Climate Change

Climate proofing agricultural policies

Climate science has moved forward rapidly in the last decade, providing more nuanced insights into the future of agricultural production, and societal and environmental risks associated with climate impacts on agriculture and food security.

FAO’s work with climate risk management is grounded on scientific tools and data which aim to steer policy processes and assist decision-making with a solid evidence-base.

The development of climate-informed policies and plans should be aligned to a country's integrated efforts to achieve the SDGs and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). A series of instruments designed under the UNFCCC for linking international climate change commitments to concrete action for mitigation and adaptation at the country level could be used for the mainstreaming of climate considerations and priorities in national planning and programming.

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These include:

  1. National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) as a dedicated, harmonized, country-led instrument for least developed countries. The Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) programme, coordinated by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and FAO, worked with eleven countries to identify and integrate climate adaptation measures into national planning and budgeting processes. As the NAP-Ag programme phases out, a new programme, Scaling up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture through NDCs and NAPs (SCALA) was launched to build on its achievements.
  2. National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) with a focus on addressing medium- and long-term adaptation needs. NAPs provide a significant opportunity to integrate the concerns and needs of the agriculture sectors and actors in broad national strategies and policies; 
  3. Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), as defined by the UNFCCC, are prepared by national governments in the context of sustainable development and provide for nationally appropriate actions that reduce emissions in developing countries. They typically include more detailed actions than NDCs and can be project-based, programmatic, sector-wide, or focused at the policy level. 

Information on the impacts of climate change is a primary resource for policy makers and planners. FAO's MOdelling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change (MOSAICC) is a capacity development tool which aims to build the national capacity of ministries and research institutions to handle climate data, produce medium to long-term climate projections and assess local impacts on key crops for adaptation planning.

MOSAICC has been implemented in several countries such as Morocco, the Philippines, Indonesia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru, and recently in Malawi, Zambia and Sri Lanka.