Lecture of Dr Maurits van den Berg - "The future of the land"
Maurits van den Berg (1960) is Senior Policy Researcher Agriculture, at PBL the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. His main expertise lies in the development and application of approaches and tools to assess current and future land use systems at scales ranging from sub-field level to global level. He earned an M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Sciences from Wageningen University (1986) and a Doctors degree (≈PhD) from Utrecht University (2000). Before coming to PBL in 2009, his professional career encompassed numerous research and university lecturing positions in as many institutes in Brazil, Mozambique, South Africa and The Netherlands.
Over the past two decades, global outlook studies conducted by PBL have gradually evolved to comprehensive analyses of environmental change and its drivers; with more and more attention for the context of societal claims and aims, and how policies can respond. The future of the land plays a central role in an ongoing global analysis of pathways to simultaneously reach a number of goals (e.g. on food security, access to energy, climate change and biodiversity) that the global community has set for itself, and the actions required in different spheres to accomplish these goals. Preliminary results suggest that the goals can be reached via multiple pathways, which translate in  different ways of farming system development. Sustainable agricultural intensification is a prerequisite, however, even in a scenario with substantial change in lifestyle (e.g. less meat consumption). The most challenging period is until about 2030.