Climate-Smart Agriculture: A Call for Action

Climate-Smart Agriculture: A Call for Action
RAP PUBLICATION 2015/04
Climate-Smart Agriculture:
A call for action
Synthesis of the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop
Bangkok, Thailand, 18 to 20 June 2015
RAP PUBLICATION 2015/04
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Synthesis of the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop
Bangkok, Thailand, 18 to 20 June 2015
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
REGIONAL OFFICE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Bangkok, 2015
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the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
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the views or policies of FAO.
ISBN 978-92-5-108863-0
© FAO, 2015
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iii
Foreword
The latest scientific reports are unequivocal in their conclusions that climate change as a result of human activities
is not some kind of future hypothetical event. The effects are already here, in real time. It is leading to melting of
sea ice, thawing of permafrost, sea level rise, heat waves, shifts in precipitation, and increase in extreme weather
events leading to floods, droughts and wildfires. Such weather events will have adverse impacts on food security,
viz. in terms of availability, accessibility, stability and utilization. The hardest hit will be the poor – climate change
will increase hunger and malnutrition, and worsen the living conditions of rural communities that are wholly
dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Superimposing this on a future scenario where the world’s
population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 brings about a worrisome situation. The situation for the AsiaPacific region would be far more severe, considering most of the population growth will occur here, and the region
is already experiencing the impacts of climate change.
Considering food security will be overwhelmed by climate change, in 2012 FAO, the World Bank and several
countries promoted the concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) at the first Global Conference on Agriculture,
Food Security and Climate Change. The Conference called for mobilizing CSA as a means to enhance agricultural
productivity and incomes, resilience to climate change and where possible to reduce or eliminate green house
gas (GHG) emissions. While work with CSA approaches is forging ahead in many parts of the world, the Asia-Pacific
region has yet to capture the benefits of such developments. Many countries in the region have yet to become
acquainted with the concept, and incorporation of CSA into their national agricultural strategies would remain
unachievable. In view of this, FAO and other development partners have begun to step up their efforts to mainstream
CSA in the region. This workshop is one pivotal start to such an initiative.
This summary report of the workshop brings together knowledge on CSA and puts it at the forefront; and vigorously
explores how to implement such technical knowledge on the ground. It also captures the roles that international
and regional agencies can undertake to further strengthen agricultural productivity in the region that is already
experiencing the impacts of climate change. We can also hear from the countries about their specific concerns,
and the routes they intend to pursue in the face of climate change. The report also provides valuable information
of successful case studies that agriculturists have been innovating and practicing for centuries in some cases as a
means to address food security under adverse circumstances.
Furthermore, one of the recommendations of the workshop calls for initiating an important regional platform for
supporting CSA work in the region. This would be a critical initiative to strengthen the development of CSA
throughout the region. Clearly, this workshop has laid an important foundation for strengthening the CSA approaches
in the region, and I foresee rapid uptake henceforth. However, this excellent start and collaboration should continue
if we are to meet the needs of the region. With this short note, I wish to congratulate all the individuals for their
outstanding efforts in organizing this workshop, and capturing effectively the proceedings in this summary report.
Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
v
Contents
Foreword........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iii
List of acronyms.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................vi
Acknowledgments..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................viii
Executive summary................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ix
Introduction..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................1
Summary of the Workshop....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................3
I.. Session – Opening................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 3
II. . Session – Keynote speeches............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 4
III. . Session – Technical presentations....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 6
IV. .Session – Presentation of climate-smart agriculture success stories from Asia...................................................................................................... 8
V. . Session – Panel discussion: CSA work by international and regional agencies...................................................................................................11
VI. .Session – Panel discussion: What is needed to mainstream CSA in the Asia-Pacific region?.................................................14
VII. .Session – Conclusions and recommendations......................................................................................................................................................................................................................18
Annexes ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................20
Annex 1 Concept note...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................20
Annex 2 Welcome address............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................23
Annex 3 Opening remarks.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................25
Annex 4 Keynote Address 1: Food security and climate change...................................................................................................................................................................27
Annex 5 Keynote Address 2: Food security in a changing climate: How to move to action?.............................................................29
Annex 6 Keynote Address 3: Why climate-smart agriculture?..............................................................................................................................................................................32
Annex 7 Scaling-out climate-smart agriculture in Asia-Pacific: Opportunities and constraints......................................................35
Annex 8 Agriculture at UNFCCC: Paris and beyond...................................................................................................................................................................................................................38
Annex 9 State of play: Update from the Green Climate Fund..............................................................................................................................................................................41
Annex 10 Climate-smart agriculture success stories from Asia..........................................................................................................................................................................43
Case 1 Aquasilviculture: An environmentally friendly mariculture system in Viet Nam.....................................................................44
Case 2 Seaweed farming: A community-based adaptation to climate change in the Philippines.............................50
Case 3 The New Theory of Agriculture: A Thai farmer’s climate-smart pathway..............................................................................................60
Case 4 Floating gardens: Spreading the tradition............................................................................................................................................................................................................70
Case 5 India’s traditional water harvesting systems: Age-old, climate-smart agriculture...............................................................78
Case 6 Leasehold forestry of Nepal: A new lease of life for rural communities and forests........................................................86
Case 7 Vertical farming: An innovative agriculture system for producing food in urban areas.........................................94
Annex 11 List of participants .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 104
vi
List of acronyms
ACSA Alliances for Climate-Smart Agriculture
ADB
Asian Development Bank
AF Adaptation Fund
AMIS Agricultural management information system
ASEAN
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
AVA
Agri-food and Veterinary Authority (Singapore)
AWD Alternate Wetting and Drying
AWG-LCA Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (UNFCCC)
BCR
Benefit-Cost Ratio
CAAS Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
CCAFS Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
CDM Clean Development Mechanism
CEO Chief executive officer
CGIAR Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research
CoP Conference of the Parties
CRN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN)
CRP CGIAR Research Program
CSA Climate-Smart Agriculture
CSO
Civil society organization
CSVC Climate-Smart Value Chain
CSVs
Climate-Smart Villages
CTCN Climate Technology Centre and Network
CTNFC Climate technology network and finance center
EPIC Economics and Policy Innovations for CSA (FAO)
ESS Environmental and social safeguards
DEVCO Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (EU)
DSS
Decision support systems
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FMB Forestry Management Board
FU Facilitation Unit (GACSA)
GACSA Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture
GAP-CC German Programme on Response to Climate Change
GCF
Green Climate Fund
GDP Gross domestic product
GEF Global Environment Facility
GFAR Global Forum on Agricultural Research
GHG Greenhouse gas
GIZ
German Organization for International Cooperation
(Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit)
GNH
Gross National Happiness
GRA Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
HQ Headquarters
ICMP/CCCEP
Integrated coastal and mangrove forest protection/climate change
and coastal ecosystems program (GIZ)
ICT
Information and communication technology
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFC
International Finance Corporation
vii
IMO INDCs
IPCC
IPPC
IRRI
JPO
LDC
LF
LFLP LFUG
MAM MDG
MOAC
MOAD MOOC
MoU
NAMA NAP
NAPA
NAPCC NDAs
NEARC NGO
NRM
NTFPs
NTUC OCCD PES PFES PLs
PPP
PRDP PSF PVC
RAP
RIICE SAARC SACAU SAPA SBSTA
SDGs SMS
SPC SPS SRI SWOT
UN
UNCCD
UNEP UNFCCC
Institute for Marketecology (Switzerland)
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
International Plant Protection Convention
International Rice Research Institute
Junior Professional Officer
Least Developed Country
Leasehold Forestry (Nepal)
Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme (Nepal)
Leasehold Forestry User Group (Nepal)
Mangroves and Markets
Millennium Development Goal
Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (Thailand)
Ministry of Agricultural Development (Nepal)
Massive Open Online Course
Memorandum of Understanding
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action
National Adaptation Plan
National Adaptation Programme of Action
National Action Plan for Climate Change (Mongolia)
National Designated Authorities
Northeast Asian Regional Cooperation
Non-governmental organization
Natural resource management
Non-timber forest products
National Trades Union Congress (Singapore)
Office of Climate Change and Development (PNG)
Payment for environmental services
Payments for forest environmental services
Post larvae
Public-private partnership
Philippine Rural Development Program
Private Sector Facility (GCF)
Polyvinyl chloride
United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO)
Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions
Sectoral Adaptation Plan of Action (Bhutan)
Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
Sustainable Development Goals
Short Message Service
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary
System of rice intensification
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
United Nations
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
viii
Acknowledgments
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) would like to acknowledge the contributions
of many individuals in the organization of the Workshop and preparation of the Summary Report. The workshop
was organized by Mr Simmathiri Appanah with the able assistance of Ms Sarinna Sunkphayung. Ms Wirya Khim,
Dr Promode Kant and Ms Kim Soojin facilitated sessions IV, V, and VI, respectively. Colleagues from FAO-HQ,
Mr Fred Snijders and Ms Kaisa Karttunen commented on the Concept Note and further supported the organization
of the Workshop. The Workshop benefitted tremendously from the Keynote Speakers: Mr Fred Snijders (FAO-HQ),
Mr Arie Veldhuizen (Netherlands Embassy, Viet Nam) and Dr Suan Pheng Kam (WorldFish). The technical presentations by
Dr Pramod Aggarwal (CGIAR-CCAFS), Dr Promode Kant (Institute of Green Economy, India) and Mr Leo Hyoungkun Park
(Green Climate Fund) provided the material for further discussions. The workshop gained further insights from
the panellists of the two themes of what the institutions are undertaking in the region, and how countries are
reorganizing their agricultural systems to accommodate the impacts of climate change: a) International/Regional
Organizations: Dr Kaisa Karttunen (FAO-HQ), Dr Sergiy Zorya (World Bank), Ms Imelda Bacudo (GIZ-ASEAN), and
Mr Michael Sheinkman (IRRI/CCAFS); b) Country Panellists: Dr Yue Li (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences),
Dr Margaret Yoovatana (Department of Agriculture, Thailand), Dr Sharavjamts Oyuntuya (Mongolian University of
Life Science), Dr Jillur Rahman (Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute), Mr Chimi Rinzin (Department of
Agriculture, Bhutan), Dr Catur Hermanto (Institute of Agriculture, Sumatera, Indonesia), Mr Heai Hoko (Department
of Agriculture and Livestock, Papua New Guinea), Mr Sanjay Dhimal (Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal).
The workshop gained much value from the reports of the climate-smart agriculture success stories from Asia. The
studies were coordinated by Mr Simmathiri Appanah and Ms Wirya Khim, with support from Ms Kallaya Meechantra.
The authors of the case studies are as follows: Dr Vu-Anh Tuan, Ms Wirya Khim, Dr Wais Kabir, Mr Simmathiri Appanah,
Mr Kenichi Shono, Mr Jake Piscano, Mr Sopan Joshi and Mr Anupam Mishra. The case studies were presented by
the following experts at the Workshop: Dr Ta Quang Kien (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,
Viet Nam), Mr Carlos Magnaye (Department of Agriculture, the Philippines), Dr Akarapon Houbcharaun (Office of
Agricultural Economics, Thailand), Dr Wais Kabir (FAO Bangladesh), Ms Mayling FloresRojas (FAO/RAP),
Mr Kenichi Shono (FAO/RAP) and Mr Tay Jwee Boon (AVA, Singapore). The summary report was prepared by
Mr Simmathiri Appanah, with contribution by Ms Kim Soojin on the Panel Session by national experts.
ix
Executive summary
The “Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action” was held on 18 to 20 June
2015, in Bangkok, Thailand, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience on implementing Climate-Smart
Agriculture (CSA) among stakeholders from the Asia-Pacific region. A total of 61 participants attended the Workshop,
of whom 27 were representatives from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The Workshop resulted in the
following conclusions and recommendations.
Conclusions
I.
Enabling environment (policy, institutions, legal framework, finance, governance, etc.) for sustainable
CSA
•
•
•
Scientific knowledge to address climate change and opportunity to apply CSA
Analysis, simulation and climate projections and trends (e.g. are we ready for sea level rise in the coastal
zone? Specific trends for specific commodity)
Policymaking: which options to choose under variable and unpredictable climate change?
II. Priority actions (implementation level) for mainstreaming and scaling up CSA
a) Present situation – Lack of awareness of CSA
Future challenges associated with the situation – Political commitment in terms of integration of different
ministries, and financing and allocation
b) Present situation – Need for mapping CSA practices, including available technology, knowledge, resources
and policies
Future challenges associated with the situation – Capacity building: i) Who is going to do what? ii) Changes
in mindsets and breaking the barriers of lack of collaboration
III. Enhancing regional collaboration and networking
Current arrangements are not satisfactory. Therefore, there is a need for platforms both at national and at the
regional levels to:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
share knowledge
facilitate collaboration and cooperation
set joint goals
raise awareness, both for farmers and for policymakers
facilitate exchange of information related to resource mobilization opportunities, both for knowledge
creation as well as technical assistance and implementation
have political support
be non-prescriptive
find common goals
x
a) At the national level, a platform that:
• has one focal point, from Ministry of Agriculture
• has membership from a wide range of stakeholders: governmental, academic, civil society, private sector,
etc.
b) At regional level:
• has rotating chair(s)
• has a facilitating body hosted by a country
• is composed of the focal points (country members) of the national platforms
• core functions to be supported by the country members
• maintains close links with existing networks, e.g. ASEAN, SAARC, SPC and NEARC groups
• Regional CSA Secretariat be financially supported by the contribution from hosting country, participating
member countries, and/or partners
• can draw upon support from FAO/RAP for initial setting up of the Regional Secretariat including drafting
the TOR and other support for networking
Recommendations: The following recommendations were made:
i. Through a collaborative mechanism, improve understanding of climate change in agriculture by mapping
climate change effects and scenarios and incorporate them in seasonal climate outlooks.
ii. Through active community participation, increase awareness on the impacts of climate change at
community level that is location specific.
iii. Enhance institutional capacity on climate-smart practices for end users, including development of common
CSA tools.
iv. Develop a common SWOT analysis for countries to develop their own mechanisms that are based on
their experiences, from consultation to implementation and monitoring and evaluation of CSA approaches.
v. Identify appropriate mechanisms for engaging the experiences of stakeholders, including the creation of
appropriate regional platforms for listening to grassroots stakeholders.
vi. Include mainstreaming of CSA in all National Reports and communication documents.
vii. Set-up a national committee/steering committee under the auspices of the highest policy making body
of the government, through development of concept notes and policy briefs and raising awareness within
the government.
viii. Allocate more funds for CSA activities from the national governments by inserting them into national
action plan.
ix. Pilot CSA at national level through local administration, by including participants from farmers, governments,
civil society and community-based organizations.
x. Forge partnerships with development partners, FAO amongst others, through projects on stocktaking,
mapping, inventory of technology, knowledge (including traditional knowledge), expertise and practices.
xi. Countries to initiate the development of national CSA platforms.
xii. Viet Nam, with initial support from FAO/RAP, to host a regional CSA platform.
1
Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Introduction
The latest news to hit the headlines about climate change is that oceans are becoming acidic, and this is beginning
to affect life in them. This is one more news item driving home the fact that climate change is not hypothetical,
and the effects of global warming are already becoming obvious. We are beginning to witness floods, droughts,
shifting of monsoon patterns, and more frequent and intense weather events. These will have wide-ranging effects
on the environment, especially on agriculture and food security.
More than any other region, the people in the Asia-Pacific region are likely to be hardest hit as a result of climate
change. Agriculture is likely to be the most vulnerable sector because of its dependence on climate and weather.
From a livelihood point of view, the people in the Asia-Pacific region are mainly agrarian, with almost 60 percent
of its population living in rural areas. This means almost a billion people will face the direct impacts of climate
change, with disastrous consequences to their livelihoods. In addition, the region’s population is expected to
increase by another 850 million people by 2050, which will severely test the region’s ability to maintain food
security. Producing enough food for the increasing population in the face of decreasing resources and changing
climate would be a daunting challenge.
The impacts of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to be multifaceted. Overall, the region is
expected to become warmer. In the Pacific region, rising sea levels may not only affect the livelihoods of the
people, but also liveability among the smaller islands. Coastal areas of South and Southeast Asia are likely to face
the triple threats of changing rainfall, temperature and sea levels. The cooler northern regions of Asia are likely to
become warmer. Changes in rainfall patterns can result in severe water shortages or floods. Rising temperatures
can cause changes to crop growing seasons or even reduce their yields. In addition, there will be further knock
on effects on the environment which will impair agricultural production as a whole.
The existing dependence of people in the region on agriculture and rural poverty means that careful planning
will be required for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. There is therefore a need to explore approaches
to reduce vulnerability of the region’s agriculture. This could be in many forms, which include improving the
markets, changing agricultural policies, enhancing social protection and preparing for disasters. But such reactive
adaptations have their limitations. More adaptive improvements are required instead. With this in mind, in 2012
FAO, along with the World Bank and several other countries, held a Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security
and Climate Change. At this Conference, the concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) was introduced.
CSA is an integrative approach to address the interlinked challenges facing food security and climate change
through the three dimensions of sustainable development: a) economic – sustainably increasing agricultural
productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development; b) social – adapting
and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and c)
environmental – reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture (including crops,
livestock and fisheries).
2
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
CSA is new in the sense that it considers climate risks that are already happening with much more intensity. These
new risks require changes in technologies and approaches, and entails greater investment in: managing climate
risks, understanding and planning for these adaptive changes that are required, and making use of opportunities
for reducing or removing GHG emissions wherever possible. CSA relates to actions both on-farm and beyond, and
includes technologies, policies, institutions and investments. The approaches include: a) management of farms,
crops, livestock, aquaculture and capture fisheries to manage resources better; b) ecosystem and landscape
management to conserve ecosystem services that are critical for increasing resource efficiency and resilience; and
c) services for farmers and land managers to ensure they are able to implement the necessary changes.
