Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

Climate change adaptation and mitigation



Over the year, the UNFCCC negotiation process has led to a major distinction between mitigation and adaptation, as two work streams with specific concepts, approaches and methodologies.

However, particularly in the agricultural sectors, there are many synergies and interactions between what is usually considered under mitigation and what is usually considered under adaptation. The work streams and mechanisms established so far under the UNFCCC have not always enabled such considerations.

The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) adopted by countries are now calling for a more comprehensive approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the agricultural sectors, building on synergies and co-benefits between food production, adaptation and mitigation. 

More broadly, such an approach is needed to be able to address simultaneously the challenges pertaining to food security and climate change. 

There is increasing scientific evidence of the potential advantages of adopting CSA as a comprehensive approach to simultaneously address objectives pertaining to food production, adaptation and mitigation, while maximizing synergies and minimizing trade-offs. However, mainstreaming such an approach requires:

  • for farmers, fishers, foresters, herders and other rural people to see tangible advantages in terms of higher incomes, reduced costs or labour and sustainable livelihoods. These issues are addressed in the second section of this sourcebook, focusing on production (climate-smart agricultural production) and resources (climate-smart use of natural resources and energy);
  • and for policy-makers to design and implement supportive policy frameworks that include incentives, address climate change issues and rural development, and foster synergies between multiple benefits through the sustainable transformation of agriculture. These issues are addressed in the third section of this sourcebook, focusing on enabling frameworks for CSA.

It is now critical to both support countries with comprehensive approach such as the CSA one vis-à-vis their INDCs, and find ways to develop such approaches to enhance synergies and co-benefits through the instruments established under the UNFCCC.