by Bruce Campbell
Last year was an exciting time for us, as our targeted research unfolded into actions on the ground. Successful outcomes, as well as outcomes-in-the-making, can now be reviewed in our newly released 2012 Annual Report: Unfolding results: CCAFS Research into Action.
For the last two years, CCAFS has had the opportunity to operate as a CGIAR Research Program. During this time, we have made sure to actively build partnerships and capacity, engage with all the other CGIAR Programs, and ensure that activities across all of our research sites have been targeted.
These strategic measurements have ensured that conducted research is not only assisting smallholder farmers, extension workers and agriculture organizations with climate change adaptation and mitigation, but our research has also been fed into high-level policy deliberations on agriculture and climate change worldwide.
CCAFS science inform policies Read more »
Co-written by Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore; Mary Robinson, president of the Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme; and Frank Rijsberman, CEO, CGIAR Consortium.
Join the discussion on Twitter: #HNCJ
"Imagine a world where too much rain, or too little, means the difference between a life fulfilled and a life blighted by hunger and poor nutrition. Imagine, for a brief moment, measuring your children’s chance of survival by the number of bags of grain you harvest or against a dwindling stock of rice.
This is the reality for millions of vulnerable communities. Today, almost one billion people suffer from hunger, most of them women and children. Globally, almost one in three children grows up lacking the nutrients they need to fend off disease and to develop to their full potential.
And now, climate change is exacerbating the hardships they face daily. Read more »
The New York Times has published a piece by Bruce Campbell, on the failure of the UN Climate Talks to properly address issues of agriculture and food security. Bruce, who is director of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) writes:
Another round of international negotiations on climate change wrapped up in Doha, Qatar, last week without a major consensus on emissions. [...] Strikingly, though, there was a lack of consensus on addressing agricultural adaptation. Efforts to implement a formal program that addresses the dire problem of food security ended without agreement and the issue was punted to June for additional discussion.
But outside of diplomatic circles, a different consensus is forming — one that does not rely on negotiations. People are noticing that climate change has already taken hold. [...] Many governments are not waiting for an international consensus before taking action.
Countries are already taking action by implementing large scale initiatives that help farmers in a changing climate. CCAFS presented these solutions in Doha, along with a report detailing each of the case studies.
Read the full story: The Farming Forecast Calls for Change - New York Times, December 12 2012
by Bruce Campbell
Despite many practical innovations, progress on getting agriculture into the official climate change negotiations has been excruciatingly slow, much slower than the urgent need to achieve food security.
The UN Climate talks currently ongoing in Doha raise the question of how to achieve food security in the drylands, where droughts are frequent and environmental and soil degradation is widespread. Farmers in these areas already face enormous challenges. Climate change will only compound these problems, bringing new levels of uncertainty and risk.
If dryland countries are serious about dealing with reducing their vulnerability to climate change, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then they need to look at how food is grown, distributed and consumed. The good news is many of the solutions for improving agriculture in the dry areas have been tried and tested. What's missing is political will and funding to scale up.
Download the report: Strategies for Combating Climate Change in Drylands Agriculture
By Vanessa Meadu
Agriculture has taken a long and winding path through the global climate talks in the last decade. This despite two basic facts: climate change will affect the food we eat, and the food we eat contributes to climate change.
As the 18th round of UN Climate Change talks kicks off in Doha this week, the discussion will center on how to develop approaches that safeguard livelihoods (particularly of poor farmers) in a changing climate, while reducing agriculture’s climate footprint.
We’ll hear about success stories, innovative new ideas, and other solutions in the coming days, including an official side event on 29 November on Lessons learnt from scaling-up actions on food security, adaptation and mitigation and Agriculture Landscapes and Livelihoods Day on 3 December.
Meanwhile we have joined with other research groups, civil society and the private sector to call for action at COP18 – scroll down to read more and click the image to enlarge.
Vanessa Meadu manages communications for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Follow the latest developments from the UN climate talks in Doha on our blog, on twitter @cgiarclimate and #ALLForest.
by Bruce Campbell
But where do these figures come from, and what does this mean for reducing the emissions footprint of food production?
A study I co-authored, Climate Change and Food Systems, published in the 2012 Annual Review of Environment and Resources takes a ‘food systems’ approach to calculating emissions that account for every aspect of food production and distribution. This includes the direct emissions of growing crops and raising livestock; the indirect emissions of food production due to land cover change; manufacturing fertiliser; and storing, transporting and refrigerating food. Read more »
by guest bloggers Matthew Fielding and Tom Gill
There are approximately 400 to 500 million small farms around the world. This implies that some two billion people – a third of the world‘s population – are dependent on smallholding for their livelihoods. Historically, such smallholders have adapted autonomously to environmental and climatic variations by, for example, changing planting cycles, diversifying crops, turning to mobile livelihood strategies such as pastoralism, or supplementing their income through non-farm activities. However, the speed and scope of climate change and the onset of its impacts seriously compound existing challenges to smallholders, especially with the lack of viable alternatives in sub-Saharan Africa. Read more »
By Chase Sova
Persistence and diversification. Oddly enough, these two themes prove common between successful climate change adaptation, as well as getting to meet the Prime Minister of Nepal, Mr. Baburam Bhattarai. At least, this is the light-hearted lesson that The Adaptation to progressive climate change- and Oxford University Research Team drew from their recent meeting with the Prime Minister in early August. Read more »
by Tara Garnett
The Food Climate Research Network and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food have jointly published a new report entitled: Sustainable intensification in agriculture. Navigating a course through competing food system priorities (PDF).
The report is based on discussions held at a two day workshop held in January 2012 which was coorganised by both organisations. The workshop brought together key thinkers from the academic and policy community, and from diverse disciplines, to consider the meanings, issues and challenges around sustainable intensification in general, and particularly in relation to three areas of concern: environmental sustainability; animal welfare and human wellbeing, specifically nutrition.
The report is aimed at policy-makers working in areas relevant to food security. Read more »
By Cecilia Schubert
Biofuel is hot commodity, and the private sector is looking at small-scale farms in developing countries to help produce crops to feed the industry. Understandably, this is causing controversy, with accusations of land-grabbing by private companies, and fears that farmers may swop food crops for more profitable biofuel crops, increasing their risk of hunger. But what is actually happening behind the headlines? Can farmers really benefit from the investments or will they only jeopardize food security and degrade the environment? Is it really a fair deal for everyone involved?
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)