Since FAO floated this approach at the 2010 Hague Conference, the CSA concept has been achieving wide
ownership among governments, regional and international agencies, civil society and the private sector. There
are also global and regional alliances on CSA (called Alliances for Climate-Smart Agriculture [ACSA]) which are
providing platforms for sharing and collaboration among the interested parties. However, with a few exceptions,
the concept of CSA does not seem to have taken roots in the Asia-Pacific region at all. So far, only Japan, the
Philippines and Viet Nam are members of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). There is a
need to urgently step up the mainstreaming of CSA in the Asia-Pacific region, this Workshop being a beginning
in this effort (Annex 1).
Objectives
The objectives of the Workshop are to share knowledge and experience on implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture
among public, civil society and development agencies, and promote the mainstreaming and up-scaling of CSA.
Anticipated outputs
Based on those objectives, the expected outputs of the Workshop are:
•
•
•
•
•
Knowledge and understanding of participants on CSA enhanced;
Good practices and case studies on CSA in different countries shared and discussed;
Priority actions to mainstream and up-scale CSA are identified and agreed;
A regional-level collaboration and partnership is forged for facilitating countries to promote CSA as well
as to implement priority actions linking the CSA approach with agriculture-related investments, polices
and measures in their transition to CSA; and
A report summarizing the presentations and discussions at the Workshop including conclusions and
recommendations (elaborated after the workshop).
Participants
A total of 61 participants attended the Workshop. Of them, 27 participants were representatives from 21 Asia-Pacific
countries, and the rest were from other United Nations and International Agencies, regionally based development
partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Summary of the Workshop
Summary of the Workshop
I. Session – Opening
The Workshop, convened from 18 to 20 June 2015, discussed what CSA is about and how to mainstream the
approach in the Asia-Pacific region, and was attended by 61 participants. It was held in Nai Lert Park Hotel, Bangkok.
The focus of the Workshop was the concern with the threat of climate change on food security, and approaches
that exist to sustain agricultural productivity and livelihood, building resilience to the expected changes, and how
agriculture can also play a role in GHG emission reductions or removals. Considering this focus, the Workshop’s
presentations and discussions dealt with the rapidly deteriorating state that agriculture is facing, what CSA is in
the context of food security, what technological, policy and institutional changes are needed for mainstreaming
CSA at local and national levels, the types of support various agencies in the region are providing in this effort,
and how from ancient times agricultural communities have been developing traditional agricultural systems to
adapt to climate change and what they offer in terms of innovating agriculture in the region. Additionally, the
Workshop provided the platform for countries to share the status of development related to CSA, the threats they
are facing from climate change, and the need for developing collaboration and networks or alliances at national
and regional levels to enhance the implementation of CSA approaches.
The Workshop commenced with welcoming remarks by Mr Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General for
Asia and the Pacific (Annex 2). He pointed out that FAO and other international agencies have been successful in
recent years with the “Zero Hunger Campaign” in reducing the number of hungry people globally. However, this
may be a temporary achievement, and the food security situation may be reversed with climate change and the
concomitant deterioration taking place with natural resources. So, this Workshop has been devoted to solving the
impending food crisis likely to be experienced as a result of climate change. He also pointed out why there is a
need to emphasise the CSA approach. It represents a more holistic approach to address issues that are interconnected. The CSA approach looks at economic, social and environmental aspects of agricultural production
simultaneously, and is more likely to succeed under the circumstances. This was followed up by the opening
remarks of H.E. Dr Le Quoc Doanh, Vice Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam (Annex
3). He highlighted that the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda and the United Nation’s Zero Hunger
Challenge recognize food and nutrition and poverty alleviation as a key priority. While much progress has been
achieved, the challenge still remains as a billion people still live in poverty. This is further compounded by climate
change, which is likely to lead to crop failures and food shortages, especially in the tropics. While there is a need
for solutions to increase productivity and incomes, some fundamental changes would be needed in agriculture
so it can be part of the solution and not remain as an emitter of GHGs. In this respect, Viet Nam has begun to
restructure its production systems and has started implementing adaptation actions. He also called for more
collaboration at the regional level to bolster efforts in CSA application.
3
4
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
II. Session – Keynote speeches
Following the opening session, three keynote speeches were delivered by: i) Mr Fred Snijders, Senior Natural
Resources Officer, FAO (Annex 4); ii) Mr Arie Veldhuizen, The Netherlands’ Agricultural Counsellor for Viet Nam and
Thailand (Annex 5); and iii) Dr Suan Pheng Kam, Senior Researcher, WorldFish (Annex 6). The three speeches are
summarized below.
Keynote address 1: Food security and climate change – Fred Snijders, FAO, Rome
With the possible threat of climate change to food security, FAO has been promoting the CSA approach to ensure
agricultural productivity is sustainable, resilient to climate change, and if possible to reduce GHG emissions. CSA,
as defined by FAO, is an approach that helps guide actions to transform agricultural systems to effectively and
sustainably support food security in all its aspects. CSA comprises of three pillars: i) increase in productivity and
income growth in agriculture; ii) support adaptation to expected climatic changes and build resilience; and iii)
reduce where possible GHG emissions. Increasing productivity and income growth has to be achieved against a
background where the world’s population is expected to increase, and people’s diet will be shifting towards more
meat-based products. However, agriculture is already facing limitation in arable land, yield stagnation, and
deterioration of natural resources and ecosystem services. Furthermore, many of the agricultural practices are
resulting in negative side effects as well. Despite these pressures, the agriculture sector has to adapt to expected
climatic changes and to build resilience. The expected climate changes would affect growing conditions of crops,
livestock, fish, trees, etc. The developing countries, mainly in the tropics, would likely face the brunt of the negative
impacts of climate change. Climate change perforce requires that agriculture undergoes adaptation which would
include agroforestry, crop diversification and improved crop management. Conservation agriculture is another
strong adaptation approach to climate change. And where possible, CSA calls for reduction of GHG emissions
from agriculture. The approach being promoted is resource use efficiency, improved management and combining
reduction of intensity with productivity increase. Currently Asia is the largest source of emissions from agriculture.
There are several entry points to follow with emission reduction, with the adage, “produce more but emit less”.
To bring about positive change in food security with climate change, there is a need to create an enabling
environment, which includes political will, appropriate policies, increase the evidence base and involve all
stakeholders in decision-making.
Keynote Address 2: Food security in a changing climate: How to move to action – Mr Arie Veldhuizen,
Agricultural Counsellor, The Netherlands
Food security requires strengthening in: increasing sustainability, production, resilience to climate change, reducing
emissions, and lowering global food waste and losses. For success with food security, we must rely on the strengths
of all its stakeholders, from smallholders to multinationals. Partnerships between the private sector, research
institutions, civil society and governments will be crucial to feed the world’s growing population in the face of the
impacts of climate change. In this regard, The Netherlands is supporting development programmes overseas with
a focus on adaptation to climate change. Besides that, The Netherlands is engaged in developing innovative new
techniques to minimize impacts of climate change such as harnessing sustainable heat from geothermal sources,
development of “climate neutral” tomato, and growing crops adjusted to saline conditions. The Netherlands is
also collaborating with other agencies and supporting international forums to galvanize and catalyse climate
change action. In this respect, the GACSA was recently launched by the Prime Minister of The Netherlands. The
country is also working with institutions such as the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
(GRA), whose mission is to reduce the emission intensity of agricultural production by improving efficiency and
productivity. Another initiative of The Netherlands is exploring methods to reduce food waste – worldwide onethird of food is lost or wasted from the production to consumption stages. At a time when climate change
undermines food systems and the threat of conflicts are increasing, The Netherlands aims to contribute to worldwide
sustainable economic development in the agricultural sector, as an engine for fair income and productive
employment, thereby producing enough and safe food for 9 billion people by 2050.
Summary of the Workshop
Keynote Address 3: Why climate-smart agriculture? – Dr Suan-Pheng Kam, Senior Researcher, WorldFish
Center, Malaysia
Climate change threatens to undo years of progress achieved in agricultural development, with the most severe
consequences falling on developing countries and the poor. CSA can ensure agricultural development and food
security are not compromised. Climate change simulation models indicate broad trends of warmer, wetter climate
with more marked seasonality, and more unpredictable weather events that affect agriculture directly and indirectly.
As a result, climate change is affecting crop yields, especially at low latitudes. Climate change is also affecting
nutritional quality of food – C3 grains and legumes grown at elevated CO2 concentrations have lower levels of zinc
and iron. Climate change impacts on meat and fish production will also affect human nutritional balance. Climate
change is affecting marine fisheries – many species are moving away from the equator to cooler waters. Livestock
too is affected – with decline in pasture productivity; this will lead to decline in meat and milk production. Given
the large population in the Asia-Pacific region, with region-wide poverty, the number of people affected by climate
change will be much higher than in other regions. To overcome the impact of climate change, an array of
interventions for adaptation and mitigation have been tested. Specific adaptation measures include: improved
crop varieties and livestock and fish breeds, simple adjustments to land, crop and livestock management, more
efficient use of water and energy for food production, better weather forecasts and timely provision of such data
to farmers, and sustaining ecosystem services of forests and water sources. Likewise, mitigation of emissions or
sequestering carbon can be achieved through soil management, livestock management, improved fertilizer
management, etc. Overall, being climate-smart, as illustrated by the livestock sector, entails integrating various
aspects of stock breeding and selection, animal health and disease management, grassland and feed management,
and manure management. Practicing CSA is often considered a “no-regrets” strategy in that its benefits of sustainable
improvements in agriculture will accrue even if climate change impacts turn out not to happen or be as severe
as expected. Further, it is important to consider climate-smart management of agriculture within a broad socioecological context, recognizing that climate change is one of the many drivers of change influencing the agricultural
sector. The CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is piloting
projects such as “climate-smart” villages to deal with climate change in a more holistic manner. The research is
now being revised to address climate change as a cross-cutting issue to be addressed in meeting the challenges
of reducing poverty, improving food and nutrition security, and improving natural resource systems and ecosystem
services. Climate change is global, and response to its impacts must be universal.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
III. Session – Technical presentations
The Workshop also invited leading experts from the region to provide technical presentations on important themes
as a means to increase the understanding of the participants in various aspects that are related to CSA. The areas
identified for technical presentations and the specialists were: i) technologies available for scaling out CSA – by
Dr Pramod Aggarwal (Annex 7); ii) inclusion of agriculture in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) negotiations – by Dr Promode Kant (Annex 8); and iii) funding mechanism for climate change
adaptation and mitigation – by Mr Leo Hyoungkun Park (Annex 9). Their presentations are summarised below.
Technical presentation 1: Scaling-out climate-smart agriculture in Asia-Pacific: Opportunities and
constraints – Dr Pramod Aggarwal, Regional Program Leader (South Asia), CCAFS, India
Asia-Pacific appears to be amongst the most vulnerable regions to climate change impacts. In fact, it is already
evident that Asian climate is changing and the impacts are being felt. With almost 1 billion people dependent on
agriculture, this vulnerability is likely to take a huge toll on their livelihoods. If the Sustainable Development Goal
of ending poverty, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture is to be realized, climate change
adaptation and mitigation technologies, practices, services and policies will need to be implemented urgently.
CSA offers the means to adapt to climate change. CSA can be promoted through some key activities. The first is
to make full use of untapped potential of currently available technologies. There are large yield gaps in almost all
crops in most Asia-Pacific countries. These gaps provide huge opportunities for increasing food production even
in the face of climate change. For this to happen, investments in land and water management, infrastructure, and
research accompanied by enabling policies, sustained regional cooperation and robust institutions are crucial.
Next is the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) and insurance for managing climate
risks. Short-term changes in weather extremes are not predictable, and can result in fluctuating yields, food price
volatility and threatened food security and incomes. While there has been great progress in ICT and crop insurance
products, the vast majority of farmers have not received the benefits of weather forecasts and crop insurance
schemes. Third is the opportunity to identify and exploit potential benefits of climate change. While climate change
is generally seen in negative terms, countries in the higher latitudes could be gainers. In the higher latitudes,
change in temperature invariably reduces crop duration for most species, and is suitable for shorter-duration crops/
varieties. Research on alternate land-use for various regions needs to be accelerated to enhance our capacity to
adapt to climate change. Fourth, there is a need to use science and technology for improved targeting of CSA
technologies and policies. Climate-smart interventions have varying costs and environmental and economic
benefits. So investment decisions in CSA technologies and policies should be based on relevancy in current and
future scenarios of climate and economic impacts. Fifth, there is a need to approach CSA solutions in a holistic
and integrated manner. CCAFS is adopting the Climate-smart village as models where researchers, local partners,
farmers and policymakers collaborate to select the most appropriate technological and institutional interventions
based on global knowledge and local conditions to enhance productivity, increase incomes, achieve climate
resilience and enable climate mitigation. Sixth, and last, there is a need to address simultaneously poverty,
governance, institutions, and human capital which limit agriculture growth even today. It is critical to address
these political and socio-economic constraints if the full potential of CSA is to be realized for farmers and the region
as a whole.
Technical presentation 2: Agriculture at UNFCCC: Paris and beyond – Dr Promode Kant, Director,
Institute of Green Economy, India
After all, it was food security and hence agriculture, which was the primary concern when the world agreed to
meet in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to negotiate the first framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC). The
ultimate objective of the Convention is to limit the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere at a level that would
prevent interference with the climate system to ensure food production is not threatened. With the recognition
that warming climate due to uncontrolled use of fossil fuels is threatening agriculture, countries made a commitment
to develop, make available, and use technologies and processes to reduce GHGs in agriculture, and to cooperate
in preparing for adaptation to the changing climate, particularly in areas affected by drought, desertification and
floods. Under the Kyoto Protocol (1997), developed countries agreed to promote sustainable forms of agriculture,
and undertake reforms to progressively phase out market imperfections in all GHG emitting sectors. The inclusion
of emissions and reductions by agricultural sources remains optional. However, all countries are required to
formulate and implement national programmes to mitigate climate change and to adapt to it in the field of
agriculture in order to achieve sustainable development. The Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol lists enteric fermentation,
Summary of the Workshop
manure management, rice cultivation, agricultural soils, prescribed burning of savannas and field burning of
agricultural residues as the main mitigation opportunities in agriculture. Later, under the Bali Action Plan, the
mandate to bring agriculture into climate negotiations was covered under the Convention’s provisions that sought
cooperation in the development and diffusion of technologies to reduce emissions in the agriculture sector.
Negotiations on agriculture continued at Copenhagen. While there was no further development in Cancun, a
major breakthrough took place in Durban in 2012 when the Convention managed to separate agriculture from
other sectors and asked the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to consider issues
relating to agriculture with the aim of exchanging views and enabling a decision in the future. Some developed
countries (i.e. the European Union) stated that in parallel to the need for adaptation, there are large opportunities
for mitigation in the agriculture sector without affecting food security and livelihood. The Least Developed Country
(LDC) group, however, cautioned against this view, and pointed out the overwhelming dependence of their
economies on agriculture and the high vulnerability of the sector to climate change, and their priority is with
adaptation. Therewith, discussions with SBSTA remained with undertaking scientific and technical work in developing
early warning systems and contingency plans in relation to extreme weather events, assessment of risk and
vulnerability under different climate change scenarios, identification of adaptation measures, and identification
and assessment of practices and technologies to enhance productivity sustainably in farming systems. Nevertheless,
agriculture has found a place in the National Adaptation Plans of Action of most LDCs. Going forward, in Paris
(December 2015) the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are likely to form the centre of
negotiations for climate architecture beyond 2020. In conclusion, one could say that while agriculture has a good
potential for mitigation of climate change, and is the prime candidate for adaptive action, there is still little
prominence given to the agriculture sector in the climate change negotiations so far.
Technical presentation 3: State of play: Update from the Green Climate Fund – Mr Leo Hyoungkun Park,
Financial Institutions Specialist, Green Climate Fund, Republic of Korea
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), established in 2010, is the operating entity of the financial mechanism of the
UNFCCC for long-term climate finance. To date, 33 countries have pledged US$10.2 billion to invest in the green
economies of developing countries. The GCF’s mandate is twofold: it aims to combat climate change while at the
same time giving equal weight to economic development and job creation in a green economy. For preparing
countries to be able to access the funds, the GCF has developed a Readiness Programme. It supports countries in
building capacity of their focal points/national designated authorities, developing a strategic framework, identifying
and supporting local implementing entities to be accredited with the Fund and develop project pipeline, and
host events to share information and knowledge. Under this programme, the GCF will disburse US$1 million per
year per country. The core funding areas are in two windows, viz. for mitigation (50%) and adaptation (50%). The
GCF has identified several strategic impact-results areas within its two funding windows. In the mitigation window,
the categories which overlap with agriculture include land use, deforestation, forest degradation, etc. In the
adaptation window, a number of areas are linked to agriculture, and include livelihoods, health and well-being of
people, food and water scarcity, and ecosystems and ecosystem services. The Fund is currently receiving funding
proposals from various accredited entities around the globe. An investment criteria has been established to assess
the proposals. The criteria include impact potential, potential to catalyse the impacts beyond the one-off project,
potential to provide wider benefits such as creation of jobs, economic and financial soundness of the project, etc.
