This news list includes all current news articles as well as older news articles in a chronological order.
AGRICA on Farm Radio: How scientific findings reach smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso and Niger
January 5th, 2023
After successfully collaborating on previous projects in Ethiopia and Ghana, AGRICA and Farm Radio once again joined forces – this time in Burkina Faso and Niger.
Too often, valuable scientific results are produced without making it into practice and without reaching their target group. AGRICA seeks to bridge this gap by making use of innovative communication formats and by partnering with organizations which have long-standing on-the-ground experience. One such organization is Farm Radio International (FRI), which is an NGO focused on providing advice to African farmers via the radio. Currently, FRI is active in 41 countries across Africa and via more than 1,000 radio stations on the continent.
Together, AGRICA and FRI took the scientific findings from two recent climate risk analyses conducted in Burkina Faso and Niger and developed radio scripts from these analyses. While the analyses are in-depth reports available in English and French, the radio scripts contain only the most important information for smallholder farmers – and they are translated into local languages, for example, into Fulfulde, Hausa and Zarma in the case of Niger. Furthermore, the scripts are designed as a two-host discussion and are publicly available so that radio hosts, journalists and anyone interested in easy-to-understand scientific results can access these scripts and share them with their audiences.
In this way, the scientific results produced in the AGRICA project have the chance to reach a large number of farmers, which is reflected in the rapid distribution of the radio scripts in Burkina Faso and Niger. For example, in Burkina Faso, the script was distributed via the national Farm Radio WhatsApp group, which has more than 250 members and via email to more than 400 broadcasters of the FRI network. Twelve broadcasters from four radio stations reported to be already using the radio script and to be distributing the findings through different formats like round table discussions, interviews, vox pops and magazines. “I learnt a lot personally, especially about the zaï technique, and afterwards I was able to produce an agricultural programme that met the farmers’ expectations,” one broadcaster told the FRI team.
COP27: The PIK team joins climate experts in Sharm-el-Sheikh
January 4th, 2023
From November 6th to 20th, 2022, experts from climate science, policy and practice met in Sharm-el-Sheikh for COP27. The PIK team joined the conference, which put a particular spotlight on the agricultural sector and – after decades of discussions – moved loss and damage center stage.
Although COP27 failed to advance a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it would be unfair to view this COP purely in terms of its shortcomings. It showed that there is movement in terms of agenda setting as well as in efforts for greater climate justice.
For example, COP27 put a markedly stronger focus on agriculture and the need for adaptation in this sector by hosting the first food-systems pavilion as well as developing a new four-year plan on agriculture and food security – the Koronivia work programme – and a new initiative aimed at increasing funding for a transformation of the agricultural sector by 2030. In this context, Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, one of the PIK directors, and Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott, leader of the PIK working group on adaptation in agricultural systems, participated in a panel discussion titled “Food security in a world of multiple crises” organized by the German Pavilion. The experts, along with Rachel Bezner Kerr and Henry Neufeldt, both IPCC lead authors on food-related issues in the IPCC Working Group II, and Sixbert Mwanga, Executive Director at the Climate Action Network (CAN) Tanzania, discussed possible solutions for sustainable and climate-resilient agricultural systems as well as their feasibility and co-benefits. According to Johan Rockström, climate policy and practice need not only look at biophysical tipping points but also at social tipping points, which are increasingly reflected in a widespread abandonment of agricultural livelihoods across the African continent – and across different parts of the value chain. As Christoph Gornott noted, climate impacts do not only occur in agricultural production but also in other parts of the value chain like, for example, processing, storage or transportation. Hence, adaptation efforts in the agricultural sector require holistic approaches.
Likely, the biggest success of COP27 was achieved regarding loss and damage: For the first time in COP history, the issue made it truly on the agenda and the unprecedented importance given to loss and damage materialized in the establishment of a global loss and damage fund – the so-called Global Shield against Climate Risks – through which rich countries are to compensate poorer countries for the losses and damages caused by climate change. Although the details of such a fund are not clear yet, for example, who exactly will pay into the fund and according to which criteria, it was universally received as a truly positive outcome of COP27 and an important step in achieving greater climate justice.
