Side Events COP25 related to agriculture

  • 10th December 2019
  • by secretary
CCAFS’ Deissy Martínez Barón @ #COP25: I
n order to #TransformFoodSystems we need to:
reroute our farming practices
+ de-risk farming & value chains
+ reduce emissions through diets & value chains
+ realing policies, finance & innovation.

2nd to the 13th of December. Madrid. Over 25,000 representatives from 200 countries converged in
the Climate Summit from the  to reach agreements and commitments between nations to fight against the effects of climate change.

For more information about the conference, visit the COP25 official webiste.

During COP25, CCAFS co-hosted and participated in over 15 side-events and activities.

Extracts of the programme


4 December. Raising ambition for climate action in agriculture: Agro-ecology and other place-based actions’ potential

Organisers: FAO; Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development; CGIAR

This side-event drew out the questions of “the why and the how” to operate towards a transformational change of our food systems to more sustainable and resilient ones. The “why” focused on the scientific basis for a transformation in our food systems and outline options available to drive change. Thereafter, the side-event focus on the “how”, show-casing evidence, initiatives and highlighting challenges to scale-up available options.

It launched important findings and initiatives: 


  • Welcome by Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, Bioversity International
  • Ishmael Sunga, Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
  • Dhanush Dinesh, Global Policy Engagement Manager, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  • Rachael McDonnell, Strategic Program Director, Water, Climate Change and Resilience, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  • Janie Rioux, Senior Agriculture and Food Security Specialist, Green Climate Fund (GCF)
  • Angela Falconer, Associate Director, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)
  • Jamison Ervin, Manager, Nature for Development Global Programme, UNDP
  • Bruce Campbell, Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) See @ 1:11 in the Skype webcast

    To achieve the SDGs, we have to reach half a billion farmers. How can we do this in Sub-Saharan Africa? A pitch at #COP25 @FANRPAN event from @bcampbell_CGIAR begins w/ 1. markets for climate resilient practices, 2. cool jobs 4 youth, 3. advisories bundled with insurance.


If you missed the event you can view the webcast here.

5 December. Action for Adaptation: How We Manage Water for Climate Change Resilience

Organisers: Co-organised by IWMI and the World Water Council (WWC).
This event responsed to the water background paper of the Global Commission on Adaptation report. IWMI and WWC brought together experts to further catalyze actions by highlighting how smarter water management can deliver critical adaptation solutions. For more information, please see the event page.

5 December. Advancing Climate Actions on Resilient and Sustainable Agri-Food Chains

Organisers: Leads: Global Resilience Partnership and FAO with A2R – Full concept note is available here.Supporting Organisations: Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), CGIAR Climate Change and Food Security Research Programme (CCAFS), Earth Security Group, EAT Forum, Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), Huairou Commission, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, iDE, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRRR), Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and World Bank.

This roundtable will addressed the UNCAS Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience and The Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Manifesto and the implementation of the number of specific initiatives on food and agriculture. The purpose is to increase the ambition for climate action in agriculture and food value chains to deliver inclusive, resilient and sustainable systems. The discussion focused on the following 3 questions:

  1. How are new and existing initiatives taking transformative action at scale to deliver resilient and sustainable agriculture food chains?
  2. How are climate actions on building resilient and sustainable agriculture food value chains benefiting all in the system (from farm to fork) – especially smallholder farmers, communities and SMES in countries (LDCs and SIDS) most impacted by climate change?
  3. What are the main challenges and opportunities to implement and track climate actions on building resilient and sustainable agriculture food chains to scale?

As a cross-cutting element, this Roundtable focused on how to engage marginalised groups including women, youth, indigenous people and people living with disabilities thereby achieve inclusion and equitable outcomes.



6 December Stepping Up Engagement Efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa to Catalyse Investments in Climate Action 

Organisers: The side event was convened by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in partnership with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), the SADC/GIZ Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) Programme, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA), CARE International and the World Bank.

The event showcased how farmers and key stakeholders in SADC experience climate change and have developed solutions that are ready to scale out through a theatre performance. Experience from Sub-Saharan Africa shows that participatory theatre enables community participation in developing CSA solutions, and can inform investment decisions. 

