Agriculture contributes largely to climate change by producing 10-12 percent of total global anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and is a primary driver of deforestation from clearing land for food production. Given climate change, a new kind of agriculture is therefore essential, one that must meet the triple challenge of ensuring food security, adapting to climate change and contributing to climate change mitigation. Read more »
In a recent opinion piece, Lloyd Le Page, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, draws attention to the drought in East Africa, and how agricultural research can help prevent a similar crisis in the future:
“Focusing our efforts on long-term solutions via research and innovation would not only enhance our understanding of extreme weather events like drought, but also provide vital knowledge and technologies that farmers, herders, aid workers and policymakers can use to inform decisions on how to cope with them.”
Guest blog post by Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting
The CGIAR Climate program recently submitted input to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UNFCCC on the importance of addressing agricultural drivers of deforestation in REDD+ development. Read more »
Guest Blog by: Chase Sova, visiting researcher on 'Adaptive Capacity under Progressive Climate Change', CCAFS.
Choosing the best climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in agriculture can be a challenging task for decision makers and farmers alike. Given the many options available, it is important that scarce resources are used to support measures that are both cost effective and reflect the needs of communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In July, the CGIAR Climate program (CCAFS) joined forces with Oxford University and ViAgroforestry to pilot a new way of identifying community appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies and determining their associated costs and benefits. The approach is built on a novel cost-benefit framework called Social Return on Investment (SROI). Read more »
Guest Blog by Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting
Representatives from research institutions, NGOs, standards organizations, and food commodity roundtables met in San Diego, California in early September in the workshop The Role of Commodity Roundtables & Avoided Forest Conversion in Subnational REDD+ to discuss how we can increase global commodity production while at the same time sparing our carbon-rich forests and peatlands. The FAO predicts the need for a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050. Some researchers have pointed to the need to simply increase food production yields to meet that need, however others site examples of how increased yields make it more economically feasible for farmers to expand their operations further, to the detriment of forests and their carbon storage. Read more »
What questions should we be asking of smallholder farming families in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia if we want to better understand where we stand now with respect to farming practices and knowledge that will allow them to feed, educate and take care of their families — as they face even greater climate-related challenges than ever before? This was the challenge that faced us as we designed what is called a ‘baseline survey’ for the new CCAFS program. And it took the thoughtfulness of many researchers with experience in these incredibly diverse places, along with considerable statistical expertise, to design and implement such a process. Read more »
The CGIAR news briefing “Famine in the Horn of Africa: Challenges and Opportunities for Mitigating Drought-Induced Food Crises” held on 1 September at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya was visited by several prominent guest and researchers while at the same time being streamed online. This made the research briefing accessible to a whole new audience! Read more »
Guest blog by Lini Wollenberg, Theme Leader for theme 'Pro-poor Climate Change Mitigation' and Chase Sova, visiting researcher on 'Adaptive Capacity under Progressive Climate Change', CCAFS.
Representatives from government agencies, research institutes, development organizations and civil society came together in June and July to discuss the current status of climate change policy in agriculture and identify research priorities in each of four countries: Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Ethiopia. CCAFS organized the national workshops respectively with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali, the Tegemeo Institute in Kenya and the Climate Change Forum in Ethiopia. Read more »
A stimulating seminar on ‘Food Security in a Changing Climate’ was held on August 30 in Ottawa, Canada, jointly sponsored by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), International Development Research Council (IDRC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. With around 50 participants from a wide range of institutions and backgrounds, the discussion was wide-ranging and lively!
Un des paradoxes du changement climatique réside dans le fait que tandis que le tiers de la superficie totale en terres vivra certainement sous des climats nouveaux, le climat mondial en général sera probablement plus homogène (PDF). Par conséquent, il est nécessaire d’accélérer à la fois les expériences (pour l’innovation) et les échanges entre des environnements éloignés mais bénéficiant de conditions similaires) afin d’aider nos variétés de cultures, bétail et poissons à s’adapter.
Les petits agriculteurs sont désireux d’expérimenter de nouvelles variétés et ils en cultivent souvent plusieurs d’une même espèce. Pourtant, alors que les « variétés améliorées » sont devenues largement populaires, de nombreux cultivateurs préfèrent planter des variétés autochtones, conservées dans leurs propres fermes ou échangées avec des voisins. La principale préoccupation est donc de savoir si ces systèmes semenciers très localisés ont une portée génétique et géographique suffisamment grande pour subsister au sein des climats agricoles en mutation. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)