Accreditation to the GCF is open to all entities if they can meet both their fiduciary standards and environmental
and social safeguards. The Fund also has a mandate to work with the private sector, for which the Private Sector
Facility (PSF) was created. It aims to maximize private sector investment engagement with climate finance in
developing countries. The PSF will work on creating synergies among public and private stakeholders to support
the development of adequate national climate change strategies that address key investment barriers.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
IV. Session – Presentation of climate-smart agriculture success stories from Asia
Introduction
Although the impact of climate change on agriculture is now being intensely debated globally, it should be also
recognized that farmers have been experiencing climate change in the region for centuries, and have been
adapting their practices to such impacts. At the same time, farmers have in recent years begun to adopt new
technologies without much external support. Many of the traditional practices are pre-adapted to climate change,
are low-carbon approaches which are sustainable, cost effective, and bring higher yields and incomes. These aside,
completely new innovations are also being implemented in the region. These approaches are very valuable, and
deserve more publicity with a view to further replication across the region. With this in consideration, FAO identified
some of the farming practices, and started their documentation. Seven case studies which have been finalized
were presented during the session. The full reports are in Annex 10, and their summaries are as follows.
1. Aquasilviculture: An environmentally friendly mariculture system in Viet Nam – prepared by
Dr Vu-Anh Tuan, Research Institute for Aquaculture; presented by Dr Ta Quang Kien, MARD, Viet Nam
The case study was conducted in a current aquasilviculture model at Nhung Mien hamlet, Ca Mau Province, Viet
Nam. The model was introduced as an environmentally friendly mariculture system to adapt to climate change.
Each farm of about 4 ha was comprised of three components: mangrove forest area, water area for aquaculture,
and remaining land for other trees and crops. The waters were stocked with black tiger shrimp and mud crablets.
No feed, chemicals or antibiotics were used. The shrimps were harvested after about four months. These farms
have received organic shrimp certificates based on the Naturaland standard, and they will receive a premium of
10 percent higher than regular prices in the area. Besides aquaculture, management of the mangrove forest is one
of the main targets of this system. The farmers look after the trees, and have signed a contract with the Forestry
Management Board for a 95 percent share of the harvested mangrove trees. The farmers have also diversified their
income source by raising freshwater fish, chickens, ducks and fruit trees. However, prawn cultivation is still their
main income, around US$2 400 per ha per year. This arrangement is a low-carbon agriculture system, with mangroves
able to absorb approximately 136 tons/ha of CO2, valued at US$154/ha/yr. Besides, livelihoods and food security
are stabilized and improved based on diversified income from aquatic animals, fruit trees, terrestrial animals, and
mangrove forest trees.
2. Seaweed farming: A community-based adaptation to climate change in the Philippines – prepared
by Mr Jake Piscano, Centre for Empowerment and Resource Development Inc.; presented by Dr Carlos
Magnaye, Department of Agriculture, the Philippines
Demand for seaweed is growing rapidly. It is used in meat and dairy products, pharmaceuticals, and beauty
products. The case study was from Barangay Salog, the Philippines. The ideal sites for seaweed farms are located
between islands where the current flow is moderate. Floats are spaced at 0.5 m intervals and seedlings are tied to
the lines. They are allowed to grow for 45 to 60 days. Following harvesting, the seaweeds are dried in the sun and
stored in rice sacks, and small holders sell it to middlemen. Seaweed farming is to augment the livelihoods of
fishers – a typical farmer is able to earn about US$800 per year from three crops. The claim is that seaweed farming
has brought additional income for 40 percent of the 426 households in Barangay Tulang. Moreover, quite a lot of
the work involves women. The unexpected benefits include an increase in number and diversity of fish that shelter
under the seaweed. The farms are able to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – a kilo can absorb 185 mg
of CO2. Several other qualities are attributed to seaweeds: they can be grown without land preparation, do not
need fertilizers, are resilient to drought and heavy rain, and are nutritious, supplementing the farmers’ regular diets.
Seaweed farming is a low-carbon activity that brings many benefits to the community and the environment, and
is resilient to climate change.
3. The New Theory of Agriculture: A Thai farmer’s climate-smart pathway – prepared by Ms Wirya Khim,
FAO; presented by Dr Akarapon Houbcharaun, Office of Agricultural Economics, Thailand
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand promoted the New Theory of Agriculture which encourages
farmers to avoid risks, and achieve self-sufficiency by practicing integrated and sustainable agriculture. Under the
system, farmers set aside their land for pond and fish culture, rice cultivation, fruit and tree crops, and the remaining
for housing, livestock and other activities. This case study reviewed the Thai farm owned by Mr Patphong
Summary of the Workshop
Mongkolkachanahun in Kanchanaburi Province. Initially, Mr Patphong focused on monocrops such as chili or sweet
corn, but due to high production costs and poor soils, his farm failed. He then switched to integrated farming. He
divided his 6.24 ha farm systematically for raising various crops that includes rice, fruit trees, livestock and fish.
Following a clear farm management plan, waste from the crops is fed to fish and to raise livestock. In order to
improve soils, green cover, compost, animal manure and bioliquid fertilizers are used. Natural systems replaced
pesticides for weed control. A sprinkler irrigation system was installed, enabling the pond to supply water for the
farm year round. Manure from livestock is used to operate a small biogas unit which meets household energy
needs. The farm’s income is mainly derived from the sale of organic fruits to both local and international markets.
The other crops, livestock and fish meet the needs of the family and the rest sold in the local markets. According
to Mr Patphong, his farm income has steadily increased, with a total net income of about US$26 000 in 2014. The
farming under the New Theory of Agriculture approach achieves self-sufficiency with improved incomes.
Diversification of crops and introduction of the pond ensures the farm is resilient to changes in the weather
patterns. Introduction of tree crops, usage of green manure, and biogas go towards reducing GHG emissions, and
promote environmental sustainability. These farm practices clearly adhere to the three objectives of CSA.
4. Floating gardens of Bangladesh: Spreading the tradition – prepared and presented by Dr Wais Kabir,
FAO Consultant, Bangladesh
With its deltaic topography and low elevation, the coastal areas of Bangladesh are already facing severe flooding
as a result of climate change. It is no longer possible to cultivate these submerged areas. Farmers have adapted
to this situation by turning to floating gardens, locally known as dhap, for raising vegetables. The floating plots are
made from mats of aquatic weeds (mainly water hyacinth) and bamboo in layers. The top layer is made of cow
dung, rice husk and compost for raising vegetables. The floating plot can rise and fall with the water level, and
once anchored to the floor with a stake, it remains in position. The size and shape of the bed is not fixed, but is
generally around 1.5 to 3 m wide, 0.6 to 0.9 m thick, and 15 to 60 m long. Around 30 species of vegetables, spices
and other crops or seedlings are grown in the water-based production system. Family members, especially women
are involved in many of the operations, such as raising of seedlings, nursing the bed, and harvesting and processing
the produce. On average, farmers are able to earn US$170 to 230 per season for an estimated 100m2 size of the
floating plot. The beds are constructed from local, biodegradable, and low-cost material. The farming, with very
low usage of agro-chemicals for plant nutrition and pest control, is environmentally friendly with minimal GHG
emissions. The floating gardens now allow farming in flooded plains, even if they remain waterlogged after the
floods. Even though it was developed out of necessity, the poor with local knowledge and skills have shown the
capacity to adapt to climate change. The floating gardens can be classified as CSA practice.
5. India’s traditional water harvesting systems: Age-old, climate-smart agriculture – prepared by Mr
Anupam Mishra and Mr Sopan Joshi, Gandhi Peace Foundation, India; presented by Ms Mayling Flores
Rojas, FAO
Since pre-historic times, residents of the Indian subcontinent have made efforts to understand the hydrological
cycle, and the behaviour of the Monsoon. About 70 to 90 percent of India’s total rainfall occurs in a few days during
the Southwest Monsoon. And the amount and timing may vary a great deal from year to year, and from place to
place. Therefore, the key to survival has been to build systems to harvest the seasonal rainfall, so that it is available
over the remaining period until the next monsoon. Such systems date to prehistoric times and references to their
role in agriculture can be found in ancient texts. The most ubiquitous structure is the taal (pond or lake). These
water bodies are built and maintained by the community. There are some 3 million of them in about half a million
villages across the country. Over the centuries communities have fashioned systems that provide a predictable
supply of water, despite the unpredictable nature of the monsoon. How people survive in the driest parts of the
country, the Thar Desert, provides valuable lessons of local knowledge and use of local material. In parts where
there is an impermeable gypsum layer, rainfall does not percolate into the saline groundwater deep beneath the
sands. This changes the nature of vegetation on the ground. By observing the vegetation, people have learned
to tap water from the ground. When the gypsum layer is not too deep, the soil remains moist enough to cultivate
wheat despite annual rainfall of only about 160 mm. A system called khadin is built using a compacted embankment
to trap water from runoff down the slope of gypsum layer. During the monsoon, this results in a pond in some
places. Small wells, known as kuis, are also built above the gypsum layer. The walls of the well are porous, going
down to the gypsum layer. Sand water trickles down slowly into the shallow wells which are narrow at the top,
and wider with depth. This maximizes the surface area for the water to trickle in, while minimizing the surface
available for evaporation loss in the desert heat. In some of these areas, kuis have seen the people through droughts.
In some dry areas of Gujarat, nomadic pastoralists have engineered a system called a virda – shallow wells that
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
separate freshwater from saline. Rainwater stays above the saline water due to differences in density. The virda are
built in depressions in the arid flatland where the chances of collecting rainwater are high. Elsewhere in the south
of India, farmers had evolved the eri, a system of tank irrigation that makes possible rice cultivation. An eri traps
rainwater running down the eastward slope to the coast, and also provides soil conservation and flood control.
Advances in modern engineering in recent decades have taken the spotlight away from these traditional systems.
However, modern systems are not delivering the results they promised, and efforts are underway to retrieve the
traditional systems, which are communal based, and costs are borne by them. Since time immemorial, societies
in India have dealt with erratic rainfall and weather extremes by creating a culture of water harvesting. These
traditional systems will be valuable resources for people to deal with changing climate.
6. Leasehold forestry in Nepal: A new lease of life for rural communities and forests – prepared and
presented by Mr Simmathiri Appanah and Mr Kenichi Shono, FAO
Landlocked Nepal remains a poor country, with over 80 percent of its people living in rural areas. These rural
communities, with very small landholdings, are heavily dependent on forests to supplement their daily needs.
With extensive conversions and over-harvesting, forest resources declined, threatening the food security of the
forest-dependent communities. To address this situation, Nepal initiated Community Forestry schemes in 1978.
These common-property schemes left out the resource-poor households and socially marginalized people.
Recognizing this flaw, the Leasehold Forestry (LF) was developed. Impoverished households received about 1 ha
of degraded state forest land for a lease of 40 years. They are required to protect the forest lands against degradation
so natural regeneration of trees and other plants can continue. The households were also allowed to cultivate
economically valuable trees (NTFPs) and fodder, and received livestock (mainly goats) that were stall fed. Technical
advice, training, and other income-generating skills were provided. Surveys six to seven years following implementation
showed positive developments. The programme contributed to reduction in poverty, improved nutrition, and
women spent less time on fodder and fuelwood collection and pursued other more profitable activities. The
environmental benefits were equally impressive. Green cover of the leasehold forest plots surveyed had improved
significantly, and natural regeneration of trees accelerated. Assessments also pointed towards improvements in
environmental services and biodiversity. The LF programme appears to have clearly achieved poverty alleviation,
diversification of income sources and food security. This was achieved simultaneously with improvement of the
environment and expansion of forest cover in the hilly areas, contributing to climate change mitigation. The link
between LF and CSA has been clearly established.
7. Vertical farming: An innovative agriculture system for producing food in urban areas – prepared by
Ms Wirya Khim, FAO; presented by Mr Tay Jwee Boon, AVA, Singapore
Land scarce Singapore is looking into urban farming to partially reduce their dependence on food imports. This
case study examined the innovative vertical farming system initiated by a local firm called Sky Greens. Vertical
farming is the practice of cultivating plant life within a skyscraper greenhouse. In this case study, vegetables are
grown in 9 m tall A-shaped aluminium towers. Each tower consists of troughs which are rotated around the tower
to ensure uniform distribution of sunlight, irrigation, nutrients and air flow. The farm covers 3.65 ha with 1 800
towers in operation. It raises four types of green vegetables on a five-week cycle, and can produce from 4 to 9
tons per day. Operational costs include raw material such as soil, seed and electricity. The vertical farming, compared
with traditional farming, has several advantages: less land area, less water (which is recycled), low energy, half the
labour, and consumes 75 percent less raw materials such as nutrients. The vertical farm produces 4 percent of
locally grown vegetables, and adds to the food security needs of the country. The patented vertical farming system
can be considered “climate-smart” solution for sustainable food production in land scarce urban areas. Overall,
the system achieves a low carbon footprint, this being further boosted through its shorter “food miles” – the
distance to take produce to market is very short compared to imported produce. But the potential of vertical
farming may go beyond urban areas – the reduced use of raw materials such as water and soil makes it viable for
sites where the natural resources have become severely degraded. Currently, the start-up costs are high, but with
further innovation and economy of scale, these farms may be part of a solution to feed the world faced with
deterioration of natural resources and the harmful impacts of climate change.
Summary of the Workshop
V. Session – Panel discussion: CSA work by international and regional agencies
Introduction
The major objective of the panel was to inform the participants about the CSA-related work that the various
international and regional agencies are undertaking in the Asia-Pacific region. Besides presenting their CSA-related
work, the panellists were also asked to respond to the common theme of: “What are the major challenges, and
the way forward for promoting CSA in the Asia-Pacific region?” Four panellists participated in the discussions. The
representative from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Dr Wynn Ellis, could not attend the workshop,
but he transmitted his views in writing, and it is also summarized here.
Names of panellists:
•
•
•
•
Ms Kaisa Karttunen, Senior Natural Resources Officer, FAO, Rome
Dr Sergiy Zorya, Senior Agricultural Economist, Southeast Asia, World Bank, Bangkok
Ms Imelda Bacudo, Senior Advisor, ASEAN – German Programme on Response to Climate Change, GIZ,
Jakarta
Mr Michael Sheinkman, Project Scientist, IRRI/CCAFS, Bangkok
Moderator: Dr Promode Kant, Institute of Green Economy, India
1. FAO: Ms Kaisa Karttunen first outlined FAO’s understanding of CSA. It takes into account a) resilience, adaptation,
food security, productivity and GHG emission reductions; b) linkages between research, policies, institutions and
practices; and c) site specific production practices such as agroforestry and reduced deforestation, sustainable
crop and grazing land management, etc. The programme also places much emphasis on generating evidence
from site specific situations, research by piloting CSA, and learning lessons which are fed into policy and planning
processes. In order to strengthen the CSA approaches, FAO is also assessing the impact of climate change on crop
yields, water resources, economic impacts and the appropriate policy responses needed at national levels to
address the impacts of climate change. Beyond assessment, adaptation to climate change is being pursued
through: impact and vulnerability assessment and adaptation; strengthening capacities of institutions, policies
and financing; sustainable management of land, water and biodiversity; technologies and practices and processes
for adaptation; and disaster risk management. FAO also supports development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
for countries including the strengthening of Ministries of Agriculture with development of agriculture adaptation
roadmaps, and identifying climate finance or adaptation action, etc. Currently, FAO is working with UNDP to
integrate agriculture in NAPs for Nepal, Thailand, Philippines and Viet Nam in the Asia-Pacific region, with funding
support from the Government of Germany. With application in mind, FAO has developed a number of tools to
evaluate GHG emissions from agriculture: FAOSTAT, GLEAM, EX-ACT, COLLECT EARTH etc, and methods to reduce
or remove emissions. Besides solutions to challenges of monitoring and verifying the GHG emissions reductions
and other benefits, FAO has been supporting the development of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions
(NAMA) in agriculture. FAO, jointly with other agencies, is also paying particular attention to combine financing
from different sources to finance climate-smart agriculture. Finally, these knowledge tools are tested for their
viability through various field projects.
2. World Bank Group: Dr Sergiy Zorya presented the approach the Bank is fostering with regards to CSA. Dr Zorya
identified the challenges, the solutions available, and how the approach the Bank uses in advising its clients and
designing projects is related to its agriculture portfolio. The main challenge is to build food systems that meet
increasing demand while remaining profitable and sustainable in the face of climate change. The first challenge
is the need to ensure food security for the expected 9 billion people in 2050. Asia would have to double its
production from current levels, which is far more than the other regions. Food demand by commodities would
also differ, with less emphasis on cereals and far more on meat and milk and dairy products. The second challenge
is adaptation to climate change. Extreme weather events have already resulted in increased volatility of food prices,
and with the impact of climate change, the agriculture sector may witness volatility and decline in crop yields with
the increase of production costs in the longer run. The third challenge relates to emissions. Currently, land use
change and agriculture are responsible for about 24 percent of the total emissions, with deforestation and poor
livestock management being among the highest sources of emissions. If the status quo remains unchanged for
agriculture while the other sectors continue to reduce emissions in accordance with the 2oC goal, projections
indicate that agriculture and land use change may be responsible for 70 percent of the emissions by 2050. And
most of the emissions from agriculture are currently from Asia, about that emitted by the Americas, Europe and
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Africa combined. With the need to increase food production in the region, emission levels from the region are
likely to increase even further. The World Bank sees solutions in three areas: a) increased productivity in terms of
food and nutritional security, higher incomes, and productivity by promoting emission reduction technologies
and policies; b) enhanced resilience with reduced short-term risks, enhanced capacity to adapt and develop in
the face of shocks and longer-term stresses, while maintaining a healthy ecosystem; and c) lower emissions per
kilo of food produced, achieved without deforestation from agriculture, and removing carbon from the atmosphere.
The biggest returns lie in delivering the triple win for productivity, adaptation and mitigation. Examples of such
wins include restoration of degraded land and improvements of soil macro- and micro-nutrients. The opportunities
exist in productivity, resilience and emissions, and they differ among regions. In Asia the promising technology is
Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) rice fields, in Africa agroforestry, in North America biodigesters and in South
America livestock efficiency. The Bank’s approach is to engage with its country clients in advising and designing
projects to increase productivity, build resilience and reduce emissions. In 2011/2012, 12 percent of the Bank’s
projects ($850 million) were climate-smart. The Bank is targeting to achieve 50 percent in 2015. The Bank has made
it mandatory to use the EX-ACT Tool developed by FAO for measuring ex-ante the carbon balance of all its projects.
