Climate-smart agriculture is improving the lives of millions - here's how

Over 5 million ha of degraded land in the Sahel have been restored through ‘farmer-managed natural regeneration’, increasing the food security of millions of people and enhancing their resilience to climate change. Photo: O Girard (CIFOR)

We've documented success stories from farming communities around the world

Climate-smart agriculture success storiesThe world's climate is changing fast, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, no matter what measures we now take to reduce humankind's impact on it. And as temperatures rise, rainfall patterns and amounts change, and pests and diseases find new ranges, the face of world agriculture will have to change too.

Somewhat surprisingly, agriculture has, until recently, been on the sidelines of discussions of human-induced climate change. Once largely seen as a 'victim' of climate change, there is now, however, a growing recognition of both the contribution agriculture has made, and continues to make, to climate change and the role it can play in mitigating the impact of human activities on climate change.

This is where "climate-smart agriculture" comes in.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines climate-smart agriculture as consisting of three main pillars:

  • sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes (food security);
  • adapting and building resilience to climate change (adaptation); and
  • reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), where possible.

While many agencies and projects have are testing or promoting climate-smart agriculture, few have shown widespread uptake. But a new booklet, Climate-smart agriculture -- Success stories from farming communities around the world, shows that climate-smart agriculture can and does make a difference to millions of people's lives.

The booklet showcases 16 examples of successful climate-smart agriculture from both developed and developing countries. These initiatives are having a widespread impact on food security, adaptation to climate change and climate change mitigation, and are being implemented over vast areas and improving the lives of millions of people.

Firewood is an increasingly scarce and valuable commodity in the Sahel. Farmers who allow trees to regenerate on their land have a ready source of fuel for their own use and for sale, and are able to leave crop residues in the field, building up organic matter in the fragile soil. Photo: CIFOR

Read the full story: How Climate-smart Agriculture Is Improving the Lives of Millions Around the World, 11 November 2013, Huffington Post Green

Download the booklet: Climate-smart agriculture - Success stories from farming communities around the world 

This booklet is published by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). For live updates from the UN Climate talks in Warsaw follow @cgiarclimate and @bcampbell_CGIAR using #GLFCOP19.