The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) recently launched the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Knowledge Network. An initiative from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Adaptation and Mitigation Network (AMKN) builds off of CCAFS’s existing programs that identify and develop efficient agricultural technology and policy and facilitate vulnerable communities’ resilience to climate change. Using an interactive map platform that draws on field and anecdotal evidence from research stations around the world, the AMKN aims to become a key tool for scientists and stakeholders. The platform will assist in the development of improved climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, helping to ensure future global and regional food security. Users are able to see photos and videos from the field while accessing the most current data on climate change as it is affecting communities around the globe.
Future success and survival for smallholder farmers lies in the sharing of knowledge and experiences with others. The scientific community, however, will play a crucial role in the development and dissemination of new knowledge, technology, and tools to vulnerable communities around the world.
This crucial exchange between scientists and smallholder farmers was seen in June 2011 in Kaffrine, Senegal, where climate scientists, policy makers, and 30 local farmers met to discuss the role of seasonal forecast technology in empowering farmers to plan more effectively in the coming seasons. When asked to share their traditional knowledge, farmers were able to identify the oncoming rainy seasons with concise depictions.
One farmer identified the oncoming monsoon by remarking, “we know the start of the rainy season from the wind changing direction.” Visiting scientists were able to build off farmer’s experiences in predicting future local weather patterns to introduce season forecasting. Introducing farmers to tools, such as seasonal forecasting, will be vital in increasing their resilience and ensuring future livelihoods for vulnerable communities.
Exchanges such as these are a core component of the AMKN platform. In addressing the gaps in knowledge and communication between local farmers and decision-makers, the AMKN is helping ensure that adaptation and mitigation strategies are made available to those most in need.
Contributor: Emily Gilbert is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.