The Bank collaborates with a number of external partners to bring about its solutions to raise productivity, enhance
resilience and reduce emissions in agriculture. The formula is CSA is equal to sustainable agriculture plus resilience
and less emissions.
3. ASEAN-German Programme on Response to Climate Change (GAP-CC): GAP-CC is a programme implemented
by GIZ in ASEAN. Ms Imelda Bacudo briefed the participants on GAP-CC’s approach, which is to support capacities
for climate resilience and competitiveness of its main partners, the ASEAN Secretariat, its Working Groups and
Networks, and the ASEAN Member States. GAP-CC is made up of two modules, Sustainable Agrifood Systems in
Bangkok and Forestry and Climate Change in Jakarta. Besides the regional programmes, the sub-programmes are
implemented as bilateral projects – Climate-Smart Value Chains (CSVCs) and Regional Cooperation on Forestry
– directly with the Member States. The CSVCs aim to scale up climate-smart practices in agriculture and/or forestry
value chains. The main elements of the CSVCs include: support for the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network; regional
knowledge exchange; and climate finance. Overall, the work involves projects providing capacity development
and advisory services in terms of: a) investment proposals for scaling up climate-smart practices in agriculture and
forestry value chains; b) recommendations for implementing climate-smart practices; c) assisting ASEAN Member
States to implement pilot climate-smart practices based on regional experiences; d) facilitation of cross-sectoral
exchange of knowledge and information among sectoral bodies; e) support for knowledge-sharing in building
climate resilience in agriculture and forestry; and f) support Member States in strengthening their capacities to
access and manage climate finance. The GAP-CC is implementing the programme through collaboration with a
number of international agencies, ASEAN Secretariat and its Member States.
4. International Rice Research Institute: Climate change poses serious challenges for rice production including:
increasing temperature, both daytime and night; changes in rainfall, both total quantity and distribution throughout
the growing season; extreme weather hazards, which can damage crops; and sea-level rise, especially affecting
the major river deltas. Michael Sheinkman presented IRRI’s current research to help rice farmers adapt to a changing
climate while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
IRRI research on climate change adaptation includes breeding varieties of rice that are tolerant of one or more
climate stresses, such as heat, drought, submergence and salinity. Other strategies include crop management
practices and tools that promote efficient use of water and/or fertilizer; technologies that improve efficiencies
through mechanization and reduce post-harvest losses; and facilitating agricultural insurance programs through
monitoring rice cultivation using remote sensing from satellites.
Rice plants are affected by high maximum daytime and night-time temperatures, the duration of those high
temperatures, and the growth stage of the plant during which they occur. Rice plants are most sensitive to high
daytime temperatures during the flowering stage and to high night-time temperatures during the ripening stage,
either of which can adversely affect yield and grain quality. IRRI scientists are screening improved and traditional
rice varieties to identify those capable of tolerating high temperatures and drought. IRRI has identified a wild
species of rice capable of flowering in early morning, when it is cooler, and of high transpiration with sufficient
water, both of which are convenient traits for avoiding heat stress.
Summary of the Workshop
Changes in rainfall patterns affect water resource availability, with shortages and competition between agriculture
and other users for water resources. AWD is a rice management practice that can reduce water use by up to 30
percent, without any reduction in yield. Continuously flooded paddy rice production emits substantial quantities
of methane, contributing to global warming. Application of AWD can reduce methane emissions from irrigated
rice by up to 48 percent, compared to rice under continuous flooding. One constraint to farmers adopting AWD
is the loss of habitat for fish when rice fields are drained, depriving farm families of an important source of food.
WorldFish developed fish rings, providing a micro-habitat for fish to survive until fields are re-flooded.
IRRI has introduced a submergence tolerant gene into popular improved rice and traditional varieties to cope with
flooding associated with extreme weather events, as well as saline tolerant varieties to adapt to sea-level rise. Other
research involves technologies to improve efficiencies through mechanization and to reduce post-harvest losses,
including: laser levelling of fields, improving water use efficiency; straw management, which reduces GHG emissions;
hermetic storage systems, mechanical dryers, and solar dryers, all of which reduce post-harvest losses. IRRI and its
partners in the Remote Sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging Economies (RIICE) project
are using satellite imagery to map and monitor rice cultivation in several countries.
5. UNEP: Dr Wyn Ellis provided a statement on UNEP’s CSA for circulation. This summary is extracted from the
note. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda, it is
critical that we transition to more sustainable systems of food production that address multiple challenges through
adoption of appropriate practices, through incorporation of climate change issues directly into national policies,
agricultural development planning, and investment strategies. We need a dramatic increase in efforts and investment
to transition from vulnerable non-sustainable systems to sustainable agriculture which achieves food security,
reduces poverty, adds safeguards, and restores ecological systems. UNEP supports this effort in various ways,
collaborating with other international agencies, governments and centres of excellence that include the following:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
Through developing the knowledge base and ensure access to data, statistics and indicators for tracking
natural resource use and progress towards achieving the SDGs, and to provide evidence-based information
and methodologies for strengthening the science-policy interface (e.g. Massive Open Online Courses
[MOOCs] in collaboration with other agencies/centres of excellence, covering CSA and a range of
environmental issues).
Establishment of a Regional Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) in collaboration with ADB
(CTNFC) to promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) in development of climate-smart technologies,
building capacity and engaging private sector.
Support in implementation of international protocols (e.g. refrigerant management for cold food chain
under the Montreal Protocol).
Capacity building programmes to support national policy and implementation plans.
Grass-roots programmes on sustainability, such as the Sustainable Rice Platform (www.sustainablerice.
org), a global multi-stakeholder alliance which has established the world’s first Standard on Sustainable
Rice Cultivation.
Healthy Ecosystems Key to Better Food Security – UNEP-FAO campaign to strengthen support for sustainable
ecosystems and to implement a new Sustainable Food Systems Programme.
There was discussion at the end of each presentation and also a short interaction with the Workshop participants
at the end of the session when the panellists made further elaborations on the many steps their organizations are
currently undertaking in the area of CSA. The overall view was that while we do not yet know what would be the
real nature and scale of the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security because of the uncertainties
involved it is important to scale up science-backed policies and management practices in agriculture that respond
to the current frontiers of knowledge. We also need more understanding of what we are now referring to as CSA.
Other valuable points were raised on the need for identifying technologies with multiple wins in enhanced
productivity, in dynamic adaptation and increasing mitigation, and in increased profitability as in the restoration
of degraded lands and improvements of soil macro- and micro-nutrients and in proper valuation of natural resources
such as water, so their management can include recovery cost and participatory management with local coordination.
13
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
VI. Session – Panel discussion: “What is needed to mainstream CSA in the Asia-Pacific
region?”
Introduction
The panel discussion was organized to help participants exchange their views on possible modalities and enabling
environments for mainstreaming CSA in Asia and the Pacific region. One of the main objectives of the panel
discussion was to provide food for thought with the Group discussions and recommendations session scheduled
shortly after the panel discussion. A total of eight panellists participated to discuss key questions on upscaling and
mainstreaming CSA in the context of Asia and the Pacific reflecting upon their country experiences. They discussed
diverse CSA approaches and governments’ efforts to raise awareness of CSA, to enhance sustainability and
replicability of CSA practices, and to remove barriers to adoption.
Names of panellists:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Dr Yue Li, chief of climate division, Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Chinese
Academy Of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China
Dr Margaret Yoovatana, senior policy and planning specialist, Planning and Technical Division, Department
of Agriculture, Thailand.
Dr Sharavjamts Oyuntuya, associate professor/meteorologist, Mongolian University of Life Science, School
of Agroecology, Mongolia
Dr Jillur Rahman, senior scientific officer, Horticulture Research Center under the Bangladesh Agricultural
Research Institute, Bangladesh
Mr Chimi Rinzin, chief agriculture officer, Department of Agriculture, Bhutan
Dr Ir. Catur Hermanto, head of North Sumatra Assessment Institute for Agriculture Technology, Indonesia
Mr Heai Steven Hoko, programme manager, Rice Extension Unit of the Department of Agriculture and
Livestock, Papua New Guinea
Mr Sanjay Dhimal, agriculture officer, Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal
Moderator: Soojin Kim, partnership officer, FAO/RAP
The panellists were asked to respond to the following five key questions during the discussion:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
In your view, what is the awareness level of CSA in your country, who are aware, and what do they know
about CSA? How did they come to realize benefits of CSA?
What kinds of CSA approaches are being implemented in your country, and which of them are well
adopted? Give examples.
There are many ongoing pilots on CSA but how long such interventions would be sustained is a challenging
question. How do you think one can ensure sustainability and replicability of CSA practices?
What are the major barriers of adopting CSA? Please share innovative ideas to enhance the adoption rate
in your country.
Are there any ongoing or planned initiatives, efforts, and/or laws/regulations/policies by the government
for scaling-up of CSA?
In responding to the above questions, Dr Yue Li (China) discussed China’s focus on enhancing land use, water and
nitrogen efficiency. According to her, Chinese agriculture, currently contributing to 10 percent of GDP, is facing
serious challenges mainly due to limited arable land available, decrease in yield driven by extreme weather events,
and increase in input to boost yields. In response to climate change, China introduced specific measures including
the following four approaches: i) land use rights transfer, ii) formula fertilization by soil testing, iii) biogas for
households and livestock farms, and iv) water saving irrigation and farming techniques. Such approaches included
innovative measures such as utilizing traditional knowledge in water management and strengthening capacity
of extension system with research and development. Subsidies for positive externalities in order to encourage
adoption of CSA practices have been introduced. Dr Li suggested that for ensuring an enabling environment for
CSA, conflicting subsidies such as fertilizer subsidy should be reduced, and our understanding of the complex
relationships between mitigation and adaptation must be enhanced by taking into account social and economic
impacts of CSA practices and policy measures.
Summary of the Workshop
Second discussant Dr Sharavjamts Oyuntuya (Mongolia) pointed out that the Government of Mongolia introduced
the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) consisting of national policy and strategy to tackle the
adverse impacts of climate change and to mitigate GHG emissions. However, setting the budget for each action
item is a serious challenge. In addition, implementing the NAPCC with local level administration is another challenge
due to lack of corresponding offices responsible for climate change. As such, Mongolia is putting its efforts together
in building institutional capacity and coordination. She also discussed the importance of education and training
as prerequisites for mainstreaming climate change in agriculture. At present, the awareness of the general public
about climate change is rather low; however, the Government recognizes the importance of climate education
to enhance public awareness. A series of trainings and seminars are currently taking place in provinces and districts
including teachers’ training. However, recognizing that education requires long-term investment for change,
Mongolia has plans to establish and implement the legal framework for providing incentives to herders and farmers
who are practicing climate compatible production. In addition, strategic zoning to establish clear boundaries
between pastoral animal husbandry and intensive farming is being developed and more populated city boundaries
will be equipped with intensive farming to enhance food security. The livestock insurance system will be improved
by incorporating climate policy. Several projects are currently implemented to enhance adaptation to climate
change and improve rural livelihood of livestock herders and farmers.
The third panellist Dr Margaret Yoovatana (Thailand) emphasized Thailand’s potential in mainstreaming CSA owing
to the strategic directions provided by H.M. the King. Thailand recognizes the importance of natural resources
conservation, traditional knowledge and wisdom for agriculture. Royal initiative projects have been implemented
at the community level, which are location specific, with application of appropriate technologies in order to
enhance production efficiency. Diversification and integrated farming methods are encouraged under the initiative.
Although Thailand is not yet a member of GACSA, it has made a public commitment and showed leadership in
climate change in conjunction with agriculture. Also, Thailand signed the regional declaration “ASEAN Joint
Statement on Climate Change 2014” in order to promote climate resilience in the region. Thailand is the leading
country in the ASEAN-Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) in up-scaling of climate resilient agricultural
practices.
Dr Yoovatana emphasized that CSA mainstreaming requires inter-ministry agreement as Ministry of Agriculture
and Cooperatives (MOACs) are not focal points for environment-related issues and often climate change is
categorized under environmental issues. In conclusion, Dr Yoovatana suggested that CSA practices should be
promoted as part of a national programme, and not on a project basis. In order to do so, knowledge products to
enhance awareness must be further developed and FAO could take the lead in that. Next, promoting CSA in
regional and sub-regional cooperation is much needed and a regional alliance could be established for CSA.
Mainstreaming of CSA can be further strengthened though an active exchange of expertise.
The fourth discussant Dr Jillur Rahman (Bangladesh) demonstrated that there is a clear trend of transformation in
Bangladesh agriculture towards CSA. Climate change is a major threat to Bangladesh from achieving its core
national strategies including self-sufficiency in food production and food security. Bangladesh’s agriculture is
significantly challenged by sea level rise and salinity intrusion as well as increasing intensity of drought/flood and
pest infestation. Several CSA measures were put in place in order to address these challenges. They include:
introducing fallows in the salinity area with compensation for farmers’ losses, creation of intermediate income
sources from livestock grazing, salt-tolerant crops, rainwater harvesting systems, rice-fish-vegetable integrated
farming, etc. Lastly, the Government of Bangladesh has engaged the private sector in implementing national
policy by introducing ICTs in crop insurance and other climate information system. Mobile-based technologies
that provide weather-based agro-advisories and crop insurance seem to have great potential to reach a large
number of farmers in the country and could be used to scale-up climate-smart agricultural practices.
The fifth panellist Mr Sanjay Dhimal (Nepal) emphasized the major threats imposed by changing climate to the
agriculture sector that makes up the largest portion of income for most Nepalese households and also the national
economy. Recognizing the adverse impacts of climate change on agriculture, a variety of CSA practices have been
adopted by farmers. Considering Nepal’s dependence on Monsoon rainwater, construction of rainwater harvesting
tanks, introduction of drought tolerant species, and drip irrigation are found to be effective these measures are
accompanied by soil conservation, erosion control and nutrient management.
15
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
At the national level, Nepal has introduced the climate and agriculture reform policy and the Ministry of Agricultural
Development (MOAD) is responsible for implementing the climate change adaptation programmes and projects
in agriculture. In implementing the policy, Nepal has endorsed large-scale projects that establish early warning
systems, and introduced an agricultural management information system (AMIS) and agro-info call centers to
disseminate knowledge and information.
Next discussant Mr Chimi Rinzin (Bhutan) shared his viewpoints on their overarching national policy direction of
agriculture development that is climate-smart. Based on the Gross National Happiness (GNH) principle, the
Bhutanese Government is committed to transition to a carbon neutral and green economy. This has become a
backbone of all Bhutanese policy and budget preparations. In addition, Bhutan has recently been promoting
mitigation and adaptation measures for crop and livestock production through the national strategy on climate
adaptation of the Sectoral Adaptation Plan of Action (SAPA). Although mainstreaming CSA is already on its way
in Bhutan, several challenges remain to be resolved in order to ensure effective implementation of CSA practices
including the following: common perception to emphasize productivity; lack of attention to socio-economic
factors but only taking into account bio-physical conditions; limited knowledge and use of climate parameters;
and weak research and development capacity. The above challenges must be addressed in mainstreaming CSA
in Bhutan.
The seventh discussant Mr Heai Steven Hoko (Papua New Guinea) shared PNG’s plan to institutionalize CSA
throughout the country. Although CSA is a relatively new concept to PNG and people’s awareness is rather low,
PNG recognizes the importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation for agriculture development. Due
to geographic and climate characteristics of PNG, most CSA interventions were customized to upland rainfed
agriculture and agroforestry including soil erosion control and intercropping. Utilizing nutrients from abundant
agricultural wastes and industrial crops such as coconut husks for bio fertilizer and rubber wood for biofuels have
also been introduced.
Mr Hoko also pointed out that in order to ensure sustainability of CSA practices, the following policies must be
climate compatible: the National Agricultural Development Policy and the National Food Security Policy (under
development with assistance of FAO). To ensure replicability, extensions in 22 provinces could disseminate pilot
technologies and province-to-province training and exchange programmes could be offered. In addressing barriers
to adoption of CSA practices, adequate incentives must be granted to farmers including trainings, farm credits
and inputs. In addition, the CSA packages must include some short-term economic returns together with longterm environmental benefits. At national level, the Office of Climate Change and Development (OCCD) has been
designated to support the institutionalization of CSA.
The last speaker Dr Ir Catur Hermanto (Indonesia) demonstrated a demo version of a CSA information portal as a
solution to upscaling CSA in Indonesia. The web and SMS-based information platform for CSA, the so-called
“integrated cropping calendar” had been developed and introduced in Indonesia. The calendar provides a wide
range of information including on: climate, planting schedule, flood and drought prone areas, possible disease
outbreaks, varietal recommendations, available farm equipment and fertilizers. Due to the cultural importance of
rice to Indonesians, the majority of interventions were dedicated to improved agricultural techniques for improved
rice production and climate mitigation and adaptation. Dr Hermanto suggested that by disseminating innovative
research results and providing simple techniques, CSA practices could be sustained and replicated. The Government
of Indonesia is currently validating appropriate technologies to be scaled up and deployed to implement climatesmart agriculture.
In conclusion, the panel discussion pinpointed five requirements and/or recipes to mainstream CSA in Asia and
the Pacific including the following:
i.
Awareness of CSA in the general public is at the rather low to medium level, and public education and
strengthening of extension services could enhance public awareness.
ii. Countries have developed and implemented location specific measures based on climate, geography,
and socio-economic and cultural conditions.
iii. In order to enhance sustainability, public awareness of the benefits of CSA must be enhanced by
disseminating information through simple technology and easy-to-understand messages. Inclusion of
ICT has been adopted in many countries and is proven to be successful.
Summary of the Workshop
iv. In most cases, the key barriers to adoption of CSA practices are farmers’ preference for short-term economic
return and lack of incentives for switching behaviours. Adequate incentives, knowledge and information,
and removal of adverse subsidies are keys to enhance adoption rates.
v. Mainstreaming CSA at a national scale requires higher-level commitment and policy directions favourable
to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Clearly stated messages and priorities on agricultural
development that are compatible with climate change seem to facilitate the implementation of CSA
practices more broadly and comprehensively.
In addition, several participants were interested in learning more about FAO’s role in supporting the mainstreaming
of CSA in Asia and the Pacific with special attention on access to climate financing and technical advice for potential
regional alliances. Knowledge generation and building an evidence base created quite a lot of interest. FAO is
continuing to produce more innovative and cutting edge research products that are more local and context
specific to assist mainstreaming of CSA in the Asia-Pacific region. This will require further effort and coordination
due to lack of a sufficient evidence base in the region. However, some participants believed that there is enough
knowledge products on CSA available in the region and a stocktaking exercise on a regional level might give a
good picture of it. This debate requires further attention and assessment as this will determine priority actions in
mainstreaming CSA in the region. Overall, the Panel discussion proved to be quite valuable, and made significant
progress towards stocktaking of the elements for priority actions and enabling environment.
17
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
VII. Session – Conclusions and recommendations
The “Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-smart agriculture: A call for action” was held on 18 to 20 June
2015, in Bangkok, Thailand, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience on implementing CSA among
stakeholders from the Asia-Pacific region. The Workshop was attended by 61 participants, of whom 27 were
representatives from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. During the group work, the three groups were asked
to address the issues relating to: a) enabling environment for sustainable CSA; b) priority actions for mainstreaming
and scaling up CSA; and c) enhancing regional collaboration and networking. The following are the conclusions
and recommendations of the Workshop.
Conclusions
I. Enabling environment (policy, institutions, legal framework, finance, governance, etc.) for sustainable CSA
•
•
•
Scientific knowledge to address climate change and opportunity to apply CSA
Analysis, simulation and climate projections and trends (e.g. are we ready for sea level rise in the coastal
zone? Specific trends for specific commodities)
Policymaking: which options to choose under variable and unpredictable climate change?
II. Priority actions (implementation level) for mainstreaming and scaling up CSA
a) Present situation – Lack of awareness of CSA
Future challenges associated with the situation – Political commitment in terms of integration of different
ministries, and financing and allocation
b) Present situation – Need for mapping CSA practices, including available technology, knowledge, resources
and policies
Future challenges associated with the situation – Capacity building: i) Who is going to do what? ii) Changes
in mindsets and breaking the barriers of lack of collaboration
III. Enhancing regional collaboration and networking
Current arrangements are not satisfactory. Therefore, there is a need for platforms both at the national and at the
regional levels to:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
share knowledge
facilitate collaboration and cooperation
set joint goals
raise awareness, both for farmers and for policymakers
facilitate exchange of information related to resource mobilization opportunities, both for knowledge
creation as well as technical assistance and implementation
have political support
be non-prescriptive
find common goals
a) At the national level, a platform that:
• has one focal point, from Ministry of Agriculture
• has membership from wide range of stakeholders: governmental, academic, civil society, private sector,
etc.
b) At regional level:
• has rotating chair(s)
• has a facilitating body hosted by a country
• is composed of the focal points (country members) of the national platforms
• core functions to be supported by the country members
• maintains close links with existing networks, e.g. ASEAN, SAARC, SPC and NEARC groups
• regional CSA Secretariat to be financially supported by the contribution from hosting country, participating
member countries, and/or partners
• can draw upon support from FAO/RAP for collaboration and networking
Summary of the Workshop
Recommendations
The Workshop made the following recommendations:
i. Through a collaborative mechanism, improve understanding of climate change in agriculture by mapping
climate change effects and scenarios and incorporate them in seasonal climate outlooks.
ii. Through active community participation, increase awareness of the impacts of climate change at community
level that is location specific.
iii. Enhance institutional capacity of climate-smart practices for end users, including development of common
CSA tools.
iv. Develop a common SWOT analysis for countries to develop their own mechanisms that are based on
their experiences, from consultation to implementation and monitoring and evaluation of CSA approaches.
v. Identify appropriate mechanisms for engaging the experiences of stakeholders, including the creation of
appropriate regional platforms for listening to grassroots stakeholders.
vi. Include mainstreaming of CSA in all National Reports and communication documents.
vii. Set-up a national committee/steering committee under the auspices of the highest policymaking body
of the government, through development of policy briefs and raising awareness within the government.
viii. Allocate more funds for CSA activities from the national governments by inserting them into national
action plans.
ix. Pilot CSA at national level through local administrations, by including participants from farmers, governments,
civil society, and community-based organizations.
x. Forge partnerships with development partners, FAO amongst others, through projects on stocktaking,
mapping, inventory of technology, knowledge (including traditional knowledge), expertise, and practices.
xi. Countries to initiate the development of national CSA platforms.
xii. Viet Nam with initial support from FAO/RAP, to host a regional CSA platform.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Annex 1
Concept note
Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
18 to 20 June 2015
Swissotel, Nai Lert Park Bangkok, Thailand
Introduction
Over the last couple of decades, the earth has begun to witness unheralded changes to its climate. Nations
everywhere are beginning to experience disastrous weather events on a regular basis. The latest Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has unequivocally concluded that this sustained alteration of climate
patterns seen worldwide are the result of GHG emissions of anthropogenic origin. Climate change is beginning
to bring about severe and perhaps permanent alteration of the earth’s geological, biological and ecological systems.
These are leading to the emergence of extreme weather, ozone depletion, increase in wildland fires, loss of
biodiversity, global spread of infectious diseases, and stresses to food-production systems.
Among the various sectors, agriculture has already been significantly affected by climate change, and it is expected
to worsen in the decades to come. Increase in mean temperature, changes in rainfall, frequency and increased
variability in temperature and rain patterns, changes in water availability, sea level rise and other perturbations to
the ecosystem will all have severe impacts on agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The problems of climate change
on agriculture are further exacerbated by the fact that global population is expected to reach to about 9 billion
people by 2050. With continued increase in urban growth and rising incomes in developing countries, demand
for food is expected to increase substantially: FAO has estimated that food production will have to increase by 60
percent by 2050 to meet the expected needs.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be challenged most severely in terms of food production. Despite rapid
economic growth, the region is home to 60 percent of the world’s poor, and over 500 million people remain
undernourished. With an expected increase of another 850 million people by 2050, combined with urbanization
and improved diets, the pressure to feed the population would be enormous. Climate change in the region is
expected to reduce agricultural productivity by 10 to 50 percent in the next three decades, along with dramatic
impacts on stability and incomes. The region is already witnessing considerable increase in floods, droughts, and
some of the most devastating storms. In addition, the region’s complexity adds further difficulties to overcome.
Meeting the needs of the prosperous group and the large pockets of poor in a region with limited natural resources
is going to be quite complicated. This is further exacerbated by those small South Pacific islands that are already
beginning to experience inundation and loss of agricultural land as a result of sea level rise. Producing enough
food for the increasing population in the face of decreasing resources and changing climate would be a daunting
challenge.
Best option – Climate-smart agriculture
With the realization that climate change is real, the Asia-Pacific region requires completely new approaches to
address the growing food security concerns. In 2012, FAO, the World Bank and several countries organized the
first Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in The Hague. The Conference sought
to mobilize action for achieving CSA as a means to enhance productivity and incomes, resilience to climate change
and carbon sequestration. As a follow-up, FAO has been hosting in its HQs in Rome the Facilitation Unit (FU) of
the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) which was launched in September 2014 at the UN
Climate Summit, and FAO is supporting countries and development partners to implement and scale up CSA
approaches as a matter of priority. Work on CSA is being promoted actively through GACSA, a voluntary partnership
to inspire the development and dissemination of innovative, evidence-based options for CSA in different settings,
and that will involve a broad range of governments and other stakeholders.
21
Annex 1
But what is the CSA concept? Briefly, it is defined as an approach that integrates the three dimensions of sustainable
development (economic, social and environmental) by jointly addressing food security and climate challenges
through: a) sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; b) adapting and building resilience to
climate change; and c) reducing and/or removing GHG emissions. CSA is an approach to developing technical,
policy and investment conditions to achieve sustainable agricultural development for food security under climate
change. Considering climate change can have such a profound effect on agriculture, the CSA approach is designed
to integrate the national agricultural planning, investments and programs to operationalize sustainable agricultural
development.
Although the concept of CSA is being explored with great interest in many parts of the world, this is not fully
reflected in the Asia-Pacific region. It is revealing to discover that only Japan, the Philippines and Viet Nam are
members of the GACSA which seeks to adjust agricultural, forestry and fisheries practice, food systems and social
policies so they can better take account of climate change and the efficient use of natural resources. Considering
the situation in the region, FAO is formulating several activities to mainstream CSA in the region, this Workshop
being part of it.
Objectives
The objectives of the Workshop are to share knowledge and experience on implementing CSA among public, civil
society and development agencies, and promote the mainstreaming and up-scaling of CSA.
Expected outputs
Based on those objectives, the expected outputs of the Workshop are:
•
•
•
•
•
Knowledge and understanding of participants on CSA enhanced;
Good practices and case studies on CSA in different countries shared and discussed;
Priority actions to mainstream and up-scale CSA are identified and agreed;
A regional-level collaboration and partnership is forged for facilitating countries to promote CSA as well
as to implement priority actions linking the CSA approach with agriculture-related investments, polices
and measures in their transition to CSA; and
A report summarizing the presentations and discussions at the Workshop including conclusions and
recommendations (elaborated after the workshop).
Date and venue
The three-day event is scheduled on 18 to 20 June 2015, Swissotel Nai Lert Park, Bangkok. The Workshop also
includes a field trip on the third day to a modern farm in Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi Province, Thailand.
Participants
The expected 50 participants will include senior officials (one per member state) of Agriculture and/or Natural
Resources and Environment Ministries of Asia-Pacific countries, other United Nations and International Agencies,
regionally based development partners, and NGOs.
Workshop programme
The Programme of the Workshop is attached below.
Contact details
For detailed information regarding the workshop, please contact:
Mr Simmathiri Appanah ([email protected])
22
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Workshop programme
Day 1
Time
Activity
08.00-09.00
Registration – FAO Secretariat
09.00-09.30
Welcome and initial remarks:
• Welcome remarks – Mr H. Konuma, Asst. Director-General, FAO/RAP
• Opening remarks – Dr Le Quoc Doanh, Vice Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Viet Nam
09.30-10.00
Keynote address 1: Food Security and Climate Change – Mr Frederik Snijders, Senior Natural
Resources Officer, Climate, Energy and Tenure Division, FAO
10.00-10.30
Tea break
10.30-11.00
Keynote address 2: Food Security in a Changing Climate: How to Move to Action –
Mr Arie Veldhuizen, Netherland’s Agricultural Counselor for Viet Nam and Thailand
11.00-11.30
Keynote address 3: Why Climate-Smart Agriculture? – Dr Suang Pheng Kam, Senior Scientist,
Natural Resources Management, WorldFish Center
11.30-13.00
Panel discussion by International and Regional Agencies: The panellists, besides introducing
their agencies CSA-related work, will also address the common theme of: “What are the
major challenges, and the way forward for promoting CSA in the Asia-Pacific region?”:
• FAO
• GAP-CC/GIZ
• World Bank
• UNEP
• IRRI
13.00-14.00
Lunch break
14.00-14.30
Invited speaker: Scaling-up Climate-Smart Agriculture in Asia-Pacific: Opportunities and
Constraints – Dr P. Aggarwal, Regional Programme Leader, CCAFS
14.30-17.00
Presentation: Seven successful CSA cases from the Asia-Pacific region
(with tea break)
18.00-20.00
Cocktail reception
Day 2
09.00-09.30
Invited speaker: Agriculture in UNFCCC: Paris and beyond – Dr P. Kant, Director, Institute of
Green Economy, India
09.30-10.00
Invited speaker: State of Play: Update from the Green Climate Fund – Mr Leo H. Park, Financial
Institutions Specialist, Green Climate Fund, R. Korea
10.00-10.30
Tea break
10.30-12.30
Panel discussion: “What is needed to mainstream CSA in the Asia-Pacific region?”
(7 panellists)
• Awareness of CSA in the country
• What CSA approaches are being implemented?
• How to sustain CSA practices?
• How to attract farmers to adopt CSA practices?
• Current efforts by government for scaling up CSA.
12.30.-13.30
Lunch break
13.30-15.30
(with tea break)
Group work: Making CSA work in Asia-Pacific region
• Enabling environment (policy, institutions, legal framework, finance, governance,
etc.) for sustainable CSA
• Priority actions (implementation level) for mainstreaming and scaling up CSA
• Enhancing regional collaboration and networking
15.30-16.30
Presentations by breakout groups
16.30-17.30
Concluding Session:
• Conclusions and Recommendations
Day 3
07.00-16.00
Field trip to a Thai Farm (showcasing integrated farming) in Damnoen Saduak District,
Thailand
Annex 2
Annex 2
Welcome address
by
Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General and
Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific
Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Bangkok, Thailand 18 June 2015
His Excellency Vice Minister Dr Le Quoc Doanh
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I start, let me point out that Dr David Nabarro, UN Coordinator for the High Level Task Force on Global Food
Security sends his regrets for not being able to join us here – he has been sent by the UN Secretary General to
deal with the Ebola outbreak in Africa now.
It is a great honour for me to welcome you all to this very important event on Climate-Smart Agriculture. I think
all of you will agree with me that we have reached the tipping point where we can stop talking about whether
climate change is probable and start acting on it. Climate change is occurring more rapidly than we have been
predicting. The increase in extreme weather events we have been experiencing in recent years alone foretells
what lies ahead.
FAO, together with several other international agencies, has been leading the campaign for Zero Hunger globally.
Only a week ago, the Director-General of FAO, Mr Jose Graziano highlighted the achievements. He announced
that the “number of hungry people in the world has dropped to 795 million – 216 million fewer than in 1990”.
With 72 countries achieving the MDG target of halving the proportion of the chronically undernourished, it is an
incredible achievement.
While that is true, can we sit back and bask on our laurels? I am afraid not – climate change is threatening to reverse
all our achievements with reducing zero hunger. Let’s rapidly review what all nations have to contend with. The
world’s population will continue to rise, predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050. FAO has estimated that food production
will have to increase by 60 percent by then to meet the needs. Climate change, with increase in temperature,
shifting rainfall patterns, heavy storms, floods, droughts, and sea level rise is definitely going to reverse all the gains
made so far. But is that all that we are contending with? I have to say, our earth is tired. While agricultural productivity
rose dramatically since the 1970s, it came at a huge cost in terms of degradation of natural resources. The region’s
cropland, grassland, woodland and forest are now severely degraded. Soils are impoverished, and besides erosion,
we also face salinity, sodicity and alkalinity. Our forests, including the biodiversity are heavily degraded or disappearing.
Our water resources, the life of our agricultural system, are beginning to become scarce.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
With such developments overwhelming us, there is an urgent need for action. So this Workshop is setting the
right tone, calling for action on Climate-Smart Agriculture. But why Climate-Smart Agriculture? That will be the
entire subject of this Workshop, and so let me not remove the thunder from all the experts assembled here. While
every technological advancement seems to have brought us a lot of benefits, but sooner or later it seems to have
its costs too. Without having to catalogue all of them, they include climate change and the associated losses, loss
of ozone layer, pollution, degradation of land, loss of forest, and biodiversity. Our solutions cannot therefore be
overly reliant on technology alone. We need a more holistic solution. Climate-Smart Agriculture, or in short CSA,
is an approach that attempts to address several inter-connected issues that are linked to sustainable agricultural
development. First, it works at sustainably increasing agricultural productivity; second, the approach includes
adapting and building resilience to climate change; and third, it goes to the extent of reducing and/or removing
greenhouse gas emissions. It therefore integrates the three pillars of sustainable development, namely economic,
social and environmental elements. CSA requires involvement of technical, policy and investment conditions to
achieve agricultural development for food security under climate change.
The concept of CSA took off in 2012, when FAO, the World Bank and several countries organized the first Global
Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change in The Hague. The Conference sought to mobilize
action for achieving CSA as a means to enhance productivity and incomes, resilience to climate change and carbon
sequestration. But we in the Asia-Pacific have hardly felt its ripples. Many countries in the region have yet to
incorporate the concept into their national agricultural strategies. It is revealing that only three countries in our
region have become members of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, or GACSA which was formed
in 2014 to support countries and development partners to promote and disseminate evidence-based CSA options
to governments and stakeholders.
Recognizing this deficient state in the Asia-Pacific region, FAO and other development partners have begun to
step up activities to mainstream CSA in the region, this Workshop being a part of it. Assembled here are government
officials from many Asia-Pacific countries, development partners, researchers, and non-governmental organizations.
The Workshop’s objectives are straightforward indeed, and include: enhancing knowledge and understanding of
CSA, sharing good practices and case studies, identifying priority actions to mainstream and up-scale CSA, and
building collaboration among us. The Workshop’s effort does not end here, in fact it starts here! What follows up
after this is really the test of our abilities.
Let me therefore wish you all much success with the deliberations here. Let me finally express my innermost
concerns – we want to maintain our economic growth, reduce poverty and save our environment. In our past
efforts, growth in one area came at a cost in another. Such development strategies cannot be sustainable. Climate
change, for all its problems, has also brought home an important lesson. Sustainable development is conditional,
and needs to be addressed from all fronts. Climate change has also brought home another lesson – we are all
together in it. Rich and poor, big and small, developed and developing nations, we are all affected by climate
change – there are no boundaries. So no country on its own can solve the problems that come with climate
change. We have to work together to solve this global issue. This is the only planet we have, so let us join forces
and work together for a common future.
