Climate Change

New FAO publication enables measurement of progress on agricultural adaptation and the Global Goal for Adaptation


Recognizing that adaptation is a globally significant issue, the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) was established under the Paris Agreement to boost work on adaptation with the aim of building adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, and reducing vulnerability to climate change. However, the path to assessing the GGA has been slow and complex due to methodological challenges in defining targets, measuring adaptation and the lack of a universal metric.


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has taken a significant step in tackling these challenges and advancing the assessment of adaptation efforts with the release of its latest publication titled 'Using Metrics to Assess Progress towards the Paris Agreement's Global Goal on Adaptation: Transparency in Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector.' This publication aims to aid countries in evaluating climate action in their agriculture sectors by establishing a comprehensive metric framework thus playing a crucial role in assessing progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation.


Benefits of the framework


FAO's publication offers a comprehensive metric framework, facilitating the assessment of adaptation progress in agriculture sectors using Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) Indicators.  The framework provides agreed statistical standards and gives users the opportunity to compare data and engage with international agencies.  Countries can measure and report on adaptation efforts within the broader domains of the GGA while complementing it with context-specific indicators.


As the custodian agency for 21 SDG indicators, the publication aligns with the FAO's commitment to the 2030 Agenda. It complements FAO's Climate Change Strategy (2022-2031) and Action Plan and explores how progress towards the 2030 Agenda and SFDRR can enhance adaptive capacity and resilience in societies, livelihoods, and ecosystems.


Moreover, the framework supports various national and international mechanisms, including National Adaptation Plans (NAP), nationally determined contributions (NDC), and sectoral climate monitoring systems for food systems. As a part of these mechanisms, the framework ensures a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to adaptation efforts.


The GlaSS work programme


The publication’s release coincides with the Seventh workshop under the Glasgow Sharm el-Sheikh work programme (GlaSS), held in Buenos Aires from 31 July to 2 August 2023. Established at COP26, the GlaSS programme was created by countries to better understand, conceptualize and achieve the 2015 Paris Agreement’s Global Goal on Adaptation.


With its timely release, it aims to support practitioners in monitoring adaptation efforts in the agriculture sector, providing valuable insights that inform progress toward national climate plans and the GGA. Moreover, the framework outlined in the publication will contribute to the global stocktake (GST), a parallel process established within the Paris Agreement that enables countries and other stakeholders to see where they're collectively making progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, with the first assessment expected in 2024.


Towards COP28


Looking ahead, this publication sets the stage for the upcoming COP28, fostering discussions and advancements in related topics while building on the momentum established by the GlaSS work programme. It highlights the critical significance of measuring adaptation in agriculture and food security, as demonstrated by the adoption of the Sharm el Sheikh joint work on implementing climate action on agriculture and food security at last year’s COP27 in Egypt.


Julia Wolf, Natural Resource Officer, FAO, further elaborates on the GlaSS work programme's significance, stating, "Under the GlaSS work programme, countries actively engage in sharing experiences and concepts while negotiating the framework, set to be finalized by COP28. FAO is playing a significant role in supporting these efforts through its presentations and interventions in GlaSS workshops."


As the global community aims for a climate-resilient future, FAO demonstrates its dedication to advancing adaptation measurement and promoting transparency. Through a comprehensive approach that harmonizes standardized metrics with context-specific indicators, FAO contributes to a sustainable and climate-resilient world, benefiting agriculture, communities, and ecosystems.