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 Alexa Jay and James Hansen
Our research theme, Adaptation through managing climate risk, is leading efforts to build the resilience of agriculture and food systems to a variable and changing climate. From the field level to government policy, efforts to reduce the impacts of climate risk on food security depend increasingly on information and knowledge. Improving climate-related information and connecting it to those who need it is a vital part of our work.
In an increasingly uncertain climate, climate information and advisory services can help farmers better manage risk and take advantage of favorable climate conditions. Climate services are receiving increasing attention among development organizations as a way to support climate change adaptation and immediate development goals. Read more »
By Christine C. Jost
In the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) program, we do research to enhance food security and agricultural development in the face of climate change. But the pathway from research to impact is complex.
Impact pathways encourage scientists to join a network of partners to ensure that their work contributes to a larger vision. The partners work together to design the pathway. Usually scientists focus on the activities we’d like to do, and the outputs that will result.
By designing an impact pathway we focus on achieving outcomes – changes in behaviors, practice, beliefs, understanding, capacity, networks, policies and institutions that are needed in order to achieve lasting impact. Then we work backwards to outputs and activities. An impact pathway approach ensures that all the necessary steps are taken to achieve the desired outcomes.
Why focus on outcomes rather than outputs? Targeting outputs emphasizes processes, which makes it difficult to link changes, like increased maize production by smallholder farmers, to specific interventions that might have occurred during the process. Read more »
by Abdoulaye Moussa, West Africa
West Africa is one of the most affected regions by climate change due to its dependency on rain-fed agriculture. Agriculture is a mainstay for most countries and a potential way out of poverty for millions of small-scale farmers. Policies and strategies therefore need to effectively address climate change adaptation within the agriculture sector, so as to achieve the millennium development goals and promote sufficient food for all. Read more »
By Fatimata Kane and Arame Tall
“Before, our rainy seasons were longer. We were able to predict weather and seasonal changes by observing animal behavior in their natural habitats,” Paul Thiaw, a local Senegalese farmer, told researchers at a recent workshop on climate services. “With habitat loss and biodiversity decline, we have simply lost some valuable climate pattern indicators,” he stressed while adding, “this is where we can benefit from climate service expertise.”
Farmers are constantly facing new environmental challenges, which are threatening food production in some of the poorest regions of the world. One way to reduce vulnerability is through implementing and working with climate services that are relevant for smallholder farmers. Read more »
by Alexa Jay
In an increasingly uncertain climate, farmers’ traditional knowledge of when to sow and harvest, and when to expect rains, may no longer be enough. Supporting farmers with weather and climate information services for agricultural decision-making is a key strategy for enhancing food security in already vulnerable areas. Existing initiatives have shown that they can in fact reach farmers and provide a valuable service, but the challenge of broadening the impact of climate services in vulnerable communities remains.
In the light of this, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Theme 2, “Adapting through managing climate risk,” hosted a workshop on “Scaling Up Climate Services for Farmers in Africa and South Asia” in mid-December in Senegal, to create ways forward for broadening the impact of climate services and making them work for smallholder farmers.
This was done in a collaborative effort partnering up with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Climate Services Partnership (CSP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
What is happening in the field? Read more »
By Catherine Mungai, John Recha, Maren Radeny and James Kinyangi
Farming households in East Africa face increasing poverty levels and food insecurity due to challenges resulting from climate change and variability. In order to help farmers in the region to develop resilience to climate change, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa initiated participatory action research (PAR) across the six learning sites in East Africa.
The learning sites are located in Kenya, Nyando and Wote, Uganda, Hoima and Rakai, Tanzania in Lushoto, and Ethiopia, Borana. Within the sites, researchers and development partners are working with farmers to test climate smart agricultural interventions that can be scaled up elsewhere. Read more »
By Catherine Mungai, Andualem Shimeles and Ousmane Ndiaye
In developing countries, such as Ethiopia in East Africa, climate scenarios and climate analogues can be useful tools to identify potential ways to adapt to climatic changes. Climate analogues can also enable farmer exchange of knowledge, i.e. visiting areas that show similar climatic conditions to their future farms. In the light of this, a workshop on Using Climate Scenarios and Analogues for Designing Adaptation Strategies in Agriculture in Ethiopia was prepared, inviting stakeholders that could use the information in their everyday work. Dr. Yigardu Mulatu, from the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), commented that “as a researcher, I have been grappling with how I can contribute towards developing and implementing climate change adaptation strategies in Ethiopia.", feeling pleased that "in the past three days, I have learned how to use available climate information to develop appropriate adaptation strategies.” Read more »
By Liz Carlile
We know that real change takes place when we learn by doing, and as development specialists we are all very good at telling people what to do. But as researchers and practitioners engaged in a shared learning process for change we still have a very long way to go. Recent work done by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the University of York to stimulate a new discussion in the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the development of their new strategy to promote social learning within the CGIAR. A new working paper offers an overview of current theory and practice on climate change communication and social learning in the global South with a view of informing CCAFS strategy in this area. Read more »
by M. Tall, R. Zougmoré and A. Moussa
Thanks to a performing partnership with Le Centre de Suivi Ecologique, a Senegalese state agency and research center, and the West & Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) West Africa Regional Office won the race in early September.
Through an intensive workshop on platforms for Information and Knowledge Sharing, held in Dakar, Senegal, stakeholders from state agencies, civil society, universities, farmers organizations and agricultural and extension systems gathered together to deliver comprehensive national action plans and facilitate the way forward to operationalize National Information Knowledge Sharing Platforms on adaptation to climate change at national level in West Africa. 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)