I wish you all the best for a productive meeting.
Thank you
Annex 3
Annex 3
Opening remarks by H.E. Dr Le Quoc Doanh
Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam
Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
18 to 20 June 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand
Mr Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific;
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you today and to represent the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
of Viet Nam to share with you some thoughts on the issues of sustainable growth, climate change, agriculture
including the concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture and food security. On this occasion, I would like to thank the
Government of Thailand for hosting this meeting and FAO for inviting Viet Nam to attend this important workshop.
I wish the meeting a great success.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda and the UN Zero Hunger Challenge recognize food and nutrition
security and poverty alleviation as a key priority. For many years, governments and international communities
have made lots of considerable efforts to address these problems and other related issues. However, the challenge
remains enormous, since there are more than 1 billion people all over the world still living under the poverty line
and more than 800 million people are lacking food.
Yet, as the recent 5th IPCC working group II report shows, climate change is likely to be the biggest challenge to
achieving the sustainable development goals. Extreme weather events, including severe droughts and floods, and
storm surges lead to crop failure and food shortages are impacting the most vulnerable populations, especially
in the tropical areas.
The new and pressing situation requires us on one hand to find solutions to increase productivity and incomes,
adapting to the new challenges of climate change and on the other hand to contribute to the global efforts to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We all know that, while farmers are struggling to find solutions, adapting to
climate change, there is an urgent need to assess, accelerate and scale-up the adaptation process. This may require
some fundamental changes of not only our current production practices, in order to make agriculture, forestry
and fisheries sustainable, while being part of the solution to climate change.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Viet Nam is a country with limited land area, just 10.3 million out of 33 million hectares is suitable for agriculture.
With the rapid urbanization, industrialization process and the bad impact caused by climate change, that include
saline intrusion, soil erosion and degradation, the land area under agriculture is decreasing by a 1 000 ha annually.
However, the agriculture sector has to provide enough food for over 90 million people. Moreover, we are also
contributing to the region and the world food security by exporting around 7 million tons of rice annually.
In the context of globalization, we well recognize that agriculture in Viet Nam is facing two main challenges:
-
-
Improving competitive capacity for further international economic integration; and
Responding to climate change, Viet Nam is forecasted as one of few countries most severely affected by
climate change, particularly by sea level rise. If the sea level rises 1 metre, 40 percent of the Mekong Delta, the
biggest rice production area in Viet Nam will be inundated.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
In order to cope with the above challenges, to maintain the development and to improve the effectiveness and
sustainability of the agricultural sector, the Government of Viet Nam is carrying out the Restructuring Programmes,
in which the main solutions are promoting technical and scientific application and restructuring production system
towards improvement in the linkages along the value chain. Besides, the Government of Viet Nam has tried its
best to implement adaptation actions. The National Strategy on Climate Change and Green Growth Strategy has
been approved and implemented. In rice fields in the Mekong River Delta, farmers learn to rationally use water,
fertilisers, seed and pesticides, that lead to reduced production cost and CH4 gas emissions from the field, while
at the same time ensures higher productivity. Similarly, coffee growers can reduce production cost and 50 percent
of emissions from coffee fields, while increasing productivity and income by application of newly introduced
fertilizer technology. The country-wide application of Biogas to treat animal husbandry waste has also brought
additional benefits to farmers and at the same time to reduced emissions from livestock production.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What Viet Nam has been doing, conceptually may be regarded partly as a Climate-Smart Agriculture. Recognizing
the significant importance of the matter, we actively have joined hands with international communities to apply
the CSA practice as we share the concept that CSA is a “triple win” for agriculture, climate and food security, which
would lead to increased farm productivity and incomes and make agriculture more resilient to climate change,
while also contributing to mitigation. A series of CSA oriented projects are being implemented in Viet Nam like
low carbon agriculture, system of rice intensification (SRI) model, rice production on terrace fields, conservation
innovations, etc.
As a founding member of the Global Alliance CSA, at the meeting of the Alliance, during the UNFCCC negotiations
last week in Bonn, Germany, our Delegation showed our interest in carrying out case studies, and aim to share the
experiences at the next Alliance’s meeting, that can add value and to bolster current efforts in CSA application.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our regional workshop today is the right time for us to gather a broad range of stakeholders: including central
and local governments; food producers, processors and sellers; scientists, research and educational organizations;
civil society and non-government organizations; multilateral and international organizations; and the private sector
and introduce them into the CSA process as well as to identify priority actions to mainstream and scale-up CSA
for Asia and the Pacific.
And, more importantly, I would like to emphasize that in addition to the ultimate goal of this new Alliance, more
attention should be paid to a mechanism where developed countries assist developing and less and least developed
countries to assure them their food and nutrition security, and then to protect the environment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a UN technical Agency, FAO would play an important role to promote cooperation among member countries
as well as the international community for sustainable agricultural development, food and nutrition security and
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It is needed to call for serious consideration of governments and the
international community on these issues, strongly promoting on experience sharing, technology transfer, assistance
of financial resources for poor countries, and promotion and development of fair trade and investment.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.
Annex 4
Annex 4
Keynote Address 1: Food security and climate change
Fred Snijders, Senior Natural Resources Officer, FAO
Two weeks ago FAO presented the latest edition of the annual report “The State of Food Insecurity in the World
2015”. It was reported that the number of hungry people has dropped to 12.9 percent. This is certainly good news,
but at the same time, the absolute numbers are still staggering; 795 million people are still hungry today. And
almost half of them are found in the Asia-Pacific region.
Undernourishment is one of the indicators to quantify food security, a concept that has many aspects. It includes
food availability, production, access to food, utilization and, very importantly, stability. Here I will focus on production
and stability and the need to keep the trend of reducing the number of hungry people. To this aspect we must
add a new challenge, that of a changing climate and the associated impacts that are likely to affect all aspects of
food security in various degrees, further complicating the already vulnerable situation in the region.
But first I would like to dedicate some words on climate-smart agriculture, the topic of this Workshop. Climatesmart agriculture is defined by FAO as an approach to help guide actions to transform and re-orient agricultural
systems to effectively and sustainably support food security under the new realities of climate change. It is based
on three pillars: 1) Increase, in a sustainable manner, productivity and income growth in agriculture; 2) Support
adaptation across the agricultural sectors to expected climatic changes and build resilience; and 3) Reduce, where
possible, the greenhouse gas emission intensity of production systems.
Let us examine each of the three pillars.
Pillar one aims at increasing agricultural productivity and income growth in a sustainable manner. This is of crucial
importance as the world faces an increasing demand for agricultural products. The world population is still
increasing, even though the annual rate of growth is slowing down. But not only are there more mouths to feed,
people are eating more and differently. Global per capita food consumption is projected to increase from around
2 700 kcal/day to more than 3 000 kcal/day by 2050. And the world consumes more and more animal products.
In particular in Asia, meat consumption has exploded, going from 10 to 130 million tons since 1960! Not only has
meat consumption gone up, but fish consumption as well. World fish production has been rising constantly over
the last 50 years, with aquaculture providing the bulk of the increase over the last 20 years. Asia has become the
world’s largest aquaculture producer. Foremost China, followed by India, Viet Nam, Indonesia and Bangladesh
have become top producers.
However, the progress towards reducing the number of hungry people and the increased food availability to a
large part of the population has also increased the pressure on natural resources. The amount of arable land in
use per person has been gradually decreasing; globally it has reduced by half from the 1960s to now. At the same
time agriculture was able to produce more and more, how was this possible? The answer is the dramatic and
steady increase in yields that has been achieved through the so called green revolution. But it is also clear that
there are limits to what can be achieved, the annual growth rates of, for instance, world cereal production and
yields are steadily decreasing. At the same time, many of the agricultural practices put more and more pressure
on the natural resources and ecosystem services. These services include not only the provision of food and fodder,
but also water control, maintaining healthy and fertile soils, providing natural pest control, erosion prevention,
genetic diversity, and recreation and tourism. Over-use of fertilizers or pesticides can pollute water and soils and
negatively affect pollinators; extensive aquaculture production can cause salinization of soils and eutrophication
of water systems; agricultural expansion is a key driver of deforestation, often with detrimental effect on hydrological
cycles and resulting water scarcity. These all threaten the stability of agricultural production and the future of food
security.
In addition to these developments, we introduce yet another variable, climate change. The various scenarios as
developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict changes in the nature and the
geographic distribution of environmental conditions including, amongst others, air temperature, rainfall amounts
and distribution, extreme weather events (droughts, storms), river flows, sea levels, ocean temperature and acidity,
etc. These changes affect the growing conditions of crops, livestock, fish, trees as well as ecosystem services, and
thereby the livelihood of people, often the poorest. The developing countries, mainly in the tropics, are likely to
face the brunt of the negative impacts of climate change.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Many models use the IPCC scenarios to better understand the future impacts. An example of this includes the
amount of fish stock in the oceans, and in particular the expected decline in stocks in coastal zones, the possible
eastwards movement of the main skipjack tuna areas in the Pacific and the effect on rice yields in Asia. This is
studied in more detail in the Philippines by the FAO project “Assessments of Climate Change Impacts and Mapping
of Vulnerability to Food Insecurity under Climate Change.” The modelled rice yields also illustrate the large amount
of uncertainty of the predictions, with large variations depending on which scenario is used and the time frame.
In addition, the pollinators are likely to be effected by the increase in temperatures, in particular in the tropics,
thereby endangering the production of many fruits and vegetables.
This illustrates the importance of the second pillar of CSA: support adaptation across the agricultural sectors to
expected climatic changes and build resilience. Adaptation is critical to secure future food security. There are many
examples on how better practices and better policies can help farmers, foresters and fisher folks adapt. Agroforestry,
crop diversification, conservation agriculture, improved management techniques, weather services, and availability
of salt- or drought-tolerant crop varieties are just a few of them. I will not go into much more detail here now as
I am certain we will hear many more examples during these two days of the workshop.
Now some words on the third pillar of CSA: reduce, where possible, the greenhouse gas emission intensity of
production systems.
Agriculture is not only affected by climate change, it is also contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases. As
far as global emissions from agriculture are concerned, Asia has a share of about 44 percent. In absolute terms,
the emissions have been increasing over the last decades, very much in line with the increase of agricultural
production in the region. Livestock, including enteric fermentation and manure, is the biggest emitter, covering
about half of total agricultural emissions. This is followed by paddy rice (20%) and the emissions from synthetic
fertilizers (18%).
There are ample opportunities to reduce the emission intensity of agricultural systems, that is the amount of
emissions per unit of product, without reducing, or even with increasing, the productivity. Key phrases here are
“resource use efficiency”, “improved management” and “combining reduction of emission intensity with productivity
increase”. Studies do show that both in the livestock sector and in paddy rice production such reductions are
possible and economically viable. One example for rice production concerns the Alternate Wetting and Drying
(AWD) technique.
But introducing better, more climate-smart production system does not happen automatically. Farmers, fisherfolks
and foresters need support! This includes knowledge of alternative or improved production systems and management
options; local support institutions or mechanisms (extension services, cooperatives, etc.); availability of more
resilient varieties (need for research and development); access to resources, both for men and women: inputs,
land, financing/investment; and an enabling policy environment.
FAO, in particular through its “EPIC” programme in Malawi, Zambia and Viet Nam has developed a CSA approach
with four key components:
(1) Build an evidence base: climate risk/impact assessment; identify viable CSA options and trade-offs (e.g. livestock
and conservation agriculture); understand barriers to adoption; analyse and assess capacity development
needs of institutions; analyse policies, strategies and development plans.
(2) Prepare policy recommendations.
(3) Support the development of investment frameworks and investment/financing proposals for upscaling CSA.
(4) Improve the CSA knowledge base and advocacy for CSA.
Finally, to bring about positive change, there is a need to create an enabling environment. For this to happen, four
important principles are required:
•
•
•
•
Turn political will into implementation/policies, investments, legal frameworks.
Sharpen the focus of policies and programmes for climate change on food security.
Increase the base of evidence for policymaking.
Involve all stakeholders in decision-making.
I hope that during these days we will make progress towards real action on the way towards a transformation of
agriculture into becoming more climate-smart in the Asia-Pacific region.
Thank you for your attention.
29
Annex 5
Annex 5
Keynote Address 2: Food security in a changing climate: How to move to action?
Mr Arie Veldhuizen, Agricultural Counsellor, The Netherlands
Food security in a changing climate is the theme of this Workshop. FAO is calling for action on this. In keeping
with this call, attention and concrete actions would be needed in the following areas:
•
•
•
•
•
•
increasing sustainability,
food production,
enhancing resilience to climate change,
reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
increasing food security, and
lower global food waste and food losses.
In other words, action is needed now, instead of talk and further analyses. No doubt, there are many difficulties
that will have to be overcome, but solutions are urgently needed.
For a start, just consider feeding the world’s 9 billion people in 2050 – food security is indeed our top priority. And
agriculture plays a crucial role in that pursuit. We must build on the strengths of all its stakeholders, from smallholders
to multinational companies, to face the challenges of today, especially climate change. Feeding the world goes
hand in hand with reducing the pressure on natural resources. We need innovative solutions, adapted to local
conditions. Partnerships between the private sector, research institutions, civil society and governments will be
crucial to sustainably nourish the world’s population by 2050.
This is a year of milestones and opportunity. The Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda and the UN Zero
Hunger Challenge recognize food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation as a key priority. Despite these
major achievements, concern is welling up. As the recent 5th IPCC working group II report shows, climate change
is likely to be the biggest challenge to achieving the sustainable development goals. Climate change is already
affecting all four aspects of food security.
Extreme events, drought and food shortages are impacting the most vulnerable populations, especially in the
tropical countries. With this in view, The Netherlands has been supporting development programmes especially
with adaptation to climate change. Viet Nam, for instance is particularly exposed to climate change: floods, storms,
typhoons, and longer-term sea level rise pose risks to low-lying coastal areas, including the agricultural heartland
of the Mekong Delta. The Netherlands and Viet Nam, both delta countries, concluded a Strategic Partnership
Agreement on Climate Change and a long-term vision on the Mekong Delta was developed in 2013. A forerunner
related to the current Mekong Delta approach was the Coastal Wetlands Protection and Development Project
(1999–2007). This project adopted a comprehensive, long-term approach to the protection of coastal wetlands
in four Mekong provinces. As a result, pressure on coastal mangrove ecosystems has been reduced, erosion has
declined and livelihoods have improved for coastal communities who have witnessed a resurgence of aquatic
resources such as crabs and clams.
While farmers are already adapting to climate change, there is an urgent need to accelerate and scale-up the
adaptation process. Viet Nam is still one of the forerunners in the international context. Last year The Netherlands
and Viet Nam have also signed a Strategic Partnership on Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. We are working
hard together to get results, because we realize: time is running out.
But we have to continuously explore for new ideas so we can innovate upon current production practices, in order
to make agriculture, forestry and fisheries sustainable, while being part of the solution to climate change. Therefore
it is important and inspiring to gather here in Bangkok where people, ideas and innovations connect. In this
workshop, we will share knowledge and experience on implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture among public,
civil society and development agencies, and promote the mainstreaming and up-scaling of Climate-Smart
Agriculture.
30
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
In The Netherlands agriculture accounts for over 40 percent of the national production of renewable energy and
is innovative in developing new techniques, such as sustainable heat from geothermal sources. An example is the
development of a “climate neutral” tomato, growing on renewable heat. Our innovative farmers are also adapting
to future and less favourable climate conditions, by for instance growing crops adjusted to saline (“salty”) conditions:
vegetables, algae and, most promising, a “salty” potato (test farm scale). The next challenge is to develop a full
rotation shift of salty crops.
But we have to focus together on the urgent need to increase the capacity of farmers worldwide to cope with
climate change and food security. We need bold action to stop the moral outcry that almost 1 billion people still
go to bed hungry every night. We need to achieve food security and to feed over 9 billion people in 2050. And
we need to overcome the devastating impact of climate change.
And we know what bold action implies. We know what the solutions are to achieve global food security. We have
to increase our agricultural production in a sustainable way, by at least 60 percent. And we have to double our
efforts to reduce our use of finite natural resources. That is why The Netherlands have been active in putting
Climate-Smart Agriculture firmly on the international agenda and why we are here today to share experience, but
most of all learn from you.
Since 2009 the Government of The Netherlands has taken a leadership role, together with a close group of key
partners from all regions and stakeholder groups, in bringing together the agendas for agriculture, food security
and climate change. Three Global Conferences for Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change have been
organized from The Hague, Hanoi and Johannesburg. And an equal number of Science for CSA Conferences have
been hosted by The Wageningen University and Research Center, UC Davis and the most recently in Montpellier,
in March this year.
In 2014, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited world leaders, from government, finance, business and
civil society to a Climate Summit in New York, to galvanize and catalyse climate action. He asked these leaders to
bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience,
and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal climate change agreement in 2015.
During this Summit the President of Niger and the Prime Minister of The Netherlands chaired a session with Action
Announcements on Agriculture, which included the Chairperson of the African Union, the CEO of The Southern
African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), Walmart, McDonalds, GFAR, and Civil Society. The Global
Alliance for CSA (GACSA) was formally launched by the Prime Minister of The Netherlands, and warmly welcomed
by a number of speakers. More than 70 governments, organizations and companies announced their commitment
to join the newly launched Global Alliance for CSA. The joint entities that have committed to the Alliance represent
millions of farmers, at least a quarter of the world cereal production, 43 million undernourished people and 16
percent of total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. It is important to insist on the focus on agriculture, food
security and nutrition, and the action oriented nature of the Alliance. We need to identify initiatives and actions
to tackle seriously the challenges of climate change, and to bring forward transformative changes in the practices
of agriculture.
