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  • Department of Global Development
  • Agriculture
  • Climate Change
  • Food
  • Global Development

Global food systems expert Mario Herrero has been named to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) Subcommittee to lead transdisciplinary evidence gathering to advise BIFAD with independent recommendations to improve USAID programming and strategies. The subcommittee is aimed at accelerating systems change and transformative climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches in agriculture, food systems and nutrition.

Launched in June 2022, the 13-person subcommittee for “Systemic Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems” will provide recommendations to the BIFAD to inform priority focus areas in USAID’s research portfolio and will summarize evidence about the interlinkages among climate change, food security, poverty and malnutrition reduction in developing countries, natural resource management, and land-use planning.

“As a global community, we must act quickly to avoid the most severe consequence of climate change on the world’s food supply and the health, food security, and security of the world’s most vulnerable populations,”

said Herrero, professor of sustainable food systems and global change in the Department of Global Development at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a Cornell Atkinson Scholar.

“I am honored to join this committee and contribute to the shared goal of a resilient, prosperous and equitable world,” Herrero said. “Together, we have the important task of exploring evidence-based climate change action in programs aimed at safeguarding agricultural productivity, inclusive food systems changes, and poverty- and malnutrition-reduction objectives.”

The subcommittee’s work responds to two key objectives:
  • Objective 1: BIFAD Recommendations to support USAID’s Role in Accelerating Systems Change and Transformative Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Approaches in Agriculture, Food Systems and Nutrition, in line with the U.S. Governments Global Food Security Strategy, 2022–2026, USAID’s Climate Strategy, 2022–2030, and other sectoral policies.
  • Objective 2: BIFAD Recommendations to Support USAID's Role in Targeting Climate Finance to Benefit Smallholder farmers.

The urgency of the accelerating climate change crisis is further underscored when evaluating the impacts of climate change on health, food security, and peace and security, according to BIFAD. Advised by the subcommittee, BIFAD will convene public meeting(s) and commission a study authored by experts on approaches for mitigation and adaptation in agricultural, nutrition, and food systems and innovations in climate finance in support of agriculture, food security, and nutrition.

Other committee members include:
  • Eva (Lini) Wollenberg, (committee chair) Research Professor, Gund Institute, University of Vermont, USA and Associate Scientist, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
  • Mauricio Benitez, Nature-Based Solutions and Food Systems Lead
    responsAbility Investments AG, Switzerland
  • Daniela Chiriac, Senior Consultant, Climate Policy Initiative, UK
  • Erin Coughlan de Perez, Research Director, Dignitas Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University, USDA
  • Juan Echanove, Associate Vice President, Food and Water Systems
  • Chinenye Juliet Ejezie, Founder and CEO, Dozliet Anim Farms. Nigeria; Country Coordinator, CSAYN, Nigeria
  • Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Sophia Huyer, Gender and Social Inclusion Lead, Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA), ILRI, Kenya
  • Andrew Muhammad, Professor and Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, University of Tennessee, USA
  • Carlijn Nouwen, Co-founder, Climate Action Platform for Africa (CAP-A), The Netherlands
  • Ishmael Sunga, Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), South Africa
  • Angelino Viceisza, Associate Professor of Economics, Spelman College, USA
How to Connect with this Work

The subcommittee will engage experts from around the world through key informant interviews and public meetings in summer and fall 2022 and will guide implementation of a commissioned study to inform its work and recommendations. Sign up for updates of upcoming meetings.


A version of this story first appeared in the USAID website.


Nicole Rossi is a communications specialist with Food Systems and Global Change for the Department of Global Development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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