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Annual report 2019: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)

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CCAFS continues to be a key knowledge provider. In 2019, 139 peer-reviewed articles were published, 79% open access, many in top journals (e.g. Nature, PLoSONE, Lancet), and eight with Altmetric scores over 100. CCAFS’ publication on transforming diets in the context of climate change received c. 2800 downloads in three months. CCAFS also contributed knowledge to global processes, e.g. the food security chapter of the Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report, and numerous inputs to the UNFCCC (e.g. on gender with the African Group of Negotiators). Databases are also key products. In 2019, Evidence for Resilient Agriculture (ERA) was released, capturing data from thousands of articles. It has been used to design over USD 1 billion in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) investments. CCAFS-Climate (Global Circulation Models data) had 17,252 site visits with 59.72 TB of downloaded data.

CCAFS follows the three thirds principle: a) knowledge production (above), b) engagement to ensure demand-driven, targeted research; and c) engagement for knowledge uptake (e.g. capacity strengthening and communication). CCAFS was involved in multiple stakeholder engagement processes to understand demand, build trust/partnerships, and ensure research uptake. These included over 15 major policy processes involving diverse topics, including seed strategies (e.g. Uganda), regional climate-smart plans (e.g. Mekong), national agricultural policies (e.g. El Salvador), and gender and climate policy (e.g. Guatemala).

This engagement enabled major results in 2019. For example, a study of the previously-developed Myanmar Climate-Smart Agricultural Strategy showed that the strategy had been referenced in at least 19 government and NGO programs, 4 policy documents, and 19 investment projects (involving approximately USD 1 billion). Similarly, in Vietnam, we found that CCAFS research outputs and capacity development efforts had informed national policies and key programs with cumulative investments of over USD 1 billion. Alternate wetting and drying, a key mitigation practice, was used by 83,000 farming households in Vietnam, informed by CCAFS science. Work on agricultural practices that also reduce burning was taken up by c. 0.5 million farm households, thus reducing emissions.

Research on climate information systems is paying dividends. It is estimated that 7 million people are accessing climate-informed advisories in Senegal. An impact study showed 68% of farmers used the advisories, leading to changes in agricultural practices, resulting in 10–25% increases in crop income. Similarly, in Rwanda, 111,835 farmers received climate information, 81% subsequently using the information to improve crop management, with income from crops increasing by 30%.

No major course corrections were needed, but there was considerable new thinking around the role of climate change in conflict/migration; as well as a focus on increasing ambition through the transforming food systems under climate change initiative, in which over 100 partners have participated. Learning Platforms continued to support links between CRPs/Centers, with many significant successes. For example, CCAFS engaged with 8 Centers around gender and climate change (e.g. Special Issue on ”Gender Equality in Climate Smart Agriculture”). Momentum in gender research increased across CCAFS, e.g. tools for monitoring gender-responsive CSA, and gender mainstreaming in climate policy.

Window 1 (W1)/Window 2 (W2) funds were used to fund the core elements of CCAFS. All CCAFS achievements can be directly linked to W1/W2.