Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) goes beyond new technologies and practices like drought resistant varieties or precision farming. To achieve the multiple objectives of productivity and food security, enhanced farmer resilience and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, CSA must adopt various systems perspectives. These include landscapes and ecosystems, as well as value chains. From the systems perspective, it is important to pursue synergies between the different elements of the system, analyze and address trade-offs, and perform cost and benefits analysis. Only in this way can we determine which actions achieve the desired outcomes most efficiently on the basis of prior negotiation of stakeholder objectives.
Landscapes are natural and cultural mosaics of land and water. They include forests, valleys, mountains, rivers, the sea, agricultural land, human settlements, and so on. Minang et al. (2015, p. 5) 1 defines landscapes as “… place-based systems that result from interactions between people, land, institutions (laws, rules, regulations) and values”. A common definition by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) states that landscapes are “an area large enough to produce vital ecosystem services, but small enough to be managed by the people using the land which produces those services” (FAO 2013a, p. 52). 2 Landscapes should not be confused with ecosystems, as a landscape can contain various ecosystems, and human activities and institutions are viewed as an integral part of landscapes and not as external agents (FAO 2012b). 3
Landscape approaches seek to integrate sustainable management of ecosystems and natural resources with livelihood considerations, recognizing that landscapes are multifunctional, providing benefits and services for a wide range of ecosystem processes, species and social actors. Landscape approaches seek to understand the different elements and related interests in the landscape (e.g. water resources, agricultural production, biodiversity conservation and forest management) and their interdependencies. The main reason for applying landscape approaches is to move away from narrow sectoral approaches with uncoordinated and competing land uses, to integrated planning and management where the multiple interests of stakeholders are considered, synergies identified and trade-off among different uses negotiated.
Landscape approaches include integrated watershed and river basin management, sustainable landscape approaches, ecosystem approaches, integrated crop-livestock management, agroforestry, sustainable fisheries management, sustainable forest management, and improved rangeland management (FAO 2012b). 3
From a climate-smart agriculture (CSA) perspective, the main objective of a landscape approach is to enhance the synergies between CSA’s triple pillars, while sustaining the ecosystem services which the environment produces and regulates, such as clean air, water, food and materials (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). 4 It is argued that only a holistic approach that integrates all sectors and stakeholders in a landscape can sustain such ecosystem services and achieve sustainable development (FAO 2013a). 2
Contribution to CSA
Given the diversity of desirable interventions that are likely to be identified at the landscape level, outcomes related to all three pillars of CSA are feasible:
- Productivity: A landscape level approach enhances field level productivity because it maintains ecosystems service and creates synergies between differed production systems. For example landscapes may harbor pest predators or beneficial insects, increase or stabilize pollination services or help to improve the timing and flow of water. At the same time, mixed crop, livestock and agroforestry/forestry systems can be complementary and mutual beneficial (Scherr et al. 2012; 5 Harvey et al. 2013 6).
- Adaptation: A diversity of land uses and species as well as genetic diversity across the landscape can reduce risks (pests, diseases and climate events). Moreover, a more diversified portfolio of food and income sources can act as a buffer against climatic (and other) shocks.
- Mitigation: More diversified systems embedded in a broader landscape approach with increased focus on perennial crops, grasslands, woodland, forest and wetland is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and promote carbon sequestration (Ibid).
FAO. 2013. Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook. Module 2: Managing landscapes for Climate-smart agricultural systems. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Pp. 41-76.
This module describes how a gradual transition to climate smart agriculture (CSA) can take place. The first section describes the landscape approach and explains why this approach should be followed when moving towards CSA. In a landscape approach, the management of production systems and natural resources covers an area large enough to produce vital ecosystem services, but small enough to be managed by the people using the land which is producing those services.
The module’s second section outlines different elements of the landscape approach and offers suggestions about how the approach could be implemented. The approach integrates many different sectors, engages multiple stakeholders and operates on a number of different scales. The second section also looks at multistakeholder negotiations and planning. It gives insights into policy and finance options for promoting integrated landscape governance and highlights the importance of monitoring landscapes. The third section presents case studies that illustrate what the implementation of a landscape approach looks like in practice.
Harvey A, et al. 2013. Climate-Smart Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Tropical Agriculture. Conservation Letters 7.
This article highlights the opportunities for obtaining synergies between adaptation and mitigation activities in tropical agricultural landscapes and explores how agricultural systems and landscapes can be designed and managed to achieve these synergies. It also identifies some of the key scientific, policy, institutional, funding, and socioeconomic barriers to achieving these synergies, and provides preliminary insights into how these barriers can be overcome. The discussion focuses on tropical agricultural systems because these have a higher mitigation potential than temperate systems, are highly vulnerable to climate change, and are also crucial for global efforts to improve food security and alleviate poverty.
