New study suggests ways to get the agriculture sector climate ready

By Lini Wollenberg, CCAFS

Countries must be ready to develop and implement effective policy to meet the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agricultural sector.  This includes engaging relevant stakeholders, creating the knowledge base for climate-smart technologies, developing needed institutions, and estimating likely costs.

Donor support for “climate readiness” in the forestry sector is helping countries prepare Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programs. “Climate readiness in smallholder agricultural systems: Lessons learned from REDD+”, a new report by Monika Zurek, Charlotte Streck, Stephanie Roe and Franziska Haupt, examines the lessons learned from REDD+ readiness processes to inform the agriculture sector. 

Conducted by Climate Focus in cooperation with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS ) Program on Low-Emissions Agriculture, the study asks whether a readiness process would be useful in agriculture, how it could be structured and implemented, and if overlaps and synergies in the REDD+ readiness or other climate-readiness processes could be incorporated.

New study outlines components useful for an agriculture-focused climate readiness program while outlining lessons learned from the REDD+ readiness program. Photo: P. Kimeli (CCAFS)

New study outlines components useful for an agriculture-focused climate readiness program while outlining lessons learned from the REDD+ readiness program. Photo: P. Kimeli (CCAFS)

Country-focused readiness processes are most successful

The short answer is that readiness programs indeed help countries prepare more quickly. The authors found that a coordinated, internationally supported readiness process helped create political momentum, develop country-specific strategies and capacity, coordinate donors, and structure stakeholder engagement, discussion and understanding. The forestry experience showed though that defining when countries are “ready” is best done in an incremental and context-specific way and that financing readiness can be expensive and complex, with high transactions costs, unless done in a differentiated way among countries.

Read the rest of this story on the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) blog.

Senior Scientist Alex De Pinto (IFPRI) contributed to the publication.