A Series on Integrating Climate Change & NRM into Feed the Future #2
This Feed the Future CSO Stakeholder Meeting, "Integrating Natural Resource Management and Climate Change to Achieve Feed the Future Objectives" was the second in a series of events on incorporating environment and climate change as key elements of food security and agriculture programs. Feed the Future leadership continued the discussion started at the first event and emphasized the importance of climate and environment considerations to achieving food security objectives. Presentations from the environment and development community followed, highlighting experiences from food security programs in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa that illustrated the linkages between long-term sustainability of food systems; resilience of the poor; and soil, water and natural resource protection.
- Integrating Natural Resource Management and Climate Change to Achieve Feed the Future Objectives (Weisenfeld)
- Wetland, Fish and Food Security: Learning from USAID's Co-Management Work in Bangladesh (DeCosse)
- Motivating Behavior Change Using Conservation Agreements: Food Security Implications (Niesten)
- The Interface of Livestock, Climate Change, and Food Security (Russell)
About the Series
The Feed the Future Guide recognizes that "[e]nvironmental degradation and climate change are critical cross-cutting issues that can affect the sustainability of investments in agricultural development and food security, impede long-term economic growth, and adversely affect livelihoods and well being." This event series, "Integrating Climate Change and Natural Resource Management into Feed the Future," will seek to articulate some of the challenges and opportunities that integration of these issues poses, and present successful program approaches and tools for working across the disciplines of climate change, natural resource management, and food security. The series will share relevant tools, lessons learned, and recommend best practices in the areas of soil, water, nutrition, and climate change resilience and will seek to raise the profile of these cross-cutting issues and their critical linkages to food security.
USAID Bureau for Food Security
Paul Weisenfeld serves as Assistant to the Administrator, directing the Bureau for Food Security, which leads President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative. In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving food security and reducing persistent rural poverty. The Bureau works with host government and private sector partners to address the needs of smallholder farmers and agribusinesses, emphasizing the empowerment of women; strengthen the enabling environment for strong agricultural markets; promote research and innovation for agricultural development; and increase our investments in nutrition, while maintaining our support for humanitarian food assistance. A Minister-Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service, Weisenfeld has served for nearly twenty years at USAID in four overseas posts and in Washington, D.C.
From October 2010- March 2011 Weisenfeld served as Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. Just prior to this assignment, from January- September 2010, he was the Coordinator of USAID’s Haiti Task Team, reporting directly to the USAID Administrator and responsible for coordinating the Haiti post-earthquake recovery effort from Washington as it supported recovery and reconstruction efforts in the field.
From 2006 to January 2010, Weisenfeld served as USAID’s Mission Director in Peru. In this position, he oversaw programs addressing education, health, economic growth, environment, democracy, alternative development, regional trade capacity building, and development of the Peru-Ecuador border region. From 2002-2006, he served as Mission Director in Zimbabwe, overseeing programs in the areas of HIV and AIDS, democracy and governance, small enterprise development, and humanitarian assistance.
His extensive career with USAID includes serving as Senior Regional Legal Advisor in Egypt, from 1999-2002, Regional Legal Advisor in South Africa from 1995-1999, and Legal Advisor in the USAID Office of the General Counsel in Washington, D.C. from 1991-1995. Weisenfeld worked in the private sector as an attorney with the law firms, Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge from 1989-1991, and White & Case from 1987-1989. A New York City native, Weisenfeld earned his bachelor’s degree from Queens College and his law degree from The Harvard Law School, where he was an editor on The Harvard Law Review.
International Resources Group (IRG)
Philip DeCosse, of IRG, is an agricultural economist with extensive experience managing livelihood programs in The Gambia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Madagascar. From 2003-2008, Mr. DeCosse was the Chief of Party of USAID/Bangladesh’s forest co-management project, and currently supports IRG’s Integrated Protected Areas Co-Management project in Bangladesh. He has been with IRG since 1993, and is currently IRG’s Food and Livelihood Security Practice Director. In that capacity, he manages IRG’s food and livelihoods portfolio including one of USAID/Senegal’s major food security projects. He has worked and published on agricultural information system, surveys and on natural resource co-management.
Eduard Niesten directs Conservation International’s Conservation Stewards Program (CSP). During his 10 years at Conservation International he has focused on designing and implementing incentive-based interventions that advance conservation and human wellbeing. His work on negotiated conservation agreements and related tools includes projects in more than 20 countries in South and Central America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Island region. As Senior Director of CSP, he oversees a portfolio of nearly 60 projects around the globe that pursue compensation-based conservation with local communities in developing countries, in contexts varying from private to public to communal property rights and tropical to semi-arid to marine environments. In addition, Dr. Niesten’s research efforts have produced a broad range of publications comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of various conservation approaches, with a particular interest in direct incentives. He earned his Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University in 1998.
Land O' Lakes
Mara Russell has been working in the fields of food aid and food security for twenty-five years. She has been with Land O'Lakes International Development for nearly seven years and is currently the Practice Manager for Food Security and Livelihoods. In this capacity, she provides technical leadership to programs that address vulnerability and food insecurity, and prevent or mitigate disaster situations. Ms. Russell provided support to CARE’s global food aid programs from 1986-1991. Then, from 1991-93, she assisted CARE emergency food aid operations in northern Iraq, southern Somalia, and the Former Soviet Union. From 2000 to 2004, Ms. Russell coordinated Food Aid Management (FAM), a technical consortium of Title II Cooperating Sponsors. While with FAM, Ms. Russell helped develop the Food for Peace Strategy for 2006-2010. Ms. Russell holds a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University, both in Anthropology.