PIK and GIZ kick off three new climate risk analyses
May 21st, 2022
After finalizing the climate risk analyses in Burkina Faso and Niger, PIK has just kicked off the climate risk analysis process in three new countries: Cameroon, Uganda and Zambia.
In April and May 2022, joint PIK and GIZ teams have been holding kick-off workshops with representatives from the government, academia, civil society and international organizations in Yaoundé, Kampala and Lusaka with the aim to present first study results, further refine the study focus and identify stakeholders’ priorities and possible entry points to national policies and programmes.
The climate risk analyses will be structured along the usual AGRICA impact-action study framework with each study specifically tailored to the local context and end users’ needs.
In Cameroon, the study will focus on maize, cocoa and cassava production which are major drivers for deforestation. In addition, forest cover change and grassland productivity are considered to support resilient land use and adaptation planning.
In Uganda, the climate impacts and adaptation options along maize and coffee value chains are assessed, as well as interactions between climate change and land governance.
In Zambia, water availability in the Kafue catchment will be a particular focus of the climate risk analysis. Moreover, the evaluation of adaptation options to climate change will include several criteria, including a cost-benefit analysis and financing options.
The climate risk analyses are developed over the coming year in a participatory manner and in close collaboration with national ministries and research institutes.
If you are interested in collaboration, please feel free to contact Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott: firstname.lastname@example.org
PIK and GIZ kick off new climate risk analysis in Uganda
March 31st, 2022
On March 29th, PIK and GIZ jointly organised a workshop in Uganda’s capital Kampala to kick off the new AGRICA climate risk analysis. The workshop brought together various stakeholders working in agriculture and climate change, including representatives from local and national government institutions, the national scientific community, civil society and international organisations.
The one-day workshop was formally opened by David Löw, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; Luigina Blaich, Head of Programme Promoting Rural Development at GIZ; Lydia Mugala, Senior Agriculture Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF); Dr. Florence Adongo, Director of Water Resources at the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE); and Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott, Working Group Leader at PIK. The importance of science-based climate change adaptation was highlighted for both, national development planning, as well as the German-Ugandan development cooperation. Lydia Mugala (MAAIF) emphasized “the magnitude of challenge” for the agricultural sector and the need for “innovative thinking”. Dr. Florence Adongo (MWE) further highlighted the importance of adaptation, mitigation and enhancing technologies in the agricultural sector, with the agricultural sector being the backdrop of the economy and the biggest user of water in the country. Furthermore, Semambo Muhammad Kasagazi, Principal Climate Change Officer Adaptation at MWE gave a technical brief on the role of agriculture in Uganda’s national climate change adaptation agenda. The event was moderated by Naima Lipka and Janani Luwum Onencan from GIZ.
Christoph Gornott, Lisa Murken and Sophie von Loeben from PIK introduced the study framework and presented first climate change projections. During interactive sessions, the study focus was further refined, climate risks and possible adaptation strategies along maize and coffee value chains and land governance aspects were discussed and possible entry points to national climate resilience and agricultural plans and programmes identified.
With the aim to support stakeholders with risk-informed planning and investment, a particular focus of the study will be placed on analysing impacts along the coffee and maize value chains and investigating interactions between climate change and land governance. Based on the risks identified, agroforestry, improved seeds and improved post-harvest handling and storage will be analysed as adaptation strategies with regard to their feasibility, cost effectiveness and aptitude for local conditions.
The workshop was followed by field work in Northern, Eastern and Central Uganda. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted with key stakeholders along the maize and coffee value chains, including people involved in farming, aggregation, processing and marketing, in addition to representatives of governments and NGOs. Results will be linked to climate and crop modelling. To assess how climate change and extreme weather events affect land tenure security and how tenure security in turn affects adaptation uptake, we used mental models to map farmers’ decision-making processes with the aim to better understand their perception of intention to a) acquire formal land titles and b) implement adaptation strategies.
