August 28, 2014

Guest Commentary - Tackling Global Issues with Global Responses

By Cydney Gumann, Knowledge Management Specialist, Feed the Future Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development (KDAD) Project

This post originally appeared on Agrilinks.

Climate change has the ability to impact every facet of human life. But arguably, one of the most severely affected sectors will be agriculture. In some parts of the world, the ramifications of a changing climate can already be seen in decreases to crop productivity and water availability and in increases to food prices. Without the knowledge and tools to mitigate and adapt to climate change, farmers in both developed and developing countries could face unprecedented losses, with far-reaching consequences. This is a global challenge and one that requires a global response. 

On May 22, 2014, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs brought together during its annual symposium experts from academia, the public and private sectors, and numerous nongovernmental and international organizations to discuss these challenges, along with potential opportunities to help strengthen the global food supply chain. The theme of this year’s event was “Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of Weather Volatility and Climate Change.” The symposium kicked off with a presentation on a new report, released by The Chicago Council, which highlights the impact that climate change will have on food production in the coming decades and calls on the U.S. Government to take action.

Discussions held throughout the day focused on topics such as climate-smart food security, risk management, and coping strategies related to water stress. While many of these discussions highlighted the dire consequences of climate change on global food security, presenters offered some ways to move forward by emphasizing new and existing technologies and approaches that can help improve agricultural practices and make farmers more resilient.

Several of the speakers from the symposium shared their thoughts with Agrilinks about the topics covered throughout the event. Highlights from these interviews are available in the video above.

To learn more about this event, see videos of the presentations, and read the report, visit The Chicago Council on Global Affairs website.


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

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ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

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Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

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WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


| By Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet.