FAO Publishes New Manual on Climate-Smart Agriculture

6 August 2013. Climate change is already having an impact on agriculture and food security as a result of increased prevalence of extreme events and weather unpredictability. At the same time, agriculture contributes to producing GHG emissions. In order to share knowledge and tools about Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), an approach to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate change, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has published the Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

The purpose of the sourcebook is to further elaborate the concept of CSA and demonstrate its potential, as well as limitations. It aims to help decision makers at a number of levels, including political administrators and natural resource managers, to understand the different options that are available for planning, policies and investments as well as the practices that are suitable for making different agricultural sectors, landscapes and food systems more climate-smart. It indicates some of the necessary ingredients required to achieve a climate-smart approach to the agricultural sectors, including existing optionsand barriers.

This sourcebook is divided into three main sections, which addresses the main following topics:

  • Section A - The Case for Climate-Smart Agriculture: consists of two modules establishing a conceptual framework and is targeted to a broad audience. Module 1 explains the rationale for CSA and module 2 focuses on the adoption of a landscape approach.
  • Section B - Improved Technologies and Approaches for Sustainable Farm Management: is divided in nine Modules. It is targeted primarily to the needs of planners and practitioners and analyzes what issues need to be addressed in the different sectors, in terms of water (Module 3), soils (Module 4), energy (Module 5) and genetic resources (Module 6) for up-scaling of practices of crop production (Module 7), livestock (Module 8), forestry (Module 9) and fisheries and aquaculture (Module 10) along sustainable and inclusive food value chains (Module 11).
  • Section C - Enabling Frameworks: encompasses seven Modules, targeted to policy makers, providing guidance on what institutional (Module 12), policy (Module 13) and finance (Module 14) options are available. It further provides information on links with disaster risk reduction (Module 15) and utilization of safety nets (Module 16) and also illustrates the key role of capacity development (Module 17) and assessments and monitoring (Module 18).

The sourcebook is published in a web platform that also facilitates stakeholders’ access to additional information, case studies, manuals, practices and systems. The platform is dynamic and updated on a regular basis and can be reached at: www.climatesmartagriculture.org/72611/en.

To access the manual: http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3325e/i3325e.pdf