The study is conducted together with the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) and supported by Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development and developed in close cooperation with the Climate Policy Support Programme (SV Klima), Promoting Rural Development (PRUDEV) and Responible Land Policy in Uganda (RELAPU) at GIZ.
For more information, please contact Sophie von Loeben: email@example.com
PIK presents climate risks in the Sahel at COP26
November 12th, 2021
On November 11th, at a COP26 side event, PIK presented the climate risk profile for the Sahel region.
The climate risk profile for the Sahel, which was developed under the UNHCR Predictive Analytics project and in support of the work of the UN Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel, was presented at yesterday’s COP26 EU side event.
The event titled “Climate impacts as drivers of displacement: science, human rights and policy response” was co-organised by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission – DG International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission (INTPA), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
After a short introduction by the moderator Claudio Rosmino (Euronews), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, gave opening remarks highlighting the human rights impacts that are being felt where migration is driven or influenced by climate change, and the need to put the human rights of migrants at the centre of policy responses. The opening remarks were followed by two inputs from the scientific community: first, Fabrizio Natale from the European Commission-JRC presented the latest research findings, showcasing the high exposure levels of many regions in Africa to climate change. Second, Sophie von Loeben from PIK presented the key results of the climate risk profile of the Sahel, showcasing the projected impacts of climate change on food security in the Sahel and its effects on displacement. Both highlighted the need to invest in adaptation, especially in rural areas to promote resilient livelihoods, food and nutrition security and ensure people can migrate by choice, and not out of necessity.
The presentations were followed by input from Angèl Dikongué-Atàngana, UNHCR, who highlighted the high levels of vulnerability and exposure to climate impacts and the subsequent high numbers of displacement in the Southern Africa region. Afterwards, Bina Desai from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, from the Human Rights Council spoke about the reinforcing interlinkages of climate vulnerability and conflict leading to increasing risks of internal displacement. The event was closed with a statement by Chiara Adamo, Acting Director for Human Development, Migration, Governance and Peace at the European Commission, DG INTRPA.
Climate risk analysis for Burkina Faso launched at COP
November 8th, 2021
On November 4th, at a side event of the COP26, the climate risk analysis for Burkina Faso’s agricultural sector was launched.
The launch of the climate risk analysis for Burkina Faso took place during a side event at the German Pavilion. The event was co-organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
After a warm welcome by the moderator Sandra Schuster (GIZ), His Excellency Siméon Sawadogo (Minister of the Environment, Green Economy and Climate Change of Burkina Faso) gave the first opening remark, in which he stressed Burkina Faso’s vulnerability to climate change, which causes increasingly frequent and intense flooding, heatwaves and droughts. These extreme events, he further elaborated, have impacts on different natural resources, such as water and forests, and thus on livelihoods, such as farming and livestock rearing, particularly affecting women, youth and children. In terms of his expectations of COP26, Sawadogo demanded clear decisions and called for joint climate action. Dr. Heike Henn, who gave an opening remark on behalf of BMZ, agreed with Sawadogo on the urgency of the climate crisis, not only in Burkina Faso but all over the world, including Germany. She further stressed the importance of faster, more targeted and innovative climate action, highlighting the role of scientific data and information in adaptation planning. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott (PIK) presented key results of the climate risk analysis for Burkina Faso, which served as an entry point for a panel discussion, including His Excellency Siméon Sawadogo, Andrew Harper (UNHCR), Hartmut Behrendt (GIZ), Ellysar Baroudy (World Bank) and Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott. The panelists shared their ideas on effective dissemination of climate information to different stakeholders and translation of climate polices into local action.
The recording of the event can be viewed via the media library of the German Pavilion. For the full scientific report (draft) and the executive summary of the climate risk for Burkina Faso, please visit our Downloads section.
Launch of the climate risk analysis for Burkina Faso
October 27th, 2021
On November 4th, between 14:00-15:00 (GMT+1) at a side event of the COP26, the climate risk analysis for Burkina Faso’s agricultural sector will be launched.
