Past Event

[ClimateWeekNYC] Reducing Climate Threats to Food Systems

September 24, 2021
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Reducing Climate Threats to Food Systems: Highlights from the First Columbia World Project

University President Lee C. Bollinger launched Columbia World Projects in hopes of fulfilling a ‘Fourth Purpose’ of universities: supporting activities that focus the University’s research, expertise and resources to develop real and sustainable solutions for some of society’s most intractable problems.

This event showcases the strategy and successes of the first Columbia World Project––Adapting Agriculture to Climate Today, for Tomorrow (ACToday)––which is led by the Climate School's International Research Institute for Climate and Society. ACToday has worked to combat hunger by increasing climate knowledge in six countries particularly dependent on agriculture and vulnerable to the effects of climate variability and change: Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Senegal and Vietnam.

Through trainings and co-development of scientific and technical tools, ACToday has strengthened the capacities and capabilities of national climate institutions in these countries to better meet the needs of the public and private sector institutions they serve. This has led to an increased demand for these climate services, not only in the food-security community but also in energy, public health and other sectors. In a similar fashion, ACToday teams are training staff at national ministries, agriculture extension services and research institutions to become more sophisticated users of climate information for decision making. These are foundational changes, ones that will continue to transform approaches to achieving food security in each country long after the ACToday project ends. Learn more about ACToday here.


  • Alex Halliday, Columbia Climate School
  • Wafaa El-Sadr, Columbia World Projects
  • Walter Baethgen, International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Presentations from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society:

  • Eliminating climate data poverty: Addressing gaps in the historical record of developing countries, Tufa Dinku, Country Lead for ACToday Ethiopia
  • Adapting to climate today, for tomorrow, Ángel Muñoz, Country Lead for ACToday Colombia and Guatemala
  • How to embed climate information into policy and practice, Mélody Braun, Country Lead for ACToday Bangladesh


The Climate Group has selected the Columbia Climate School as its university partner for this year’s Climate Week NYC. Running Sept. 20-26, Climate Week NYC convenes key climate leaders to accelerate climate action and discuss ambitious commitments ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, later this fall in Glasgow.

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