Changes in climate, biodiversity, and human wellbeing are closely connected and all have effects on each other. This is particularly clear when looking at agriculture, which plays a critical role in our food, land, and water systems. The global food system currently causes about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and drives huge biodiversity losses, while still leaving 2 billion people with unhealthy diets, even as 40% of all food produced is wasted or goes uneaten. Ironically, many farmers around the world are some of the most vulnerable populations struggling to make ends meet and are often themselves without access to nutritious diets, even as they play such a pivotal role in producing foods and managing landscapes for the world’s population. In short, the way we currently feed ourselves is unsustainable for both people and the planet. 


Our food, land and water systems thereby also offer a huge opportunity space to act upon these multiple challenges simultaneously, and global and local movements around the world are calling for food and agricultural systems transformation to help solve some of these critical issues. The interactive learning modules here highlight and reflect on insights, tools, actions and ways forward for how we can actively strengthen co-benefits (synergies) and better anticipate and manage conflicting goals and unintended negative consequences (trade offs) between social and ecological goals of food, land and water systems.


Learning modules


The case studies, lessons learned and discussions included in the learning modules bring together insights from more than 40  contributors located across the world and are built to encourage a collaborative co-learning space and  support new ways of problem-solving in our food, land, and water systems. The modules include multimedia presentations as well as short readings,  examples from the field, innovative tools, approaches, and insights to help uncover more equitable, holistic and resilient pathways for the transformation of our food and agricultural systems.


We invite you to explore the learning modules and “choose your own learning adventure” as fits best with your interests and perspective in the food system space. You can start at the most relevant entry point for you (click on a section of the flower figure), and from there explore content and topics  beyond your comfort zones, and at different scales – from the farm to the global level or the other way around. In bringing together flexible and relevant insights and toolkits, we hope to support you to actively anticipate and manage synergies and trade-offs between people and nature in our food, land, and water systems.




Ana Maria Paez Valencia

Social Scientist, Gender (ICRAF)

Ermias Betamariam

Land Health Scientist-Soils (ICRAF)

Pablo Tittonell

Principal Research Scientist (CONICET-INTA)

Nathanial Matthews

Chief Executive Officer (the Global Resilience Partnership)

Marlène Elias

Gender Lead (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Sabine Douxchamps

Forage Based Crop-Livestock Systems Specialist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Roseline Remans

Senior Scientist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Iliana Monterroso

Scientist (CIFOR)

Anne Rietveld

Associate Expert (The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Avinandan Taron

Researcher (IWMI)

Carl Timler

Lecturer & Researcher (Wageningen University & Research)

Chris Dickens

Principal Researcher (IWMI)

Cory Whitney

Associate Scientist (University of Bonn)

Dharani Dhar Burra

Principal Data Scientist (VARDA AG)

Eike Luedeling

Head of Department of Horticultural Sciences (University of Bonn)

Fabrice DeClerck

Senior Scientist (The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT / EAT)

Genowefa Blundo-Canto

Scientist (CIRAD)

Haley Zaremba

Researcher (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Heather Zornetzer

Sustainable diets research consultant (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Jeroen Groot

Associate professor, Farming Systems Ecology Group (Wageningen University & Research)

Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Ethics, Global Food & Agriculture (Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics)

Joshua Wafula

Research Associate (World Agroforestry -ICRAF)

Kuldeep K. Lal

Director (ICAR-National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resource, Lucknow)

Lisa Biber-Freudenberger

Junior Professor & LANUSYNCON Research Group Leader (Center for Development Research, Bonn University)

Markus Ihalainen

Senior Research and Engagement Officer (CIFOR)

Matthew Peter McCartney

Sustainable Water Infrastructure and Ecosystems Research Group Leader

Mirja Michalscheck

Researcher & Project Manager (WUR, Öko-Institut e.v., University of Basel)

Nadia Bergamini

Associate Scientist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Natalia Estrada Carmona

Associate Scientist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Pay Drechsel

Senior Fellow and Research Quality Advisor (International Water Management Institute -IWMI)

Roos de Adelhart Toorop

Post-doctoral Researcher (Wageningen University & Research)

Sarah Jones

Associate Scientist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Stella D. Juventia

PhD Candidate (Wageningen University & Research)

Steven Cole

Senior Scientist, Gender Specialist (IITA)

Viviana Ceccarelli

Research Fellow (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Wei Zhang

Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Production Technology Division – IFPRI

Xin Zhang

Associate Professor (University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science)

Yodit Kebede

Post-doctoral Researcher (IRD / Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Yusuf Karimjee

Research Associate (World Agroforestry -ICRAF)

Yvonne Tamba

Research Assistant, Decision Analysis (World Agroforestry -ICRAF)

Namukolo Covic

Research Coordinator (IFPRI)

Wuletawu Abera

Scientist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

Lulseged Tamene

Scientist (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

As we all continue learning together in this space, we invite you to become a contributor if you’d like to share your own perspectives, experience, and tools. Please contact us to get involved.