Teagasc recently attended a climate change think-in in Bonn with several international researchers and the focus was on agriculture, food security and climate change. They discussed common future research challenges, opportunities for stronger interaction and its relevance to international climate change and food security policy discussions.
The meeting, co-chaired by the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change and the High-Level Panel of Experts of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, convened five other International Initiatives from different geographical regions: the CGIAR Challenge Program “Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security”, the Institute for Environment and Sustainability of the Joint Research Centre from the European Commission, the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, the Wheat Initiative, the Belmont Forum (group of funding agencies from the G8 and emerging countries). Two observer organisations were also present, one at regional scale (Embrapa) and the other at the international scale (IntensAfrica).
Participants met for two half-days in an open and inclusive workshop, and agreed on the opportunity and need for continued and stronger interaction including through an annual meeting, and on the value-added of shared learning on common methodological research challenges and cross-cutting questions, building on each initiative’s strengths.
Topics for possible further work include examples of how to engage farmer and beneficiaries with researchers, metrics to address jointly food security and climate change dimensions, research impact indicators, methods of foresight, knowledge hubs, policy evaluation and international funding mechanisms. To build on the prevailing dynamic, initiatives agreed to organise a next workshop in June 2014, open not only to international, but also to relevant regional research-focused partners.
The gathering took place in parallel to a series of scientific and technical sessions of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change organised in Bonn, some of which specifically address the issue of the relation between agricultural activities and climate change. The international initiatives discussed the relevance of their multilateral interactions and of their research activities to the UNFCCC and CFS processes, and identified a number of proposals for future consideration, including the preparation of peer-reviewed recommendations.
This workshop of International Initiatives on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change was the second of the type, following a first workshop in July 2012 in Dublin as a side-event of its “Great Debate on Food Security and Climate Change” at the EuroScience Open Forum in Dublin.