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In September 2020, ACIAR initiated a new research program—Climate Change—to focus on an issue that represents an acute threat to global food security and successful poverty eradication. ACIAR already has supported and brokered research that aims to build adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability of smallholder agricultural systems to climate change.

Previously, through the Water and Climate Program, we worked with partner countries and national and international research agencies to improve our understanding of specific risks of climate change and potential transformational adaptation responses for smallholder farmers. We have invested in research that builds institutional capacity to understand and implement practical emissions reduction activities.

The new dedicated Climate Change Research Program will build on this work to:

  • develop innovative transformational adaptation responses that are country-based, region-based or commodity-based and include smallholder farmers
  • maximise opportunities to increase farm system health, increase productivity and maximise the opportunities from developing new markets
  • build regional capacity to reduce agricultural emissions and measure, report and verify emissions to meet country NDC targets
  • assist in the development of in-country regional/commodity-based climate change adaptation plans that include small holder farmers in target countries.

The program will also work with other ACIAR research programs to:

  • increasingly consider the current and future risks of climate change when planning research project investments
  • incorporate emissions management considerations into research project investments.

ACIAR will continue to engage internationally on climate change and play a greater leadership role through participation and collaboration on national forums such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, allowing us to combine with expertise and resources in other countries to work toward common goals, allowing scientists to achieve results that would be impossible if working in isolation.