WWF, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, IFPRI/CGIAR, and AfDB Launch Report Aimed at Guiding African Nations Toward Food Security and Fulfilling Climate and Nature Commitment

Posted on 12 December 2023

AFRICA’S ECOLOGICAL FOOD FUTURE: Re-imagining Africa’s food security within the context of climate change and ecological sustainability

Dubai, December 12th, 2023 — WWF, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, IFPRI/CGIAR and AfDB have released a new report to help African countries to achieve food security and implement climate and nature commitments. The report is based on a joint study, executed with the technical support of the International Institute for Environment and Development, into the main drivers of Africa’s food systems, how food systems have responded to climate change and other drivers, and what the resulting environmental impacts of these responses have been across the continent. It includes recommendations on how to move away from an unsustainable “business as usual” trajectory towards a scenario where food systems development in Africa goes hand in hand with long-term climate resilience and overall ecological sustainability. The report is very timely, following the signing of the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action, so far endorsed by 152 countries, including most African countries. 

Nancy Rapando, WWF Africa Food Future Leader, commented: “The immense support for the COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action is a manifestation of the worldwide recognition of the fact that current food systems are a major cause of climate change and other ecological impacts, while food security itself is increasingly under pressure from climate change related effects, besides other factors such as population growth, urbanization and shifting diets.

The report underscores that to take the continent out of poverty, Africa’s food systems need to provide sufficient affordable, nutritious food for its population, whilst generating income and employment to support Africa’s economic and social development. But the long-term functioning of food systems relies on natural capital – the natural resources and ecosystems that provide the inputs needed for food production, including fertile soils, water and a conducive climate. These resources are currently being depleted and degraded at an alarming rate, with significant impacts on biodiversity, climate change, and ultimately, on the ability of food systems to fulfill their functions.

Carlo Fadda, Director Agrobiodiversity at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture said: In particular for Africa, where food insecurity is still prevalent in many parts, insufficient responses to the main drivers could be catastrophic to the region’s natural ecosystems, exacerbating climate change while leading further loss of food production and other ecological provisioning functions, ultimately affecting the lives and wellbeing of its population.”

The report identifies policy-levers for engagement in the food systems space and concludes with recommendations on how to move away from an unsustainable “business as usual” trajectory towards a scenario where food systems development in Africa goes hand in hand with long-term climate resilience and overall ecological sustainability. It highlights key considerations for ecological sustainability aspects in the design of solutions through projects, initiatives, and investments focused on food system transformation in Africa. It furthermore explores the necessary enabling framework to put Africa on an ecological food future, including policies, incentives, and best practices for Africa’s ecological food future. The resulting recommendations can be grouped into three main approaches: changing food production systems; planning where to grow; and influencing food demand and consumption patterns.

Dr. Claudia Ringler, Director, Natural Resources and Resilience Unit of the International Food Policy Research Institute said: ”Ensuring equitable climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, optimization of water-energy-food-environmental systems, good governance of natural resources, and innovations for food and environmental systems is critical to ensure food and nutrition security in the face of challenges.

The report entitled “Analysis of the Implications of Africa’s Food Systems Development on Environmental Sustainability” as jointly commissioned by Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of the CGIAR (formerly known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) and has been released at a side event on COP28, held on 12th December 2023. The report is available for downloading here.

 

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Notes to editors

About WWF: WWF is an independent conservation organization, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit panda.org/news for the latest news and media resources; follow us on Twitter @WWF_africa

About Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT:

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people's lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.

With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis.

The Alliance is part of CGIAR.

 

About CGIAR: CGIAR System Organization is the world’s largest agricultural research and innovation network, comprising 14 centers and over 9,000 individuals with expertise at the global, regional, and national levels. CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future dedicated to transforming food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. The 14 CGIAR centers carry out research in close collaboration with partners, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organizations, academia, development organizations, and the private sector. This partnership contributes an unrivaled mix of knowledge, skills, and research facilities able to respond to emerging development issues. The Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT and IFPRI are part of the CGIAR.

About AfDB: Established in 1964, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries (RMC)).  The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified, namely: energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.

About IFPRI: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. It is a research center of CGIAR, the world’s largest agricultural innovation network. IFPRI’s vision is a world free of hunger and malnutrition. Its mission is to provide research-based policy solutions that sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition. 

 

Contact us:

WWF

Peter Scheren, WWF Africa Ecological Futures Leader, email: pscheren@wwfint.org, Whatsapp: +33 666317050

Nancy Rapando, WWF Africa Food Future Leader, email: nrpando@wwfkenya.org

Alliance of Bioversity International - CIAT

Carlo Fadda, Director Agrobiodiversity at the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, e-mail: C.Fadda@cgiar.org

IFPRI/CGIAR

Kristin Davis, Senior Research Fellow, email: K.Davis@cgiar.org

AfDB

Innocent Onah, Chief Natural Resources Officer, African Development Bank, email: i.onah@afdb.org

 

 

 
Africa Ecological Food Futures Report
© WWF-Africa