South Asia is considered one of the most vulnerable regions to climate variability and change due to its high population, high exposure to climatic risks, chronic food insecurity, widespread poverty, and relatively limited adaptive capacity. Increasing population and incomes in the region are leading to higher food demand, placing pressure on agricultural systems to produce more food from the same or less land and resources, whose availability is dwindling due to competition with other sectors. The region needs to implement elements of climate smart agriculture (CSA) that sustainably increase productivity and resilience, while also reducing emissions of, or removing, greenhouse gases.
Although a reasonable amount of scientific information is now available on projected changes in climate, observed and expected impacts on agriculture, and climate smart adaptation practices, this is often scattered so that a substantial knowledge gap exists between farmers, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia has established a regional learning platform called ‘Climate Smart Agriculture Learning Platform for South Asia (CSALP-SA)’ to bridge this gap and to provide a forum for multi-sectoral climate smart learning to scientists, policy planners, civil society, and farmers in South Asia. CSALP also underlines the need for science to inform climate change policy development and implementation processes, and aims to facilitate better communication at the science–policy level so that policies and measures which bring greater awareness on how to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation planning with sustainable development and poverty reduction goals. Through consistent discussions on climate change issues and climate smart agriculture on a multidimensional platform, CCAFS aims to provide all stakeholders with a common platform for sharing and learning, and hopes to bridge the knowledge gap by bringing them together to exchange information, experiences, and expertise. CSALP-SA will also publish a quarterly e-newsletter to facilitate this, which will be widely circulated in the region.
Objectives of the Climate-Smart Agriculture Learning Platform for South Asia:
- Encourage communication between policymakers, political leaders, researchers, farmers and civil society
- Engage in multi-sectoral learning and provide a collective platform for policy advocacy
- Develop Climate Smart Agriculture Knowledge Bank with evidence of and best practices on climate smart agriculture