This year, the prize was awarded to two multinational corporations working with local partners to decrease climate-related vulnerability and improve readiness. The winning corporate project also had to have a measurable impact in a country ranked below 60 on the ND-GAIN Index and be focused on such areas as food security, water access, coastal protection, ecosystem services, human habitats, human health or other climate-related vulnerability.
PepsiCo was recognized for its overall approach to precision agriculture in India. In collaboration with the Columbia Water Center of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and supported by a grant from the PepsiCo Foundation, the company has worked with rice farmers in India, deploying water measurement, seeding and disease management technologies that allow farmers to conserve 20 percent more water than traditional flood irrigation.
“As a global food and beverage company, agriculture is crucial to PepsiCo’s business and to the growers and communities where we operate. To improve the resilience of our supply chains across the world we need sound, scientific data, and tools like the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index are critically important in researching a country’s vulnerability to global climate risks. We are pleased to accept the ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Award for our approach to precision agriculture,” noted Dan Bena, senior director of sustainable development, PepsiCo.
Monsanto and its partners in WEMA (Water Efficient Maize for Africa) were recognized for an agricultural sector food and water vulnerability project in Kenya. WEMA is a public/private partnership with the objective to improve food security and rural livelihood among smallholder farmers and their families in Sub-Saharan Africa by developing and deploying new drought-tolerant and insect pest-protected maize varieties. The partnership project is led by the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and it is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In addition to Monsanto, other WEMA partners include the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and five National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. WEMA is in its sixth year and the first conventional maizehybrid coming out of the partnership is currently being distributed to smallholder farmers in Kenya for planting.
“Monsanto is honored to accept this Corporate Adaptation Award on behalf of the WEMA partnership,” said Jesus Madrazo, vice president of corporate affairs for Monsanto. “We are proud of the work the partnership has done to help adapt to climate change. We also are grateful for ND-GAIN’s tremendous efforts to highlight the important role climate adaptation will play in saving lives and improving livelihoods.”
GAIN was founded in 2010 as the world’s first private sector-led, nonprofit organization designed to promote adaptation solutions in developing countries and around the world. ND-GAIN moved to Notre Dame from Washington, D.C. in April of this year. It is the world’s leading index showing which countries are best prepared to deal with the national security risks, droughts, superstorms and other natural disasters that climate change can cause. ND-GAIN is housed in the University’s Environmental Change Initiative (ECI).
The awards were announced in Washington, D.C. during ND-GAIN’s Annual Meetingsponsored by the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan global public policy institution. The ND-GAIN Annual Meeting serves as the premier gathering of domestic and international experts on climate change adaptation and is attended by leading figures from the government, nonprofit and private sectors.
Media contact: Julie Hail Flory, Notre Dame Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 574-631-7031