CGIAR, the largest publicly-funded agricultural research partnership in the world, has challenged governments and donors to double funding to end hunger and halt climate change by 2030.
Its new ten-year strategy puts the climate crisis at the heart of global research into food security for the first time in its fifty-year history, marking a new era for more unified agricultural and environmental science.
The roadmap, which was unveiled at the Climate Adaptation Summit in January 2021, hosted by the Netherlands, repositions CGIAR’s work in the context of new and evolving pressure on food systems. The strategy warns that, without more science-based interventions to align agriculture with climate targets, the number of undernourished people around the world could exceed 840 million by 2030, with climate-related disasters displacing 200 million by 2050.
“The climate crisis is at the forefront of threats to our ability to provide good nutrition for all while staying within environmental limits,” said Claudia Sadoff, Executive Management Team Convener and Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact at CGIAR System Organization, speaking at the Climate Adaptation Summit.
“The agricultural sector is at an inflection point – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset how we work and the scale of our ambitions. We must double overall investment from 2018 levels to achieve the levels of partnership required to scale impact, and attract the best minds to the challenges facing our food systems.”
To help streamline investment into agricultural research that also responds to the climate crisis, CGIAR is undergoing an institutional reform to become One CGIAR with a newly integrated leadership and Board in place this year to support the level of collaboration required for more coherent global and country responses.
“Since its founding 50 years ago, the contributions of CGIAR together with its partners to crop breeding, agronomic practices, plant and animal health, improved nutrition, natural resource management and climate change responses have resulted in a ten-fold return on investment,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, Managing Director for Global Engagement and Innovation at the CGIAR System Organization.
“If managed and governed differently, food systems could be a lever of global change, at the vanguard of sustainable living for all, leading other sectors with solutions and inspiration. The transition to One CGIAR provides an opportunity for a fresh ten-year strategy that can shape a stronger and more relevant science agenda for today’s dynamic world.”
CGIAR’s research strategy outlines five areas of impact covering nutrition, poverty, inclusivity, climate adaptation and mitigation, and environmental health which would benefit from greater research into the three key areas of transforming entire, connected food systems, developing greater resilience and the potential of genetic innovation.
“Agriculture is both a major contributor to climate change and is deeply affected by it,” said Marco Ferroni, Chair, CGIAR System Board. “Now is the time for CGIAR’s original mission –to solve hunger –to expand into wider 21st century challenges, embracing a systems-transformation approach for food, land and water systems to deliver broad access to healthy diets and income opportunities within environmental limits.”
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