The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture has to reach a new phase in which partners determine together
their contribution to create and accelerate action on the ground. In the view of The Netherlands, the Alliance
should be driven by the needs of end users, especially smallholder famers and communities. We need to ensure
these stakeholder groups are adequately represented in the discussions and that the goals and actions of the
Alliance support these stakeholder groups.
The Netherlands supports international initiatives that strengthen the capacity of smallholders to adapt to climate
change, like IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme and the CGIAR’s Climate Change, Agriculture
and Food security Programme.
Annex 5
An equally important issue relating to climate change is the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases in
agriculture. We therefore support the work of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases
(GRA). The GRA’s mission is to reduce the emission intensity of agricultural production by improving the efficiency
and productivity of agricultural systems to meet the increasing demand for food in a sustainable manner. Being
a global collaboration of 45 member countries who link their efforts in research and capacity building, the GRA
forms a valuable partner-alliance.
With a great variety of partners we build on another initiative, coming from last year’s Global Oceans Action Summit
for Blue Growth and Food Security, in the area of sustainable fisheries: a Voluntary Global Network for Action on
Blue Growth and Food Security. The Government of Grenada will organize a conference in early 2016 to create
and accelerate new actions and partnerships in this area.
Further, another very important priority of us all should be to reduce food losses and waste, which was also put
forward as one of the priority areas coming from Montpellier’s 3rd Global Science for CSA meeting. Worldwide
one-third of our food is lost or wasted. In developing countries most is lost before it even reaches the consumer,
for example in production and post-harvest stages. In contrast, in developed countries such as The Netherlands,
most food is wasted by consumers, retailers and the hospitality sector. Reducing food losses and waste is a key
priority for The Netherlands. We have expertise in efficient agro-logistics in food supply chains – linking farmers
to markets and post-harvest quality management, for example in fresh fruit and vegetables. A promising initiative
in this respect is the Postharvest Network that aims to unite companies, research institutions and governmental
organizations to work together to reduce postharvest losses. That is why this week the Government of The
Netherlands is hosting the Global “No More Food to Waste” Conference in The Hague, in close cooperation with
the Government of Viet Nam, FAO, UNEP, and the African Union Commission, and supported by the Global Forum
for Agricultural Research (GFAR) and Wageningen University and Research Center. It brings together a wide range
of relevant stakeholders to share experiences and demonstrate combined action in partnerships in the food chain.
The Conference, which includes a High Level segment, will look for new ways to craft an ambitious and actionoriented agenda, which integrates food losses and waste to establish cross-sectoral alliances and concrete
commitments to reduce food loss and waste across the value chain by 2030.
Recently, the Agricultural Minister of The Netherlands, Ms Sharon Dijksma said in Paris: “Food security is fertile ground
for stability”. At a time when climate change undermines food systems and the threat of conflicts and deadly
epidemics are more real than ever, we cannot afford to underestimate the importance of our commitments to
food security. The Netherlands aim to contribute to worldwide sustainable economic development in the agricultural
sector, as an engine for fair income and productive employment, thereby producing enough and safe food for 9
billion people in 2050.
This is a year of opportunity – with upcoming agreements on climate change and sustainable development: CoP21
and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and beyond. I am hoping this Workshop is merely a start in the region
towards making agriculture climate-smart.
But let’s make sure the steps we take today are fair, innovative and sustainable.
Thank you for your attention.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Annex 6
Keynote Address 3: Why climate-smart agriculture?
Suan-Pheng Kam, WorldFish Center
Climate change threatens to undo years of progress achieved in agricultural development towards enhancing
livelihoods and food security, with the most severe consequences falling on developing countries and the poor.
Reducing this threat requires that agriculture must be practiced in climate-smart ways so that the goal of achieving
agricultural development and national food security is not compromised. The three pillars of Climate-Smart
Agriculture are sustainable improvements in productivity, building resilience (through adaptation), and reducing
and removing greenhouse gases (mitigation).
The Asia-Pacific is an enormously diverse region, widely ranging in eco-physiography, nation size, population
densities and economic development. Given its sheer population size and considering that about half of the
people live in the coastal zone, large populations are exposed to sea level rise and greater risks of extreme coastal
events besides increasing vagaries of weather as direct impacts of climate change. Demand for agricultural products
– food, fibre and fuel – continues to increase due to population growth, changes in diet as per capital income
increases, and the need for alternative energy sources. Agriculture in the Asia-Pacific thus needs to produce more
on dwindling land and water resources and be more resilient to risks associated with extreme weather events.
Climate change simulation models vary considerably in projected results. Broad trends suggest a warmer, wetter
climate with more marked seasonality, and more unpredictable weather events that affect agriculture, directly
and indirectly, through multiple pathways. Risks associated with climate change vary across the Asia-Pacific region;
the ultimate effect is on destabilizing livelihoods and food security through impacts on terrestrial and aquatic
systems. More intensive rainfall exacerbates flooding while prolonged and more severe droughts cause greater
vegetation water stress and water shortages for irrigation and aquaculture in terrestrial systems. Ocean warming
and acidification are already showing impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems.
Climate change is affecting crop yields. Results from multiple global gridded crop models (GGCMs) indicate strong
negative effects from climate change, especially at higher levels of warming and at low latitudes. The slight increase
in crop productivity at mid to high latitude would be offset by increased occurrence of frosts, heat waves and
heavy rainfall. Climate change is affecting nutritional quality of food. C3 grains and legumes grown at the elevated
CO2 concentrations have lower levels of zinc and iron, which are important dietary sources of these elements for
many people.
Climate change impacts on meat and fish production will also affect human nutritional balance. Fish accounts for
significant proportions of protein (over 50%) in the diets of many Asia-Pacific countries, where per capita fish
consumption rates are comparable with those of the developed world. Climate change is affecting marine fisheries.
Marine species are gradually moving away from the equator into cooler waters, resulting in reduced catch in the
tropics. The projected longitudinal pattern of ocean warming in the Pacific also suggests a likely eastward shift of
tuna that would result in declining tuna fisheries in the western Pacific countries. Climate change is expected to
affect existing plans in these countries aimed at deriving more livelihoods from fisheries and aquaculture resources.
Climate change is affecting livestock production. By 2020, 30 to 40 percent of global milk and meat production is
expected to be produced in Asia. Livestock production in the Asia-Pacific is predominantly pastoral or mixed
farming systems and hence is highly dependent on pasture productivity which is impacted in the same way as
crops by climate change. Warming temperatures also impair animal productivity (growth, meat and milk yield and
quality, egg yield, weight, and quality) and reproductive performance, metabolic and health status, and immune
response.
Climate change impacts are most severely felt by the poor. Given the large population in the Asia-Pacific and a
region-wide poverty rate of about 20 percent, the number of poor people remains high – estimated at 743 million
people in 2011. Recent history has shown that food price spikes can cause instability and social revolt. The Arab
Spring unrest of 2011 has been linked with the sharp rise in wheat prices following extreme weather events in
Asia and Australia. Shortage of rice in 2008 caused rice price to spike in 2008, with repercussions of food riots
occurring as far away as Haiti. There is therefore a compelling need for agriculture to be climate-smart to avoid
social and political destabilization that will adversely impact the economy and security of affected nations.
33
Annex 6
An array of agricultural interventions for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change have been tested and
promoted; successes achieved demonstrate the diversity of potential options across different regions, agricultural
systems and thematic aspects including improved crop varieties, farm-level techniques, better weather forecasting
and risk insurance. Specific adaptation measures responding to climate change include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
using improved crop varieties and livestock and fish breeds that are better adapted to changed climatic
conditions;
simple adjustments to land, crop and livestock management such as optimizing cropping and husbandry
schedules;
more efficient use (including multiple use and re-use where possible) of water and energy in the food
production and supply chains;
better weather forecasting and timely provision of data and information to farmers;
risk insurance; and
sustaining the ecosystem services of forests and water sources for combating climate change impacts,
e.g. shoreline protection function of mangroves which are also important breeding and feeding grounds
for fish.
Direct GHG emissions from the agriculture sector and associated land use changes are low relative to other urbanbased sectors. Notwithstanding that, mitigation of GHG emissions reduces the impact of agriculture on climate
change. Sequestering carbon in the soils of croplands and grazing lands offers agriculture’s highest potential for
climate change mitigation, followed by improved fertilizer management (particularly nitrogen fertilizer) which
also increases fertilizer use efficiency and reduces production costs. Methane produced from cattle enteric
fermentation is another source of agricultural GHG emission that can be mitigated.
Climate-smart management, even within a sector, encompasses a range of options that synergistically contribute
to adaptive and mitigative outcomes. As illustrated by the livestock sector, being climate-smart entails integrating
various aspects of stock breeding and selection, animal health and disease management, grassland and feed
management and manure management; while ensuring the build-up and flow of knowledge from experimentation
to piloting to scaling out best practices across the value chain. Integration that extends beyond the farm to
landscape and coordination across agricultural sectors (with crops and fish) would further capitalize on potential
synergies and optimize the use of natural resources and ecosystem services.
Climate-smart management is applicable across a range of spatial scales from farm to landscape and catchments,
as well as across the scale of governance hierarchy from local to national and regional institutions and policies.
Practicing CSA is often considered a “no-regrets” strategy in that its benefits of sustainable improvements in
agriculture will accrue even if climate change impacts turn out not to happen or be as severe as expected. While
“no-regrets” may be a persuasive argument for the initial steps of adaptation in the immediate to short term, it
should not preclude longer-term solutions for sustained resilience that call for more difficult choices and trade-offs
and, associated with that, heavier financial and human capacity investments.
It is important to consider climate-smart management of agriculture within a broad socio-ecological context,
recognizing that climate change is one of many drivers of change influencing the agricultural sector. Responses
to shorter-term perturbations (markets, prices, land conversions, etc.) often take priority over adaptation to a slow
variable like climate change. Technological solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation must be
supported by enabling policies and institutional and financial arrangements and be based on an understanding
of the socio-cultural-economic contexts that provides insights about barriers to adoption – behavioural or otherwise
– and ways of overcoming them.
Climate-smart agriculture already features in several international fora and development agenda. CSA is central
to the development plans of international bodies (e.g. FAO, IFAD, World Bank) and touted as the sustainable and
food secure pathway in various United Nations fora on sustainable development and on agriculture and food
security. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Meeting on Climate Change, Food and Agriculture
in May 2015 articulated the need to situate climate issues in wider sustainable agriculture development agenda,
with emphasis on multi-functionality of agriculture linking across adaptation and mitigation – in essence climatesmart agriculture.
34
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
The CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), through its research
projects of piloting climate-smart villages in various countries across the continents, attempts to deal with climate
change response in agriculture in a more holistic manner. Interventions deemed to be weather-smart, water-smart,
carbon-smart, nitrogen-smart, energy-smart and knowledge-smart are identified with target communities and
other stakeholders, tried out and evaluated. Successes are beginning to emerge; the challenge remains for scaling
out to other villages and scaling up beyond the village level to encompass larger landscapes where different sets
of sustainability issues might emerge and broader-level management, institutional and policy interventions would
come into play.
As the CGIAR moves into a second 15-year phase of CRPs in 2016 a major rethinking emerges that recognizes
climate change as a cross-cutting issue to be addressed in meeting the challenges of reducing poverty, improving
food and nutrition security for health, and improving natural resource systems and ecosystem services. A new CRP
structure is expected to have climate change research embedded into a number of CRPs on food systems for the
major food types, rather than constituting a separate research program as presently configured. This will foster
climate-smart thinking and integrate climate change management actions into the food-systems research programs
aimed at sustainable improvements in agriculture while enhancing the ecosystem services of the natural resources
that it depends on. Designing and implementing an integrated framework of research programs such as this is
challenging and is being pursued.
Climate change is global, and response to its impacts must be universal. While countries grapple with national
action plans to deal with climate change, including climate-smart agriculture, regional initiatives to foster collaboration
on common themes could be undertaken to tackle common issues related to climate change management that
transcend national boundaries. Such an initiative has already emerged in Africa, where alliances (such as the Africa
Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance) and partnerships (such as the Climate-Smart Agricultural Partnership for Africa)
have been established. Would this be a model for the Asia-Pacific?
I started with a question, and end with one. But research is all about asking appropriate questions, and finding
solutions. I feel optimistic that we will find the solutions for agricultural adaptation in the face of climate change.
Thank you for your attention.
Annex 7
Annex 7
Scaling-out climate-smart agriculture in Asia-Pacific: Opportunities and constraints
Pramod Aggarwal
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security,
International Water Management Institute, New Delhi-110012, India
Asia-Pacific comes across as amongst the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the Fifth Assessment
Report of the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was released a year ago, and in other similar
reports. Climate change in the region is manifested by depleting glaciers, increasing coastal erosion, frequent heat
waves, rising sea level, frequent floods and droughts, and varying rainfall patterns. It is now evident that Asian
climate is already changing and the impacts are already being felt. As a largely agrarian economy, this vulnerability
is compounded by the fact that almost 1 000 million people’s livelihoods depend on agriculture directly influenced
by changes in climate.
Although the Asia-Pacific region has seen robust economic growth over the past 20 years, the region is still home
to a large number of hungry people. In South Asia alone, we have more than a quarter of the world’s hungry and
40 percent of the world’s malnourished children and women. As populations continue to rise and the demand
for food grows, the question is: how will this increase in demand be met and where will all this food be grown?
With stiff competition for land from the non-farm sector, expanding farmlands is not an option. Climate change
will further exacerbate the existing pressures on land and water resources. Numerous studies including IPCC
reviews have shown that the productivity of crops, fish and livestock in the Asia-Pacific region would decline even
in the short-term with significant effects later in the century if corrective actions are not taken now to increase our
adaptive capacity. For example, even with the benefits of carbon fertilization (which could anyway be negatively
affected by increases in surface ozone concentration) India stands to lose nearly 4 to 5 tonnes of wheat with every
rise in temperature of 1oC. Dependence on global supplies is not an option because of increasing volatility of
supplies and prices. If the Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty, achieving food security and promoting
sustainable agriculture is to be realized, climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies, practices, services
and policies will need to be implemented in earnest.
What are our options at this stage? The following section provides brief details of six key action points to promote
CSA to enhance adaptation to climate change.
1. Make full use of untapped potential of currently available technologies
There are large yield gaps in almost all crops in most Asia-Pacific regions. These gaps provide huge opportunities
for increasing food production even in the face of climate change, especially in short- to medium-term. In South
Asia for example, bridging these yield gaps could almost double food production. For this to happen, investments
in land and water management, infrastructure, and research accompanied by enabling policies, sustained regional
cooperation and robust institutions is crucial.
2. Use the power of ICT and insurance for managing current climatic risks
Increased production variability could perhaps be the most significant impact of climate change in Asian countries.
Short-term changes in weather extremes, which are still not very predictable in most countries of the region, pose
huge challenges. Some recent examples are the drought in 2014, the floods in Pakistan in 2010, floods in India,
Nepal and Bangladesh in 2007, and the heat-stress experiences in India in 2004 which resulted in fluctuating yields,
food price volatility and threatened food security and incomes. To ensure future food security in climate change
scenarios, investment in managing and stabilizing the existing irrigated potential while exploring options to expand
this potential is the need of the hour.
35
36
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
There has been great progress in the
Scaling out climate-smart agriculture: Opportunities in Asia-Pacific
ICT and crop insurance sectors in many
1. Make full use of untapped potential of currently available technologies
countries yet their potential is only
2. Use the power of ICT and insurance for managing current climatic
partially exploited in the Asia-Pacific.
risks
India has almost 3 million farmers who
3.
Identify and exploit potential benefits of climate change
are receiving today weather forecasts
4.
Use science and technology for improved targeting of CSA
and related agro-advisories through
technologies and policies
their mobile phone. But in other countries
5. Adopt climate-smart village approach for integrated solutions
there has been limited success. Even in
leading to higher income, resilience, adaptation and mitigation
India there is a large dropout rate because
6. Address simultaneously poverty, governance, institutions, and
of the generic nature of advice. There
human capital which limit agriculture growth even today
is a need to tailor this information to
village/community/individual farmer
level. Ready availability of cheap android smartphones, modelling techniques, and progress in big data, crowdsourcing,
cloud computing and decision support systems (DSS) could make this happen rapidly while also increasing the
effectiveness of information provided and thus facilitating scaling-out.
Both yield and rainfall index-based insurance schemes provide risk management options and enhance the resilience
of farmers in an environment of increasing climatic risks. Today almost 30 to 35 million farmers have access to crop
insurance in the Asia-Pacific region but the distribution is highly skewed with India alone having the majority of
beneficiaries. There is a need for site-specific indices. CCAFS has made tremendous progress in designing improved
insurance products and PPP schemes that are currently being tested in India and Nigeria. Lessons from these could
quickly enable other governments and industries to scale-out similar products in other countries.
3. Identify and exploit potential benefits of climate change
In general we always talk about the negative impacts of climate change. In several parts of the world including
Asia-Pacific, however, climate change could provide some opportunities as well. Somehow, there has not been
much consideration of this in the region. Asia-Pacific has almost all agro-climates, all crops, several seasons, and
large diversity in diets. This wide-spectrum could provide several opportunities, if properly researched and tried
even though these may not outweigh the negative impacts. Some regions could become conducive for alternate
crops and their varieties in the changed climate. Change in temperature invariably reduces crop duration for most
species and thus sometimes could become more suitable for shorter-duration crops/varieties. For example, farmers
in the upper regions of Himachal Pradesh in India have taken to growing apples because temperatures in the
lower regions became too warm for its growth. The shift in cultivation brought new opportunities and high incomes
for these farmers while their counterparts in the south switched to cultivating vegetables. Similarly large coastline
and aquaculture systems could provide opportunities for alternate fish species. Research on alternate land-use
systems for various regions needs to be accelerated to enhance our capacity to adapt to climate change.