The launch will take place during a side event at the German Pavilion. The event is co-organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The high-level panel discussion will shed light on the latest research findings regarding climate impacts in the Sahel and discuss ways of scaling up efforts to support evidence-based adaptation planning.
The side event will be streamed on the event platform: www.german-climate-pavilion.de
On the day of the event, the study, as well as an executive summary will be made available on this page.
PIK team organised expert panel at Adaptation Futures 2020 Conference
October 8th, 2021
On October 6th, 2021 PIK co-organised an expert panel at the Adaptation Futures Conference 2020 titled “Bridging gaps in the implementation of agricultural adaptation strategies for enhancing food and livelihood security under climate change in Africa”.
The Adaptation Futures 2020 conference took place in New Delhi from October 4-8, 2021 and was co-hosted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the World Adaptation Science Program (WASP). The expert panel was jointly organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF).
During the session, gaps in the implementation of agricultural adaptation strategies were discussed and opportunities to bridge these gaps were showcased. The session was opened with three keynote speeches: Dr. Dorothe Nett, Head of Rural Development at GIZ, spoke about the importance of science to inform climate adaptation in agriculture within the context of German development cooperation. Ms. Lisa Murken, scientist at PIK, gave an overview of potential scientific methods to assess climate impacts on agriculture, in particular the AGRICA approach, and presented key learnings from the AGRICA project. Dr. Antwi-Boasiako Amoah, Deputy Director, Climate Change, National Coordinator NAP Project from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Ghana gave key insights into the complexities of translating scientific evidence into policy and planning at national and local levels.
After a short round of Question and Answers, scientists and practitioners gave short presentations on concrete examples of how to bridge gaps in the implementation of agricultural adaptation strategies. Dr. Roopam Shukla, scientist at PIK, presented findings from a global systematic review showcasing the importance of integrating farmers’ agency in adaptation planning. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. Abel Chemura, scientist at PIK, on lessons learned from a participatory process selecting agroforestry systems for maize yield as a climate change adaptation strategy in Ethiopia. These scientific presentations were complemented by a presentation held by Ms. Isabell Kiener, international expert on the development of climate resilient value chains in the GIZ project “Adaptation to climate change of agricultural value chains (PrAda)” in Madagascar, who showed how digital approaches, direct exchange with local producers, consideration of existing structures and the local context helped to enable better decision-making of farmers and their implementation of appropriate actions for adaptation to climate change.
The session not only showcased and underlined the importance of science-based adaptation planning, but also highlighted that there is often a disconnect between science and implementers at policy and local levels. To overcome this gap, the scientific approach of designing adaptation strategies needs to be complemented by participatory processes including farmers, policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure the adaptation efforts are suitable for the location and cater for the various needs of the different stakeholders.
The session was moderated by Ms. Sophie von Loeben, Scientist and Project Coordinator at PIK.
Launch of the climate risk analysis for Northern Ghana
September 28th, 2021
On September 26th, Paula Aschenbrenner and team launched the newly published climate risk analysis for the agricultural sector in Ghana’s Upper West Region.
The launch took place as part of a virtual side event at the Africa Climate Week 2021. After a welcome by Prof. Dr. Christoph Gornott (PIK) and a keynote speech by Samuel Lanidune (ProNet North Ghana), Paula Aschenbrenner (PIK) presented the results of the climate risk analysis, along with four short documentary films*, which were produced to highlight key results. The presentation was followed by a round table, including Dr. Antwi-Boasiako Amoah (Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana), Samuel Lanidune, Joyce Okrah (a commercial farmer), Dr. Francis Xavier Jarawura (University for Development Studies, Wa/Ghana), Dr. Abel Chemura (PIK) and Prosper Wie (GIZ). In a lively discussion, the panelists shared innovative ideas and solutions in support of climate adaptation and planning, making clear that collaborative efforts from all sides are needed to act upon the increasing risks of climate change and to overcome constraints to effective adaptation.
* Translations into Dagbani, Dagaari and Sissali will be released soon and are developed by UDS, BvR Producties and EU-REACH.
