A vision for climate smart agriculture - Sonja Vermeulen


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Presentation by Sonja Vermeulen, Head of Research, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) at University of Copenhagen, 13 June 2012. Visit www.ccafs.cgiar.org for more.

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A vision for climate smart agriculture - Sonja Vermeulen

  1. Climate Smart Agriculture Debate, Copenhagen, June 2012A vision for climate smart agriculture Dr Sonja Vermeulen Head of Research, CCAFS
  2. The global“trilemma”of the21st century…
  3. 100% (+/- 11%) more food by 2050 with current trajectories of diets & populations Tilman et al 2011 PNAS
  4. Climate change reducing crop yields already Lobell et al 2011 Science
  5. Food systems contributes 19-29% GHGsVermeulen et al. 2012Annual Review of Environment and Resources (in press)
  6. Food security EcologicalAdaptation footprint
  7. A vision for climate-smart agriculture1. Is it a good idea to make agriculture climate-smart, and can it be done? Yes!2. Is “climate-smart agriculture” enough? Not on its own3. Can we achieve a shared vision for climate-smart agriculture? Yes!
  8. GHG CO2-eq tonne Food 25 per capita Security 20 15 10 5 0 US MalawiAdaptation Ecological footprint Climate-Smart Agriculture
  9. CSA will differ significantly… Impact of climate change on child malnutrition Costs of adaptation Indirect emissions Direct emissions
  10. Food security options
  11. Food security comes via better agriculture, however…1. Yes, food security depends critically on food production and productivity2. But also depends critically on how production translates into farmers’ incomes3. Food security is more too (landless and urban consumers’ incomes, rural-urban links, trade, price control policies etc etc…)4. Not just agriculture can change, but whole cultures of food too (diets, women in formal employment, ethical concerns etc etc…)
  12. For food insecure people, need actions on Rights & entitlements Economic Safety nets opportunities Food availability Access to Political services voice
  13. Adaptation options
  14. Adaptive capacity TechnologyIncome & assets Infrastructure Knowledge & Governance Access skills & to institutions information Social capital
  15. Key adaptation strategiesIncremental adaptation to progressive climate change• Closing yield gaps (i.e. sustainable intensification)• Raising the bar – technologies & policies for 2030sClimate risk management• Technologies (e.g. flood control)• Institutions (e.g. index-based insurance)• Climate information systems (e.g. seasonal forecasts)Transformative adaptation• Changing production systems• Changing livelihood portfolios
  16. Better risk management: e.g. Mali farmer climate advisories• Climate information to farmers for decision making• National Met Service, WMO, ACMAD• Forecasts provided for three‐days, ten‐days, and seasonal (inc. crop health...)• Major increases in yields for participating farmers• Lessons learning and scaling up across Sahel?
  17. • The climate analogue Farms of tool identifies the range of places whose the future current climates correspond to the future of a chosen locality• Choice of sites for cross-site farmer visits and participatory crop and livestock trials
  18. To transformational adaptation? Relocation of growing areas & processing facilities Agricultural diversification, or shifts Livelihood diversification, or shifts Migration
  19. Mitigation options
  20. Soil & land managementkey to agricultural mitigation Smith et al. 2007 IPCC
  21. Technical strategies1. “Sustainable intensification” in low productivity systems2. Sustainable land management (SLM) practices3. Alternate wetting and drying systems in irrigated rice4. Improved nitrogen use efficiency5. Increased intensity of ruminant production in Africa to reduce GHG++ per unit of product
  22. Tackling deforestation Indirect emissions
  23. Food SecurityAdaptation Ecological footprint“Climate smart means landscape and policy smart”
  24. Institutional strategies1. Improved forest governance & land zoning2. Land tenure security and safeguarding local rights3. Low carbon development pathways for agriculture4. “Shared but differentiated responsibilities” in metrics & access to finance5. Services for smallholders
  25. Are carbon markets a good deal for farmers?Claims:US$4.8 billion global market (assuming $18/tonne)US$1.5 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa(almost twice the overseas development assistance foragriculture in the region)But:-Weak market: $1.03/t-Social justice issues:distract from agriculturaldevelopment & adaptation needs Analysis of Wollenberg 2011
  26. Bringing it all together
  27. A multitude of trade-offs……..• Across sub-sectors (e.g. residues to soils or livestock?)• Across spatial scales (e.g. more productive agriculture can result in forest clearance)• Different kinds of households (e.g. some risk insurance exclude female-headed households)• Short-term vs. long term benefits (e.g. livestock risk insurance can promote land degradation)
  28. CSA, in summary:• Takes into account: food security, adaptation and ecological footprint• Foremost about development itself and address smallholder concerns• Adds new actions on climate to sustainable devpt• Crucial to deal with trade-offs• Context matters: CSA differs widely
  29. But is CSA enough?(to solve the “trilemma”)
  30. No! Also need actions on (a) fair access to food (b) reducing waste & over-consumptionCommission on Sust Ag & Climate Change 2012www.ccaf.cgiar.org/commission
  31. Towards a shared vision for climate smart agriculture?
  32. CSA is fully compatible with organicagriculture, conservation agriculture and agro-ecological approaches
  33. “Climate-smart agriculture” is up for grabs: claim this space!For those who don’t like it, is the problemclimate-smart agriculture, or is it:• Carbon markets?• Technical limits to mitigation? (e.g. the real potential to sequester soil carbon)• Ignoring non-C benefits such as biodiversity?• Just the wording or the politics?
  34. Ocean Safe Role of acidification Nitrogen operatingAgriculture cycle space Climate change Phosphorous cycle Current Biodiversity status loss Global freshwater use Change in land Rockström et al 2009; use Bennett et al (in prep.)
  35. 1. Continue with global processes• Ensure that agriculture and food security are central to UNFCCC processes & agreements• Put agriculture at the heart of green growth and Rio+20• Keep pressure on G20 to increase focus on food Mexico 2012 security and climate smart agriculture Oxfam 2012
  36. Thank you www.ccafs.org(sign up for bulletins)