Drawing on the latest scientific evidence in investment prioritization, the performance wqw followed by a SADC-oriented panel discussion with key players in CSA investment planning in Africa, including the AAA initiative, CCAFS, CARE International, FANRPAN, ACCRA and the World Bank, to discuss which and how investments in CSA can be scaled. It will bring together senior officials from the member states, international and intergovernmental organizations, and academia.


  • Mr. Harsen Nyambe – Head, Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management, African Union Commission
  • Mr Jahan Chowdhury – Country Engagement Director NDC Partnership
  • Ms Abir Lemseffer, Executive Director – Adaptation for African Agriculture Initiative
  • Dr Evan Girvetz, Africa Team Leader – International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • H.E Sindiso Ngwenya – Former Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

6 December. Building a research-for-development partnership for thriving drylands in a changing climate

Organisers: The side event was led by ICARDA with the support of the Indian National Council for Climate Change Sustainable Development and Public Leadership (NCCSD) NCCSD.

  • Dr. Vinay Nangia coordinates ICARDA’s research team on soil, water, and agronomy and chaired the event. Dr. Nangia presented the DryArc Initiative which is a joint CGIAR initiative in the making and involves eight CGIAR centers, national partners, advanced research institutions and farming communities from the dryland countries stretching from China to Morocco.
  • Other presenters included Drs. Kirit Shelat and V. Sadamate of NCCSD who presented on the Indian farmers’ prospective on climate-smart agriculture interventions and the Indian Government’s efforts in trying to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
  • Dr. Eve Crowley, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for South America and the Caribbean region represented the FAO Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) and the Office of South-South Cooperation (OSS). She informed audience of the projected changes in the climate in the dry areas, significance of the dry areas for the global agriculture and the efforts FAO is making in helping develop solutions by providing scientific leadership and financing for research.
  • Dr. Yaosheng Wang of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) made a

    presentation on behalf of CAAS Vice President Prof. Xurong Mei elaborating on the Chinese Government’s efforts in meeting the SDG goals and investing in dryland agriculture research. He informed audience that China has met the SDG goal on zero hunger and expects to meet the goal of zero poverty in coming years. He announced the plan for an international dryland agriculture conference in Beijing in October, 2020.

  • Dr. Rajendra Shende, Chairman, TERRE Policy Center is a former director of UNEP having spent over two decades working there. He presented on the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and the transformative innovation in dryland management through agro-hydro-voltaic interventions.
  • Dr. Rachael McDonnell is Strategic Program Director on water, climate change and resilience at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), based at Rome. Dr. McDonnell made a presentation on the approaches to smart agricultural water management in the dry areas
  • Dr. Susanta Kundu, Chief Operating Officer of the Excel Innovation Center at Mumbai presented the work of the private sector in the dry areas of India on adapting to climate change and associated problems.

9 December The European Union press conference

The EU Pavilion hosted a broad set of side events to stimulate debate on key thematic areas, engage observers and facilitate dialogue with party delegates and other participants.

An inaugural report on the State of Climate Services
highlights progress, opportunities and challenges
in rolling out climate services such as seasonal forecasts,
drought advisories and fire danger indices.
The report focuses on agriculture and food security,
one of countries’ top climate change adaptation priorities
and given that progress towards tackling
global hunger has recently been reversed.

10 December. Building climate resilience in the most vulnerable countries – The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) 

The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) is a European Union flagship initiative helping the world’s most vulnerable countries to address climate change.Since the GCCA was established in 2007 it focused on building climate resilience in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It expanded in 2015 to include middle-income countries and the new lens of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). So far it has funded over 70 projects of national, regional and worldwide scope in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

11 December. The EU’s external cooperation post-2020: boosting ambitious and coherent climate action

Organisers: DG DEVCO and German Development Institute (DIE); IDDRI (Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales)

More than ever the EU is expected to exert strong leadership on climate action. This event highlights key opportunities for the EU to enhance climate ambition through development cooperation.

  1. The first session will present key features of EU external cooperation for 2021-2027. Highlighting the links between climate and development policies, it will show how EU external cooperation can support the implementation of NDCs in partner countries.
  2. The second session will further specify the climate-development linkages in view of scientific evidence and explore how development cooperation may boost climate ambition in practice, drawing on examples from land use, agriculture and energy with a regional focus on Africa.


