A Global Action Agenda to Advance Nature-Positive Innovation
This coalition will unleash the potential of nature-positive innovation, i.e. innovation that spurs agricultural productivity growth while contributing to positive environmental and socio-economic outcomes. While the focus is on primary production, its broader objective is to foster nature-positive innovation to address systemic issues across the entire food system, helping organisations, institutions and communities deliver transformative innovation at scale. More specifically, the coalition aims to foster investment, deployment and scaling of innovation for nature-positive production by: scaling up innovation in technology and practices; supporting scientific, local and indigenous knowledge systems, strengthening the evidence of what solutions work where, and any trade-offs involved; fostering policy, institutional and governance innovations; and promoting data and digital innovations.
Science based evidence to prioritize this coalition
It is widely recognised that a major transformation of global food systems is urgently needed (Steiner et al., 2020, Pharo et al., 2019, Loboguerrero et al., 2020). Unleashing innovative and advanced solutions stands as an essential step to promote biodiversity protection, livelihoods resilience, and climate mitigation and adaptation (FAO, 2021). Yet, and although the World Bank estimates that around US$ 56 billion is spent every year on agricultural research and development (Fuglie et al., 2020), investment in innovation is not expanding at the rate that is needed to address climate change, nature loss, hunger and other development objectives (Laborde et al., 2020). Only 7% of innovation spending in the Global South explicitly targets environmental outcomes. Of this, only around half includes social or human objectives (CoSAI, 2021). Increasing and reorienting investment in innovation that delivers for nature, climate and people are hence critical to improving food system level outcomes and shifting societies onto a sustainable and resilient path, particularly in vulnerable countries (Alston et al., 2014).
Mechanisms of implementation
This coalition is notably taken forward as part of the Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture which was launched at COP26, as an outcome of the global campaign on ‘Transforming Agricultural Innovation for People, Nature and Climate’, under the UK’s COP26 Presidency. As scaling up nature- positive innovation requires collective action, multi-stakeholder initiatives are key. At government level, AIM for Climate will support increasing investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over the next five years. At regional and local levels, the 100 million farmers multi- stakeholder platform will facilitate collective action to transition towards net-zero, nature-positive food systems by 2030.
This coalition has engaged close to ten Member States and more than twenty non-state actors – including intergovernmental organisations. Led by CLIM-EAT, SACAU, and WRI, it notably benefits from strong support from the UK in relation to the global campaign on ‘Transforming Agricultural Innovation for People, Nature and Climate’, supported by more than 180 organisations. (www.climateshot.earth).
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture seeks to shift at least a third of agricultural research and innovation investments to deliver demand-driven solutions across food systems, to protect nature and limit climate change. Another impact indicator is the number of primary producers that are transitioning towards nature-positive production practices – a target which is at the core of the 100 Million Farmers multi-stakeholder platform. As a follow-up to COP26, guiding principles and mechanisms are to be developed to monitor results.
ALSTON, J.M., PARDEY, P.G. 2014. Agriculture in the Global Economy. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 28 (1): 121-46.
CoSAI, 2020. Emerging results: The current investment in agricultural innovation in the Global South.
FAO, 2021. Innovation at FAO.
FUGLIE, K., GAUTAM, M., GOYAL, A. & MALONEY, W. F. 2020. Harvesting Prosperity: Technology and Productivity Growth in Agriculture. Washington DC, World Bank.
LABORDE, D., PARENT, M., & SMALLER, C. 2020. Ending Hunger, Increasing Incomes, and Protecting the Climate: What would it cost donors? Ceres2030. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
LOBOGUERRERO, A. M., THORNTON, P., WADSWORTH, J., CAMPBELL, B. M., HERRERO, M., MASON- D’CROZ, D., DINESH, D., HUYER, S., JARVIS, A., MILLAN, A., WOLLENBERG, E. & ZEBIAK, S. 2020. Perspective article: Actions to reconfigure food systems. Global Food Security, 26, 100432.
PHARO, P., OPPENHEIM, J., LADERCHI, C. R. & BENSON, S. 2019. Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use. Food and Land Use Coalition.
STEINER, A., AGUILAR, G., BOMBA, K., BONILLA, J. P., CAMPBELL, A., ECHEVERRIA, R., GANDHI, R., HEDEGAARD, C., HOLDORF, D., ISHII, N., QUINN, K. M., RUTER, B., SUNGA, I., SUKHDEV, P., VERGHESE, S., VOEGELE, J., WINTERS, P., CAMPBELL, B., DINESH, D., HUYER, S., JARVIS, A., LOBOGUERRERO, A. M., MILLAN, A., THORNTON, P., WOLLENBERG, L. & ZEBIAK, S. 2020. Actions to Transform Food Systems Under Climate Change. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).