Sustainable food systems: Are we closer to the answers?
This annual report (PDF) by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) demonstrates how new evidence and innovations contribute to sustainable intensification of agriculture at the landscape level. WLE’s solutions support producing more nutritious food while managing natural resources more productively and sustainably in the face of critical climate change, health, demographic, and economic challenges. WLE’s work focusses on five impact areas: 1) WLE’s primary focus is on providing evidence and tools to ensure smarter agricultural decision making that enhances the environment. Results in the environment area in 2019 include the increased capacity in resource recovery and reuse through curriculum uptake, directly influencing national water management policies in Laos and Nepal, and improving water governance by bringing experiential games to 245,000 Indian households. 2) WLE’s work spans from soil to solar and provides climate mitigation and adaptation solutions to smallholder farmers, thereby improving agroecosystems and carbon management. In 2019 these efforts resulted in a soil carbon sequestration report which generated policy recommendations accepted by 197 country parties, and the bundling of effective satellite data-based insurance products. 3) WLE’s work on gender highlights why gender equal and socially inclusive food solutions are critical to addressing poverty and hunger. WLE’s activities have influenced discourse to put social equity at the heart of restoration. 4) WLE’s efforts on poverty reduction enhances smallholder opportunities. Results of 2019 include the development of water management policies and the combining of agricultural social networks with smart water management tools to increase incomes in rural Zimbabwe. 5) WLE’s solutions are helping farmers produce enough nutritious food for growing populations by supporting the change of food systems. The solutions increased urban food system resilience through strategy development and led to the development of World Bank Guidance on nutrition-sensitive irrigation and water. In 2019, WLE delivered nearly 200 publications, of which 115 were peer-reviewed journal articles.
The research highlights of the annual report can be found here.