Dr Sonja Vermeulen is Head of Research at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which addresses the increasing challenge of global warming and declining food security on agricultural practices, policies and measures, through a strategic collaboration between CGIAR and Future Earth. Dr Vermeulen served previously as Director of the Programme on Business and Sustainable Development at the International Institute for Environment and Development. Earlier in her career she worked in research with the University of Zimbabwe, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Center for International Forestry Research. Dr Vermeulen’s work has spanned the natural and social sciences, across the fields of forestry, agriculture and natural resource management. Her career has bridged academic and applied research, with a strong focus on linking science with public policy and private sector strategies, particularly in Africa and Asia.

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One of the central sustainability challenges of our time is how to achieve food security for a population anticipated to exceed nine billion by 2050 while minimizing further environmental degradation.1 Further, food consumption patterns are changing rapidly as average wealth increases (especially for the emerging ‘middle class’ in …

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