Since we began implementing our Climate Change and Development Strategy in 2012, USAID and our many partners have learned a lot about addressing climate change as an integral part of pursuing development goals. From lessons about the additional climate benefits of wetlands and mangroves, to making agriculture more resilient to the impacts of climate change, USAID is systematically collecting and applying these lessons as it moves forward.
Because learning is so important to climate change and development, USAID supports applied research, especially in the area of climate-smart agriculture. The challenges are great. Extreme weather is unforgiving. Agricultural fields with exposed soil don’t retain moisture well under a hot sun. And when the temperature gets very hot, the earth gets extremely hard and compacted. When the air doesn’t cool at night, maize and other grains may not germinate. Without trees or their roots systems, hillsides shed soil and runoff—losing fertility, allowing mud slides, silting up rivers and increasing flooding.
Science, technology, and innovation are critical. At the same time, when we at USAID reflect on our first-generation of climate resilience programs, we find that many long-held truths, such as the importance of appropriate technology and taking an ecosystems approach to caring for our natural resources, resonate more than ever.
Kathryn Stratos has been with USAID for 23 years. She has managed agriculture, democracy and governance, and health projects, and completed a tour with USAID’s Central Asia mission. Since 2012, she has served as the Division Chief of the Planning, Evaluation and Learning for USAID's Office of Global Climate Change. The division supports implementation of the Agency’s Climate Change and Development Strategy through its work on the Agency Global Climate Change Initiative budget, communications, performance monitoring system, evaluations and knowledge management. The division also supports implementation of the strategy’s Integration objective, coordination on multilateral assistance, and in training USAID's climate change and development community.
Amy led the creation of Climatelinks and provides on-going vision for its content, organization, scope, and functionality. Amy manages the Climatelinks team and is doggedly passionate about climate science translation, capacity building and effective decision-support for a climate-resilient future. She is interested in expanding the availability and reach of technical assistance through technology. Amy brings a decade of international development experience from Latin America and beyond. She also spent more than four years with U.S. Forest Service Research where she led a national, multiagency effort to systematize the integration of climate simulations into agency processes and decision-support tools.