GCARD2010: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Smallholder farmers in developing countries are on the front lines of climate change, and often have to bear the brunt of its impact. Bruce Campbell, Director of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Climate Change (CCAFS), kicked off the session with an overview of the proposed climate change mega-programme. Climate change and food security are the greatest challenges we face in the coming years, Campbell said, quoting an IFPRI report which forecasts that “unchecked climate change will result in a 20 percent increase in child malnutrition by 2050.”
 
“It is vital to twin the climate change and agriculture agendas, and adapt agriculture to the new climate reality,” he said. Partners should be implicated in the outset of the project to widen the scope beyond traditional actors. “We would like to engage stakeholders in a real positive process, in a real positive view of the future,” said Campbell.
 
Campbell asked the audience for ideas on how to improve, remove and refocus the content of the programme. Several priorities were singled out: the advantage of linking with the climate, science and health communities to increase funding for agricultural research; not “reinventing the wheel” but rather drawing from the rich bank of existing good work, analyses, available initiatives and indigenous knowledge; embracing and moving beyond the farmer-science research model; and emphasizing context-specific research to inform decision-making within all levels.
 
Campbell also underlined the need to look at mitigation in a broader context: “We cannot look at mitigation for mitigation’s sake. We have to see where there are synergies between the mitigation and adaptation possibilities.”

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