Climate change adaptation in agriculture: practices and technologies

Climate change adaptation in agriculture: practices and technologies

In 2014 the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), as part of its mandate to consider issues related to agriculture, decided to invite submissions from parties and observers, covering four topics, in 2015 and 2016. Of the two topics for consideration in 2016, one relates to ‘identification and assessment of agricultural practices and technologies to enhance productivity in a sustainable manner, food security and resilience, considering the differences in agro-ecological zones and farming systems, such as different grassland and cropland practices and systems’.

This info note provides a brief overview of key practices and technologies. A twinned info note considers higher-level measures of adaptation in agriculture, such as policies and institutions.
 
Key messages:
  • many agricultural practices and technologies already provide proven benefits to farmers’ food security, resilience and productivity
  • indigenous knowledge provides the backbone of successful climate change adaptation in farming, livestock and fisheries
  • agro-ecological zones and farming systems are extremely diverse. Thus interventions need to be targeted to specific contexts. Decision support to match practices and technologies with agroecological zones is a priority
  • portfolios of practices and technologies are more likely to realize goals of food security, resilience and increased productivity. Trade-offs and synergies among these goals may exist and the focus should be on maximizing synergies
  • bringing practices and technologies to scale is possible and underway. Strong mechanisms for finance, capacity enhancement and technology transfer are prerequisites for success
  • engaging women in design and management of new technologies and practices will help close the gender gap in agriculture and deliver positive outcomes for the whole of society
  • case studies demonstrate the potential for agricultural practices and technologies to achieve co-benefits for environmental health, and climate change mitigation
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