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Introduction Stress Is increased on the natural resource base due to - Rapidly rising population growth Diminishing arable land Risks to the sustainability of agriculture Rapidly raising greenhouse gases, Enhanced land and sea temperatures and Increased frequency and magnitude of extreme events Pose risks to fresh water availability
Climate Change andSustainability– Limits toexpansion of land Most good quality land is already being cultivated and no significant land expansion is expected in the future. Agricultural sector will be under increasing pressures to ensure continued productivity, while safeguarding environmental quality.
Climate Change andSustainability – Climatic risks As much as 80% of the variability in agricultural production is due to the variability in weather conditions. Failure of rains and occurrence of natural disasters such as floods and droughts could lead to crop failures, food insecurity, famine, loss of property and life, mass migration, and negative national economic growth.
Mitigation in Agriculture IPCC (2007) defines Mitigation as the technological change and substitution that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output. Although several social, economic and technological policies would produce an emission reduction, with respect to climate change, mitigation means implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks Agriculture has a large mitigation potential
Mitigation potential ofAgriculture sector Depending on national circumstances, this potential lies mostly in the sequestration of carbon in agricultural soils. The most prominent mitigation options include: Improved crop and grazing land management (improved agronomic practices, nutrient use, tillage, and residue management), Restoration of degraded lands, Restoration of organic soils Other mitigation options broadly recommended are relating to land management, for example: Land use change (e.g., conversion of cropland to grassland) Agro-forestry.
How climate change &agriculture mitigation potentialis linked mitigation, variables affected by climate change are In terms of - – accumulation rates for sequestered carbon, growth rates for bio energy feedstocks, size of livestock herds. Depending upon the climatic impact, there are likely to be shifts in - plant and tree growth, microbial decomposition of soil carbon, and livestock growth. All of these factors will alter mitigation potential, some positively and some negatively. For example, lower livestock growth rates could increase herd size and, consequently, emissions from manure and enteric fermentation, while increased microbial decomposition under higher temperatures will lower soil carbon sequestration potential
Key mitigation technologies inagriculture Crop and grazing land management to increase soil carbon storage; Restoration of cultivated peaty soils and degraded lands; Improved rice cultivation techniques and livestock and manure management to reduce CH4 emissions; Improved nitrogen fertilizer application techniques to reduce N2O emissions; Dedicated energy crops to replace fossil fuel use; Improved energy efficiency.
Potential Areas - mitigation A large proportion of the mitigation potential of agriculture (excluding bio energy) arises from soil carbon sequestration, Soil Carbon sequestration has strong synergies with sustainable agriculture reduces vulnerability to climate change. Considerable mitigation potential is also available from reductions in methane and nitrous oxide emissions in some agricultural systems. Biomass from agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops can be an important bio energy feedstock, but current concerns with food prices make this a questionable alternative.
Adaptation (IPCC) defines adaptation as the "adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities“ Examples of adaptation and coping strategies with current climate fluctuations include farmers planting different crops for different seasons, and wildlife migrating to more suitable habitats as the seasons change. (Agriculture sector adaptation strategy)
Adaptation Strategies inAgriculture Sector Several adaptation measures that the agricultural sector can undertake to cope with future climate change. Changing planting dates; Planting different varieties or crop species; Development and promotion of alternative crops; Developing new drought and heat-resistant varieties; More use of intercropping; Using sustainable fertilizer and tillage practices (improving soil drainage, no-till, etc) Improved crop residue and weed management;
Contd…. More use of water harvesting techniques, Better pest and disease control for crops; Implementing new or improving existing irrigation systems (Reducing water leakage, soil moisture conservation - mulching); Improved livestock management (Providing housing and shade, change to heat-tolerant breeds, change in stocking rate, altered grazing and rotation of pasture); More use of agro forestry practices; Improved forest fire management (altered stand layout; landscape planning; dead timber salvaging; clearing undergrowth; insect control through prescribed burning); Development of early-warning systems and protection measures for natural disasters (droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, etc).
Relationship between mitigationand adaptation in agriculture Mitigation-driven actions in agriculture could have either Positive adaptation consequences (such as carbon sequestration projects with positive drought preparedness aspects) or Negative adaptation consequences (for example, if heavy dependence on biomass energy increases the sensitivity of energy supply to climatic extremes).
Contd…Adaptation-driven actions also may have both Positive mitigation consequences (as when residue returned to fields to improve water- holding capacity also sequesters carbon) or Negative mitigation consequences (for example, an increased use of nitrogen fertilizer to overcome falling yield that leads to increased nitrous oxide emissions).
Mitigation measures that alsoenhance adaptation Nearly 90 percent of the mitigation potential in agriculture lies in reducing soil carbon dioxide emissions (by restoring cultivated organic soils, for example) or sequestering carbon dioxide in the soil organic matter of mineral soils.
Examples… The application of animal manure to soils, which reduces fertilizer use and also improves soil structure and water-holding capacity; The reduction of tillage intensity with improved residue management, which can increase soil carbon while retaining soil moisture; and The restoration of degraded lands, which can sequester carbon and also enhance livelihoods and the resilience of the soils for sustaining agriculture under a changing climate.
Some adaptation strategies –which also helps in mitigation Conservation tillage increases soil water retention in the face of drought while also sequestering carbon below ground. Small-scale irrigation facilities not only conserve water to cope with greater variability, but also to increase crop productivity and soil carbon stocks. Agro forestry systems increase above- and below-ground carbon storage while also increasing water storage below ground, even in the face of extreme climate events. Project- and program-based funding schemes that support adaptation should also be able to draw on mitigation resources.
Activity Category Sustainable development Social Economic EnvironmentalAgro forestry Uncertain Uncertain PositiveTillage/residue Uncertain Uncertain PositivemanagementNutrient management Uncertain Overall efficient use of Positive nutrients will yield cost reduction and productivity improvementWater management Positive Positive (even if the Positive farmers are supposed to pay for water)Livestock management Uncertain to negative as n/d n/d these practices may not be acceptable due to prevailing cultural practices, especially in developing and underdeveloped societyGrazing land Positive Positive PositivemanagementIncrease Carbon storage Positive Positive Positivein agricultural products
Current needs for agriculturesector- to realize its potential A combination of different existing and new sources of financing, including carbon market instruments and investments, technology transfer and deployment, Capacity building is needed also for the agricultural sector and to help farmers at the local level engage in agricultural practices.
Suggested negotiatingoutcomes Many mechanisms can be envisaged for rewarding synergies among mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development, such as: Giving mitigation credits for projects that also have adaptation potential. Giving preference to mitigation projects that also have significant adaptation benefits. Using an adaptation fund. Alternatively, markets could be used to reward synergies, for example by the use of “premium” carbon credits, either as part of future voluntary or compliance markets Activities that have been shown to confer additional adaptive capacity or enhance sustainable development goals in addition to providing a GHG or carbon benefit would be assigned a higher value in such a credit system than activities that provide only a GHG benefit.
Conclusion Integration of mitigation and adaptation frameworks into sustainable development planning is an urgent need, especially in the developing countries Synergy between climate change mitigation and adaptation policies will provide additional incentives to promoting and realizing the mitigation potential of policies and measures in agriculture.