CGIAR Joins Global Commitments at COP28’s Food, Agriculture and Water Day

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COP28’s Food, Agriculture and Water Day, 10 December, witnessed increased support for food systems transformation and cemented CGIAR’s key role in delivering that change through research and innovation. The announcements came alongside news that 152 countries have mobilized behind the COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food Systems and Climate Action.

Announcements included:

Sharm-El Sheikh Support Programme

CGIAR, in collaboration with the COP28 UAE Presidency, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), announced a three-year support package to help countries unlock finance and support for farmers, food producers, small agribusinesses and local communities.

The Sharm-El Sheikh Support Programme aims to drive consensus within the UNFCCC process and facilitate dialogue and knowledge-sharing amongst global and regional policymakers.

Commenting on the Sharm-El Sheikh Support Programme, Ismahane Elouafi, Executive Managing Director, CGIAR, said: “If we act urgently to transform our agrifood systems through the adoption of proven technologies and innovations, we can end hunger for all and grow prosperity within safe planetary boundaries. By pooling our efforts, we can support countries, namely in the Global South, to develop and implement their national pathways based on science and evidence.”

AIM for Climate

Also on Food, Agriculture and Water Day, the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4Climate) announced an increase of US$3.4 billion in aggregated funding for climate-smart food systems and agriculture. CGIAR is a partner of AIM4Climate and is leading several innovation sprints through the initiative. Launched by the UAE and the US at COP26, AIM4Climate is an advocacy and coordination platform for increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation.

Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) Partnership

In a separate development, CGIAR accepted an invitation to join the Board of the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) Partnership, set up by the COP27 Egyptian Presidency and FAO to maintain continuity between COPs. FAST also aims to improve the quantity and quality of climate finance to agri-food systems, ensuring increased essential support for smallholders.

Increased investment

More than US$7.1 billion has been mobilized during COP28 for climate-positive action in the food systems sector. Several countries, including the UAE, UK and US, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pledged to support CGIAR to help smallholder farmers adapt to the consequences of climate change while adopting more sustainable practices.

The commitments came as CGIAR launched a bid to raise US$4 billion to support ongoing research into innovations such as climate-resilient crop varieties and livestock breeds, including bio-fortified sweet potato, scuba rice and heat-tolerant cattle, and AI-enabled mobile phone apps that diagnose diseases in crops.

National Food Systems Technical Cooperation Collaborative (TCC)

CGIAR, FAO and the World Bank joined other international organizations and governments in supporting the Technical Cooperation Collaborative designed to accelerate delivery of the COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food Systems and Climate Action. Building on a USD $200 million commitment from the COP28 Presidency, Italy pledged a further commitment of up to EUR €10 million to be made available over the next two years, and the United Kingdom announced a new commitment of GBP £45 million over the next five years which will be channelled through the World Bank’s Food Systems 2030 Trust Fund.

Alliance of Champions for Food Systems Transformation (ACF)

With support from CGIAR, WRI, WWF, among others, the Alliance of Champions for Food Systems Transformation was formed by Brazil, Cambodia, Norway and Sierra Leone aimed at helping reorient policies, practices and investment priorities to deliver better food systems outcomes for people, nature and climate. Each country that has formed the ACF pledged to improve their national food systems and build on the progress of the UAE Declaration.

Header image: World Heads of States walk down Al Wasl avenue after their group photo during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai on December 1, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo by Neville Hopwood/COP28

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