Day 2 | Dec 7   11.15 - 12.45

Resilience, vulnerability and climate-smart agriculture

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Between now and 2050, the world’s population will increase by one-third. Most of these additional 2 billion people will live in developing countries. At the same time, more people will be living in cities. If current income and consumption growth trends continue, FAO estimates that agricultural production will have to increase by 60 percent by 2050 to satisfy the expected demands for food and feed. Climate change will make this task even more difficult. The latest Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment provides strong evidence that climate change will increase the risk of food insecurity and the breakdown of food systems through changes and variability in temperature and participation patterns as well as extreme events. Smallholder farmers, fishers folk and foresters, and especially women and indigenous peoples are often the most vulnerable to climate change. Agriculture, forestry and fishery systems must therefore be transformed to be resilient to future changes in climate, climate and environmental shocks and sustainably feed a growing global population and provide the basis for economic growth and ensure poverty reduction.

The high level session will showcase how the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) approach developed by FAO seeks to address these multiple challenges, create the synergies and reduce the tradeoffs between production systems, stakeholders and other processes within landscapes to ensure that production and incomes are increased through sustainable, climate resilient agriculture, forestry and fishery systems. Presenters will demonstrate how creating appropriate financial, policy and institutional enabling environments with the transfer of knowledge, access of natural resources and provision of needed financial services and markets has allowed farmers to transition to systems which are more sustainable, productive, lucrative and resilient to shocks while, where possible,  contributing to the mitigation of climate change.

The session will also give an opportunity to inform participants on international, regional and national mechanisms that are being created to allow governments, farmers, civil society, non-government organizations, scientists, businesses, as well as regional and international organizations to contribute to empowering farmers that facilitate the transition to CSA. This will include information on the creation of the Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture and the African Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture that were both launched at the UN Secretary Generals Climate Summit in New York last September.

Key questions addressed:

  1. How will the newly formed CSA alliance relate to other international processes? How can synergies be created?
  2. How can the CSA alliance contribute to building resilience to shocks and stresses caused by higher temperatures or erratic rainfall patterns for crops and livestock?
  3. How can donors be convinced to finance CSA?

Background reading:

FAO Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook