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IFAD’s Strategic Framework Responds to Persistent Problems and Major Changes

October 2011: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has released its Strategic Framework for 2011-2015. One of the five strategic objectives of the Framework relates to improving resiliency for rural men and women to climate change, environmental degradation and market transformation, with a focus on both climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The Framework, which was approved at IFAD's May 2011 session, was in response to a global context characterized by persistent problems and major changes, including volatile food prices, growing commercial investment in agriculture and increases in agro-based biofuels. It highlights climate change as one of a number of new elements in the global environment that must be considered for rural poverty reduction. These efforts will be guided by IFAD's Climate Change Strategy.

The Framework notes that, while adaptation is feasible, efforts are hindered by a lack of access to resources to enable small agricultural producers to access technology, knowledge and assets to reduce environmental risk. Furthermore, it underscores that adequate insurance is not available against the risks and shocks posed by climate and market conditions. The Framework emphasizes opportunities to engage with private donors including large foundations, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, which funds climate adaptation in Africa. The Framework also stresses the need to build innovation, learning and scaling up into climate change and other efforts to respond to changing contexts. The Framework concludes with a call to systematically pursue sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation in all projects and programmes.

The Framework also focuses on biodiversity, with efforts to document a relationship between biodiversity and crop yields, noting that one in every five plant species is threatened by extinction. It stresses new work on the economic value of biodiversity and soil quality and calls for a more sustainable approach to agriculture. [Publication: IFAD Strategic Framework 2011-2015] [IFAD Press Release]