The following post was submitted by Tom Pesek, Liaison Officer of the International Fund for Agricultural Development:
Speaking to participants at the 2009 Development Marketplace, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the future. There are 100 finalists from nearly 50 countries here at the World Bank in Washington. They are all participating in this year’s global grant competition, which is focused on climate adaptation.
These social entrepreneurs were selected from over 1,700 applicants. Taken together, their projects represent “100 ideas to save the planet and its people from the effects of a changing climate.” This may seem like quite a tall order, but among these innovators, no challenge seems too great. In fact, one wonders how the DM jurors will manage to select which up to 25 project proposals most deserve to be funded.
Agriculture is where climate change, food security, and poverty reduction intersect. In addressing the challenge of food security and climate change, we face the inter-related challenges of doubling food production by 2050, adapting agricultural productivity to shifting weather patterns, and minimizing agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, while maximizing its potential to mitigate climate change. We will need substantial new resources, new ideas, and new ways of doing business to address these challenges.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development believes that the Development Marketplace is an excellent platform for scouting and collecting new ideas from diverse sources, fostering innovative solutions, and developing partnerships in support of climate change adaptation. (Photo of IFAD exhibit above.) That’s why we were so pleased to be one of this year’s sponsor. In addition to contributing to the grants, we will be offering our experience and technical advice to the winners over the next two years.
The 100 finalist project proposals for the 2009 DM fall into three sub-themes: resilience of Indigenous Peoples’ communities to climate risks; climate risk management with multiple benefits; and climate adaptation and disaster risk management. Many of these proposals share IFAD’s focus on the rural areas of developing countries. Many of them are also consistent with IFAD’s approach to climate change, which seeks to strengthen the resilience of poor rural people.
The 100 finalist teams will be presenting their ideas to attendees and jurors over the next few days. The winners of the 2009 DM will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, Nov. 13. Stay tuned for additional blog entries on some of the specific finalist proposals and their teams.