Stories tagged: cgiar

International Quinoa Conference 2016

6th-8th December 2016

Dubai, UAE

Climate change is making it increasingly difficult to produce enough major cereal crops like wheat, rice, barley and corn to feed the growing population. Quinoa can be a valuable alternative, helping to tackle hunger, malnutrition and poverty as well as improving diets. Leading scientists, practitioners and decision-makers from the public and private sectors will meet to discuss opportunities for collaboration as well as showcasing the latest developments in research, production and trade. Read more >>

Join our Webinar on Agriculture and Climate Change Ahead of COP21

21st October 2015

12pm – 2pm BST

Are you prepared for COP21? Do you want to engage but not sure how? Register for our two-hour webinar, that will provide an overview of where and how agriculture is positioned in the UNFCCC climate negotiations.  A series of resources for advocates and communicators will be presented to help you engage meaningfully at COP21 and its technical subsidiary bodies (e.g. SBSTA).

** Register here **

This webinar is aimed at climate change negotiators, their technical advisors and any agricultural organisation interested in food security and climate change. Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers at the end of the session. These speakers include:

  • Anette Engelund Friis, CCAFS Head of Program Coordination
  • Peter Iversen, former negotiator for Denmark
  • James Kinyangi, CCAFS East Africa
  • Michael Hoevel, Farming First

The webinar is hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and by the global agricultural coalition Farming First.

Register now online or email Septivita Ratih ([email protected]no later than 14 October 2015 to join the discussion.

Featured image: N. Palmer, CIAT

Frank Rijsberman: How CGIAR Will Deliver on Sustainable Development Goals

In this guest post, Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR Consortium outlines how the world’s biggest agricultural research partnership intends to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals, and not just the ones that relate to hunger. This is part of our ongoing series that explores the state of the negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals.

When the Millennium Development Goals were set up fifteen years ago, the research community was sceptical about how seriously they could be taken, and were concerned they were too simplistic in their approach. Now they have come to their conclusion, we realise that these goals have been critically important for guiding development and investments, so we are now really sitting up and paying a great deal of attention to the formation of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Continue reading

The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled

This blog was originally posted on GGIAR’s Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog

This week, amidst the ongoing UN climate talks in Doha, farmers, scientists, businesses and NGOs will unite at Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods Day (ALL-5) to share solutions for protecting our food supply and the livelihoods of farmers across the globe in the face of climate change.

To illustrate the hugely important role that agriculture plays in both the adaptation and mitigation of climate change, a brand new infographic produced by Farming First, in partnership with the CGIARResearch Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCFAS), has been launched.  Entitled ‘The Story of Agriculture and Climate Change: The Road We’ve Travelled’, it highlights significant events leading up to discussions on the future of agriculture at COP18, including the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the first discussions of the impacts of climate change on agriculture in IPCCstudies in 2001, the initiation of REDD in 2005 and the first ever agriculture day in 2009.

UNFCCC to consider agriculture issues under SBSTA

This important road, however, is not yet at an end. In Durban in 2011, the UNFCCC agreed to consider issues relating to agriculture, under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). This would mandate SBSTA to research, document and share knowledge of improved agricultural practices to inform decision-making around agriculture and climate change to stakeholders, as they prepare national strategies to address climate change.

Nineteen of the of the world’s leading agricultural organisations, including the World Farmers organisation (WFO), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres, have issued a joint call-to-action to urge negotiators to approve this SBSTA programme.

Farmers around the world are experiencing the impacts of climate change today. Productivity is shifting due to changing and more volatile weather conditions and temperatures. By 2050, if farmers are not assisted to meet these changes, agriculture yields will decrease with impacts projected to be the most severe in Africa and South Asia, with productivity decreasing by 15% and 18% respectively. We urgently need to safeguard our food supply and to ensure continued growth in economies where agriculture is an important sector.


Part of the climate change solution

In addition, while prioritizing the adaptation challenges, we should not overlook agriculture’s significance as part of the solution to climate change. Agriculture and land use change (primarily from deforestation) contribute an estimated 31% of total greenhouse gas emissions, yet improvements to crop yields to date already have saved 34% of total emissions.  Every dollar ($1 USD) invested in agriculture results in 68kgC fewer emissions.

The road agriculture has travelled at the climate talks is long, but we need to ensure it reaches the destination that millions of farmers desperately need.

We need to make 2012 the year that a cohesive, holistic approach to agriculture is put on the UNFCCC’s road map.

About the Author: Anette Friis, from the Danish Food & Agriculture Council, is the spokesperson for Farming First.

View the infographic and call to action here.

We can grow enough food, but will it cost us the earth?

This blog was originally posted on CGIAR’s Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog

Optimism about the achievability of global food security was tempered by pessimism on man’s ability to achieve this without wrecking the earth’s natural systems at the Stockholm Water Laureate’s Seminar at World Water Week.

