Stories tagged: ccafs

COP23 – Agriculture Advantage Events

7th – 14th November 2017

Bonn, Germany

A series of side events at COP23 for setting an agenda for transforming agricultural development in the face of climate change.

Both part of the cause of climate change, but also part of the solution, agriculture is central to any debate on global warming and extreme weather events. The interactions between the agricultural sector and climate change have undeniable implications for both global food security and our environment. Despite this global significance, and perhaps due to the complexity of the subject, there has been little progress to date on agriculture in the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. Although COP17 in Durban made issues relating to agriculture in an agenda item under the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), the process has failed to conclude and determine concrete next steps. However, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under the Paris Agreement overwhelmingly prioritise the sector for climate action. 119 countries include agricultural mitigation in their INDCs, and of the 138 countries that include adaptation, almost all (127) include agriculture as a priority (Richards et al. 2016). Agriculture is also key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals set by countries.

“Agriculture Advantage: The case for climate action in agriculture” is an initiative and collaboration effort between different organizations with the same mission to transform agricultural development in the face of climate change. The event aims to articulate the different dimensions of climate actions in the agricultural sector.


Webinar: Climate services for smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Africa


23rd November 2016


Farming and pastoralist communities have survived by mastering the ability to adapt to widely varying weather and climatic conditions. Increasingly variable climate and the rapid pace of other drivers of change are, however, overwhelming local knowledge and traditional practices for coping with climate related risks. It is increasingly becoming evident that climate services—climate and weather information and advisories—can help farmers and pastoralists better manage risks and adapt to the changing climate. Continue reading

Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) Gains Momentum at COP22

Despite being dubbed “The COP of Action”, that will transform the Paris Agreement from pledges to progress, talks to include agriculture in the climate negotiations have once again stalled at COP22 in Marrakech. Further discussion on the topic has now been postponed to May 2017, at the next meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA).

However, momentum has been building around a regional initiative, known as the AAA initiative, that focuses on finding solutions to adapt African agriculture to climate change. At an event co-hosted by the Moroccan government and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture, Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS), experts gathered to determine priorities for collective action that will help African agriculture to build resilience to climate change, as well as feed the continent.

Representatives from the government of Morocco joined researchers, entrepreneurs and farmers from across Africa to discuss the most promising adaptation solutions for the continent.

Mohamed Ait Kadi, president of the General Council of Agricultural Development, Morocco, told the audience: “We have billed this COP as a COP for Africa, providing a unique opportunity to showcase action for Africa, in Africa. The Paris Agreement explicitly refers to safeguarding food security. In my view, the willingness to address agriculture and food security finally appears to be having some impact. We call this initiative ‘Triple A’ mainly to include the fact that investment in the Adaptation of African Agriculture is a triple A rated investment.”

According to a report released last week by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, for each dollar invested through the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), farmers could earn a return of between US$1.40 and $2.60 over a 20 year period by applying climate change adaptation practices.

During a session dedicated to sustainable soil management, experts showcased the solutions and challenges facing the continent. Professor Tekalign Mamo, Program Director at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, highlighted his country’s EthioSIS digital soil mapping project that has allowed for custom-blended fertilizers to be produced, and distributed at the local level. When used in conjunction with other improved agronomic practices, the project has already seen yield rises of up to 65%. Charlotte Hebebrand, Director General of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA) said: “Africa has the potential to get the best of both worlds by ‘leapfrogging’ into more integrated soil fertility management.”

She added: “By optimising its fertilizer use, no less and no more, the continent can significantly increase average crop yields while keeping greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum.”

In addition to mobilising investment, the event outlined the following priorities for collective action:

  • Building the capacity of African nations to adapt – through both regional partnerships and North-South, South-South exchanges
  • Supporting technology transfer and innovation – by building policy frameworks that enable technology adoption, and the institutional capacity to determine locally-appropriate solutions
  • Measuring and monitoring progress – by including indicators for measuring adaptation in agriculture in accountability frameworks associated with the Paris Agreement

For more information on agriculture’s role in the climate negotiations, visit the Farming First UNFCCC Toolkit.

