CHAMPIONS OF CIAT

Godefroy Grosjean and the Asia Climate Policy Hub
Striving to impact climate policy for a resilient and low-emission agriculture sector

By: Tra My Nguyen

Godefroy Grosjean has worked with CIAT for more than three years and he is the leader of the Asia Climate Policy Hub. His work focuses on supporting the development and implementation of climate-related policies for the agriculture sector.

Scientifically informed policies can benefit a wide range of stakeholders and CIAT is increasingly engaged in policy discussions around the globe. In Southeast Asia, Godefroy Grosjean leads CIAT’s policy efforts. He says teamwork and developing trust is essential to creating healthy relationships with governments and other organizations to have a positive impact on policy.

There are a number of steps to successfully engaging policymakers, and many draw on CIAT’s extensive experience in climate-related science, especially as the lead of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture anc Food Security (CCAFS).

“When aiming to create impact at the national level, we would start with Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) country profiles – of which we’ve created 30, and counting,” said Godefroy. “These present an entry point for finding climate-smart activities that can be quickly and easily implemented.”

Starting a discussion on CSA often leads to the opportunity to “go deeper in our analysis and provide reliable support in decision-making processes,” said Godefroy. A recent success story is a publication that highlights Vietnam’s many opportunities in agriculture and land use to increase the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, which are targets voluntarily set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement.

CIAT’s Climate Policy Hub (CPH) has co-developed large-scale investment plans in countries around the region. It supported a Green Climate Fund proposal in the Philippines with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. It also helped develop a model to understand the long-term impact of a World Bank CSA Investment Plan in Bangladesh, which will eventually support an ongoing $500 million USD loan to the country. CIAT is in the process of building capacity so that local institutions can use this model to inform policies.

The strategy of going from macro-level analysis to more tailored recommendation was successful in Pakistan, where provincial governments requested support for more targeted studies following the national CSA Country Profile. Provincial CSA profiles were finalized for Punjab and Sindh. CIAT is currently exploring district level Climate Risks Assessment using Climate Risks Profiles and support to Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs) implementation. Godefroy and colleagues will work with officials at national and district levels to better understand value addition in local rural economies and further support the development of CSVs.

Climate Smart Villages are part of a project launched in 2011 by CCAFS. These are small communities in high-risk areas where local representatives and researchers develop climate-smart technologies, climate information services, development plans and policies.

One goal for the CPH is to establish new country offices in nations where CIAT has the potential for deeper involvement in policy discussions. This helps Godefroy’s team better stay up-to-date on year-round policy discussions, facilitate more communication with local stakeholders and strengthen relationships with key policy players. In a nutshell this is crucial to nurture policy impacts over time.

The CPH is increasingly involved in global initiatives, especially related to innovative financial services that help to scale good agriculture practices and Godefroy co-leads the CIAT Strategic Initiative on Agricultural Risks Management. The team recently submitted a proposal that aims to reach 100,000 beneficiaries to improve CSA financial services in the Philippines.

With regard to the future of the Asia Climate Policy Hub, Godefroy looks forward to establishing further cooperation with other research teams in CIAT.

“Policies are mostly inter-linked, so it is definitely helpful to look at the interaction between climate policy and other policy areas,” said Godefroy. “One good example relates to agricultural subsidies and how to create more incentives for healthy agricultural CSA practices. We are having conversations with the team working on sustainable food systems and trade policy to identify potential collaboration.”

Godefroy is positive about the direction the policy hub is headed and the opportunities for the near future.

Working at CIAT has been a great and exciting experience as the institution allows you and supports you to develop new ideas in areas that you are interested in. I am looking forward to the upcoming alliance with Bioversity International. I believe that it will create a lot of opportunities for development and improvement, especially in terms of organizational efficiency and maximize our performance.

Godefroy Grosjean, PhD

Leader, Climate Policy Hub

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