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Climate-smart agriculture takes centre stage

SPDA_ThomasMueller-365x365The Meridian Institute and Climate Development and Knowledge Network (CDKN)  recently  launched a set of case studies and headline findings on ‘Agriculture and Climate Change: Learning from experience and early interventions.’

Agriculture is on the frontline of climate change impacts and solutions. The scientific community continues to deepen its understanding of how changing temperatures and rainfall patterns, and climate impacts such as salt water intrusion, will affect agricultural yields.  Climate change affects the incidence of diseases and pests, as well as beneficial species such as pollinators, and so urges us to reassess the relationships among the many elements of agricultural ecosystems.

Adapting our agricultural systems and practices to these new realities will be essential for human food security and nutrition, as well as for sustaining the other goods and services (including products for fuel and fibre) that such ecosystems provide.

Many aspects of farming practice affect greenhouse gas emissions and are important to the conversation on climate mitigation. Some farming systems generate significant emissions but, with some modification, these emissions could be reduced. Introducing new forms of land management and inputs (for fertility and pest control) can make a big difference to agriculture’s carbon footprint.

CDKN has been supporting the Meridian Institute since November 2011 to convene a dialogue among developing country leaders on how agriculture’s contribution to climate change adaptation and mitigation could  be effectively taken forward under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As detailed in our project description and the Meridian Institute’s website, Meridian facilitated these dialogues throughout 2012-13 and produced a set of case studies and briefing notes to support the discussions.

Practical case studies of early efforts to develop climate-smart agriculture are now presented in a collected volume, available for download here.

The collection aims to provide comparison across diverse initiatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia to Vietnam, Nepal, and India, to Bolivia. For each pilot initiative, programme managers present:

  • The objectives of the initiative
  • Funding arrangements
  • How local capacities and community involvement are engendered
  • How success is defined and measured and
  • Outcomes and lessons learned.

Sam Bickersteth, CDKN’s Chief Executive and an agriculture specialist, outlines the current status of agriculture talks within the UNFCCC here.

For additional resources including a graphical summary of the workshop at which the case studies were presented, a film of panel presentations, and PowerPoint slides, please visit:

*This article was published by CDKN Global | on: 2pm, April 19th, 2013

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