Solution Cluster 5.3.1
Climate Adaptation, Mitigation and Resilience
This cluster brings together game changing solutions in climate change i) adaptation, ii) mitigation and iii) resilience to promote and scale-up the transformation of our food systems to be more resilient to climate and other shocks and thereby effectively contribute towards sustainable development and climate goals.
Key solutions include the Building Resilience Tool which is focused on supporting farmers organizations to identify climate risks and mitigation strategies. Many solutions in this cluster also cut across all of adaptation, mitigation and resilience. For example, the RACE to scale Regenerative Food Systems is a platform concept developed by several institutions and the COP26 Race to Zero team. It seeks to halt land degradation, reduce food-related emissions and enhance resilience in food systems, including rebuilding soil health, and enhancing crops and rural community resilience. Similarly, Japan has submitted a solution Measures for achievement of Decarbonization and Resilience with Innovation.
Importantly, this cluster also includes solutions focused on the most vulnerable countries and communities, as well as small holder farmers including women and youth. There is a focus on least developed countries, Small Island Developing States and Coastal Areas, and Arid, Semi-Arid Lands and Deserts, such as Scaling up resilience in fragile settings through integrated and sustained action focused on the Sahel.The cluster also proposes that GHG emissions should be accounted for in food systems, to enhance transparency, facilitate informed decision-making to enable adaptation, reduce emissions and contribute to improved resilience.
About this Solution Cluster
Climate change is already affecting food security through increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and greater frequency of drought and floods. Many impacts have already been observed such as the slowing growth rates of yields in crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry due to climate change; food price spikes associated with heatwaves; reduction in quality of food and vegetables to changes in temperatures and rainfall; and the loss of food reserves in responding to extreme climate events. Among the most vulnerable are those that depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and income, particularly smallholders in developing countries. These challenges are projected to worsen after 2050, and business as usual will only stretch them further. Therefore, innovative approaches at scale are required to transform the way we produce and consume food IPCC (2019).
According to IPCC (2019), response options throughout the food system, from production to consumption, including food loss and waste, once deployed and scaled up, will help to effectively advance adaptation and mitigation. Examples include increased soil organic matter and erosion control, improved cropland, livestock, grazing land management, and genetic improvements for tolerance to heat and drought; adoption of healthy and sustainable diets; reduction in food loss and waste; promotion of indigenous and local knowledge food systems; and empowering most vulnerable social groups including women, smallholder farmers, youth, etc.
Countries across the globe already recognize agriculture and food security as a priority area in their climate actions in order to meet the Paris Agreement and keep food sovereignty. Adaptation of agriculture and food security is the highest priority identified by countries in their national reports and processes under the UNFCCC, including the Nationally Determined Contributions (UNFCCC, 2021), national adaptation plans, national adaptation programmes of action, and national communications. The same trend applies in the portfolio of projects funded under the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Countries and the Special Climate Change Fund.
The Building Resilience Tool allows farmers’ organisations and their farmer members to assess holistically the risks to their farming activities and to build resilience by identifying solutions on how to mitigate risks and damage that hazards and climate change cause to farmers. The analysis facilitated by the tool helps farmers to design alternative farming methods and use alternative crops to mitigate the effects of climate change.
RACE to scale Regenerative Food Systems will take the form of a ‘movement’, rather than a private sector coalition, with farmer empowerment the primary engine for change. The private sector will be involved as part of critical mass clusters of pioneering organisations that deliver targeted system interventions that have the potential for exponential impact. These clusters will also include farmers, finance providers, consumer groups, youth networks, government and civil society. The whole system will be represented in designing catalytic interventions to scale a nature positive system by 2030.
Measures for the achievement of Decarbonization and Resilience with Innovation will work towards several targets including zero emissions, 50% and 30% reduction in pesticide and fertilizer application respectively, and to convert 25% of arable land into organic farming. Strategies to achieve this include dissemination of energy saving and precision technologies, enhanced circular economy and scaling other promising technologies such as Integrated Pest Management.
Scaling up resilience in fragile and conflict settings through integrated and sustained action focused on the Sahel will work via an integrated package of solutions at scale.
- Restoring ecosystems through food assistance for assets (FFA) investments designed along landscape continuums, using different soil conservation and water harvesting techniques to restore and improve soil quality, enable vegetation regrowth and groundwater recharge, and increase productivity, while safeguarding biodiversity and reducing vulnerability to natural disasters.
- Providing nutritious school meals and take-home rations to incentivize access to education and allow children to learn and perform better. Delivering nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to treat and prevent the direct causes of malnutrition, while simultaneously addressing the underlying factors, such as poor knowledge of feeding practices or limited access to basic social services
- Smallholder agricultural market support (SAMS) activities to optimize the use of assets and produce generated from rehabilitated or developed lands, create (agri-) businesses, reduce post-harvest losses, develop value chains, and connect farmers to markets.
- Capacity strengthening of government institutions at all levels as well as of local communities to strengthen decentralized technical services, foster a network of resilience experts and build a new generation of talent.
Integrating lean season food/cash and nutrition support to safeguard resilience gains during the peak hunger period.
Countries across the globe already recognize agriculture and food security as a priority area in their climate actions in order to meet the Paris Agreement and keep food sovereignty. Adaptation of agriculture and food security is the highest priority identified by countries in their national reports and processes under the UNFCCC, including the Nationally Determined Contributions (UNFCCC, 2021), national adaptation plans, national adaptation programmes of action, and national communications. The same trend applies in the portfolio of projects funded under the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund, the Least Developed Countries and the Special Climate Change Fund. Therefore, this Solution Cluster provides a necessary avenue to food system resilience whose importance has been previously acknowledged by member states.
Climate adaptation, mitigation, resilience in food and agriculture is a topic long developed and invested globally and locally, even if more must be done.
Amongst others, it is important to highlight the following:
- Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA), the only programme to focus on agriculture and food security programmes under the UNFCCC. The KJWA can drive transformation in agricultural and food systems, and address the synergies and trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation and agricultural productivity.
- The national adaptation plans (NAPs) are the main delivery mechanism for adaptation under the UNFCCC. Through them countries identify priority adaptation needs and develop and implement projects and programmes to address those. Agriculture and food security is the highest priority area featured by countries in their NAPs. Countries are actively putting in place their first NAP, and implementing adaptation needs associated with them;
- The Green Great Wall is a concrete African-led movement bringing life back to Africa’s degraded landscapes at an unprecedented scale, providing food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions who live along its path.
- In line with the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF), the EU is developing a legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation caused by trade in agricultural commodities (soy, palm oil and meat imports are the main drivers of imported emissions).
- Measuring food-related GHG emissions is critical to orient and adopt effective initiative and policies. The recent EDGAR-FOOD is the first global food emission inventory. It provides an unprecedented picture of how the evolving food system is resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions. -Other tools, such as the EX-Ante Carbon Balance Tool (EX-ACT) suite answers to the need for accessible, complete and time-sensitive accounting tools in agriculture for day-to-day public policies. It measures GHG emissions (and biodiversity) impacts of projects and policies ex ante, in itinere and ex-post