Identifying climate-smart agriculture research needs
This article (PDF) in Cahiers Agricultures addresses questions raised by climate-smart agriculture (CSA) within three areas: conceptualization, implementation, and implications for policy and decision-makers. Achieving the three pillars (adaptation, mitigation and food security) of CSA concurrently is certainly not an easy task. The article shows that CSA is both a technical and political concept, requiring the bridging of several disciplines. The major implementation challenge is that there are no terms on how to reach the objectives of CSA, which leaves it open to users what types of interventions are ‘climate-smart’. This leaves the door open for many interpretations, resulting in projects sometimes incorrectly being called ‘climate-smart’. These contrasting views about implementation indicate that CSA focus on the “triple win” (adaptation, mitigation, food security) needs to be assessed in terms of science-based practices. More effective policies can be designed that take into account complementary between policy instruments and between implementing institutions. Furthermore, decision-making tools for CSA need to incorporate a complete set of measures that Forster change towards the concurrent consideration of food security, adaptation and mitigation in land-use practices, and to promote changes in governance and financing. Environmental and social safeguards are necessary to make sure that CSA initiatives conform to the principles of sustainability, both at the agriculture and food system levels. CSA implementation also faces a better understanding of the capacity of extension services or consultants in each country to help training farmers on climate-smart practices. New financing instruments are needed to support changes at all levels, from local to national and global. Climate-smart agriculture can help to design land-use systems that make the adaptation-mitigation connectivity a reality at all scales and hence help farmers to become leading actors of climate change solutions.