Healthy soils, natural ecosystems, and farms underpin sustainable agriculture, and translate into benefits for farming communities. Our efforts to promote resilient landscapes took us in many directions: championing soil health in Africa, making the news with studies on endangered trees and carbon sequestration, and sharing evidence, innovations, and technologies at COP27.
Climate at the forefront of public and policy awareness
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report set the tone for 2022, warning policymakers of the increasing vulnerabilities for people and ecosystems. But, as noted by the Alliance scientists who co-authored sections on climate services and mitigation, it also pointed towards opportunities for climate-resilient development.
Reducing farmers’ climate risk
Increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather conditions impact farmers firsthand, especially in countries such as the Philippines, where typhoons pose a major threat to lives and livelihoods. The shift during the pandemic to digital provision of climate information services has opened up new opportunities for agricultural extension, according to our partners. Learn more with this podcast and story.
Sustainable land use for Latin American farmers
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, flagship Alliance projects informed water management in drought-struck regions (Agua de Honduras), used geospatial services to inform sustainable economies (SERVIR Amazonia), and developed livelihood options with farmers and small businesses (SLUS, CAL-PSE). In the Peruvian Amazon we concluded work on zero deforestation business models for cocoa and oil palm, and kicked off a new project (Peru-Hub) that builds on previous efforts to make technology more accessible in the region. Our research also traced how climate action and peacebuilding are related. This work is further complemented by the launch 10 CGIAR research initiatives in LAC (detailed here in Spanish).
New initiatives for African climate security
We also expanded our partnerships and body of work on climate-smart agriculture with numerous new programs in Africa. Top billed is Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA), which aims to scale up climate information services and make them more accessible to smallholder farmers (detailed in this 2022 summary), as well as CGIAR research initiative ClimBeR, which is targeting climate-vulnerable countries where CGIAR has previously collaborated with governments on policy development.
Women frequently have fewer land rights, which translates into increased vulnerability to climate shocks. From our brand new office in Dakar, Senegal, we launched an effort to promote entrepreneurship in climate-smart agriculture, with the aim of reaching 10,000 women.
In Sub-Saharan Africa we also looked at minimizing risks for women and youth with our Clim-ARM Project, which uses climate analytics to inform agricultural investment. And in Tanzania, we got our hands in the soil while training farmers on Mbili Mbili, an intercropping method that alternates maize, pigeon peas, and beans to replenish soil nitrogen and reap higher yields.
Elsewhere, we looked at how communities’ traditional practices— irrigation systems in Sri Lanka, home gardens in Central Asia— combine with complex landscapes to nurture biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services. News-grabbing research underscored the need to protect and restore our forests, especially in tropical areas.
Drawing attention to agriculture at COP27
Alliance leaders, scientists, and partners shared evidence and best practices in over 50 events at the UN Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. We were present at the first ever Food and Agriculture Pavilion organized by CGIAR, FAO, and The Rockefeller Foundation. We also participated in the only joint working group (Koroniva) dedicated to agriculture, which resulted in plans to implement climate action in agriculture and food security – we intend to advocate further to emphasize that the actions encompass the full food system. Read more COP27 takeaways from the Accelerate for Impact Platform.