LEEDS, UK – 23 November 2018 – Global food systems are under increasing pressure from climate change and a growing world population. We must increase food production to achieve food security for all, even as the largely negative effects of climate change impact agriculture. We also need to enhance the resilience of farming communities to these impacts, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector. Addressing these challenges requires rapid action to transform our food systems.
Climate-smart agriculture has emerged as a promising approach for achieving the transformation needed in agriculture, with the potential to not only help farmers adapt to climate change impacts, but also mitigate the impact of agriculture on climate. The power of climate-smart agriculture is demonstrated by recent outcomes from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and its partners, who have focused on developing and scaling the approach for nearly a decade. For instance, new meteorological tools developed by the program and its partners provide better climate forecasting for a population of 125 million in East and West Africa, allowing farmers to seed and harvest at the right moment, enhancing productivity and minimizing crop losses.
In order to reach a sufficient number of farmers, greater effort is needed to scale-up climate-smart agriculture. Partnerships and capacity building will be essential elements of this task: national governments, the private sector, development organizations, academic institutes and farmers around the world must work together, and fast. Towards this end, on 26 November, CCAFS will launch a Learning Platform on Partnerships and Capacity for Scaling Climate-Smart Agriculture at the Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The platform will build on a longstanding partnership, with the University of Leeds working together with CCAFS and all CGIAR Centers with the aim of building resilient food systems and farmers.
UK Minister of State at the Department for International Development, Harriett Baldwin, signalled her support for the initiative: “I am thrilled that this learning platform on climate-smart agriculture is opening today at the University of Leeds, thanks to UK Aid. It will contribute to the excellent work of the Priestley International Centre for Climate, and is a perfect example of how our international development work is not only benefiting developing countries, but the UK and the whole world as well.
“The UK has already committed to £5.8bn in climate finance from 2016-2021. We have also helped over 47 million people to cope with the effects of climate change and natural disasters.”
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