As part of the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Year of Action, WRI and the Global Center on Adaptation partnered with CGIAR to conduct over 50 listening sessions to inform the Two Degree Initiative — a proposed flagship effort within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to transform the global food system for a climate-smart future. Its goal is to help 200 million small-scale agricultural producers across the globe adapt to climate change.

These conference proceedings document the key findings from those listening sessions, which were intended to help better understand the perspectives, needs, and priorities of farmers, herders and fishers, NGOs and CSOs, governments, and the private sector. Over 1,000 stakeholders in more than 60 countries participated, including representatives from national research agencies, government, communities, and the private sector, as well as members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as farmers,’ women’s, youth, and environmental organizations, staff of donor and UN agencies, and researchers. The sessions were held between March and October 2020.

Key Findings

These conference proceedings summarize the following emerging findings from over 50 listening sessions, meant to inform CGIAR's Two Degree Initiative, a flagship effort to transform the global food system for a climate-smart future:

  • Reform research-development-deployment pathways toward climate resilience and strengthen co-creation so that a broader range of stakeholders receives solutions that are beneficial. This will require new ways of working, including more co-production of knowledge, as well as faster, more inclusive, and more climate-informed and risk-tolerant innovation systems.
  • Employ an interdisciplinary, intersectional food, land, and water systems approach to building climate resilience by working across silos and together with under-engaged groups, from the regional to the national to the local level. This will require addressing in a coordinated manner climate-related vulnerabilities and opportunities that may occur across value chains, policy and institutional innovations, and ecosystem-based approaches to address systemic bottlenecks that reinforce vulnerabilities.
  • Improve tools for and communications with policymakers, civil society, and advocacy groups so that they have the climate-related data they need and are motivated, incentivized, and held accountable to enact change. This requires collaborating with decision-makers at local to national levels to understand and address their information needs and incentives.
  • Strengthen collaborations and innovative partnerships with the aim of unlocking private and public finance to enable sustainable investments to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity. Such partnerships are key to increasing impact by accelerating innovation, deploying solutions more quickly and equitably, and improving finance and information delivery for greater climate resilience at scale, while making the case for higher returns on investment.
  • Engage with policymakers, regional bodies, and global processes in the design of new policies and frameworks to ensure that regionally led action is well aligned with global efforts and yet reflects local contexts and priorities.
  • Leverage the power and expansion of climate-informed digital technologies to provide real-time and context-specific advisories and critical market services to growing numbers of small-scale producers. These advisories and services should also contribute to livelihoods, job creation, conservation of agrobiodiversity, and food and nutrition security.
  • Prioritize transformative approaches (e.g., shifting value chains, transitioning livelihoods, gender and social inclusion) where the impacts of climate change are the most severe, especially for the most vulnerable. This requires understanding where and when potential transition opportunities are likely to arise and how these transitions can be made efficiently, effectively, and equitably. Additionally, this requires assessment and prioritization of actions that encourage producers, business owners, researchers, investors, and policymakers to innovate in ways that promote gender equality and opportunities for youth.

Executive Summary

Full executive summary available in the paper.