Agriculture contributes considerably to climate change by producing 10–12% of total global anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Agricultural practices can significantly reduce emissions by storing carbon in the soil or above ground biomass (for example in agroforestry or woodlots, or by reducing nitrous oxide or methane emissions), especially if large numbers of farmers take up these practices. However, many of the world’s poorest also depend on agriculture and related natural resources to meet their basic needs. If the poor are to contribute to climate change mitigation, there is a need for mitigation options that have a positive impact on livelihoods, otherwise unacceptable trade-offs may occur. Carbon markets are unlikely to provide significant benefits to smallholder farmers in the near run and are highly uncertain, but livelihood options that produce mitigation co-benefits and carbon finance schemes that provide additional incentives should help farmers to meet both livelihood and environmental objectives.
The focus of this theme is on how mitigation can benefit poor farmers and to understand trade-offs among different dimensions of poverty and different groups of the poor (including between men and women). Special attention will be given to the trade-offs and synergies of mitigation, food security and poverty alleviation, while ensuring the health of water, land and ecosystems at different scales (e.g., farm, landscape, seascape, food value chain).
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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)