Impact through policies and partnerships

E. van de Grift (CCAFS)

‘Knowledge baselines’ open the door for action on climate-smart agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America
Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is a practical approach to achieving food security through adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. But it does not provide a one-size-fits-all solution; it is important that financing institutions looking at CSA make investment decisions based on the circumstances of any one location or country.

This was one of the key findings of work carried out by CCAFS researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). In 2014, with support from the World Bank, CIAT and CATIE developed country profiles that act as ‘knowledge baselines’ for assessing how to move forward on CSA in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The profiles, seven at country and two at regional level, were prepared with the participation of government ministers and representatives of the private sector and civil society from Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Mexico and Peru. The complete set of profiles was presented in October 2014 at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC.

Country profiles raise awareness of climate-smart agriculture and help inform investment decisions
Country profiles raise awareness of climate-smart agriculture and help inform investment decisions.

Each profile describes the overall context of agriculture and climate change; surveys climate-smart technologies and practices already adopted; explains the institutions and policies in place to advance these options; assesses opportunities for financing; and presents case studies on especially promising initiatives.

“More information at the country level is needed to better understand the implications and potential of climate smart interventions, guiding prioritization strategies and investment.” Svetlana Edmeades, Senior Agricultural Economist at the World Bank

The country profiles help to highlight CSA by raising awareness of its importance among governments and financing institutions, and by identifying specific entry points for action and investment. In particular, the project is helping the World Bank develop a systematic approach for building the principles of CSA into its operations. This will help scale up CSA and its potential to benefit millions of farmers in low-income countries.