  • Carla Montesi (Director for Planet and Prosperity, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission); 
  • Dr. Heike Henn (Commissioner for Climate Policy and Climate Financing, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany) ; 
  • Representative of the ACP Group of States (tbc); 
  • Dr. Zinta Zommers ( Program Officer, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Lead Author of IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land) ; 
  • Dr. Jonathan Mockshell (Agricultural Economist, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT); 
  • Gabriela Iacobuta (Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, DIE)
11-12 December. the European Commission will hold a Citizens’ Dialogue on the European Green Deal in Madrid, inviting young people to share their views and discuss how the EU can help fight climate change. Please note that places are limited.

11 December. Soil for Food Security and Climate

On the sidelines of COP25, the 4 per 1000 Initiative “” organizes, with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, are organizing the 3rd “4 per 1000 Initiative Day”. This day, which is now annual and is being organized in conjunction with the UNFCCC COP, will bring together the 5th meeting of the Consortium of Members and the 4th meeting of the Forum of Partners.

At the event, Liesl Wiese-Rozanova, Soil Carbon Consultant with the CCAFS Flagship on Low Emissions Development, will present the findings from her study on soil organic carbon in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The international initiative “4 per 1000”, launched by France on 1 December 2015 at the COP 21, consists of federating all voluntary stakeholders of the public and private sectors (national governments, local and regional governments, companies, trade organisations, NGOs, research facilities, etc.) under the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Plan (LPAP). The Executive Secretariat of the “4 per 1000” initiative is hosted by the CGIAR System Organization, an international organization based in Montpellier.

11 December. A science-policy interface on risks of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean region

Organisers: Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean; European Commission (Climate Action); Ministry of Agriculture; Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus
During this side-event the current state and risks related to climate and environmental change the Mediterranean will be discussed by scientists and decision-makers. An open and independent international network of Mediterranean Experts on Climate and environmental Change (MedECC) has been launched to gather, update and consolidate the best scientific knowledge on these issues and render it accessible to policy-makers and key stakeholders. The dialogue between scientists and decision-makers is facilitated by the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Complementary to this approach, the Cyprus Climate Change Initiative aims at the development of a Regional Action Plan to address the specific needs and challenges countries are facing in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region, to address and ameliorate the impact of climate change and advance mitigation actions in accordance with the Paris Agreement.


  • Constantinos Kadis; Minister of Agriculture; Rural Development and Environment; Cyprus 
  • Abdalah Mokssit; Secretary; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – TBC

13 December. Challenges and solutions for agricultural adaptation planning in Sub-Saharan Africa 

Organisers: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Southern African Science Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL)

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), smallholder farmers produce the majority of food but their food security is highly vulnerable to climate change. In this region, more than 650 million people work in the agricultural sector and will likely be affected by unfavorable cropping conditions. To enhance resilience against climate change perils, science-informed adaptation planning and capacity building for an effective and tailor-made NDC and NAP implementation is crucial. 

However, this implementation is often limited because of unavailable information about climate change impacts and near-future weather risks. While capacity building has the potential to strengthen the local knowledge and enables informed long-term decision making, early warning systems can reduce short-term risks for investments in adaptation measures. Thus the combination of capacity building and early warning systems can support a successful implementation of adaptation measures in SSA. 

  • Jane Olwoch (SASSCAL)
  • Christoph Gornott (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research – PIK)
  • Shakwanaande Natai (Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Savadogo Moumini (WASCAL)
  • Till Below (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ)
  • Jorg Helmschrot (SASSCAL), 
  • Gernot Laganda (World Food Programme – WFP)
  • Kira Vinke (PIK)

Related: ECDPM BRIEFING NOTES (SERIES) – Boosting EU climate finance: Mitigate more without neglecting adaptation in poorer countries

As the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid calls for the full operationalisation of the Paris Agreement, Europe is committing to green its policies both within and beyond the European Union (EU). Boosting green finance will be critical.

European top financial institutions such as the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which are in a position to advance the European agenda, are joining the battle to curb climate change. This decision follows calls for a Climate Bank at the European level and the recommendation by the High-Level Group of Wise Persons that the EU should adopt a common approach to its external financial architecture and establish a single entity, the so-called European Climate and Sustainable Development Bank.

EU efforts to boost its climate action and finance should encompass not only the vital mitigation endeavour, but also greater attention to climate adaptation, as a means to foster climate justice and to achieve the SDGs also in low-income countries, and in Africa in particular. The new European Green Deal will have to live up to this challenge.