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Climate change adaptation and mitigation: just do it

Photo: P. Casier (CCAFS).
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Oct 26, 2011



Guest post by Andy Jarvis, who leads our research theme on Adaptation to Progressive Climate Change. Republished from CIAT-DAPA blog.

We just published under CCAFS a paper in the journal Environmental Science and Policy which outlines the entry points for adaptation and mitigation in agriculture.  The paper essentially presents the CCAFS research for development framework, consisting of adaptation to short- and long- term climate variability and mitigation opportunities for smallholders.  Some of the key adaptation and mitigation interventions are highlighted, showing what is needed and how it might be achieved.  I personally think the outlook is positive.  There is so much knowledge and experience out there that I think we have the know-how to adapt and mitigate and deal with the climate crisis.  Here are ten great adaptation and mitigation options that we highlight:

1.  Development of climate-smart crop varieties through breeding

2.  Redeployment of agricultural practices to track climate migration

3.  Community-based plans and strategies for adaptation

4.  Seasonal forecasts of climate and agricultural responses

5.  Index-based insurance mechanisms

6.  Better management of climate-based risk through price and trade policy

7.  Climate information services for farmers

8.  Agricultural intensification to produce more food from less land

9.  Deployment of new low-carbon agricultural practices and technologies

10.  Incentivising and streamlining mitigation through carbon markets

The real challenge is in the implementation – how do we transfer knowledge into action.  Maurice’s story in Kenya just goes to show what can be done on a quarter hectare of land, and how you can protect yourself from climate change whilst making agriculture a net sink for greenhouse gas emissions.  The challenge is to ensure that we support millions of Maurices across the world to achieve the same.  To do this, I think the climate change community need to move quickly from scaremongering into action on the ground, with policies getting put in place that incentivize adaptation and mitigation, and enable that all this great knowledge that we have really does transfer into enhancing smallholder resilience to climate change.  That’s the challenge we have for moving ahead.

Note: A free version of the paper is available as CCAFS Report No. 3. Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change: Outlook for Knowledge, Tools and Action (PDF)