by Patti Kristjanson and Vanessa Meadu
In thinking about climate adaptation, it is easy to overlook the fact that poor farmers across the tropics already possess much of the knowledge required to adapt to climate change. Many are already adapting their agriculture not only to more variable weather patterns but also to more immediate problems such as growing families, health-related challenges, and spiking food prices. And many of these actions also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon. Read more »
The way we produce food must adapt to a variable and changing climate. And key to achieving this is to improve the link between climate information and agricultural practices, especially those of smallholder farmers in developing countries. ‘Agro-climate tools’ do just that, and a number of tools are already being used to fill the gaps between climate information and practical action. Read more »
Worldwide, there are opportunities for agriculture to contribute to efforts to adapt to, and mitigate climate change, while also supporting food security and the fight against poverty. To realize the true potential of climate-smart agriculture, international climate change negotiations must take into these opportunities into account, and adopt policies that create incentives for farmers, help finance projects, and fund continued agricultural research. A new booklet from the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security gives concrete examples of successful climate smart agricultural practices and helps push the agenda forward.
Story by Kate Langford, World Agroforestry Centre.
Partners from the CGIAR Climate program have been sharing valuable lessons on how to explain the science behind climate change and carbon markets to farmers. These are published in a new World Agroforestry Centre policy brief that will be presented during UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa
To the farmer, being informed you can earn money for something you can’t see, but which exists in the trees you have or are being encouraged to plant on your land, might seem like a far-fetched story.
To the scientist and project managers, communicating information about climate change or the concept of carbon sequestration to farmers is a challenge when these are issues which scientists deal with every day.
Scientists and farmers might operate in two very different worlds, especially in developing countries, but with more and more opportunities emerging for farmers to benefit from carbon payments by improving their agricultural practices or planting trees, these worlds are converging. Read more »
The CGIAR’s Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security program has published a valuable summary of current knowledge on options to support farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, in achieving food security through agriculture under climate change.
Published in the latest issue of the journal, Environmental Science and Policy, the paper says broad-based action – integrated research, policy and action – is the best strategy to adopt in the face of the uncertainty which exists regarding the direction and magnitude of climate change and its impact on food production, food systems and food security across the globe.
While agricultural production will be dramatically affected by climate change and the expected 2 degrees (or more) rise in temperature by 2100, it also presents untapped opportunities for mitigation, given the large land area under crops and rangeland, and the additional mitigation potential of aquaculture.
“Maximization of agriculture’s mitigation potential will require investments in technological innovation and agricultural intensification linked to increased efficiency of inputs, and creation of incentives and monitoring systems that are inclusive of smallholder farmers,” the authors say. Read more »
The newly released Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Knowledge Network (AMKN) is a map-based online platform that brings climate, agriculture, and socio-economic information together with photos and videos of farmers living at research sites across the tropics. The platform, which was set up in collaboration with the CIAT-led research theme on Adaptation to Future Climate, aims to be an information service and key tool for practitioners, donors, policy makers, and researchers interested in food security and climate change.
The world will suffer dire consequences if food security was not placed on the agenda at November's COP17 climate-change meeting in Durban according to South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson, a strong advocate for confronting the climate change threats to agricultural development. With a backdrop of continued famine in the Horn of Africa and impending climate change challenges to agricultural productivity in Africa, Ms. Joemat-Pettersson invited Africa’s agricultural ministers to the "African Ministerial Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture” held in mid-September, on the theme “Climate-Smart Agriculture: Africa - A Call to Action”. Read more »
Managing emissions that lead to climate change and doing so in a way that allows improvements in incomes and enables sustainable development to continue are among the greatest challenges of the coming century. Better scientific knowledge about the relationship between carbon emissions and livelihoods is becoming available, but it is limited, patchy, and based on limited empirical evidence.
Research sponsored by the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) program of the CGIAR, in collaboration with the University of Michigan’s International Forestry Resources and Institutions Program is showing how new institutions, property rights arrangements, and agricultural technologies can enable synergistic improvements in livelihoods and reductions in emissions. Read more »
The newly released CCAFS working paper number six ‘Financing mitigation in smallholder agricultural systems: Issues and opportunities’ investigates obstacles to financing mitigation in smallholder agricultural systems and gives recommendations on how to overcome these. It emphasizes how smallholder agricultural finances overlaps with carbon finance. The working paper concludes that existing carbon finance approaches, with their complex procedures, unpredictable and often long payback periods are worsened by existing agricultural finance barriers such as lack of investments and resources. Many of the barriers to smallholder carbon credit mitigation projects are general issues associated with investing in smallholder agriculture, rather than carbon finance per se. The working paper also concludes that existing agricultural investment barriers are fundamental to the livelihoods of many, and go far beyond carbon finance issues, although significant overlap is acknowledged. By tackling these barriers, it may be possible to release some of the potential mitigation from agriculture. Read more »
Countries in the East African region still struggle to receive and disperse climate information which would enable them to more effectively adapt to climate change effects. They also face unforeseen fluctuations in food production and market prices due to increasing climate variability and change, which seriously affects their food security. Climate information products and services, supported by applied research, could contribute greatly to the development of appropriate adaptation strategies to climate change states the newly released working paper from CCAFS ‘The State of Climate Information Services for Agriculture and Food Security in East African Countries’. 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)