Linking climate change research with food security and poverty reduction in the tropics

Climate change is a reality and will affect the poor in developing countries in many ways. The effectiveness of global change research could be substantially improved by linking International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) study with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres based in the tropics. These centres are carrying interdisciplinary research and development on how to achieve food security and reduce rural poverty through the innovative management of natural resources. A CGIAR intercentre working group on climate change (ICWG-CC) identified joint opportunities that take advantage of the comparative advantages of both institutions. CGIAR centres will focus on adaptation and mitigation research in developing countries. A natural resource management research approach is suggested, which consists of six steps: (1) identifying and quantifying the extent of food insecurity, rural poverty and resource degradation; (2) conducting technological and policy research on economic and environmental functions; (3) optimising the trade-offs between global environmental benefits and private farmer benefits; (4) extrapolating and disseminating results, including research on policy implementation; (5) assessing impact and (6) providing feedback.