Policy note on the interlinkages of Climate Change, Gender and Nutrition in Nigeria

Increasing temperature, erratic rainfall, and other extreme events, such as floods and droughts, pose severe threats to development in Nigeria. Climate change will have significant adverse impacts on crop production and livelihoods, making the country’s poor and disadvantaged people even more vulnerable. It is imperative that the impact of relevant climate science on agricultural production be considered, together with important cross-cutting issues that influence agricultural growth, poverty alleviation, and climate resilience—especially gender and nutrition—if the goals of Feed the Future and the Global Food Security Strategy are to be achieved. This policy note summarizes assessments of these interlinkages in the Nigerian context under GCAN.

Climate-Based Information for USAID Missions: Future Projections vs. Historical Data

By Timothy S. Thomas

Most scientists studying the impact of climate change on agriculture use climate models that project out to 2050 or beyond – some even going to 2100. Even those focusing more short-term rarely study anything earlier than 2030 – the models just have too little change in that time period for them to produce anything of interest. These climate studies can be of significant help to USAID missions when working with host governments in developing longer-range investment plans in the agricultural and environmental sectors, and can also be of help in assessing climate risk in activities that are meant to have impact for multiple decades.

Yet many climate risk assessments for USAID activities need to assess climate impacts for just a few years into the future, for example, just until the early 2020s. For those assessments, typical climate models and studies are not helpful. In such cases, missions would be better served by looking at climate trends from gridded weather data available from a number of sources.

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How to ensure nutrition for everyone under climate change and variability

By Jessica Fanzo, Rebecca McLaren, Claire Davis, and Jowel Choufani

The intersection of climate change, food security, and nutrition is critical given that the growing adverse impacts of climate change threaten food security and nutrition outcomes, especially for the most vulnerable in the global South. Climate is a potential driver of nutritional status, but dietary choices can affect both nutrition and climate. A better understanding of the pathways linking climate change and nutrition is key to developing effective interventions to ensure that the world’s population has access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. Undernutrition can be exacerbated by the effects of climate change at all stages of the food value chain. In addition, disease is affected by climate and can, in turn, increase the demand
for nutrients, while reducing nutrient absorption.

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Project: Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative (GCAN)

Achieving the goals of Feed-the-Future and the Global Food Security Strategy requires careful consideration of the impact of relevant climate science on agricultural production, while at the same time considering other cross-cutting issues that influence agricultural growth, poverty alleviation and resilience, especially gender and nutrition.

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Heat stress could be a problem for livestock living outdoors under climate change

By Ricky Robertson It began with an innocent enquiry: do we have relative humidity data, under climate change for possible future situations, that could be used to think about a direct effect on animal productivity? Currently, in our economic modeling, the cattle, hogs, chickens, etc., are only indirectly affected by changes in feed/fodder prices when those are affected by climate change. But, we are not capturing any direct effect from hot animals. We would like to end up with global maps of some index that can tell us something about the stress that animals would experience under typical conditions at each place on the map. The problem, of course, is that the climate data we normally use for crop modeling do not include relative humidity. That is not quite right: some of the raw data do, but not in the data we have cleaned up and arranged for using in the crop models. In order to try to keep things internally consistent, we would like to build up a rough approximation based on what we do have.

Heat Dome to Do Approximately $2 Billion in Damage to U.S. Corn

By Timothy S. Thomas Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C. tim.thomas@cgiar.org It's so hot, even the corn is sweating!1   Can temperatures this high be good for corn? It turns out that the answer is "no". I know this because last week I completed a study of the effects of temperature on U.S. corn. My goal was not only to be able to estimate the effects of climate change on corn yields in the future, but also to understand the best way to apply temperature data to the analysis.  One of the things I did was to follow the lead of other researchers and convert daily maximum and minimum temperatures to essentially hourly temperatures to be able to see the effect of an hour at each 1-degree interval on yields.

Do Economic Predictions of Damage from Climate Change Cause Policymakers to Focus on the Wrong Thing?

By Timothy S. Thomas I have been computing various measures of the impact of climate change on agriculture for the last six years, in an effort to help donors, researchers, and policymakers anticipate what farmers would face and, as a result, be able to develop plans to help agriculture adapt to climate change. But I recently came to the realization that the measures I have been computing -- while important for many reasons -- actually lead the policymaker to potentially wrong conclusions about what policies and investment strategies to use in order to help farmers adapt. The trouble is that the kind of calculations I have been doing are similar to the calculations others throughout the world have been doing, so it is not simply a matter of me being wrong, but a matter of all of us thinking about the issue incorrectly. Read more at the IFPRI Research Blog.

POLICY SEMINAR – Climate Change & Food Security: Challenges and Options at Global and National Scales

As scientists, advocates, researchers, and political leaders prepared to head to Paris for Conference of Parties (COP21), a panel of experts laid out some of the most urgent aspects of climate change and agriculture. Join IFPRI as new results on the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security from the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT) are presented, along with a modeling framework and results designed to assist national decision- and policy-makers address climate change and mitigation goals in a politically and economically sustainable way. Following presentations by senior IFPRI researchers Alex de Pinto and Keith Wiebe, a panel of experts shared their views and recommendations.

CCAFS Info Note: Climate readiness indicators for agriculture

By Eva Wollenberg, Monika Zurek and Alex De Pinto Coping with climate change in agriculture while ensuring food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions or emission intensities will require new information, technologies, finance instruments and possibly new institutions. Many countries are building these capabilities now, but there is much uncertainty about what is needed and what is feasible. Click here to go to the info note.

Low Emission Development Strategies for Agriculture and Other Land Uses: The Case of Colombia.

By Alex De Pinto, Senior Research Fellow It is widely recognized that natural resource use in many developing countries, from crop production to deforestation, is responsible for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. We also know that, in many countries, the agricultural and forestry sectors can provide low-cost climate change mitigation opportunities. As countries experience economic growth and choose among the available development pathways, they are in a favorable position to adopt natural resource use technologies and production practices characterized by low GHG emissions. Rather than embedding high emissions practices in their development and intervene on emissions reduction at a later stage, they can utilize Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS). (New IFPRI report) The U.S. Government launched an initiative, the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS), to support developing countries’ in their efforts to pursue long-term and transformative development. The initiative supports sustainable and climate-resilient economic growth compatibly with a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (USAID, 2011). Under the EC-LEDS initiative, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has conducted an analysis of Colombia’s GHG emissions deriving from land use change and crop production for the period 2008 - 2030. One of the greatest challenges facing policymakers is the design of solutions to multi-dimensional problems and devising LEDS is an example of multi-objective policy making: increasing agricultural productivity and food security in a changing climatic environment while reducing GHG emissions. The purpose of our work is to help policymakers in their evaluation of trade-offs, opportunities, and repercussions of policies that that target GHG emissions reduction.