COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT (COSA):
MISSION AND OBJECTIVES
What is COSA?
The Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) is a non-profit global consortium of institutions developing and applying an independent measurement tool to analyze the distinct social, environmental and economic impacts of any agricultural practices, particularly those associated with the implementation of specific sustainability programs.
COSA is a platform with 4 components:
1. Survey Builder capacity (languages, adaptations, etc.)
2. Data gathering processes (new field technology to eliminate paper and permit off-line gathering and passive on-line hook-ups, just-in-time quality control software and analysis)
3. Database with options for broad access on multiple statistical programs
4. Portal for dissemination of select indicators and data combinations front-end with the International Trade Centre (ITC).
COSA is the only non-profit, publicly accessible, and transparent system of its kind operating at the global level.
Our mission is to co-create, in open partnership, a common language of sustainability measures for agriculture that are widely-shared because they are widely valued.
What are COSA's Goals and Objectives?
The primary goal is to establish useful global indicators and measurement tools which farmers, policy-makers, and industry can use to understand and improve their sustainability with different crops or agricultural sectors.
COSA facilitates this by enabling them to accurately calculate the relative costs and benefits of becoming involved in any sustainability initiative.
What is COSA used for?
The COSA measurement tools analyze the social, environmental, and economic effects on producers and their communities. By providing a scientifically-based understanding of what is sustainable COSA tools serve as an effective means of:
• Determining policymaking and donor investment priorities
• Structuring and conducting the monitoring and evaluation efforts for initiatives and projects
• Managing suppliers/supply chains for firms wanting to affect their sustainability efforts or to benchmark them
• Providing producers with practical business-decision tools to assess the costs and benefits of various sustainability practices, especially those associated with the implementation of any standards or certification programs.
What are COSA's Core Activities?
• Development of a globally consistent and scientifically rigorous methodology for different crops
• Application of the methodology to secure data on tens of thousands of farms across a number of commodity producing countries.
• Development of a practical business decision-making tool for use by farmer groups.
• Building local institutional capacity with local partners to collect high-quality data on sustainability
• Partnering with the U.N.'s International Trade Centre to create a database for global dissemination of this information
• Facilitation of policy dialogue and successful investment in sustainability based on findings.
New and now available online:
Food and Agriculture: The future of sustainability
Study led by COSA President Daniele Giovannucci just released by the U.N. Division for Sustainable Development as a strategic input to the "Sustainable Development in the 21st Century Report" to be launched at the Rio+20 Summit.
On our current trajectory, severe disruptions to national and regional food systems are highly likely to happen - the main question is when. Exposing unforeseen areas of consensus - with contributions from more than 70 global agri-food leaders in the business, policy, green, and social arenas - the report lays out concrete steps for sustainable and resilient food and agriculture systems. By opening the silos of partisan thinking to invite reasoned discussion, it also exposes areas of disagreement and advances a key set of specific "high impact" areas where smart decisions will make the most difference.
For more information on the Committe on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) contact: firstname.lastname@example.org