Published Date
November 03, 2021
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team
COP26 Header
COP26 Header

This week ICARDA travels to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK. COP, organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a unique opportunity for world leaders, climate change experts, scientists, and other global stakeholders, to hammer out action that addresses climate change in this time of crisis.

COP26, this year in partnership with Italy and hosted by the United Kingdom, is an important follow-up to the landmark COP 21 in 2015 that established the 'Paris Agreement' whereby countries agreed to lower national carbon emissions and maintain global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, beyond which climate scientists predict climate change will be devastating and perhaps irreversible.  But temperatures have since risen exponentially, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to warn that commitments so far still condemn the world to a "calamitous 2.7-degree rise" in temperatures.

Serious commitment is a make-or-break goal, making COP26 one of the most critical global meetings in history. Yet even if progress is made, there is no existing mechanism to obligate countries to climate change agreements.

What could COP26 deliver? 

According to the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, COP26 wants to fulfill five main objectives: 

  • Promises made to developing countries are kept, especially the pledge by developed nations to mobilize $100 billion in climate finance annually by 2020. 
  • Secure global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century (compared to 1990 levels) 
  • Governments wrap up outstanding items and negotiations to fully implement the Paris Agreement. 
  • Countries lower emissions and raise climate ambitions concerning emission reductions and adapting and building resilience to the impacts of climate change. 
  • No voice or solution is left behind through re-engaging with observers and Non-Party Stakeholders in a unity of purpose. 


The ICARDA delegation at COP26


Mr. Aly Abousabba STAFF
Mr. Aly Abousabaa, CGIAR Regional Director of Central and West Asia and North Africa Region, and ICARDA Director-General
Mary Margaret McRae STAFF
Mary Margaret McRae,  Acting Head of Partnerships and Resource Mobilization
Zakaria Kehel STAFF
Dr. Zakaria Kehel, Research Team Leader, Genetic Resources








Louise Sarant STAFF
Lousie Sarant, Communications Specialist CIM/ICARDA



Virtual Delegates


Dr. Vinay Nangia STAFF
Dr. Vinay Nangia, Research Team Leader Soils, Waters, and Agronomy
Dr. Ajit Govind STAFF
Dr. Ajit Govind, Climatologist
Dr Chandra Biridar STAFF
Dr. Chandra Biradar, Research Team Leader GeoBigData and Digital Augmentation

What is their goal?

The ICARDA delegation will speak at and attend various events to carry out negotiations, presentations, press outreach, and networking, all focusing on how CGIAR supports climate change adaptation for farming communities, especially in the Central and West Asia and North Africa Region (CWANA) where ICARDA works.

Mr. Aly Abousabaa, CGIAR's Regional Director of CWANA and ICARDA's Director-General, will showcase throughout COP26 how the CGIAR CWANA Initiative can deliver climate-smart food systems across a region of vast potential but also vulnerability. Through a strategic and inclusive approach, the CWANA Initiative offers five 'Work Packages' that address specific aspects of agri-food systems' transformation in the region:


  • WP1 - Steering agri-food systems' transformation through monitoring, evaluation, learning, and impact assessment systems, policies, institutional innovations.  Fast-tracking technology adoption.​
  • WP2 - Biodiversity conservation, genetic innovations, and inclusive seed systems for food and nutrition security​
  • WP3 - Sustainable and resilient farming systems' intensification to increase agricultural value chain profitability
  • WP4 - Sustainable water and landscape management​and energy systems​
  • WP5 - Scaling digital innovations to build climate-resilient agricultural value chains​


Climate change is at the heart of CGIAR's mission to deliver science and innovation that advances the transformation of food, land, and water systems under a climate crisis. Through its new portfolio of around 30 game-changing initiatives covering crop-land-water-fish-forest food systems, CGIAR can make meaningful and lasting contributions to global climate adaptation and mitigation targets. In doing so, millions of small-scale producers will be better equipped and more resilient to climate shocks.

CGIAR is targeting at least US$2 billion in funding support. This commitment is stimulated by its peerless scientific evidence that informs partners and donors alike, including from the countries where ICARDA works, of a clear return on their investment in the form of climate adaptation and equitable and more productive agriculture and food systems.



If you are not an official Cop Delegate you may find the events live-streamed


For full COP26 information and a daily program, go HERE




4th November


International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) SIDE EVENT

Scaling out ecosystem-based Adaptation interventions in Africa Ecosystem-based adaptation

  1. Daniel Pouakouyou (United Nations Environment Programme)

  2. Dr. Houria Djoudi (CIFOR)

  3. Dr. Dennis Garrity (Global Evergreening Alliance/TBC)

  4. Dr. Malanding Jaiteh (Governments and their agencies)

  5. Dr. Lalisa Duguma (Multilateral/ Civil Society Groups)

5th November

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) SIDE EVENT


Leading Climate Resilient Food Systems at Global, National, and Local Levels

  1. Minister Roberto Cingolani, Italian Minister for the Ecological Transition (MiTE)

  2. Carlo Petrini, Founder of Slow Food

  3. Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD

6th November




Taking Action for a Brighter Future: Transforming Food, Land and Water Systems in a Climate Crisis


  1. Claudia Sadoff (CGIAR)

  2. Martin Fregene (AfDB/TBC)

  3. Aly Abousabaa (ICARDA/CGIAR)

  4. Akinwumi Adesina (AfDB/TBC)

  5. Ana Maria Loboguerrero (Alliance CGIAR)

  6. Country, farmer and private sector representatives TBA.

6th November

International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (WorldFish) SIDE EVENT


Towards A Shared Blue Prosperity Under Changing Climate

  1. H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh

  2. Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director, (ICCCAD)

  3. Shakuntala Thilsted, Winner of the 2021 World Food Prize

  4. Gareth Johnstone (WorldFish Center)

9th November



Fostering agricultural innovation for people, nature and climate in Africa — Transforming agricultural innovation for people, nature and climate


9th November



ClimateShot: A Mission to Transform Agriculture

  1. Andy Jarvis (Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT)

  2. Graham Thiele (International Potato Center)

  3. UK government representative (TBA)

  4. Brazilian government representative (TBA)

  5. Lisa Sweet (World Economic Forum)

  6. Ishmael Sunga (Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions)

9th November



Addressing Financial and Capacity Barriers for Climate Resilience in Low-To-Middle Income Countries


SNV, Govt of the Netherlands, NDC Partnership, GAFF, PACJA and CGIAR research centers, brings together policymakers, the private sector and NGOs to share best practices that have proven to adapt to climate change, are locally inclusive and have the potential for scaling.


10th November



Towards Sustainable Livestock Systems


  1. Hon Damien O'Connor (New Zealand Minister of Agriculture)

  2. Carola Schouten (Netherlands Minister of Agriculture Nature and Food Quality)

  3. Kenya Representative (TBC)

  4. Colombia Representative (TBC)

  5. Wageningen University and Research (TBA)

  6. New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (TBA)

  7. Farmer participants

11th November

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), CGIAR EVENT


Fair and Equitable REDD+ Finance and Benefit-sharing Mechanisms for Climate Goals and Justice

  1. M.Brockhaus (Helsinki Uni)

  2. S.Atmadja (CIFOR)

  3. Ntirumenyerwa-Mihigo (Kinshasa Uni)

  4. S.Donofrio (Forest Trends)

  5. L.Schneider (OEKO)