Enhancing capacity to deliver impact

E. Quilligan (CIMMYT)
Outcomes & Impacts

Joint research strengthens Ethiopia’s resilience to climate change

East Africa
Climate Services and Safety Nets

Ethiopia’s natural resource base is under serious pressure due to increases in human and livestock populations. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the problem, resulting in deterioration in crop yields, food security and livelihoods for the smallholders and subsistence farmers who make up most of its rural population. CCAFS scientists at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) collaborated with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and other Ethiopian stakeholders to conduct vital climate research. The findings were used to develop Ethiopia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy; this collaboration helped to build Ethiopian capacity to conduct its own climate research.

CIMMYT-CCAFS research played a crucial role in building national climate research capacity in Ethiopia. Joint research outputs informed the national climate change development initiatives in Ethiopia.

CIMMYT worked with Ethiopian researchers to analyse past and future climate data from 50 weather stations in the country, which will support better climate change planning in farming systems.

Prior to this joint initiative, climate information for Ethiopia was extremely limited. There was a pressing need for studies to estimate the impact of climate change at local level, identify adaptation options and develop the country’s climate policies and strategies. It was against this backdrop that CIMMYT and CCAFS began to work with EIAR, notably its Biometrics, GIS and Agro-meteorology Directorate (BGAD).

The collaborative research focused on improving the resilience of maize and wheat cropping systems to climate variability and change. Researchers analysed climate data from 50 weather stations throughout Ethiopia’s maize and wheat farming regions, which made it possible to capture variations among different agro-ecological zones. Using this information, they were able to produce climate forecasts for individual regions in Ethiopia, project the future frequency and distribution of droughts and create a national climate database management toolkit. In addition, researchers were actively involved in using this valuable body of research-based evidence to shape the national climate change strategy.

CIMMYT-CCAFS research helped the Ethiopian government to produce a climate change strategy and initiatives to guide community interventions

CIMMYT-CCAFS research helped the Ethiopian government to produce a climate change strategy and initiatives to guide community interventions. Gates Foundation

Mr Andualem Shemeles, Director of BGAD, is in no doubt that the research outputs have had a significant influence on the Ethiopian government; and there were additional benefits too.

“Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research researchers are now in a better position, in terms of knowledge and capacity, to advise the institutions which are working closely with us on climate change. The methodological frameworks, the national climate change database and the research outputs being prepared for publication will further enhance our capacity to play a major role in informing federal, regional and local governments.” Mr Andualem Shemeles, Director of BGAD
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