The Planet’s climate is changing. This is undeniable climate change presents a critical challenge for global food security the men and women who produce our food farmers-herders and fishers are hit the hardest by the consequences of climate change farming communities need to build their resilience and ability to adapt to changing climate in a way that they can feed a growing population without further depleting our precious reserves of soil and water.
This is why we need climate-smart agriculture, climate-smart agriculture is not a new technique it is an approach to identify production systems that can best respond to the impacts of climate change and to adjust these systems to suit local environmental conditions now and in the future, this approach can help transform agricultural systems to support sustainable development and food security in a changing climate it’s about increasing sustainably production and incomes adapting and building resilience to the impacts of climate change and wherever possible reducing greenhouse gases.
Integrated practices in which a range of stakeholders are involved ensure greater efficiency in the use of resources and more sustainable management of natural and human-created processes in the landscape. Integration can greatly reduce the pressure on natural resources and minimize the need for external inputs (e.g. energy, chemical fertilizers and pesticides).
Agroforestry practices such as the use of shade trees are another example of an integrated practice. Shade trees reduce heat stress on animals and help increase productivity. Trees also improve the supply and quality of forage, which can help reduce overgrazing and curb land degradation.
Livestock’s role in climate-smart practices relates primarily to the management of organic matter and nutrients. Several CSA practices have already been implemented. These practices include pasture management, zero-grazing, grassland restoration and management (e.g. sylvopastoral systems), manure management (e.g. recycling and biodigestion) and crop-livestock integration.
Genetic resources and biodiversity:
Agriculture, including livestock, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, depends on the three components of biodiversity: the diversity of species, the diversity within each species and the diversity of ecosystems. Genetic resources for food and agriculture play a crucial role in food security, nutrition and livelihoods and in the provision of environmental services. They are key components of sustainability, resilience and adaptability in production systems. They underpin the ability of crops, livestock, aquatic organisms and forest trees to withstand a range of harsh conditions.
Fisheries and aquaculture:
- Improved efficiency in the use of natural resources to produce fish and aquatic foods.
- Maintenance of the resilience of aquatic systems and the communities that rely on them to allow the sector to continue contributing to sustainable development.
- Effective ways to reduce the vulnerability of those most likely to be negatively impacted by climate change.
Land and water management:
Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLM) includes a broad range of practices and methods including the restoration of peatlands and degraded lands. It also increases the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil, enhancing the soils nutrients and its water retention capacity.
Food loss and waste:
Food loss and waste amount to major loss of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and leads to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. Reducing food wastage is a logical priority to establish more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Investments in food wastage reduction can achieve economic, environmental and social dividends while contributing to food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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Safe integration of food and energy production may be one of the best ways to improve national food and energy security through Integrated Food Energy Systems (IFES). Integrated energy production can reduce poverty in a climate-smart way.
- Sustainably increase agricultural productivity,
- Adapt and build the resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, taking into account national and local contexts and priorities.