On May 8-10 2023, the United States (U.S.), supported by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), hosted the AIM for Climate Summit in Washington, D.C., to bring together partners to increase and accelerate investment in and support for agriculture and food systems innovation for climate action. APN participated in the Summit as a sponsor, where the APN logo was placed on the Summit’s website and app, distribution materials and polls at the venue. Additionally, a push notification was sent to participants via the Summit app to distribute a list of 51 APN projects on agriculture with the message “Grow your knowledge, grow your crops! Explore APN’s collaborative research and capacity building projects on agriculture now”.
The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) is a joint initiative by the U.S. and the UAE, and was launched in November 2021 at COP26. AIM for Climate seeks to address climate change and global hunger by uniting participants to significantly increase investment in, and other support for, climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation over five years (2021-2025). APN became a knowledge partner in January 2023 to contribute to this mission.
The Summit convened nearly 1,200 participants, who are policymakers, industry leaders, producers, representatives of non-governmental organisations, scientists and 43 country delegations, of which 17 were led by ministers. The Summit was opened by the Hon Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Hon Al Gore, Former Vice President of the U.S., where they emphasised the need to work together to address the challenges of climate change and food security through innovative technology and approaches.
The second day of the Summit kicked off with keynote remarks by His Excellency Mohammed Mousa Alameeri, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, UAE, and the Hon Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Senator, on the importance of climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation in providing solutions to address climate change and food insecurity. This was followed by a panel with female Chief Scientists from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sharing their experiences, and encouraging women to share their stories so that female scientists can amplify their voices in policymaking and help ensure diverse gender, age, ethnic and geographic perspectives in shaping climate solutions. In the afternoon, the Ministers of Agriculture from Canada and Honduras and representatives from the private sector discussed putting women at the heart of food systems investments.
The third day of the Summit kicked off with keynote remarks by Dr Michael Kremer, Nobel Laureate and Professor at the University of Chicago, and the Hon John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State. This was followed by a plenary where the Hon Tom Vilsack and Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri highlighted the growth of the AIM for Climate initiative and the importance of coordination, collaboration, and investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation. In the afternoon, the FFAR Executive Director and stakeholders discussed the importance of agriculture-climate research through partnerships.
In addition to the high-level plenaries indicated above, the Summit offered a number of breakout sessions which covered topics such as soil health, methane reduction and climate-smart technologies. Additionally, APN interacted with other participating organisations during the happy hour reception held on the first day, lunch and breaks, and at the interactive exhibit hall to introduce APN and disseminate information on APN projects on agriculture.