Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA)

“It is crucial to optimize the unique expertise, capacity, and extensive dryland networks of CGIAR Centers operating in CWANA to provide a potent and effective One CGIAR offer to our partners. Together we can transform business-as-usual approaches into smart, resilient, and climate-adapted dryland food systems.”
Aly Abousabaa
Regional Director, Central and West Asia and North Africa

Climate change poses severe threats to Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), as the most water-stressed region in the world. At the same time, this region offers huge potential for research and innovation because of its unique biodiversity adapted to harsh conditions, and its long cultural traditions and local expertise in dryland farming.

The CGIAR Regional Office for CWANA has been tasked with a bold mandate to lead the development of a Global Dryland Strategy. The participatory design of the strategy aims to generate the technology, new agri-approaches, and policies needed to address climate change mitigation and adaptation across the world’s most water-scarce regions.

Research and innovation are taking place through CGIAR Initiatives launched in 2022, including the CGIAR Initiatives on Fragility to Resilience in Central and West Asia and North Africa (F2R-CWANA), Excellence in Agronomy (EiA), and Genebanks.

Regular partner-led consultations with regional national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) ensure that our integrated research packages remain effective, demand-driven, affordable, and relevant to the increasing climate impacts faced by the dryland communities we serve.

High-tech agri-solutions to revolutionize climate-smart farming in the region are being advanced through the CGIAR-mandated Integrated Desert Farming Systems Platform, in collaboration with partner agricultural ministries and NARES leaders.

Maintaining CGIAR’s high-level partnerships with Egypt for COP27, as well as with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in preparation for COP28, remains vital to highlight the urgency of, and our expertise in, dryland agri-food system transformation under an intensifying climate crisis.