Global movement ready to tackle climate challenges

There is no simple solution to climate change for agriculture. This exchange of ideas between such a broad cross section of actors as the only way forward to make real change. Photo: A. Jarvis (CIAT)
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Mar 13, 2015

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Frank Rijsberman and Bruce Campbell (CGIAR)

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There is no simple solution to climate change for agriculture; exchange of ideas between a broad cross section of actors is the only way forward to make real change.

The Knowledge Action Group of the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture brought together over 120 participants from diverse stakeholder groups to an International Workshop in Montpellier, France. The workshop aimed to organize the work on knowledge priorities for CSA and build partnerships to make these priorities possible. What is the vision for CGIAR participation in the Alliance? Frank Rijsberman (CEO of CGIAR Consortium) and Bruce Campbell (Director of CCAFS) explain in a recent Opinion Editorial

At the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture in Abu Dhabi this week, the international agricultural research network CGIAR and key agencies drove forward a new global movement that is ready to tackle these challenges.

The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) is a new collaborative initiative dedicated to ensuring food security in the face of a warming world, which will enable farmers to raise productivity, adapt to climate change, and reduce the impact agriculture has on global greenhouse gas emissions.

It is rare that we see such a broad-based group come together to tackle a particular problem. Governments, farmers, scientists, businesses, research and civil society, as well as regional unions and international organisations are represented in GACSA.

There is no simple solution to climate change for agriculture, and we see this exchange of ideas between such a broad cross section of actors as the only way forward to make real change.

How can we drive its agenda forward, and move from ideas to action?

As leaders in the research community, we believe one of the key next steps is to begin to look beyond the technological innovations we have discovered in recent years, and explore what can be done to accelerate and scale up the adoption of these technologies by the farmers who need them.

In the past 15 years, the adoption of agricultural innovations among smallholder farmers has been low, commonly ranging between 0 and 15 percent. This shows us that our climate-smart approaches need to consider different realities - in policy, legislation, infrastructure and funding - that will encourage their uptake.

Let us learn from and replicate the successful examples of scaling up of innovations we have seen recently, such as getting seasonal forecasts to rural farmers in Senegal.

Senegal teeters on the edge of the Sahel, an area known for seasons of drought and subsequent famine. Reducing the risk of such disasters, through improved access to climate information, is a crucial step towards food and livelihood security in this region.

Read the full story on Thomson Reuters Foundation website.