Enabling environment for climate-smart agriculture: policies, institutions and finances

Enabling environment for climate-smart agriculture: policies, institutions and finances

Scaling up climate-smart agriculture to trigger the desired transformation in agricultural production systems and food systems requires supportive policies, institutions and financing, that together create an enabling environment for climate-smart agriculture at local, national and international levels. Changes in production that might be expected based on certain climate indicators may not occur due to other factors related to human capital (e.g. level of education, age, ethnicity, gender of producers), economic conditions (e.g. relative prices, input and output market development, credit availability) and the policy environment (Bradshaw et al., 2004; Asfaw et al., 2015; Arslan et al., 2015). The response of agricultural producers to climate change and variability will depend on the socio-economic position of the household. Poor farmers are likely to take measures to ensure their survival, while wealthier farmers make decisions to maximize profits (Ziervogel et al., 2005; Asfaw, Maggio and Lipper, 2016). For this reason, the impacts of climate change are expected to affect different segments of the rural population differently. At the same time, a wide diversity of responses to these impacts can be expected given the differences in the socio-economic characteristics of different households and communities.

Recently, several important international agreements have been reached that will shape national climate-smart agriculture planning and implementation. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will serve to guide national development plans over the next 15 years. There are three components of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: the SDGs, which set the global policy framework; the Paris Agreement on climate change; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which identifies the broad set of financial and non-financial means for implementation the agenda. In all of these components, agriculture is prioritized as a crucial sector to ensure that the needs of both the people and the planet are met.

The Paris Agreement recognizes “the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse effects of climate change”. A series of instruments –NAPAs, NAPs and NAMAs – have been designed under the UNFCCC for linking international climate change contributions (including those made in the INDCs) to concrete national mitigation and adaptation actions. A principle common to all these instruments is that adaptation and mitigation measures should not be considered in isolation from other climate and development goals.