this field: he is also an excellent communicator. The Trust welcomed the opportunity to work with JHI in hosting this year’s lecture.”

Lecture Presentation: 
Lecture Abstract: 

Achieving increased levels of productivity using existing land whilst causing minimal environmental damage is one of the greatest challenges of modern agriculture.  Sustainable intensification, as the concept is known, was the subject of the 35th T.B. Macaulay Lecture, delivered by Professor Jules Pretty OBE, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex.

Speaker Details

Professor Jules Pretty OBE

Jules Pretty is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex, and Professor of Environment and Society.  His books include This Luminous Coast (2011), The Earth Only Endures (2007), Environment (4 vols, ed 2006), Agri-Culture (2002) and Regenerating Agriculture (1995). He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, former Deputy-Chair of the government's Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) and has served on advisory committees for a number of government departments and the Royal Society.  He received a 1997 international award from the Indian Ecological Society, was appointed A D White Professor-at-Large by Cornell University from 2001, and is Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.  He received an OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, and an honorary degree from Ohio State University in 2009.

Professor Pretty's departmental web page includes full details on his research and publications.

www.julespretty.com - Professor Pretty's personal website.

Location

The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
Craigiebuckler
AB15 8QH Aberdeen
United Kingdom
GB

About the Lecture

Dr Thomas Bassett MacaulayThe annual T.B. Macaulay Lecture is held to honour the vision of Dr Thomas Bassett Macaulay, President and Chairman of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, whose benefaction founded the original Macaulay Institute for Soil Research in 1930. He was a descendant of the Macaulays from the Island of Lewis and his aim was to improve the productivity of Scottish agriculture. This vision continues today in its successor the James Hutton Institute, a world leader in land, crop, water, environmental and socio-economic science.