WFP Innovation Accelerator at COP28: Transformative Innovations for Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Meet three innovative teams reshaping food systems to support climate adaptation and resilience. Register for the event here to see them at COP28 in Dubai on 5 December 2023.
By Sanjna Sudan and Jackie Negro
“The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said earlier this year, speaking about new data released from the European Union and the World Meteorological Organization. This year, as the world witnesses one of the warmest years in recorded history, many communities that contribute the least to the climate crisis are bearing the brunt of its impacts, with limited means to cope.
At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai in December 2023, the World Food Programme is calling on the international community to unite to protect people on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Extreme climate events kill crops and livestock, degrade soils, deplete fisheries and damage agricultural assets. This reduces food production and accessibility, causing prices to rise and endanger livelihoods, increasing global food insecurity. If we don’t support communities adapting to the new reality of the climate crisis, hunger and malnutrition will continue to threaten an increasing number of lives.
At the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator, we believe that the climate crisis does not have to be a hunger crisis. We believe that we can collectively accelerate the achievement of our goal of zero hunger through impactful climate innovation, underpinned by strategic investments, and partnerships that enable communities to find solutions for these challenges. Located in Munich, Germany, the WFP Innovation Accelerator plays an enabling role in connecting private and government partners with innovators focused on humanitarian and social impact. This connection provides entrepreneurs and innovators with valuable support and knowledge, greatly enhancing their chances of success and scalability.
At COP28, the WFP Innovation Accelerator will showcase disruptive solutions for climate adaptation at ‘Innovation 4 Adaptation: Tackling the Climate and Hunger Emergencies’, to be held on Tuesday, 5 December, from 13:00 to 14:00 Dubai time, at the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub (UGIH) Pavilion, in the Blue Zone. At the event, three innovators will pitch their solutions to the COP28 audience. These innovations represent the diversity of solutions to climate change and demonstrate how innovation can support climate adaptation and mitigation. Register here to watch participating teams pitch their solution at COP28, and find a short overview of their work below.
Building resilience for climate action: Solar 4 Resilience
Solar 4 Resilience (S4R) is an initiative by Science for Society (S4S) Technologies, a start-up that won the Earthshot prize this year, and the World Food Programme (WFP) in the state of Odisha, India.
Solar 4 Resilience uses solar technology for food processing to enable local women to enhance their livelihoods and improve regional food systems. The initiative is rooted in S4S Technologies’ business model, where women access low-interest loans from local banks to buy innovative solar dryers. These dryers convert perishable foods like vegetables, millet and fish/seafood that would have otherwise gone to waste into value-added products, such as food items like chilli paste, that the women can sell for additional profit.
Financing for fragile contexts and food system transformation: Boomitra
Boomitra measures soil moisture, nutrients, and carbon using satellites and Artificial Intelligence to help farmers reduce water and nutrient use by 30 percent while enhancing soil fertility. Boomitra also won the Earthshot Prize this year.
The solution also combines the insights it gathers with carbon credit financing for farmers, providing them with the knowledge to adopt regenerative land management practices, which remove carbon from the atmosphere. The solution has supported 120,000 farmers to date. This innovation has enabled the removal of 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and a 10–20 per cent revenue increase for farmers in Brazil, India, Kenya, and Mexico.
Minimizing and addressing loss and damage from climate change: EcoRich Solutions
WasteBot by EcoRich Solutions is a device for urban households to properly dispose of organic waste, using soil-based microorganisms to convert waste into organic fertilizer in just 24 Hours.
WasteBot eliminates methane gas and reduces the carbon footprint of households. EcoRich distributes the device to urban households, schools, and markets for eco-friendly waste disposal. Rural smallholder farmers can then purchase organic fertilizer at a 70 percent reduced cost compared to synthetic fertilizers.
EcoRich participated in the Bootcamp for our Agricultural Innovation for Climate Resilience Programme. It is one of the selected fifteen innovations that are enabling a sustainable future for agricultural stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries as the world grapples with the challenges of climate change. Ecorich was also one of EY Ripples’ Farm to Fork programme winners and has secured funding from Ernst and Young to strengthen and scale their operations.
We believe that by supporting such innovative solutions within the communities we serve, we can collectively accelerate our goal of achieving zero hunger. Join us on 5 December to celebrate these climate innovators who, against all odds, are working tirelessly to build a climate-resilient world.
The WFP Innovation Accelerator sources, supports and scales high-potential solutions to end hunger worldwide. We provide WFP colleagues, entrepreneurs, start-ups, companies, and non-governmental organizations with access to funding, mentorship, hands-on support, and WFP’s global operations.
Find out more about us: http://innovation.wfp.org
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