Monday, September 21, 2015

Open letter to heads of state at SDG summit from the CGIAR centres

Open letter to the heads of state attending the 70th UN General Assembly, September 2015, New York

Co-advancement of Agricultural and Natural Resource Management within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals



The 17 global goals which you have supported the creation of are an unrivalled span of human aspiration covering everything from sharing prosperity, to protecting the planet, to promoting a more peaceful world.

The commitments, resources and accountability that you have offered in support are tremendous, and have helped to fill a huge political gap by acting collectively.

Reducing rural poverty, ensuring food and nutrition security, and improving natural resource systems are key dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are also the shared strategic goals of the 15 centres of CGIAR.

Together we stand ready to engage and be accountable for our contributions to the entire SDG ambition, specifically to:

SDG1: Poverty
SDG2: Food security and nutrition
SDG6: Water
SDG7: Sustainable energy
SDG13: Climate change
SDG15: Land use

The collective of 15 CGIAR centres is more than 40 years old and works in over 70 developing countries through extensive partnership networks. Its 12,000 staff focus on delivering actionable knowledge, robust evidence for policy and investment decisions and capacity development for, inter alia:

Sustainable agriculture practices
Rural livelihood improvements
Improved crop varieties
Biodiversity conservation
Climate change adaptation and mitigation
Sustainable management of landscapes

We have aligned our new strategies with the SDGs and we offer realistic impacts by 2030 of:
→ 350 million smallholder farmers with access to improved varieties and management practices
→ 500 million people— at least 50% of them women—no longer suffering from nutritional deficiencies
→ 100 million people lifted out—and staying out—of poverty
→ 0.8 gigatonnes fewer greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture each year
→ 190 million hectares of degraded lands restored

No other group of organizations combines advances in agriculture development and natural resource management better, or more comprehensively, than the CGIAR centres.

A key to successfully achieving the SDGs will be sufficient means of implementation. Here the CGIAR centres are concerned by the fluctuating recognition of coupled research and development endeavours in priorities and financial commitments.

Accordingly, at the 70th UN General Assembly in New York next week, we call on world leaders and key development actors to recognize and document their appreciation for the importance of groups such as the collective of CGIAR centres.

Furthermore, we call on them to incorporate new commitments and continued support up to and beyond 2030 for advancing our innovative programs in alignment with, and strongly contributing to, the SDG ambition.

Two main questions for you:

(1) Can we include you along with other countries and key actors as champions of the co-advancement of agriculture and natural resource management?

(2) Which agencies in your country should we more actively engage with in this co-advancement?

Please respond with answers or any further information required, either directly to any of the signatories of this letter or centrally to the CGIAR centre representative: CentreRep@CGIAR.org

If we had all the knowledge, technology and capacity we needed, then we would not need coupled research and development endeavours.

We remain at your service to help combine the science of discovery with the science of delivery of positive agriculture and natural resource management impacts.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Matlon, board chair, Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), Côte d’Ivoire
Harold Roy-Macauley, director general, Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), Côte d’Ivoire

Christian Samper, board chair, Bioversity International (Bioversity), Italy
Ann Tutwiler, director general, Bioversity International (Bioversity), Italy

Geoff Hawtin, board chair, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia
Ruben Echeverria, director general, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia

John Hudson, board chair, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia
Peter Holmgren, director general, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia

John Snape, board chair, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico
Martin Kropff, director general, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico

Rodney Cooke, board chair, International Potato Center (CIP), Peru
Barbara Wells, director general, International Potato Center (CIP), Peru

Camilla Toulmin, board chair, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Lebanon
Mahmoud Solh, director general, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Lebanon

John Lynam, board chair, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya
Tony Simons, director general, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Kenya

Chandra Madramootoo, board chair, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India
David Bergvinson, director general, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India

Kym Anderson, board chair, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA
Shenggen Fan, director general, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA

Lindiwe Sibanda, board chair, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya
Jimmy Smith, director general, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya

Bruce Coulman, board chair, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria
Nteryana Sangina, director general, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria

Emerlinda Roman, board chair, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines
Robert Zeigler, director general, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines

Don Blackmore, board chair, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka
Jeremy Bird, director general, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka

Beth Woods, board chair, World Fish Center (WorldFish), Malaysia 
Steve Hall, director general, World Fish Center (WorldFish), Malaysia


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