Featured images courtesy of Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Bruce Campbell: What Does the Paris Agreement Mean for Food & Agriculture?

The Paris Climate Agreement entered into force last week, heralding a major milestone in international action on climate change, and an ambitious target to contain global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, in this century. Over 100 countries, which account for nearly 70% of global emissions, have ratified the Agreement, and are now obliged to deliver on their commitments and convert their plans into action. But unless countries act decisively and meaningfully, and increase their ambitions over time, this will not be enough to safeguard food and farming.

Figure 1. Gap between the current collective ambition of national climate plans (known as NDCs) and the global 2°C goal. Source: Adapted from Rogelj et al. 2016 in Vermeulen 2016.

Figure 1. Gap between the current collective ambition of national climate plans (known as NDCs) and the global 2°C goal. Source: Adapted from Rogelj et al. 2016 in Vermeulen 2016.

Future food security in a changing climate
The Paris Agreement is made up of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which are climate action plans developed by countries, outlining their priorities and measures. The INDCs of countries overwhelmingly put agriculture the top of the list for climate action; over 60% of submitted INDCs included mitigation in agriculture. And of the countries which included adaptation, over 90% included adaptation in agriculture. African countries in particular have expressed a clear desire to tackle these issues: 98% of African countries included adaptation actions in agriculture and 68% included mitigation actions in agriculture.

Figure 2. Inclusion of agriculture in climate pledges (INDCs). Source: Richards et al 2016 in Vermeulen et al 2016.

Figure 2. Inclusion of agriculture in climate pledges (INDCs). Source: Richards et al 2016 in Vermeulen et al 2016.

However, effective implementation will depend on the availability of financial, technological and capacity support. In fact, some countries have made several commitments conditional upon the provision of support.

Mobilizing support for climate actions

Fortunately, the Paris Agreement has set out robust frameworks to provide much-needed support and the UNFCCC’s finance mechanism, particularly the Green Climate Fund, will play a key role: US$10.3 billion have been pledged to the Fund, and the Fund has committed US$ 1.2 billion to 27 projects. But this still falls short of the ambition to mobilize US$ 100 billion per year by 2020.

In addition to financial support, the Paris Agreement will put in place new frameworks for providing technological support and enhancing capacity, which are the crucial building blocks for successful implementation of climate actions.

Science-based ambitions

The Paris Agreement obliges countries to become more ambitious in their commitments over time, with follow up Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) due in 2020 and 2025. With just 4 years left to the next NDC deadline, scientific organisations like CGIAR and its partners have an important role to play in providing technical support help countries put climate adaptation and mitigation into practice in the agriculture sector, and to distill lessons from implementation. These actions include helping countries set up early warning systems; improve water management in agricultural systems; adopt lower-emissions livestock practices; apply fertilizers more efficiently; and improve soil carbon sequestration. Decades of agriculture research can support these efforts.

To help countries stay on track and inform their future commitments, the UNFCCC will take stock of progress every 5 years starting in 2023. These ‘global stocktakes’ would measure collective progress towards global targets, looking at the whole spectrum of actions including mitigation, adaptation, financing, and technology development and transfer. The stocktakes will also be informed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), thus ensuring that the latest climate science provides inputs into future commitments.

Measuring progress is a huge and underplayed challenge. Countries are required to regularly report on their emissions and implementation efforts, and the Agreement is developing an enhanced transparency and accountability framework which would harmonize reporting and verification requirements. The global science community can facilitate this. For example, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has developed a Climate-Smart Agriculture programming and indicator tool, building on the wealth of approaches used by major development agencies in monitoring projects. The tool helps measure outcomes related to increased productivity, food security, adaptation, resilience, and mitigation, and could be instrumental in helping countries measure progress towards established targets.

