Natural Resources
     and Environment


The Climate, Energy and Tenure Division assists member countries in their responses towards the challenge of climate change, including the mitigation of climate change, as well as the development of adaptive capacities of agriculture, fisheries and forestry to the effects of climate change. It provides a coordination role on climate change and related climate smart agriculture issues. The Division also serves as the focal point for a multidisciplinary and global approach to bioenergy as well as undertaking work and providing support and guidance on tenure issues such as technical support and guidance on land tenure and land administration within the framework of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of National Food Security.

Climate Change

Achieving sufficient food production for a growing population becomes an even greater challenge when faced with possible impacts of climate change. For millions of people living in fragile ecosystems, climate change can greatly increase the risk of crop failure and loss of livestock. Climate change will most likely have the strongest impact on the most vulnerable and food-insecure countries, those least resilient to heightened irregularity of weather phenomenon and increased extreme events. The Division works in a variety of areas to help member countries adapt to the consequences of climate change, including disaster risk management. This assistance is made available through a variety of approaches, including technical support and capacity building, policy tools, institutional strengthening, guidelines and good practices and provision of basic data and information. It also develops projects to work with farmers most at risk and to help them to adapt to these changing conditions.

But agriculture is also part of the solution when it comes to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural and environmental agendas must be closely linked to ensure that agriculture contributes to climate change mitigation, reduces emissions and sequesters carbon in the soil. Emissions can also be reduced by sustainable agricultural practices and FAO promotes approaches and initiatives aimed at reducing emission, including its coordination role of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme).

Thematic website: Climate Change


FAO’s work in this area focuses on the potential of bioenergy to contribute to poverty alleviation, food security and climate change mitigation. The Division serves as focal point for organizing and facilitating a multidisciplinary and global approach to bioenergy. The work on bioenergy aims to generate information in support of decision-making for sustainable bioenergy development; to build and strengthen institutional capacity at all levels; to enhance access to energy services through sustainable bioenergy systems; and to facilitate opportunities for effective international exchange and collaboration.

Projects such as the Bioenergy and Food Security (BEFS) Project aim at mainstreaming food security concerns into bioenergy policies, programs and projects at international, national and local levels. In particular, BEFS assists countries such as Tanzania, Thailand and Peru in assessing and addressing food security concerns in their national bioenergy policies. Building on the findings of BEFS, the Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators Project (BEFSCI) aims to develop and build consensus upon a set of criteria and indicators on sustainable bioenergy production that safeguards food security

In addition FAO is a key partner to the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), an international initiative established to implement the commitments taken by the G8 Leaders in the 2005, and host its secretariat. GBEP is a forum where voluntary cooperation works towards consensus amongst governments, intergovernmental organizations and other partners in the areas of the sustainability of bioenergy and its contribution to sustainable development, climate change mitigation and, energy and food security.

Thematic website: Bioenergy

Land tenure

Secure access to land and other natural resources is a direct factor in the alleviation of hunger and rural poverty. FAO assists member states in ensuring that tenure policies adequately protect the rights of the poor; promote environmentally-sound land use practices; and ensure gender equality.

FAO is currently active in many areas of land tenure, including: investigations of the land tenure implications of climate change scenarios and of policy options in relation to the rapid growth of land use for bioenergy production; land tenure in emergency and post-emergency work; compulsory purchase of land and compensation; state land management; low-cost land tenure security; good governance in land administration; and making land information accessible for the poor.

Much emphasis is further given to the development of consensus on voluntary guidelines and policies on responsible governance of tenure and the mainstreaming of the principles and actions of the Voluntary Guidelines of the Right to Food into land tenure

Thematic website: Land Tenure


Martin Frick, Director
FAO - Climate, Energy and Tenure Division (NRC)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy
Tel: (+39) 06 570 52714