Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

Jun 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Agriculture, Books, Development and Climate Change, Environment, Food, Forest, Information and Communication, International Agencies, Land, Lessons, Livelihood, Publication, Resilience, Vulnerability, Weather

cover-thumbnailFAO: There has been a rapid uptake of the term Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) by the international community, national entities and local institutions, in the past years. However, implementing this approach is challenging, partly due to a lack of tools and experience. Climate-smart interventions are highly location-specific and knowledge-intensive. Considerable efforts are required to develop the knowledge and capacities to make CSA a reality.

The purpose of the sourcebook is to further elaborate the concept of CSA and demonstrate its potential, as well as its limitations. This sourcebook is a reference tool for planners, practitioners and policy makers working in agriculture, forestry and fisheries at national and subnational levels, dealing with the effects of climate change.

Executive summary 

This sourcebook is divided into three main sections, which addresses the main following topics:

  • Section A
    The Case for Climate-Smart Agriculture consists of two modules establishing a conceptual framework and is targeted to a broad audience. Module 1 explains the rationale for CSA and module 2 focuses on the adoption of a landscape approach.
  • Section B
    Improved Technologies and Approaches for Sustainable Farm Management is divided in nine Modules. It is targeted primarily to the needs of planners and practitioners and analyzes what issues need to be addressed in the different sectors, in terms of water (Module 3), soils (Module 4), energy (Module 5) and genetic resources (Module 6) for up-scaling of practices of crop production (Module 7), livestock (Module 8), forestry (Module 9) and fisheries and aquaculture (Module 10) along sustainable and inclusive food value chains (Module 11).
  • Section C
    Enabling frameworks encompasses seven Modules, targeted to policy makers, providing guidance on what institutional (Module 12), policy (Module 13) and finance (Module 14) options are available. It further provides information on links with disaster risk reduction (Module 15) and utilization of safety nets (Module 16) and also illustrates the key role of capacity development (Module 17) and assessments and monitoring (Module 18).

The sourcebook is also available through a web platform that facilitates stakeholders’ access to additional information, case studies, manuals, practices and systems. The platform is dynamic and updated on a regular basis. www.climatesmartagriculture.org/72611/en

About Climate-Smart Agriculture

FAO has decades of experience in promoting agricultural practices and policies that also safeguard the natural resource base for future generations. Agriculture policies are the cornerstones for achieving food security and improving livelihoods. Effective agriculture and climate change policies can also boost green growth, protect the environment and contribute to the eradication of poverty. FAO works closely with many of the world’s most vulnerable populations to help them increase their agricultural productivity, while ensuring that the natural resources they depend on are not exploited or depleted.

Agriculture not only suffers the impacts of climate change, it is also responsible for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But agriculture has the potential to be an important part of the solution, through mitigation — reducing and/or removing — a significant amount of global emissions. Some 70 percent of this mitigation potential could be realized in developing countries.

Climate change poses many threats to agriculture, including the reduction of agricultural productivity, production stability and incomes in areas of the world that already have high levels of food insecurity and limited means of coping with adverse weather. Being able to transform agriculture to feed a growing population in the face of a changing climate without hindering the natural resource base will not only achieve food security goals but also help mitigate the negative effects of climate change. More productive and resilient agriculture will need better management of natural resources, such as land, water, soil and genetic resources through practices, such as conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, agroforestry and sustainable diets.

This transformation of agriculture is being promoted by FAO along with other partners under the term “Climate-smart agriculture”, an agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation) while enhancing the achievement of national food security and development goals.

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