graphic with report cover page and text "New Report Recommendations for USAID Action on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Agri-Food System Investments"

BIFAD Outlines Path for USAID to Achieve Transformative Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Results Across Agrifood System Investments

By Reid Hamel

A new report from the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) recommends actions to achieve transformative climate change results across USAID agricultural and food system investments. Operationalizing USAID’s Climate Strategy to Achieve Transformative Adaptation and Mitigation in Agricultural and Food Systems was published and shared with USAID Administrator Samantha Power on Friday, November 17.  

The report presents six detailed operational and technical recommendations, along with targets, for adaptation, mitigation, and finance in agrifood systems that align with USAID’s 2022–2030 Climate Strategy. The recommendations, which were developed over the course of a year by a group of eleven experts, are intended to help USAID accelerate the achievement of its ambitious Climate Strategy goals within agrifood systems programming. 

The recommendations stem from multidisciplinary evidence gathering and independent expert consultations led by the BIFAD Subcommittee on Systemic Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Agricultural, Nutrition, and Food Systems, in addition to broad feedback collected at BIFAD public meetings. Here's a glimpse of what the report has to offer, structured around three strategic elements: 

Targets: The report recommends specific agrifood system targets aligned with the USAID Climate Strategy and focused on adaptation, mitigation, and finance. These targets aim to improve the climate resilience of millions of people reliant on agriculture, reduce emissions, and mobilize substantial finance for climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

USAID Operational Changes: To effectively operationalize the Agency's Climate Strategy within USAID's agricultural and food security portfolio, the report presents five organizationally tailored recommendations. These changes will better position USAID to achieve its Climate Strategy objectives. They include setting, measuring, and reporting on climate targets; integrating climate objectives into the program cycle; building climate expertise; increasing climate investment; and funding climate research. 

High-Potential Leverage Points: The report identifies high-potential leverage points within agrifood systems to drive transformative shifts toward net-zero emissions and climate-resilient pathways while achieving food security goals: 

  • Empower Women, Youth, and Other Underrepresented Groups to Drive Locally Led, Climate-Resilient Agrifood Systems
  • Increase Finance for Climate Adaptation and Mitigation and Expand its Inclusivity
  • Enable the Use and Sustained Provision of Weather and Climate Services
  • Partner with and Strengthen Local Research and Development Systems
  • Expand Integrated Soil and Water Resources Management
  • Expand Integrated Forest and Agricultural Land Management
  • Reduce Livestock Emissions while Increasing Production Efficiency
  • Reduce Food Loss and Waste

BIFAD looks forward to the practical implementation of these recommendations for a climate-resilient future in agrifood systems.

Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Mitigation
Topics
Adaptation, Agriculture, Climate-Resilient Agriculture, Climate Finance, Climate Strategy, Food Security, Locally-Led Development, Systems Change
Region
Global

Reid Hamel

Reid Hamel is the Senior Counselor on the BIFAD Support Contract at Tetra Tech. She provides thought leadership and administrative and logistical support to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), a presidentially appointed board that advises USAID on agriculture and higher education issues related to food insecurity in developing countries. Reid has 15 years of experience in inclusive agricultural development focused on household food security, nutrition, resilience, social protection, and natural resource management. She has led and coordinated research initiatives for a variety of implementers, donors, and a foreign policy think tank.

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