2015 Annual Report from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Launched
Learn more by reading the 2015 Annual Report here: http://bit.ly/ccafs2015
The numbers are staggering. Hunger and undernutrition are persistent and unacceptable human tragedies that cause and perpetuate poverty and have huge social and economic costs. Yet, preventing malnutrition is one of the most efficient development interventions: malnutrition prevention programs deliver $16 in returns on investment for every $1 spent.
The case for improving food security and nutrition is clear; the challenge comes in accomplishing it and progress has been too slow.
Is it the lack of political will?
Between May 18 and 22nd I, along with the Emerging team traveled to Çeşme, Turkey, for the 2016 Global Pulse Convention. This conference had over 650 participants from all over the world participate in meetings and discussions regarding the pulse industry and the International Year of Pulses.
One of the meetings we helped organize was the national committees meeting. In this meeting, national committees presented on the amazing activities they had been working on, as well as collaborated with others to think of new and creative ways to get consumers involved with IYP2016. It was fantastic to see the countless events these committees are hosting all over the world. Ranging from educational field day seminars, to galas, and to recipe books. Instead of describing each activity, below are a few highlights;
On May 16-26, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will host the Bonn Climate Change Conference. In the wake of the December signing of the Paris Agreement, the event will focus on implementation of this landmark pact through the First session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement. At the same time, this venue will also advance long-running processes such as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which will hold its forty-fourth session. So the Bonn conference represents both new and long-term international collaboration to tackle global climate change.
In their reflections note for this event, the outgoing and incoming Conference of the Parties presidents state that “No issue has been left behind.” Indeed, agriculture, which has struggled at times for visibility in the UNFCCC negotiations, will be featured through two SBSTA sessions at the Bonn conference focused on adaptation measures and enhancement of productivity. These sessions will offer a venue for governments and others to explore this sector’s role in the climate response, including the agriculture-related strategies put forth in 80% of the submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.
Since the United Nations started to declare International Years in 1960, only 3 foods have received such recognition: rice, potatoes and quinoa. 2015 was dedicated to soils, 2014 to the importance of Family Farming... This year pulses entered this honorary list of UN International Years, ready to show the world how much they contribute to the global food security, to people’s diets and to the soils.
As a Mexican, pulses and especially beans, are close to my heart since childhood. I was a difficult child who did not want to eat veggies. Can you guess what I preferred to eat instead? Beans. Frijoles de la olla with scrambled eggs. My niece’s favorite food is also beans... No wonder why we are called Frijoleros.
To track down what is happening in Latin America, this month I attended a couple of events dedicated to the International Year of Pulses 2016. Organised by INTA (Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria), the LXI PCCMCA annual meeting took place in San Jose on April 5-8. The meeting gathered 300 attendants from many countries from the region including Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Mexico, to discuss regional strategies for food security, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
This year's slogan for World Malaria Day is End Malaria for Good! It sounds like a vivid call to action to address one of the deadliest diseases of our time. World Malaria Day gives global awareness to the fight against this killer disease, but let’s not forget that it is unfortunately a daily struggle for many exposed countries. Today is a key moment to reflect on all the efforts that were brought together in the tremendous fight against malaria and the result of such mobilization.
A lot of progress had been made to dramatically reduce the malaria mortality rate. The rate fell 60% between 2000 and 2015 and during the same period, the number of mortality cases had also fallen by 37% globally! It is also estimated that there has been a cumulative 1.2 billion fewer malaria cases and 6.2 million fewer malaria deaths.
The amazing determination driving the actors of the fight against malaria contributed in those encouraging numbers. However sustaining them will be the real challenge to take this “End Malaria for Good” slogan to a tangible successful outcome. To achieve this goal various and new creative approaches with anti-malaria technology as well as subsequent financial resources will be needed.