Scherr SJ, Shames S, Friedman R. 2012. From climate-smart agriculture to climate-smart landscapes. Agriculture & Food Security 1: 12.
The paper provides with an assessment of climate change dynamics related to agriculture, which suggests that three key features characterize a climate-smart landscape: climate-smart practices at the field and farm scale; diversity of land use across the landscape to provide resilience; and management of land use interactions at landscape scale to achieve social, economic and ecological impacts. In order to implement climate-smart agricultural landscapes with these features (that is, to successfully promote and sustain them over time, in the context of dynamic economic, social, ecological and climate conditions), the paper suggests, that this requires several institutional mechanisms: multi-stakeholder planning, supportive landscape governance and resource tenure, spatially-targeted investment in the landscape that supports climate-smart objectives, and tracking change to determine if social and climate goals are being met at different scales. Examples of climate-smart landscape initiatives in Madagascar’s Highlands, the African Sahel and Australian Wet Tropics illustrate the application of these elements in contrasting contexts.
FAO 2012. Mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture into a broader landscape approach. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The paper assesses the key policy, governance, financial and institutional interventions required, and looks at how a landscape approach can support the adoption of climate-smart agriculture and generate green growth. Finally, the paper considers how synergies between the agriculture and forestry sec¬tors can be improved and how this can be facilitated through REDD+ implementation.
Minang PA et al. 2015. Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practices. Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).
Drawing on a large range of case studies from predominantly the humid, sub humid and dry tropics across the world, this book provides directly applicable knowledge in climate-smart landscape approaches, while also highlighting key issues requiring further work. Written for researchers, practitioners and policymakers alike, this book links theory to practice. The book is divided into six parts. After an overall introduction (part 1), basic concepts that help understand landscapes (part 2), precedes tools and concepts for inducing change (part 3). Specific attention to involving the private sector (part 4) and contextualized examples (part 5) contribute to the synthesis and conclusions (part 6).
CCAFS Big Facts website
Forests and landscapes:
Evidence of success for landscapes:
Minang PA, van Noordwijk M, Freeman OE, Mbow C, de Leeuw J, Catacutan D, (Eds.). 2015. Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practices. Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).http://theredddesk.org/sites/default/files/resources/pdf/climate-smart_landscapes.pdf
Landscape approaches present opportunities for sustainable development by enhancing opportunities for synergy between multiple objectives in landscapes (i.e., social, economic and environmental). They challenge the ‘one-place-one-function’ concept of specialization that sees agriculture, forest and urban spheres as ‘silos’. Drawing on a large range of case studies from predominantly the humid, sub-humid and dry tropics across the world, this book provides directly applicable knowledge, while also highlighting key issues requiring further work. Written for researchers, practitioners and policymakers alike, this book links theory to practice. Building on earlier concepts laid out in earlier volumes, this book explores four central propositions on climate-smart and multifunctional landscape approaches: A. Current landscapes are a suboptimal member of a set of locally feasible landscape configurations; B. Actors and interactions can nudge landscapes towards better managed tradeoffs within the set of feasible configurations, through engagement, investment and interventions; C. Climate is one of many boundary conditions for landscape functioning; D. Theories of change must be built within theories of place for effective location-specific engagement.
FAO. 2013a. Climate-Smart Agriculture: Sourcebook. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3325e.pdf Between now and 2050, the world’s population will increase by one-third. Most of these additional 2 billion people will live in developing countries. At the same time, more people will be living in cities. If current income and consumption growth trends continue, FAO estimates that agricultural production will have to increase by 60 percent by 2050 to satisfy the expected demands for food and feed. Agriculture must therefore transform itself if it is to feed a growing global population and provide the basis for economic growth and poverty reduction. Climate change will make this task more difficult under a business-as-usual scenario, due to adverse impacts on agriculture, requiring spiralling adaptation and related costs.
FAO. 2012b. Mainstreaming climate-smart agriculture into a broader landscape approach. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/ap402e/ap402e.pdf Today’s large diversity of semi-natural and manmade landscapes is the result of centuries of human interventions. The management and use of natural resources and ecosystem services have provided for humanity’s multiple needs for food, fibre, fodder, fuel, building materials, medicinal products and water. However, this has often been undertaken in an unsustainable manner causing the degradation of the natural resource base and loss of ecosystem services. Increasing pressure from population growth, changes in food consumption patterns, climate change and competition from other sectors is further weakening the viability of current systems. The triple challenges to simultaneously mitigate the effects of climate change, safeguard natural resources more efficiently and produce more food and ensure food security for future generations require effective policies and approaches. This paper examines how landscape approaches can be used in developing integrated multipurpose production systems that are environmentally and socially sustainable. The paper assesses the key policy, governance, financial and institutional interventions required, and looks at how a landscape approach can support the adoption of climate-smart agriculture and generate green growth. Finally, the paper considers how synergies between the agriculture and forestry sectors can be improved and how this can be facilitated through REDD+ implementation.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press.http://www.millenniumassessment.org/documents/document.356.aspx.pdf Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel. This has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth. The changes that have been made to ecosystems have contributed to substantial net gains in human well-being and economic development, but these gains have been achieved at growing costs in the form of the degradation of many ecosystem services, increased risks of nonlinear changes, and the exacerbation of poverty for some groups of people. These problems, unless addressed, will substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain from ecosystems. The degradation of ecosystem services could grow significantly worse during the first half of this century and is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The challenge of reversing the degradation of ecosystems while meeting increasing demands for their services can be partially met under some scenarios that the MA has considered, but these involve significant changes in policies, institutions, and practices that are not currently under way. Many options exist to conserve or enhance specific ecosystem services in ways that reduce negative trade-offs or that provide positive synergies with other ecosystem services.
Scherr SJ, Shames S, Friedman R. 2012. From climate-smart agriculture to climate-smart landscapes. Agriculture & Food Security 1:12.http:/dx.doi.org/10.1186/2048-7010-1-12 For agricultural systems to achieve climate-smart objectives, including improved food security and rural livelihoods as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation, they often need to be take a landscape approach; they must become ‘climate-smart landscapes’. Climate-smart landscapes operate on the principles of integrated landscape management, while explicitly incorporating adaptation and mitigation into their management objectives. An assessment of climate change dynamics related to agriculture suggests that three key features characterize a climate-smart landscape: climate-smart practices at the field and farm scale; diversity of land use across the landscape to provide resilience; and management of land use interactions at landscape scale to achieve social, economic and ecological impacts. To implement climate-smart agricultural landscapes with these features (that is, to successfully promote and sustain them over time, in the context of dynamic economic, social, ecological and climate conditions) requires several institutional mechanisms: multi-stakeholder planning, supportive landscape governance and resource tenure, spatially-targeted investment in the landscape that supports climate-smart objectives, and tracking change to determine if social and climate goals are being met at different scales. Examples of climate-smart landscape initiatives in Madagascar’s Highlands, the African Sahel and Australian Wet Tropics illustrate the application of these elements in contrasting contexts. To achieve climate-smart landscape initiatives widely and at scale will require strengthened technical capacities, institutions and political support for multi-stakeholder planning, governance, spatial targeting of investments and multi-objective impact monitoring.
Harvey CA, Chacon M, Donatti CI, (…), van Etten J, Wollenberg E. 2013. Climate-Smart Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Tropical Agriculture. Conservation Letters 7(2):77-90.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/conl.12066 Addressing the global challenges of climate change, food security, and poverty alleviation requires enhancing the adaptive capacity and mitigation potential of agricultural landscapes across the tropics. However, adaptation and mitigation activities tend to be approached separately due to a variety of technical, political, financial, and socioeconomic constraints. Here, we demonstrate that many tropical agricultural systems can provide both mitigation and adaptation benefits if they are designed and managed appropriately and if the larger landscape context is considered. Many of the activities needed for adaptation and mitigation in tropical agricultural landscapes are the same needed for sustainable agriculture more generally, but thinking at the landscape scale opens a new dimension for achieving synergies. Intentional integration of adaptation and mitigation activities in agricultural landscapes offers significant benefits that go beyond the scope of climate change to food security, biodiversity conservation, and poverty alleviation. However, achieving these objectives will require transformative changes in current policies, institutional arrangements, and funding mechanisms to foster broad-scale adoption of climate-smart approaches in agricultural landscapes.
Supply chains link the stakeholders that bring a product from the initial input supply stage, through the various phases of production, to its final market destination – and value chains add and distribute value along this supply chain. One way to describe food value chains are “farm-to-fork” which means that a food product moves from farmers who grow and harvest it, – through intermediaries including producers’ organizations, processors, transporters, wholesalers and retailers – and down to consumers (Camagni and Kherallah 2014), 7 though the pre-farm part of the value chain – manufacture and distribution of inputs such as seed, fertilizer, water, energy, new livestock and veterinary products – is also critical.
