Apr 15, 2013

Hunger, Nutrition, Climate Justice: A New Dialogue Putting People at the Heart of Global Development

Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

April 15th 2013: The Hunger - Nutrition - Climate Justice conference, organised in partnership between the Irish Government, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the World Food Programme (WFP), begins today at Dublin Castle and will conclude on Tuesday April 16th at 4.30pm.

The event is unique in the way it aims to explore the links between climate change, hunger and nutrition, whilst placing farmers at the center of the of the development efforts to help solve the problems of food insecurity.  It aims to do this by enabling global leaders, policy-makers and scientists to listen directly to the representatives of communities from Africa, Asia and Central America.  

Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium commented, “This meeting is an opportunity to put food security through climate smart agriculture at the top of the political agenda. While doing so, we want to make sure our research agendas continue the G8’s commitment to the world’s poor.  We must focus on the needs of smallholder farmers – they have the least capacity to adapt and will be the most affected by climate change.” Conference delegates will seek to couple farmers’ traditional knowledge and adaptation practices with scientific innovations to reduce hunger, improve nutrition and help communities to adapt to climate change.  Listening to the voices of those on the ground will be vital in providing recommendations to shape the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. High profile representatives from around the world who will listen to these viewpoints will include former US Vice President Al Gore, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Mary Robinson, President of Mary Robinson Foundation and Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

To optimise the input of stakeholders from around the world, Mr Rijsberman will host a panel discussion entitled 'Starting the Dialogue: Reality Check' on Tuesday April 16th. This session will ensure that farmers voices are heard by high level representatives and will include a live voting device to ensure everyone has a say in issues discussed.

Explaining the remit of CCAFS in relation to the Conference, Mr Rijsberman continued: “Climate change affects future food and nutrition security worldwide, imposing new challenges to the agriculture sector and our future food and nutrition security. At the same time, agriculture is a net-emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, further exasperating visible climatic changes. Through its comprehensive research, CCAFS aims to provide the agriculture sector with practices, technologies and strategies that can help farmers in developing countries to adapt to climate change, whilst both managing the risks from an increasingly variable climate on food production and mitigating some of the emissions in a pro-poor fashion".

It is expected that “Hunger – Nutrition – Climate Justice 2013” will generate a number of clear recommendations about steps that need to be taken to support vulnerable households as the world reviews the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The Conference is supported by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

Global leaders and policy-makers attending the event include: 

  • President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins
  • Frank Rijsberman, Chief Executive Officer of the CGIAR Consortium
  • President of the Mary Robinson Foundation, Mary Robinson,
  • Former US Vice-President, Al Gore
  • Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)


CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. 

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is a strategic partership of CGIAR and Future Earth, led by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). CCAFS brings together the world's best researchers in agricultural science, development research, climate science and Earth system science, to identify and address the most important interactions, synergies and tradeoffs between climate change, agriculture and food security. 

About Frank Rijsberman

Frank Rijsberman was appointed CEO of the CGIAR Consortium in May 2012, having previously worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He has been at the forefront of CGIAR's focus on a coherent portfolio for the CGIAR Research Programs to improve food security, reduce rural poverty and malnutrition whilst protecting the environment.

Originally from The Netherlands, Rijsberman recieved his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from Delft University of Technology, and earned a multi-disciplinary Ph.D in water resources planning and management and civil engineering from Colorado State University. He has worked in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and speaks four languages including his native Dutch. He has authored over 60 scientific articles and book chapters, and co-authored with W.J. Cosgrove in 2000 World Water Vision: Making Water Everybody's Business.

More information

For more information, please visit: http://www.eu2013.ie/events/event-items/hncj/ or http://irishaid.ie/what-we-do/dublin-conference/.

Attendance at the conference is invitation-only, but the event will be webcast onwww.eu2013.ie, with the conversation continuing via Twitter (#HNCJ) and regular updates on the CCAFS blog


For media queries relating to the CEO of the CGIAR, Frank Rijsberman, contact Sophie Brooks or Rebecca Ward from Glasshouse Partnership:

Rebeccaw [at] glasshousepartnership [dot] com or Tel: +44 (0)207 908 6453

sophieb [at] glasshousepartnership [dot] com or +447974161117