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23 May 2024

Mariam Almheiri highlights global food system innovations during Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate Summit

Published
By WAM

During the opening plenary of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) Summit, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, and co-host of the event, announced that partners from around the world are joining the UAE and the United States in increasing investment and support for climate-smart agriculture and food system innovations.

Tom Vilsack, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, and ministers and representatives from numerous government and non-governmental organisations involved in the Climate-Smart Agriculture Innovation initiative attended the summit. Former US Vice President Al Gore shared the stage with HE Almheiri and Secretary Vilsack at the summit's opening.

Almheiri was accompanied during the summit by Engineer Mohammed Alameeri, the Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, along with a delegation from the ministry comprising several of its leaders.

“AIM for Climate grew out of a shared recognition from the UAE and the United States that outdated and outmoded agricultural practices are contributing to climate change," said HE Almheiri. “We are actively resolved to finding more sustainable ways to produce what the world needs, but to do so requires us to stimulate investment and innovation in equal measure.”

Almheiri added: “The growth of Aim for Climate emphasises that there is a growing acceptance that an outdated model of producing the food we need simply isn’t sustainable, desirable, or responsible. Here in Washington DC and at COP28 later this year, this presents us with a real opportunity to build a consensus behind an environmentally positive solution.”

She reiterated that strengthening national and global food security through sustainable technology and innovation remains one of the key strategic pillars of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051. Through this strategy, the country aims to elevate the entire food value chain and build a sustainable future for all.

The minister said: "Under the vision and guidance of its wise leadership, the UAE is committed to building a solid foundation for international cooperation to find solutions to various challenges facing global food and agricultural systems within a larger framework aimed at addressing climate change and mitigating its negative impacts on the future of humanity. The AIM for Climate Initiative, launched in collaboration between the UAE and the United States, embodies this important approach, reflecting our commitment to transforming global agricultural systems into more advanced and sustainable systems to confront the scarcity of water and arable land in many countries and thereby contributing to the eradication of hunger in the world."

The minister added: "We are proud of the results achieved by the leading initiative since its inception, with increased commitments from countries and various partners to invest more than $13 billion in innovative agricultural systems and projects and the growth of the initiative's partners to over 500 partners from governments and non-governmental organisations around the world. The ambitious initiative results from the continuous fruitful cooperation and close relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, especially in the globally pivotal field of environmental action. We are pleased with our progress so far and are determined to accelerate progress to advance this initiative and other areas of collaboration.

Almheiri continued: “These results give us optimism about the future of food in the world and encourage serious and tangible efforts to manage our agricultural and food systems in a way that aligns with our challenges and aspirations for the future."

"Climate change continues to impact longstanding agricultural practices in every country, and a strong global commitment is necessary to face the challenges head-on and build more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems," said Secretary Vilsack. "We need all of us working together to address the challenges of climate change and food security through innovative technology and approaches. The AIM for Climate Summit gives me hope that we will rise to the occasion, as future generations depend on us to do."

Under the vision and guidance of its wise leadership, the UAE is committed to building a solid foundation for international cooperation to find solutions to various challenges facing global food and agricultural systems within a larger framework aimed at addressing climate change and mitigating its negative impacts on the future of humanity. The AIM for Climate initiative embodies this critical approach, reflecting the UAE’s commitment to transforming global agricultural systems into more advanced and sustainable systems to confront the scarcity of water and arable land in many countries, thereby contributing to eradicating hunger in the world.

The UAE and the US co-lead AIM for Climate initiative, which debuted at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021.

Almheiri noted that the summit is a pivotal moment to demonstrate AIM for Climate progress, as there is a global appetite to accelerate progress in meeting the challenges of global food and nutrition security and climate change. In partnership with Secretary Vilsack, Her Excellency announced new investments, partners, and resources to propel the initiative into COP28, including:

• Increased Investment: Partners have increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation to more than $13 billion (over a 2020 baseline), exceeding the challenge by US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry at COP27 to achieve $10 billion by COP28.

• Innovation Sprints: 21 innovation sprints totalling an additional $1.8 billion in increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation, bringing the total number of innovation sprints to 51 (over $3 billion).

• Partners: New partners, including the governments of Argentina, Fiji, Guatemala, India, Panama, Paraguay, and Sri Lanka, bring the total number of government, innovation sprints, and knowledge partners to more than 500.
The summit is part of HE Almheiri's visit to the United States, during which she will meet with several officials and business representatives in the United States to discuss the latest developments and efforts in the fields of climate change and food security and explore ways to cooperate in these areas.