Value chain approaches bring relevant stakeholders together from different parts of the value chain and its policy environment, to make decisions in a coordinated way (Vermeulen et al. 2008). 8 Value chain approaches have become popular for solving problems such as inclusion of smallholders in modern value chains, or improving chain of custody and relevant outcomes such as food safety. Using value chain approaches in adaptation also makes a lot of sense. For example, it may be good for producers to shift to a crop or fish variety that is less susceptible to climate change; but the ability to market the new product will need change among consumers, retailers and logistics managers.
In general, effective adaptation interventions in value chain projects will include the following three elements (Vermeulen 2015b): 9
- Diversification: Inclusion of a wider set of products and practices along the chain as a risk management strategy.
- Climate-proofing: Specific interventions to make key stages of the value chain to improve adaptive capacity.
- Supply chain efficiencies: Measures such as waste reduction or inventory management that increase efficiency, deliver higher profitability and hence raise adaptive capacity.
Contribution to CSA
- Productivity: Interventions focused on storage can help reduce post-harvest losses and deliver multiple benefits to productivity and farmer livelihoods, such as in the case of the Effective Grain Storage Project (EGSP) (CIMMYT 2014). 10 Access to markets can also increase incomes and improve livelihoods; for example, the Adapting to Markets and Climate Change Project in Nicaragua (NICADAPTA) will increase incomes and productivity by 20%.
- Adaptation: Successful value chain interventions that achieve poverty-alleviation goals will be beneficial to climate change adaptation, as they build farmers’ assets and institutional linkages. For example, it is expected that 20,000 families in the coffee value chain in Nicaragua will improve their resilience through the NICADAPTA project (IFAD 2014a). 11
- Mitigation: Value chain interventions can be designed to deliver mitigation benefits at multiple levels within the value chain; for example, in input production, logistics, transport, and reducing post-harvest losses. In Kenya, climate-smart feeding and husbandry practices disseminated to 600,000 farmers are expected to mitigate 1.2 million tCO2e by 2018 (CCAFS 2015). 12 In Nicaragua, the NICADAPTA project will reduce 2 million tonnes of CO2e. Emissions data for different stages of the supply chain from these cases have not been found, and should be a priority for future studies.
Vermeulen SJ. 2015. How to assess climate change risks in value chain projects. Rome, Italy: IFAD.
This How To Do Note provides practical suggestions and guidelines for country programme managers, project design teams and implementing partners to help them design and implement programmes and projects. It first introduces on how to build climate risk analysis into the value chain project cycle. It also offers guidance for project design on relevant topics including; Selection of the value chain; Identification of key climate risks in the value chain; Choice of the most effective climate interventions; Targeting those most vulnerable to climate risk; Reaching scale with climate interventions. The Note also discusses six case studies based on recent IFAD projects.
FAO. 2013. Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook. Module 11: Developing sustainable and inclusive food value chains for climate-smart agriculture. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Pp. 285-319.
This module looks at the sustainable and inclusive food value chain concept and framework and how this approach contributes to climate-smart agriculture (CSA). Furthermore, information on possible technologies and practices along the value chain is provided and possible interventions of different stakeholders are outlined. Finally, a step-by-step approach is provided to help chain actors identify where improvements along the chain can be made to achieve sustainable and inclusive objectives.
Vermeulen SJ, Campbell BM, Ingram JSI. 2012. Climate Change and Food Systems. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 37:195-222.
The purpose of this review is to provide a critical overview of the now extensive literature on the tightly coupled relationship between climate change and food systems. In particular, it seeks to draw attention to wider issues of food systems beyond food production, to highlight the distribution of climate-related impacts on food security across sectors of global society, and to set out the opportunities and challenges in food systems for integrating the options for mitigation, adaptation, and food security.
Benedikter A, Läderach P, Eitzinger A, Cook S, Quiroga A, Pantoja A, Bruni M. 2011. Adaptation of food supply chains to climate change: A framework. Working Paper. Cali, Colombia: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT).
This report presents a framework for supply chain-inclusive adaptation to climate change impacts on agriculture. The overarching objective of the concepts introduced here is to help build climate-proof agricultural production systems and to reduce small farmer’s susceptibility to the adverse effects of global climate change (GCC) by lifting adaptation strategies to the supply chain level. The framework consists of three complementary key areas of focus as necessary pillars to underpin the achievement of these objectives. The frameworks’ components are: Supply chain analysis, vulnerability assessment and evaluation of behavioral patterns. Analyses of the three key elements are based upon the results from three case study sites.
