By guest blogger S. Gopikrishna Warrier
What can be done today to protect South Asia’s agriculture from climate change impacts occurring in 2020?
To find crafty and viable solutions to this question, experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined forces with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in late February of this year. Read more »
By Joost Vervoort
What does the future hold for food security in East Africa? How do uncertain future socio-economic developments, such as changes in the degree of regional collaboration or changes in policies oriented to rural development, change East Africa’s capacity for climate adaptation and mitigation?
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has explored how different political and socio-economic futures for East Africa may affect food security and environmental change in the region, and how this may affect the region’s vulnerability to future climate change. These futures have been captured in four scenarios, developed and used by stakeholders from governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and the media in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi.
WATCH: How scenarios are developed with regional partners
by Joost Vervoort and Gopal Datt Bhatta
In South Asia, the impacts of future climate change on the livelihoods of the rural poor, on regional food security and on environmental change are very uncertain and depend on the development of future technologies, economies, institutions and communities. What actions could be taken to tackle climate change through cooperation among South Asian nations that might not have been possible in the past?
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is facilitating a process to explore how key socio-economic uncertainties relate to the uncertainty of future climate change. An international workshop was organized in late November in Colombo, Sri Lanka, wherein regional facilitators from governments, private sector, academia, media and civil society related to food systems and environments met to explore key uncertainties for future food security, environments and livelihoods in South Asia up to 2050.
By Joost Vervoort and Hannah Rowlands
How does malnutrition in children impact the danger they face from Malaria? How do people’s livelihoods in agriculture contribute to their likelihood to catch diseases like Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by trematode flatworms, from natural water bodies? How can efforts to increase food security be combined with attempts to reduce disease risks?
Problems around diseases and food insecurity for vulnerable rural communities in the developing world go hand in hand. So, too, do the impacts of government policies and strategies of non-state actors focusing on health care and food. Both issues face many similar future uncertainties – both of an economic and political nature including migration and funds for treatment as well as biophysical change such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, with different but related impacts. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
One of the best examples of the inter-connectedness of the three themes for this year’s Gobal Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) is the Global Foresight Hub, re-introduced on Wednesday by Joost Vervoort, Scenarios Leader at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
Vervoort’s take home message? You can have all the foresight you want, but if it’s not integrated across multiple scales and multiple stakeholders it won’t do anybody any good. In fact, the “Hub” exemplifies the inseparable nature of the Foresight and Partnership themes; their inter-dependence is the key to the practical application of foresight in agricultural research and development. Read more »
By Caity Peterson
A detective solves a mystery by starting from the end result – the crime scene – and working backwards to determine the cause – the crime. The same logic, called backcasting, is also the key to climate change adaptation and development.
Joost Vervoort, scenarios officer for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and Katindi Sivi Njonjo Society for International Development in Kenya spoke to a group of CCAFS stakeholders as a prelude to the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2) in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
by Moushumi Chaudhury
How do technical advisors to policy makers in East Africa view the region in 2020 and 2030? Will they come up with drastically different scenarios from those in civil society who participated in the scenarios visioning workshop in Nairobi in June 2012? These kinds of questions were explored in the East Africa Strategic Futures Workshop that was held in Arusha, Tanzania and hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), in partnership with the Society for International Development and Panos Eastern Africa. Read more about the previous scenarios workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya, “Exploring regional strategies for a more sustainable, food secure East Africa”.
Over two and half days, participants from various ministries in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Ethiopia developed a strategic vision of the future and explored feasible strategies towards this vision by testing them using scenarios of plausible alternate futures. Read more »
By Joost Vervoort and Patti Kristjanson
How can East Africa’s economic, agricultural and environmental policies improve food security, environments and livelihoods given the dynamic global economic and environmental changes affecting the region? What is the role of regional governance bodies like the Eastern African Community in this future? And how can civil society and the private sector work with different policy directions?
To explore these questions, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has collaborated with regional stakeholders to develop plausible scenarios, or alternate futures - exploring different socio-economic and political directions of change for East Africa, how these changes interact with climate change, and what their impacts are on future food security, livelihoods and environments. Read the related blog story "CCAFS scenarios engage regions to plan for uncertain futures" for more information.
Now, CCAFS is engaging governments, civil society and the private sector to think about what strategies would be needed to work toward a more food secure, sustainable future. Read more »
By Joost Vervoort and Abdoulaye Moussa
What if governments in West Africa take a long-term perspective and play an active role in the development of climate-smart agriculture on a large scale - but also want to invest in women’s education, infrastructure, health care, the environment and other sectors? What are the socio-economic and political implications that would come up for such a broad push for development? What if catastrophe – such as a destructive crop disease - hits before governments have had the time to develop the capacity needed to adapt and respond to such crises? Conversely – what about a world where states are not proactive but where non-state actors (the private sector, NGOs, civil society) drive change, for better or for worse? What would be the limits and challenges in that case? What would be the consequences for agricultural development- such as changes to crop yields, changes in livestock production systems and agricultural land expansion- in any of these scenarios? How would these different worlds respond to the increasing pressures of climate change?
Why develop scenarios?
by Joost Vervoort
The need for strategic, concerted action for improved food security, environments and livelihoods in the developing world is a major challenge. We live in a time when changing conditions and risks associated with climate change interact with rapid political, economic and social changes in the world's vulnerable regions.
Attempts to predict future changes in such complex, rapidly changing conditions are extremely difficult if not impossible. Illusions of predictability are potentially dangerous. Still, governments and non-state actors alike must think and act strategically in the face of uncertainty.
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)