PIK will host a side event at the Africa Climate Week 2021
September 21st, 2021
Based on the results of the Ghana District Study, the side event will discuss ways towards risk-informed adaptation policy-making and actions for climate-resilient development.
Under the title “From science to action – climate risk analyses to support adaptation policies and planning at a local level in sub-Saharan Africa”, the event seeks to identify best practices and design principles for better integrating climate information into adaptation actions on a local and regional scale.
The event will provide two impulses from a practitioner and a scientist highlighting their views on the need of climate information for adaptation planning. Afterwards, a round table will bring together representatives from science, international organizations, governments and practitioners working around the topic of agriculture in rural areas in northern Ghana and beyond. At the end, we reserved a lot of time for your questions. For the full agenda, please click here.
Date: Sunday, 26 September 2021 from 4.00 pm to 6.00pm (GMT+3/EAT)
You are welcome to register for the event via this link.
For any wishes or questions feel free to contact Paula Aschenbrenner.
Four short documentaries were created as part of the AGRICA project
August 18th, 2021
Based on the results of PIK’s climate risk analysis at district level for Ghana’s Upper West Region (UWR), four short documentaries were created to show the effects of climate change on agriculture and crop production.
Based on the results of PIK’s climate risk analysis at district level for Ghana’s Upper West Region (UWR), four short documentaries were created to show the effects of climate change on agriculture and crop production. The films present different adaptation strategies that can enable local smallholder farmers to better cope with the challenges of climate change and to stabilize their yields, using the example of Northern Ghana.
The films were produced by Barbara van Rijn from BvR Producties in cooperation with Francis Jarawura from the University of Development Studies (UDS) in Wa, Ghana, the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agricultura (MoFA) and the GIZ-project Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH).
PIK team joined expert panel at PEGNet conference
March 25th, 2021
On March 22nd and 23rd, the virtual PEGNet conference took place. With the title “Towards resilient low-carbon economies: Climate risks and policies”, the conference addressed climate risks on different sectors and in different world regions as well as the policies and tools needed to address these risks.
The PIK team participated in an expert panel on “Policies for strengthening resilience and managing risk”. In addition to Sophie von Loeben from PIK, panelists included Daniel Thá from Kralingen Consulting and Anett Großmann from GWS. The panelists presented different approaches to analysing climate risks for economic development. Zooming in on the agricultural sector, Sophie gave a presentation on the AGRICA project and its approach of looking at the entire impact chain from climate risks to analysing different adaptation strategies. During the panel discussion, which was moderated by Sebastian Homm from GIZ, participants were able to ask questions and the panelists discussed ways in which the different approaches to climate risk analyses can help to understand climate impacts and support effective adaptation planning.
The PEGNet conference is organised by the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network (PEGNet).
For more information on the PEGNet conference, please click here.
Launch of the Berlin Insights Series on Climate Change and Development
January 25th, 2021
On January 20th, PIK and BMZ launched a new event series on climate change and development. With the title “From climate science to climate action: Climate-proofing African-European cooperation”, the inaugural event focused on cooperation between European and African partners regarding climate risks and adaptation strategies in the Sahel region.
The virtual event was moderated by Dr Fatima Denton, Director of UNU-INRA, with a keynote speech by State Secretary Martin Jäger from BMZ. Professor Christoph Gornott from PIK and University of Kassel introduced the AGRICA project, which seeks to analyse climate risks and suitable adaptation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa. He thereby set the stage for a subsequent panel discussion, including as panelists Professor Johan Rockström, Director at PIK, Harsen Nyambe, Head of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management at the African Union Commission, Carla Montesi, Director of International Partnerships – Green Deal and Digital Agenda (INTPA.F) at the European Union Commission and Dr Moumini Savadogo, Executive Director of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL).
The annual Berlin Insights Series on Climate Change and Development is part of a deepened cooperation between PIK and BMZ. With this new format, PIK and BMZ seek to advance science-based cooperation for global climate neutrality and climate resilience, especially in the Global South.
For the full event, please click here or watch below.