CABI’s commitment to helping millions of smallholder farmers face the hazards driven by climate change was highlighted at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) which took place in Glasgow, Scotland.

COP26 aimed to bring the world’s nations together to speed up action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C. Science dictates that by 2050 at the latest, we should produce less greenhouse gas emissions than we take out of the atmosphere.

But even if this goal is achieved, farmers around the world will continue to face the negative impacts caused by climate change, including increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events, shifting seasons, and biodiversity loss.

Jonathan Casey, CABI’s Climate Change Manager, attended the COP26 summit to share insights from CABI’s work and research on climate change to drive science-based action to help smallholders cope with the impacts of climate change. This included a CABI Briefing on Climate Change which outlines a four-step approach to how we are helping to secure global food security amid the challenges of a warming world.

This included a focus on invasive species management as a policy tool for integrated climate adaptation, the need to build upon pest risk early warning systems in a changing climate, developing climate-smart pest management for nature-positive agriculture, and utilising nature-based solutions to prioritise biodiversity and the role of more environmentally-friendly biological controls to fight crop pests and diseases.

Jonathan also spoke at two high-level side events to highlight the investment opportunities that exist in climate-smart agriculture technologies and the need for improved climate risk management tools to enable the acceleration of investment to meet the global target of at least $100bn in climate finance per year.

Parthenium in Pakistan

A series of briefing papers present ways in which CABI is helping smallholder farmers tackle crop pests and diseases amid the challenges of climate change. This picture shows invasive parthenium weed field research and sampling in Pakistan (Credit: Asim Hafeez for CABI).

The first event he took part in on November 3 – led by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) – was entitled ‘Scaling up Private Sector Investments for Smallholder Farmer Climate Adaptation and Resilience. Here Jonathan presented details of the Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme’s work on climate risk assessments and investment opportunities in climate smart agriculture technologies. Other attendees of this event included representatives from IFAD, Aceli Africa, Rigetti Computing, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and Scipion Capital.

On November 8, Mr Casey also participated in a side event entitled ‘Developing Climate Resilient Food Systems Pathways – Approaches from Sub-Saharan Africa.’ Here Jonathan highlighted how CABI programmes and projects – such as PlantwisePlus and the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) – work in Africa to help farmers mitigate crop pests and disease using a range of digital data and tools.

This event was co-led by CABI and Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis (FANRPAN) and included representatives from the University of Leeds (UK), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Economic Justice Network (EJN), CARE International, and the World Bank.

Mr Casey also participated in the launch of the Adaptation Research Alliance’s climate adaptation research initiative on November 9, that aims to facilitate research projects among 60 members – of which CABI is one – to drive collaborative, interdisciplinary action research on climate change adaptation.

CABI was also delighted to have supported the Transforming Agricultural Innovation campaign at COP26. We are one of a number of organisations who joined the #ClimateShot and shared stories of innovation in agriculture with a global audience.

Alok Sharma MP, the President of COP26, said in his foreword to the summit, “There is no viable pathway to net zero emissions that does not involve protecting and restoring nature on an unprecedented scale.

“If we are serious about holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and adapting to the impacts of climate change, we must change the way we look after our land and seas and how we grow our food.

“This is also important if we want to protect and restore the world’s biodiversity, upon which all life depends.”

Additional information

About COP26

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference which ran from 31 October to 12 November. With the UK as President, COP26 took place in Glasgow.

In the run up to COP26 the UK is worked with every nation to increase the ambition of national commitments to tackle climate change. World leaders arrived in Scotland, alongside thousands of government representatives, businesses, scientific researchers, civil society organisations and citizens for twelve days of talks. Lean more here.

CABI’s commitment to climate change and biodiversity

CABI is helping farmers to adapt to this major challenge through projects that apply, among other things, our expertise in digital development and crop health.

Through knowledge creation, management and sharing, we help environmental managers, farmers and researchers protect biodiversity by using natural, sustainable approaches such as biopesticides and invasive species management.

Examples include in sub-Saharan Africa, we are leading a £6.3 million project to create a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE), using environmental data and models on pest life cycles to create risk assessments.

Find out more here.

Video – CABI on Climate Change


A series of four blogs – based upon CABI’s climate change briefing papers – were published over the duration of COP26 starting with ‘Invasive species management – a policy tool for integrated climate adaptation’ available on the CABI Blog now.

Book of interest


Gender, Climate Change and Livelihoods
Vulnerabilities and Adaptations
Edited by: Joshua Eastin, Portland State University, USA, Kendra Dupuy
July 2021







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