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Technical reports

This report is intended to provide an overview of the activities implemented by the project GCP/GLO/534/ITA “International Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture” -  funded by the Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea of Italy and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - which supported the creation and implementation of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture and its role in advancing knowledge learning, sharing, and partnership building around the CSA approach. The various activities and products described in this report show how the project has helped on filling knowledge and implementation gaps, developing assessments and tools for promotion and implementation of CSA actions.

The ten successful case studies presented here show how the CSA approach has been applied in the regional context to benefit both the agricultural sectors and farming communities. By definition, the CSA approach pursues three pillars: to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and improve farmers’ incomes; to build resilience and adaptation to climate change; and to reduce and/or remove GHG emissions, where possible.

This manual is designed for a four-day training course on climate-smart agriculture that would take the learner from the basics of climate science to the impacts of climate change and the linkages among climate, agriculture and food security. It contains four modules, each addressing a particular aspect and consisting of several sessions that are held either in plenary, as one group, or in smaller work groups (Table 1). The content and structure of this manual has been developed and tested through fieldwork involving extension agents and agricultural producers in Zambia, Malawi and Viet Nam. 

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach to guide the management of agriculture in the era of climate change. The concept was first launched in 2009, and since then has been reshaped through inputs and interactions of multiple stakeholders involved in developing and implementing the concept. CSA aims to provide globally applicable principles on managing agriculture for food security under climate change that could provide a basis for policy support and recommendations by multilateral organizations, such as UN’s FAO. The major features of the CSA approach were developed in response to debates and controversies in climate change and agricultural policy for sustainable development. The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of the evolution of CSA, introduce its major components, and summarize the key debates associated with it within the context of climate change and agricultural policy debates The first section provides an overview of international climate change policy followed by an introduction and analysis of CSA and its history. This is then followed by a discussion of three broad controversies related to CSA, namely the role of mitigation, the relationship of CSA to sustainable agriculture, and way biotechnology is treated in the CSA approach.

 

Since  the  effects  of  climate  change  are  already  being  felt,  incorporating  adaptation  into  agricultural policies, plans and investments is needed to maintain and enhance the benefits obtained from agriculture. Risk  management  strategies  have  a  prominent  role  to  play  in  adaptation,  ranging  from  increasing resilience  of  agro-ecosystems  through  better  management  of  ecosystem  services,  increasing  resilience of livelihoods through social protections policies to disaster risk response. ince the effects of climate change are already being felt, incorporating adaptation into agricultural

policies, plans and investments is needed to maintain and enhance the benefits obtained from agriculture.
Risk management strategies have a prominent role to play in adaptation, ranging from increasing
resilience of agro-ecosystems through better management of ecosystem services, increasing resilience
f livelihoods through social protections policies to disaster risk response.
The question facing communities, planners and policy-makers is what types of risk management
programs are likely to be most effective for the type of climate risk exposure they face, and the level of
vulnerability of their agricultural production systems and population? Are there trade-offs between risk
management and economic growth? How can the risk management needed for adaptation be integrated
into agricultural policies and investments? Climate smart agriculture is an approach developed to help
answer these questions
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