CCAFS Big Facts website
Evidence of success for value chains:
Climate Smart Coffee website
Increasingly, coffee companies recognize the need to plan for and act on climate change to mitigate supply, reputation and quality risk and realize their sustainability targets. This website is designed to guide medium and large companies, who buy from and support smallholder coffee value chains, to identify relevant areas of engagement and investment in smallholder adaptation to climate change:
Camagni M, Kherallah M. 2014. Commodity value chain development projects. Rome, Italy: International Fund for Agricultural Development.http://www.ifad.org/knotes/valuechain/vc_teaser.pdf
Government and donor agencies increasingly use a value chain (VC) approach as part of their development and poverty reduction strategies and interventions. This document provides background and context for value chain projects, as well as their key elements and rationale. Furthermore, key highlights, challenges, opportunities and benefits are provided. The main issues with value chain projects are accounted for, with a guide of how to best target the rural poor using the approach.
Vermeulen S, Woodhill J, Proctor F, Delnoye R. 2008. Chain-wide learning for inclusive agrifood market development: a guide to multi-stakeholder processes for linking small-scale producers to modern markets. London, United Kingdom: IIED.http://www.regoverningmarkets.org/en/resources/global/chain_wide_learning_guide_for_inclusive_agrifood_market_development Modern agrifood markets are dynamic. Rapid changes in how food is produced, processed, wholesaled and retailed, affects the entire value chain - from producer to consumer. Particularly in countries with developing and emerging economies, the pace of change brings significant challenges for small-scale producers, policy makers and business. This guide provides concepts and tools for working with actors along the entire value chain so that modern markets can be more inclusive of small-scale producers and entrepreneurs. It: - Explains the drivers of change in modern agrifood markets - Provides a framework for analysing how institutions and policies shape the risks and opportunities for small-scale producers and entrepreneurs - Shows how to design multi-stakeholder processes that help actors from along the chain work together to realise common interests and secure domestic and regional markets inclusive of small-scale producers and entrepreneurs - Offers practical ideas for facilitating workshops and policy dialogues
Vermeulen SJ. 2015b. How to assess climate change risks in value chain projects. Rome, Italy: International Fund for Agricultural Development.http://www.ifad.org/knotes/climate/htdn_climate_vc.pdf Vermeulen (2015) provides a practical guide for incorporating climate risk analysis into value chain projects. Such analyses are important for agricultural value chain interventions, as climate change has the potential to create major losses due to increasing extreme weather events, but also opportunities, such as opening up new areas for farming. Five key decisions underlie the approach: selection of the value chain; identifying the key climate risks present; choosing the most effective climate interventions; targeting the people who are most climate-vulnerable; scaling up climate interventions. Each step in the decision-making process is outlined in detail, with a selection of project case studies that demonstrate potential approaches for incorporating climate change elements into value chains.
CIMMYT. 2013. Effective Grain Storage Project (EGSP).http://www.cimmyt.org/from-kenya-to-southern-africa-effective-grain-storage-crosses-borders/ Maize is core to food security, rural development and poverty reduction in eastern and southern Africa (ESA). Lack of appropriate grain storage technologies results in significant losses due to post-harvest pests (the larger grain borer, LGB, and the maize weevil), undermines food security, forces farmers to sell maize when prices are low, and blocks value addition and credit opportunities to poor households. The project targets and experimentally implements the “POSTCOSECHA” metal silo approach for improved grain storage in selected pilot areas and countries of ESA. It is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and draws on the highly successful experiences in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Apart from initiating the program in Africa, the project will provide SDC and other potential investors with conclusive insights on the viability, impact potential and actual scale-out pathway for a longer-term program in ESA.
IFAD. 2014a. Adapting to Markets and Climate Change Project (NICADAPTA).http://www.ifad.org/climate/asap/factsheets/ASAP_factsheet_Nicaragua_WEB.pdf This ASAP factsheet covers Nicaragua's Adapting to Markets and Climate Change Project (NICADAPTA), with a list of key figues, as well as issues, actions and expected impacts.
CCAFS. 2015. Scaling up climate-smart dairy practices in Kenya through Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions. Outcome cases. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).https://cgspace.cgiar.org/rest/bitstreams/59170/retrieve The livestock sector is responsible for 14% of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, making it a key sector for mitigation action. Within the dairy sector specifically, better feed production and feeding practices can bring strong mitigation and livelihood benefits, while providing increased resilience to climate change. By focusing on the mitigation benefits derived from these practices as an entry point, the dairy sector of Kenya is leveraging climate finance to promote sustainable development.