by Vanessa Meadu
In Sri Lanka, where climate change is expected to contribute to rising temperatures and changes in the quantity and distribution of rainfall, there are serious concerns about the impacts on farming. This extends to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who rely on the land for income, and also the food security of Sri Lankans who rely on key crops for food.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which has been working in partnership with Sri Lankan government agencies in 2009, has made a significant contribution to the development of Sri Lanka’s climate change adaptation policies. Read more »
By Peter Newton
We are standing in knee-deep, tea-colored water. “Pekerjaan kami di sini”, smiles Pak Tukul, “our work is here”. He and his colleague Pak Maryanto have led my colleague Lini and me to this spot in the flooded peat-swamp forest, wading through pools and clambering across roots and over fallen trunks. We are here to see a research plot where they have been working.
They explain that the two of them have helped to painstakingly identify and measure every tree, sapling and seedling in this 25m x 25m plot, and to measure the depth of the peat, in order to estimate the carbon contained in this patch of forest. It took us an hour by canoe, and a 15-minute wade to get to this site: they tell us that this is the most accessible of the 200-plus plots that they have surveyed.
Why all the hard work? The site is part of an innovative REDD-like project, covering a vast 204,000 hectare (Mauritius-sized) tract of forest in Central Kalimantan, just east of the regional capital of Sampit. Read more »
by Cecilia Schubert
In Kenya, the government recently made a list of agricultural technologies, such as agroforestry and conservation tillage, that they believe could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while building resilience. At the same time, Peru is planning a nationwide program that will scale up agricultural waste-to-energy initiatives.
A bit further up north, Costa Rica, is developing a mitigation strategy for its coffee sector, responsible for about 25 per cent of their agricultural GHG emissions. As a step towards their goal to become carbon neutral by 2021, the country is suggesting to apply nitrogen fertilizers more efficiently and establish coffee agroforestry systems.
So, what do these mitigation activities have in common? Read more »
by Kristi Foster & Daisy Ouya (ICRAF)
As of January 2013, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya is officially carbon neutral. The Nairobi base was certified by The CarbonNeutral Company as a CarbonNeutral® office, setting an example that it hopes other offices and institutions will follow in addressing the challenge of our time – climate change. Prior to offsetting its emissions, ICRAF Headquarters published a detailed account of its 2011 carbon footprint. The findings of this assessment, the first in the Centre's history, are already informing actions to reduce carbon emissions at the headquarters, with the ultimate goal of achieving carbon-neutrality for its operations around the globe. Read more »
by Laura Cramer
When people think of baseline surveys, they most likely think of quantitative, structured interview processes - like the ones carried out for the CCAFS household baseline survey. In that exercise, we randomly selected 140 households in each site to answer questions about their agricultural practices, months of food shortage, sources of weather information and other topics that can serve as a basis for comparison when we revisit them in 5-10 years.
Household village survey example: Bit by bit, East African smallholder farmers adapting to climate change
But we are attempting to influence more than just individual households. We also hope to see changes in community action and local institutions as a result of our work and the work of others. Read more »
by Meryl Richards
Even though rice farmers in Bulacan province in the Philippines are quite concerned about the changing climate, they are even more concerned about water.
Surplus in the irrigation reservoir that provides water for the area has been steadily decreasing over the past 30 years, due to droughts and increasing water demand from the nearby capital of Manila. Since Filipino law prioritizes domestic use over agricultural irrigation use, when allocating water, this sometimes leaves farmers without enough water to irrigate their rice paddies during the dry season.
CCAFS researchers at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), have been working together with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the National Irrigation Administration, and local irrigator’s associations to test a solution that reduces, not only water demand, but also greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in rice paddies. This can be done through so called alternate wetting and drying (AWD). Read more »
by Emily Boone
A new focus issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters explores the current state and near-term potential for improved quantification of agricultural greenhouse gases. Together the articles in this issue provide a vision for an improved system for quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in agriculture, with special attention to the needs of smallholder agriculture in developing countries.
The world’s population is growing rapidly: an estimated eight billion people by 2030, nine billion by 2050. Feeding the world sustainably requires balancing a growing population’s food and nutritional needs while limiting the greenhouse gases released by agriculture—a growing contributor to climate change. We cannot make informed decisions to achieve this balance without accurate data on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions at the local, national and international level. Read more »
By Christine C. Jost
In the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) program, we do research to enhance food security and agricultural development in the face of climate change. But the pathway from research to impact is complex.
Impact pathways encourage scientists to join a network of partners to ensure that their work contributes to a larger vision. The partners work together to design the pathway. Usually scientists focus on the activities we’d like to do, and the outputs that will result.
By designing an impact pathway we focus on achieving outcomes – changes in behaviors, practice, beliefs, understanding, capacity, networks, policies and institutions that are needed in order to achieve lasting impact. Then we work backwards to outputs and activities. An impact pathway approach ensures that all the necessary steps are taken to achieve the desired outcomes.
Why focus on outcomes rather than outputs? Targeting outputs emphasizes processes, which makes it difficult to link changes, like increased maize production by smallholder farmers, to specific interventions that might have occurred during the process. Read more »
Save the date! On Monday February 18, 10:00AM Central European Time (Convert Time Zone), we will broadcast our first online science seminar for 2013.
The seminar will explore the social dimensions of climate change: how development programming needs to embrace resilience, the transformative cornerstones of social science research for climate change, and gender and social differentiation in building agricultural climate resilience.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is very proud to be organising this seminar in partnership with both the Danish Institute of International Studies and Copenhagen University. With three short presentations, a panel discussion, and an open discussion during which the online audience can ask questions over chat, the seminar promises to be a dynamic start to your working week. Join in the discussion on twitter using #climaterights
by Sonja Vermeulen
Can agriculture contribute its share of emissions reductions without huge losses to the food security of poor people? A step closer to a useful answer comes in Global climate policy impacts on livestock, land use, livelihoods, and food security, by Alla Golub, Benjamin Henderson, Thomas Hertel, Pierre Gerber, Steven Rose and Brent Sohngen. Their approach provides an intriguing opportunity to investigate the interplay between climate change policies in forestry and those in agriculture.
The article investigates the possible outcomes of global policies for land-based mitigation. Specifically, the authors test how international policies to incentivize forest carbon sequestration and to tax emissions might, separately or together, affect emissions and household food security. Policies are modeled as payments to forest producers and taxes on emitters in all sectors, both at a rate of US$ 27 per tonne of CO2-equivalent – which is about triple the current price listed by the European Energy Exchange, but not unrealistic. Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)