Policy Support and Governance Gateway

/ Guidelines & methodologies

Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

This comprehensive sourcebook on climate-smart agriculture (CSA), produced by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, consists of eighteen modules covering every aspect of planning and implementing CSA policies and projects. 

Aimed primarily at developing countries, the opening module outlines the case for CSA (including forestry and fisheries), discussing issues such as food security, resilient systems, and systemic efficiency. The sourcebook argues that if we are to match growing demand whilst simultaneously combating climate change, it is crucial that greater efficiency and resilience is achieved in our food systems to aid climate mitigation and adaptation respectively. This has to happen globally, and in conjunction with attempts to change consumption patterns and reduce demand (an area not covered in this sourcebook). 

Modules two to five cover the management of landscapes, water, soil and energy, presenting key principles, risks and vulnerabilities, the options available, and successful examples of implementation for each area. Module six discusses the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture, explaining how a loss of genetic diversity poses a significant threat to future generations. Following on from this, modules seven to ten examine strategies for climate-smart crop production, livestock, forestry, and fisheries and aquaculture. Developing sustainable and inclusive food chains is the subject of module eleven, highlighting the issue of significant food waste and a providing a step-by-step approach for chain actors to improve their performance. Modules twelve and thirteen concern local and national institutions, focusing primarily on building synergies and the key institutions required for CSA initiatives in the former, and mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture into national policies and programmes in the latter. 

The rest of the modules include: financing climate-smart agriculture; disaster risk reduction through the strengthening of livelihood resilience; the role of safety-nets; strategies for developing capacity, policy coherence and knowledge sharing; and finally, assessment, monitoring and evaluation. This final module describes how to plan and implement assessments for climate-smart agriculture programmes and projects, presenting successful examples, and highlighting some of the challenges that may arise.