Inger Andersen, chair of the Fund Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and vice president of Sustainable Development at the World Bank during her opening speech at Agriculture and Rural Development Day, a side event at the United Nations climate change conference (COP16), being held in Cancún, Mexico (photo credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT).
‘Amidst growing alarm that climate change could deal a catastrophic blow to farming in the developing world, the CGIAR [Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research] officially launched today a major new initiative to cope with its impacts on agriculture and to avert dire consequences for global food security. . . .
‘The program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, or CCAFS, brings together strategic research carried out by the CGIAR, the Earth System Science Partnership . . . and their respective partners in an innovative collective effort to be coordinated by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture . . . .
‘The launch event was held just after Agriculture and Rural Development Day 2010, which took place in parallel with the Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . . . .
‘The launch of CCAFS marks the beginning of a long-term endeavor with an initial 3-year budget totaling US$206 million. Much of its field work will begin in 2011, with an initial focus on East and West Africa as well as South Asia’s Indo-Gangetic Plain, regions that are especially vulnerable to climate change impacts. . . .
‘CCAFS partners will identify technologies and policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation that are suitable for poor, smallholder farmers and other rural people. Scientists will also refine models used to predict the impacts of a changing climate on agriculture and livelihoods, and identify ways to select hardier crop varieties and livestock breeds as well as novel farming and food systems that are suitable for future climate conditions.
‘“The CGIAR centers have always worked to help farmers in poor countries cope with challenging conditions by providing drought-tolerant crops or better soil and water management strategies,” said Bruce Campbell, CCAFS Director. “But climate change threatens to alter growing conditions so rapidly and dramatically as to require an intensive effort that draws on the combined talents of all of our centers and partners.”. . .’
Read the whole article at CGIAR in Action: A bold and concerted response to climate change, 5 December 2010.