Kicking off with a quick romp through the global boundaries framework developed by Rockström et al, Johan Rockström was confident that sustainable levels of global freshwater withdrawals had not yet been breached, but that alarming trends would need to be addressed if this situation was to continue. In the new anthropocene era of human induced planetary change there was likely to be great uncertainty over rainfall patterns. That would create problems in pricing ecosystem services. It’s relatively easy to price water, said Rockström, less simple to price rain through the ecosystems services that contribute to it.

Colin Chartres, Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) focused on three concrete examples of how agricultural water use could be sustainably intensified in a presentation looking at case studies of groundwater extraction in two contrasting Indian states and the potential for small holder water management innovation in rural Tanzania.

After further presentations by Professor Tony Allan of King’s College London, Professor Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland and Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestle, discussion centred on the best ways to promote sustainable stewardship of natural resources among farmers.

Calling for more investment in sustainable agricultural intensification, Dr. Chartres stated that “We can’t expect smallholders to be good stewards, if they can’t even feed their families.” He added that he was confident that, with proper incentives and improved incomes, farmers could be effective natural resource managers. “I have never met a farmer from the richest to the poorest who is not, in his mind’s eye, a good environmental steward,” he said

But Professor Allan urged caution, particularly in regard to intensification using irrigation. “Whenever you irrigate, you always run out of water,” he claimed, citing examples of the South Western US and Southern Spain. In dry years the temptation to draw more water is great leading to deficits over the long term. The need for stewardship and accounting is paramount if we are to make irrigation sustainable.

The panel then turned to water pricing as a means of promoting sensible use. “Water has no value in exchange, but an extremely high value in use,” according to Paul Bulcke. “This paradox has led to massive overuse of freshwater”

Professor Allan and Dr. Chartres had differing perspectives on how water pricing could address issues of sustainability. Dr. Chartres cited the example of the Murray Darling Basin in Australia as a compelling case for the effectiveness of water pricing. Water rights had been separated from land rights and made fungible, leading to a more sustainable approach to river basin management. This approach was challenged as being at too high a cost to the public purse by Professor Allan.

The session ended with an impassioned plea from IWMI’s Aditi Mukherji for the perspective of developing countries to be given more weight (none of the panellists came from a country in the poor South). As an example Dr. Mukherji pointed out that her research had convinced her that water pricing was not politically feasible in India, whereas water rationing is accepted. Such insights will be vital in developing tailor made local solutions to global sustainable intensification in agriculture.

Watch videos of the session here

About the Author:

James Clarke is Head of Communications for the International Water Management Institute.  He has worked for over a decade in communications for development in Africa and Asia.

Farming First collaborates on fourth Agriculture and Rural Development Day

Ahead of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Farming First is co-organising the fourth Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Rio de Janeiro, which takes place on 18th June. The UNSCD (or Rio+20) marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro and will bring together world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection to get to “the future we want.”

Agriculture and Rural Development Day is organised by a consortium of global agricultural organisations, including Farming First, the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to name a few. Policymakers, farmers, scientists and development organisations are all represented within the ARDD consortium, embodying their vision for collaboration as a solution to food security.

In previous years, Agriculture and Rural Development Day has been held annually in conjunction with the United Nations climate negotiations (COP 15, 16 and 17 in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban respectively) and seeks to ensure that sustainable agriculture, which is inextricably linked to both climate change and a green economy, features prominently in discussions as well as the outcome documents of the conference. Following the last Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Durban, the UNFCCC agreed to consider the adoption of a work plan to support research on climate change mitigation and adaptation science and policy in agriculture, as well as country level readiness and capacity planning. Back in March, Farming First submitted its views to the UNFCCC Secretariat on how these agriculture-related issues might be prioritised, to be discussed by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) at its 36th Session later this month.

The goal for ARDD at Rio+20 is to ensure that the vision for a sustainable green economy includes clear steps for building a sustainable food system, as sustainable intensification of food production as been highlighted as a priority area in the zero draft for the conference.

During the morning session of Agriculture and Rural Development Day, entitled “Lessons in Sustainable Landscapes and Livelihoods”, attendees will see keynote presentations from leaders in sustainable agriculture, as well as a panel discussion on how agriculture will address the Rio+20 challenges. A number of Learning events will also take place in the morning, sharing successful, concrete examples of best agricultural practices from around the world.  These include:

  • Livestock Plus. How can sustainable intensification of livestock production through improved feeding practices help realize livelihood AND environmental benefits?
  • How can developing countries advance towards a more sustainable agriculture? A concrete experience on development of a science-based tropical agriculture in Brazil
  • Achieving and measuring sustainable intensification: the role of technology, best practices and partnerships

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) will host an afternoon programme, entitled “Science of a Food Secure Future”. During the afternoon, groups will hold parallel events on a range of issues such as addressing gender equity in access to natural resources, household nutrition security, sustainable intensification of small scale farming and strategic partnership.

Register for the event here:

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