Stories tagged: food security

Bernard Giraud: Building Functional Forests that Help Indian Tribes Thrive

Bernard

In this guest post, the President and Co-Founder of the Livelihoods Venture Bernard Giraud  describes how restoring forests with the Adivasi tribes in India has helped tackle issues from poverty to poor nutrition.

The Adivasi people, living in the Araku Valley in Eastern India, are considered some of the most disadvantaged in the country. Once a community that lived off the forests, the erosion and degradation of the land during the British settlements left them in poverty and with few land rights. The marginalized area – with an altitude of 1200m and average annual rainfall of 1300mm – was characterized by low women’s literacy rates, high infant and maternal mortality, and low agricultural productivity. Continue reading

DEC62016
International Quinoa Conference 2016

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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 >>

Bruce Campbell: What Does the Paris Agreement Mean for Food & Agriculture?

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The Paris Climate Agreement entered into force last week, heralding a major milestone in international action on climate change, and an ambitious target to contain global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, in this century. Over 100 countries, which account for nearly 70% of global emissions, have ratified the Agreement, and are now obliged to deliver on their commitments and convert their plans into action. But unless countries act decisively and meaningfully, and increase their ambitions over time, this will not be enough to safeguard food and farming.

Figure 1. Gap between the current collective ambition of national climate plans (known as NDCs) and the global 2°C goal. Source: Adapted from Rogelj et al. 2016 in Vermeulen 2016.

Figure 1. Gap between the current collective ambition of national climate plans (known as NDCs) and the global 2°C goal. Source: Adapted from Rogelj et al. 2016 in Vermeulen 2016.

Future food security in a changing climate
The Paris Agreement is made up of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which are climate action plans developed by countries, outlining their priorities and measures. The INDCs of countries overwhelmingly put agriculture the top of the list for climate action; over 60% of submitted INDCs included mitigation in agriculture. And of the countries which included adaptation, over 90% included adaptation in agriculture. African countries in particular have expressed a clear desire to tackle these issues: 98% of African countries included adaptation actions in agriculture and 68% included mitigation actions in agriculture.

Figure 2. Inclusion of agriculture in climate pledges (INDCs). Source: Richards et al 2016 in Vermeulen et al 2016.

Figure 2. Inclusion of agriculture in climate pledges (INDCs). Source: Richards et al 2016 in Vermeulen et al 2016.

However, effective implementation will depend on the availability of financial, technological and capacity support. In fact, some countries have made several commitments conditional upon the provision of support.

Mobilizing support for climate actions

Fortunately, the Paris Agreement has set out robust frameworks to provide much-needed support and the UNFCCC’s finance mechanism, particularly the Green Climate Fund, will play a key role: US$10.3 billion have been pledged to the Fund, and the Fund has committed US$ 1.2 billion to 27 projects. But this still falls short of the ambition to mobilize US$ 100 billion per year by 2020.

In addition to financial support, the Paris Agreement will put in place new frameworks for providing technological support and enhancing capacity, which are the crucial building blocks for successful implementation of climate actions.

Science-based ambitions

The Paris Agreement obliges countries to become more ambitious in their commitments over time, with follow up Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) due in 2020 and 2025. With just 4 years left to the next NDC deadline, scientific organisations like CGIAR and its partners have an important role to play in providing technical support help countries put climate adaptation and mitigation into practice in the agriculture sector, and to distill lessons from implementation. These actions include helping countries set up early warning systems; improve water management in agricultural systems; adopt lower-emissions livestock practices; apply fertilizers more efficiently; and improve soil carbon sequestration. Decades of agriculture research can support these efforts.

To help countries stay on track and inform their future commitments, the UNFCCC will take stock of progress every 5 years starting in 2023. These ‘global stocktakes’ would measure collective progress towards global targets, looking at the whole spectrum of actions including mitigation, adaptation, financing, and technology development and transfer. The stocktakes will also be informed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), thus ensuring that the latest climate science provides inputs into future commitments.

Measuring progress is a huge and underplayed challenge. Countries are required to regularly report on their emissions and implementation efforts, and the Agreement is developing an enhanced transparency and accountability framework which would harmonize reporting and verification requirements. The global science community can facilitate this. For example, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has developed a Climate-Smart Agriculture programming and indicator tool, building on the wealth of approaches used by major development agencies in monitoring projects. The tool helps measure outcomes related to increased productivity, food security, adaptation, resilience, and mitigation, and could be instrumental in helping countries measure progress towards established targets.

Reality check

While the Paris Agreement represents a huge opportunity for climate action, and the early ratification offers much promise, success should not be viewed as a given. We have already reached the crucial threshold of globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide of 400 parts per million, according to the World Meteorological Organization. In fact, 2016 has turned out to be the warmest year since modern records began, according to NASA. Currently, country plans under the Paris Agreement fall short of keeping the world within the 2°C warming limit [see figure 1].

All this means that action is needed now in all sectors, including the agriculture sector. To meet the 2°C goal of the Paris Agreement, researchers estimate that agriculture emissions must be reduced by 1 gigatonne carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2030. Current interventions can only contribute 21-40% of this goal.

We cannot afford to rest on the success of Paris. Climate negotiators in Marrakech must be alert to the urgent need for meaningful action and countries must immediately get to work on implementing the Paris Agreement. A focus on agriculture, with accompanying funds and support, will help the sector transition to support global food security in a sustainable manner. Over 550 million smallholder farmers depend on it.

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post. Featured image photo credit: Neil Palmer CCAFS/CIAT

NOV62016
1st International Agrobiodiversity Congress (IAC)

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6th-9th November 2016

New Delhi, India

The IAC aims to provide a common platform for stakeholders, including farmers, scientists, policymakers and industry leaders to share their experiences and knowledge in agrobiodiversity management and genetic resource conservation. The Congress is being hosted by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources and Bioversity International, and co-organized by CIMMYT and the Borlaug Institute for South Asia. Read more >>

Bonnie McClafferty: How to Harness Agriculture for Nutrition

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In this guest post, Bonnie McClafferty, Director of Agriculture for Nutrition at GAIN shares her views about the challenges and solutions faced when bringing agriculture and nutrition together to increase food security in our ever-changing world.

When asked how can we feed the people on our planet with diverse, safe and nutritious foods now and in the future, there is no simple answer. There are many challenges that we face, such as how do we cater to 5 billion people living in cities by 2030 – all needing access to nutritious foods in a sustainable way? How do we ensure that smallholder farmers are able to feed themselves and their families’ diverse and nutritious diets, while working hard to supply the global food system? We also have to face up to climate change and the continual impact it has on the availability of nutrients within the food system. We also mustn’t forget that availability and affordability are crucial if we want to reach the most vulnerable people worldwide and tackle the complex issue of malnutrition in all its forms.  Continue reading

Farming First’s 15 Heroes of 2015

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2015 is drawing to a close – and what better way to celebrate this milestone year for development, than by highlighting the work of some of Farming First’s most hardworking supporters and partners! Take a tour through our activities this past year and help us celebrate some of our heroes.

SONY DSC1. Mark Rosegrant at The Economist Feeding the World Conference

We kicked off the year at The Economist’s Feeding the World conference in Amsterdam, where we acted as their media partner for the fourth consecutive year. Mark Rosegrant, Director of the Environment and Production Technology Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, spoke the rewards of technology and showcased some future solutions. He summarised findings from a report released last year that tested the effectiveness of 11 technologies under climate change scenarios. Watch his interview with Farming First TV to find out more, and click here to read our summary blog of The Economist event. Continue reading