Reality check

While the Paris Agreement represents a huge opportunity for climate action, and the early ratification offers much promise, success should not be viewed as a given. We have already reached the crucial threshold of globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide of 400 parts per million, according to the World Meteorological Organization. In fact, 2016 has turned out to be the warmest year since modern records began, according to NASA. Currently, country plans under the Paris Agreement fall short of keeping the world within the 2°C warming limit [see figure 1].

All this means that action is needed now in all sectors, including the agriculture sector. To meet the 2°C goal of the Paris Agreement, researchers estimate that agriculture emissions must be reduced by 1 gigatonne carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2030. Current interventions can only contribute 21-40% of this goal.

We cannot afford to rest on the success of Paris. Climate negotiators in Marrakech must be alert to the urgent need for meaningful action and countries must immediately get to work on implementing the Paris Agreement. A focus on agriculture, with accompanying funds and support, will help the sector transition to support global food security in a sustainable manner. Over 550 million smallholder farmers depend on it.

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post. Featured image photo credit: Neil Palmer CCAFS/CIAT

Join our Webinar on Agriculture and Climate Change Ahead of COP21

21st October 2015

12pm – 2pm BST

Are you prepared for COP21? Do you want to engage but not sure how? Register for our two-hour webinar, that will provide an overview of where and how agriculture is positioned in the UNFCCC climate negotiations.  A series of resources for advocates and communicators will be presented to help you engage meaningfully at COP21 and its technical subsidiary bodies (e.g. SBSTA).

** Register here **

This webinar is aimed at climate change negotiators, their technical advisors and any agricultural organisation interested in food security and climate change. Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers at the end of the session. These speakers include:

  • Anette Engelund Friis, CCAFS Head of Program Coordination
  • Peter Iversen, former negotiator for Denmark
  • James Kinyangi, CCAFS East Africa
  • Michael Hoevel, Farming First

The webinar is hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and by the global agricultural coalition Farming First.

Register now online or email Septivita Ratih ([email protected]no later than 14 October 2015 to join the discussion.

Featured image: N. Palmer, CIAT

Sustaining Agriculture in a Changing Climate: A Carbon Finance project – CCAFS

Sustaining Agriculture in a Changing Climate (SACC) is a carbon finance project that focuses on supporting the adoption of agroforestry practices to increase farm productivity, sequester carbon and build resilience on smallholder farms.

SACC is a partnership between CARE International, the World Agroforestry Centre and the CGIAR Research on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), which is funded by the Rockefeller foundation.

SACC helps farmers adopt sustainable farming methods whilst also ensuring they have the tools and inputs to make optimal use of the land and therefore can produce more. Methods include educating farmers on the benefits of dispersed inter-planting and boundary plantings of trees and developing woodlots and fruit orchards to help farmers diversify livelihoods.

This carbon-focused project is an entry point for broader sustainable agriculture interventions.


The project has an explicit ‘pro-poor’ approach in that it aims to ensure effective participation of poorer, marginalised groups, in particular women. It sets out to, among other things, pinpoint barriers faced by women, such as land and tree tenure, labour, knowledge and leadership and identifies strategies and institutional arrangements that ensure equitable participation and a fair share of benefits.

The project also aims to diversity farmers’ livelihoods by providing the inputs and training necessary to use land in a more efficient and productive way and therefore leading to a higher income for farmers.

Ensuring the agroforestry practices are sustainable is also helping climate mitigation and is helping farmers improve soil fertility.


  • By the end of 2012, farmers adopting one or more agroforestry practices, had reached 1,449 including 871 men and 578 women.
  • Initial findings show that enhanced incomes, access to credit, and more fuelwood are key motivations for both men and women
  • Farmers’ income from tree products alone (fuelwood, poles, timber) during the life of the project is expected to be at least 50 times greater than carbon revenue, which is estimated at only US$77 over 25 years.


CARE SACC Brief: Site: Policy Brief 8: How can small-scale farmers benefit from carbon markets? Case Study: Design Document Final:

Addressing Gender in Climate-Smart Smallholder Agriculture: