A website dedicated to showcasing the latest scientifically-backed evidence related to climate change, agriculture and food security
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) does not do research for the sake of doing research. We do research for development, and in order to achieve our ambitious development goals communication is central. The way we communicate matters. It matters when we are working on-the-ground in villages discussing adaptation and mitigation options. It matters too when we publish an article on our website, make a presentation at a conference, or give an interview to the media. Through communication, we can create awareness and understanding.
But the communication of science is no easy feat. How do you simplify complex science so that it can be understood by many, rather than a few, without reducing it to meaningless nothings? How do you communicate uncertainty within science without undermining the conclusions of that science? How do you communicate consistently when science is constantly progressing and open to re-evaluation? Big Facts is part of our answer.
What's it all about?
The Big Facts website brings together information on all the big issues to do with climate, change, agriculture and food security. Population growth, changing diets, deforestation, food waste and other topics are all there, along with proven successful options for adaptation and mitigation. Add in summaries of the political and financial climates and the Big Facts website hopes to enable users to weave their own visions for the future.
With more than 150 downloadable infographics and 33 fact sheets, the Big Facts website is the go-to resource for accurate information on climate change, agriculture and food security. But the site is more than just pretty pictures and simplified facts. All the facts are derived from scientifically credible sources, with links to more detailed information as well as references to the original sources. Furthermore, in addition to being open access, the entire site is peer reviewed, adding crucial checks and balances. Big Facts also invites improvements, updates and corrections.
Big facts speak for themselves
As the impacts of climate change intensify, poor smallholder farmers will be among the hardest hit. But what those impacts will be and how farmers can adapt varies tremendously from region to region. While Africa faces decreases in crop productivity and changing suitability of farmlands, for Asia an onslaught of floods and cyclones is more likely.
Thankfully, adaptation options focused on local conditions already exist and are constantly improving as scientists and farmers move forward together. Often, it is the simple things that will help us adapt. In India, for instance, text message weather updates are helping farmers to make improved decisions about when to plant and harvest. Small and simple changes like this can have a huge impact on food security.
Agriculture also offers huge opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the most useful improvements to food systems help farmers to adapt to climate change and to mitigate their emissions while improving livelihoods and increasing food security – all at the same time.
Key Links and Resources:
Download the flyer
Visit the Big Facts website
Blog: Big Facts - bringing together science, art and pie charts
Click here to read the special blog series written by Simon Bager to complement the launch of the Big Facts website. The blog series shines the spotlight on each region and theme individually, helping to bring the Big Facts to life.