By Lucy Holt
What does empowerment mean? How do you empower people? And which people do you empower? These were some of the questions tackled by a specially convened learning circle at this week's Dublin Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice.
We were there to celebrate Ireland's EU Presidency and we were there to inform the post-2015 development agenda, but mostly we were there to learn from each other: to share our experiences and take home practical ideas that we could implement.
In the room were smallholder farmers from Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, and Columbia; development practitioners from the ground and from head-offices; researchers from the social and natural sciences; as well as local and national politicians. Read more »
By Lucy Holt
This week’s conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice had a mission to give a voice to the voiceless. To ensure that the people who are most vulnerable to climate change and the most marginalized from political processes are represented in the post-2015 development agenda. More than just words, the conference brought nearly a hundred grassroots practitioners to Dublin from Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America to tell their stories, share their experiences, listen and learn from each other, as well as ask questions and demand answers from decision makers in policy, research and aid organizations.
It also brought two World Vision Youth Ambassadors, Mr Alex Nallo and Mr. Salah Hussein, to address the conference on behalf of the most vulnerable and voiceless: the children of today and the unborn children of tomorrow, raising the complex and difficult issues associated with intergenerational climate justice. The two demanded that conference participants think further ahead than a post-2015 agenda and start thinking about a post-2050 agenda, delivering a strong message that 2015 is not the end-point but a chance for a new beginning. Read more »
by Patti Kristjanson
How do we make sure that the knowledge we create with our research efforts leads to real actions that matter? Actions, that in the end contribute to reducing poverty, now and forever? It turns out that we know a lot about how to do this.
During a special session at the recently held Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture in Davis, California, principles and approaches that can help increase the likelihood that research will influence changes in policies, institutions and technologies were explored. 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 »
by Jacob van Etten
“So we pulled out the radishes!” We are standing next to a plot with three different wheat varieties in a CCAFS-led Climate-Smart Village in Vaishali district, India. Farmers here are testing out wheat varieties we supplied to them through a climate change adaptation project. “The wheat seeds arrived late, but we still wanted to test them. So we made the space.”
During our visit to Vaishali, it was clear that farmers liked the new wheat varieties. Read more »
by Floriane Clement
International climate change debates are often based upon simplistic assumptions of how men and women perceive and address risks and uncertainty. For instance, women are commonly portrayed as a homogenous group who are always more vulnerable than men to climate change simply because they are women. Yet the relationship between gender, poverty and vulnerability is neither straightforward, nor universal (Arora-Jonsson, 2011).
Just to illustrate, in some areas of Nepal it was found that poor women from landless households are more likely to attend community meetings and speak up because they feel less constrained by social norms than women from higher class and caste (Agarwal, 2010). They have therefore a higher capability to influence community decisions that might affect their vulnerability. 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 Aditi Kapoor
I was apprehensive. The training of trainers (ToT) had gone off well, and our partner organisation, the Bihar Mahila Samakhya, was well versed in carrying out training programmes, boasted good training facilities, had demonstrative experience of mobilising rural elected women and enjoyed a certain degree of acceptance by the district administration. The State Panchyati Raj Department had circulated a letter to all District Administration heads to ensure that elected women leaders would be able to attend the training workshops. Yet, I was nervous.
There were many questions in my mind: Would the trainers be able to bring to the fore the complex links between ‘Gender, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security,’ the topic for training? Would the trainers remember what they had learnt from the many presentations at the ToT?? Would they be able to use the training manual effectively? Would they be able to link the subject matter of the training to the lives of their trainees? Would the elected women trainers really participate in the roll out of the trainings across 17 districts?
By Bruce Campbell
Farmers have been at the forefront of changes and “shocks” since time immemorial, so are well placed to counter climate change. However, “coping” is insufficient if food security is to be achieved. Farmers need to know what kind of season is coming, and thus what and when to plant. They need to know about the outbreak of new pests and diseases. On the longer term, they need to know whether a shift in crop species or different farming strategies are needed. A cornerstone of active adaptation is information availability: varieties to grow, diversification options, seasonal climate forecasts, flood and cyclone warnings, pest and disease outbreaks, market options.
By Caity Petersen
The Central Kalimantan in Indonesia has a dark history of land use and abuse. Upwards of 1.4 million hectares of peat-swamps were cleared and drained there in the mid-1990s, inflicting heavy damage on both the natural environment and the livelihoods of indigenous people living there.
But now the Kalimantan Forests Climate Partnership is reviving the area by way of the largest REDD+ carbon scheme ever implemented in Indonesia. And in doing so has produced a practical guide of dos and don'ts for implementing REDD+ initiatives. The secret to its success: the introduction of strategies that prioritise the livelihoods of local communities as well as emissions reduction.
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)