4. Use science and technology for improved targeting of CSA technologies and policies
Climate-smart interventions have varying costs and environmental and economic impacts, and their implementation
requires appropriate investment decisions by national/sub-national policy makers that are relevant in current as
well as future scenarios of climate and economic development for all farmers and other stakeholders. Investment
plans are being prepared by national and international agencies in scaling out CSA. Hence, there is a big need to
identify which intervention is suitable for what region and its associated costs: benefits to promote CSA as well as
to prevent maladaptation. Our recent unpublished analysis has shown for example that investment in large-scale
seed banks to manage early rainfall failures is not useful in much of South Asia. CCAFS has also developed a CSA
prioritization toolkit: household typologies and gender toolkits that can support investment decisions in CSA
technologies and policies for a region.
37
Annex 7
5. Adopt Climate-smart village approach for integrated solutions
leading to higher income, resilience, adaptation and mitigation
Climate
Climate-Smart
Several technological, institutional and policy interventions have been
Information
Technologies
Services
proposed that can help us adapt to climate change as well as to current
and future weather variability. Similarly options have been proposed
that can recue GHG emissions from agriculture. We need to maximize
Climate-Smart
synergies among these interventions as well as minimize trade-offs.
Village
CCAFS, in collaboration with national programs, is partnering with rural
Village
communities to develop Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs) as models of
Local
Development
Knowledge &
local actions that ensure food security, promote adaptation and build
plans
Institutions
resilience to climatic stresses. Researchers, local partners, farmers’ groups
and policy makers collaborate to select the most appropriate technological
and institutional interventions based on global knowledge and local
conditions to enhance productivity, increase incomes, achieve climate
resilience and enable climate mitigation. Climate information is an important part of CSVs and consideration is
always given to integrating village developmental and adaptation plans together with local knowledge and
institutions into the project. There is no fixed package of interventions or a one-size-fits-all approach.1
Initial field and modelling results suggest a large scope of CSV approaches for significant increase in production
and farmer’s income, climatic resilience, adaptation to longer-term climatic change and to some extent mitigation
of GHGs over the long-term and thus to maximize synergies among different interventions in order to scale out
CSA. Much work needs to be done to expand the evidence base of CSVs with regard to targeting the approach
in different agro-climates, the cost-benefit analysis in terms of investment and returns, and the institutional and
policy changes that are needed to promote CSA.
6. Address simultaneously poverty, governance, institutions and human capital which limit agriculture
growth even today
In several parts of the Asia-Pacific region, problems of widespread poverty, poor governance, weak institutions
and human capital limit agricultural growth today. It is critical to simultaneously address these political and socioeconomic constraints if the full potential of CSA is to be realized for farmers and the region as a whole.
1
For more details:
• Aggarwal P., Zougmoré R., & Kinyangi J. “Climate-Smart Villages: a community approach to sustainable agricultural development,”
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS, 2013). Available online at: www.ccafs.
cgiar.org.
• Jat, R.K., Sapkota, T.B., Singh, R.G., Jat, M.L., Kumar, M., & Gupta, R.K. 2014. Seven years of conservation agriculture in a rice–wheat
rotation of Eastern Gangetic Plains of South Asia: Yield trends and economic profitability. Field Crop Research (available online),
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2014.04.015.
38
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Annex 8
Agriculture at UNFCCC: Paris and beyond
Promode Kant, Institute of Green Economy, India
Food security, and hence agriculture, has been at the centre of the global climate negotiations from the very
beginning and was in fact the reason why 160 countries of the world agreed to meet at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 to
negotiate the first framework convention on the possible ways to deal with arguably the most serious self-created
problem the global community has ever faced. The ultimate objective of this Convention is limiting the concentration
of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with
the climate system within a time frame that ensures the food production is not threatened. There was a clear
recognition that the warming climate due to uncontrolled use of fossil fuels was threatening agriculture and all
countries made commitments to develop, make available, and use technologies and processes that reduce
greenhouse gases emissions in agriculture, and to cooperate in preparing for adaptation to the changing climate,
particularly in areas affected by drought, desertification and floods.
Under the Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997 the developed countries agreed to promote, while meeting their emission
reduction targets, sustainable forms of agriculture, and undertake reforms to progressively phase out of market
imperfections in all greenhouse gas emitting sectors caused by fiscal incentives like tax exemptions and subsidies
that run counter to the objective of the Convention (Article 2). The inclusion of emissions and reductions by
agricultural sources and sinks is optional under Article 3.4 of the Protocol and only very few countries have chosen
to do so. Also, all countries are required to formulate and implement national programs to mitigate climate change
and to adapt to it in the field of agriculture in order to achieve sustainable development subject to their common
but differentiated responsibilities and national priorities and circumstances (Article 10). The Annex A to the Kyoto
Protocol lists enteric fermentation, manure management, rice cultivation, agricultural soils, prescribed burning of
savannas and field burning of agricultural residues as the main mitigation opportunities in agriculture.
Performance of the agriculture sector under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has been very modest with
just 213 of the total 7 645 registered projects – less than 3 percent – falling under this sector. Of these, 61 are
large-scale projects which are exclusively animal waste management related while the rest, the 152 in small-scale
category, are mostly for biomass based energy generation.
In 2007 the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA), a subsidiary body under the
UNFCCC, was launched under the Bali Action Plan. This Action Plan has five main components of shared long-term
vision for action on climate change, mitigation, adaptation, technology and financing. The mandate to bring
agriculture into these negotiations comes from the Bali Action Plan’s paragraph 1(b)(iv) calling for cooperative
sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions for enhanced implementation of the provisions of Article 4,
paragraph 1(c) of the Convention which pointedly demands cooperation in the development and diffusion of
technologies to reduce emissions in the agriculture sector.
Negotiations on agriculture continued at Copenhagen and a draft text on agriculture was developed which had
the following key components:
•
•
“Decides that all Parties . . . should promote and cooperate in the research, development, including transfer,
of technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse
gases, particularly those that improve the efficiency and productivity of agricultural systems in a sustainable
manner and those that could support adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change, thereby contributing
to safeguarding food security and livelihoods”
“Requests the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) to establish a programme of
work on agriculture”
Annex 8
This draft text was carried over to Cancun but there was no agreement on it. Then in the AWG-LCA meeting held
in April 2011 in Bangkok, agriculture was proposed as a standalone item separated from other sectors under the
Bali Action Plan para 1 (b)(iv) that did not have much in common with this sector but was opposed by developing
country parties. Again in the June 2011 session of SBSTA in Bonn agriculture was sought to be included in the
SBSTA agenda but in the absence of any agreement agriculture continued to be discussed under the cooperative
sectoral approaches as before.
A major breakthrough happened at Durban in 2012 when the Convention managed (Decision 2/CP17) to separate
agriculture from other sectors and asking SBSTA to consider issues related to agriculture with the aim of exchanging
views and enabling a decision on this matter at the next CoP even while continuing the consideration of a general
framework for cooperative sectoral approaches and sector-specific actions. Countries were invited to submit their
views to SBSTA and the following views emerged from important groups of countries.
The European Union stated that in parallel to the need for adaptation, there are large opportunities for mitigation
in the sector without affecting the food security and livelihood. Many mitigation actions, like restoration of degraded
lands and enhancement of soil organic matter also build resilience. There should be recognition of the wide
diversity of agricultural systems, development priorities, objectives and circumstances. There are synergistic
opportunities in the three conventions of climate change, desertification and biodiversity which should be fully
explored. The SBSTA should deliberate on the state of scientific knowledge on the impacts of climate change, on
the measurement of emissions and removals, on scientific, technical, environmental and socio-economic aspects
of adaptation and mitigation in agriculture and their synergies and trade-offs, identification of sustainable agricultural
technologies for adaptation and mitigation and transfer to farm level and on approaches to enhance international
cooperation in research and development and capacity-building of all relevant stakeholders in agriculture.
The LDC group drew attention to the overwhelming dependence of their economies on agriculture and the high
vulnerability of the sector to climate change and said they were concerned about article 4.1(c) of the Convention
which lays stress on mitigation whereas the priority of the LDCs is adaptation. Their interest lay in the Work Program
on Loss and Damages and while they welcomed the inclusion of agriculture in the agenda of SBSTA they were
apprehensive of any new commitment on mitigation. They wanted SBSTA to deliberate on measurement and
methodological issues, on the state of knowledge relevant to agriculture and examine existing pilot projects on
adaptation in developing countries to learn from the experience.
The Group of African States stated that their priority is to ensure food security, enhance socio-economic development,
and secure livelihood with special attention to smallholder and marginal farmers through adaptation. For them
the priority issues for agriculture under SBSTA were compilation of a knowledge base and its expansion through
research, identification of technologies and practices suited for transfer to countries that need them, measurement
of emissions and other methodological issues, and assessment of capacity development of all stakeholders.
The Environmental Integrity Group, consisting of the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and
Monaco, stated that agriculture has both potential for mitigation and a considerable ability for adaptation, and
should thus form a core part of the global strategy to deal with climate change. The Group proposed a work
programme under SBSTA aiming at increasing the adaptive capacity of the agriculture sector, minimizing its
emissions and improving food security, reducing poverty and increasing agro-ecosystems services.
Among individual nations the views of The United States of America, China and Japan are presented here. The
United States of America stated that in relation to agriculture also SBSTA should work within its mandate under
the article 9 of the Convention and may address the broad fields of adaptation and mitigation synergies; improved
efficiency, productivity, and resilience; and safeguarding food security and livelihoods, capacity building, research
needs and technology transfer.
China stated that the discussion on the agricultural sector should focus on how developed countries provide
support to the developing countries adapt to the changing climate and that SBSTA should initiate a dialogue on
how technology could be transferred to them.
39
40
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
SBSTA initiated discussion on the subject which continued at the next session in December 2012 and in June 2013
without developing any consensus. One significant decision at its June 2013 meeting was to invite countries to
submit their views on the current state of scientific knowledge on how to enhance the adaptation of agriculture
to climate change impacts with no mention of mitigation. These were discussed in a SBSTA workshop the report
of which came up for discussion in it session in June 2014 when it was concluded that SBSTA would undertake
scientific and technical work, in the areas of:
(a) Development of early warning systems and contingency plans in relation to extreme weather events;
(b) Assessment of risk and vulnerability under different climate change scenarios;
(c) Identification of adaptation measures, indigenous knowledge systems, co-benefits and sharing experiences;
and
(d) Identification and assessment of practices and technologies to enhance productivity sustainably in different
agro-ecological zones and farming systems.
The SBSTA also invited views on the issues mentioned above the first two of which were to be discussed in June
2015 and the last two in June 2016. Only five countries and the European Union submitted their views. R. Korea,
the only one from the Asia-Pacific, stated that the agro-meteorological Early Warning System should be built on
accurate and site-specific-agricultural information, and be able to integrate the effects of several weather elements
and not merely temperature and rainfall, which is lacking now and the National Academy of Agricultural Science
in the Republic of Korea has designed a risk management solution which could address this shortcoming. The
SBSTA deliberated on the issues related to agriculture but there was no conclusion and it was decided to continue
with the discussions. Two in-session SBSTA workshops on early warning systems and assessment of risk and
vulnerability were held on June 2 to 3, 2015 at Bonn, the report of which shall be discussed in the SBSTA meeting
to be held in December this year.
Could NAMA and NAPA bring agriculture substantively within the zone of intense action? Agriculture does find a
place in the National Adaptation Plans of Action of most LDCs prominently, and to a much smaller extent, under
NAMAs but agriculture is too widely spread, both geographically and in terms of extent of population involved,
for these measures to be of any significance going by the current scales of finances available for these activities.
At Paris the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are likely to form the centre of the negotiating
plank for the climate architecture beyond 2020. So far only ten countries and the European Union have submitted
their INDCs. Agriculture is included in the sectors in which these countries, including The United States of America
and the European Union, intend on achieving emission reductions but no separate target for this sector has been
fixed by any country.
In conclusion one could say that while agriculture has a good potential for mitigation of climate change, and is
the prime candidate for adaptive action, there is as yet no progress forward in giving this sector the prominence
it requires in dealing with the problems that lie just around the corner. The hope however lies in the fact that
negotiations on issues related to agriculture have turned more intense in the recent few years than ever in the
past. These discussions, and the fast paced developments in technologies, may just provide the spark that is
needed.
41
Annex 9
Annex 9
State of play: Update from the Green Climate Fund
Leo Park, Financial Institutions Specialist, Private Sector Facility, Green Climate Fund
Introduction
The GCF is an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC established in 2010 and considered to
be the centerpiece of long-term climate finance. The GCF’s headquarters opened in December 2013 in Songdo,
in the Republic of Korea.
To date, 33 countries have pledged US$10.2 billion to invest in the green economies of developing countries. The
GCF’s mandate is twofold: it aims to combat climate change while at the same time giving equal weight to
economic development and job creation in a green economy.
The Fund is currently moving towards full operations and has achieved several important milestones, the most
recent one being the accreditation of seven entities at the end of March 2015. At the next board meeting in July
2015, further entities are expected to obtain accreditation. The Fund is also in the process of converting at least
50 percent of the initial pledges into actual contributions. As of May 21, 2015, GCF achieved a conversion of 58.5
percent or US$5.5 billion of the total pledges into contribution agreements with countries such as Germany, France,
Japan, United Kingdom, Sweden and Republic of Korea.
Readiness programme
The readiness programme supports countries in building capacity of their Focal Points/National Designated
Authorities (NDAs), developing strategic frameworks, identifying and supporting local implementing entities to
be accredited with the Fund and develop project pipelines, and host events to share information and knowledge.
The first country readiness programme will soon be initiated. Within its readiness programme, the GCF will disburse
up to US$1 million per year and per country. More than 50 readiness requests have been received by the Fund so
far. In order for requests to be approved, it is essential that a very detailed and specific description of the envisaged
programme is provided.
Funding areas
The GCF has two funding windows for mitigation (50%) and adaptation (50%). The adaptation window will include
a disaster risk element and investment in infrastructure to make it more climate resilient. With regard to its allocation
framework, the GCF strives towards achieving a geographical balance, allocating sufficient resources for vulnerable
regions and to the Private Sector Facility (PSF).
The GCF has identified several strategic impact-results areas within its two funding windows.
Mitigation:
•
•
•
•
Low-emission energy access and power generation
Low-emission modes of transport
Buildings, cities, industries and appliances
Land use, deforestation, forest degradation, and sustainable management of forests and conservation
and enhancement of forest carbon stocks
Adaptation:
•
•
•
•
Livelihoods of people, communities and regions
Health and well-being of people, food and water security
Infrastructure and built environment
Ecosystems and ecosystem services
42
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Project proposals
The Fund is currently receiving funding proposals from various accredited entities around the globe and it is
expected that the first projects will be approved in October this year.
Project proposals will be assessed against the following investment criteria:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Impact Potential: Potential to achieve the Fund’s objectives and result areas
Paradigm Shift Potential: Potential to catalyse impacts beyond a one-off project or programme investment
Sustainable Development Potential: Potential to provide wider benefits and priorities such as creation of
jobs and contribution to gender equality
Needs of Recipient: Vulnerability and financing needs of the beneficiary country
Country Ownership: Beneficiary country ownership of and capacity to implement funded activities
Efficiency and Effectiveness: Economic and, if appropriate, financial soundness of the programme/project
The approval process of project proposals is still being finalized. Project proposals can only be submitted by
accredited entities of the Fund. The National Designated Authorities (NDAs) of the country are required to send
a non-objection letter to the GCF. The Fund aims to approve or decline projects within three months from the
date of project proposal submission.
Accreditation
Accreditation to the GCF is open to all entities, including international, regional, national, sub-national and public
and private entities, through one of two modes of access:
•
•
Direct access track: for regional, national and sub-national entities
International access track: for international entities, including United Nations agencies, multilateral
development banks, international financial institutions and regional institutions
Intermediaries and Implementing Entities need to meet the GCF’s fiduciary standards and environmental and
social safeguards (ESSs) which are based on the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) performance standards.
If entities are accredited by GEF, AF or EU DEVCO, they may be eligible to apply under the fast-track accreditation
process. The fast-track process allows for eligible entities to focus their application on those GCF accreditation
requirements that have not been assessed during other accreditation processes.
No quota system is in place and accreditation works on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Private sector facility (PSF)
The GCF is a climate fund with the mandate to work with the private sector. The PSF was created as a mainstream
component of the Fund to maximize private sector investment engagement with climate finance in developing
countries. The PSF aims at creating synergies among public and private stakeholders to support the development
of adequate national climate change strategies that address key investment barriers, and at leveraging the existing
financial ecosystem by working with financial intermediaries that have the necessary experience and pipeline of
investments.
It is important to note that the GCF will provide concessional investments where private finance is near feasible.
Four types of instruments will be applied by the Fund, namely grants (e.g. for risk assessments), debt (e.g. to cover
high upfront costs), equity (e.g. in the riskier early stages of projects) and guarantees (e.g. to mitigate project specific
risks).
Areas of priority for the PSF are public transportation, waste and water management, and energy smart buildings,
companies and cities in the case of urban projects, and agriculture and forestry for rural projects. Water and onand off-grid low emission energy are considered cross-cutting sectors.
Accredited intermediaries can submit funding proposals spontaneously or through responding to a Request for
Proposals issued by the Fund.
43
Annex 10
Annex 10
Climate-smart agriculture success stories from Asia
Introduction
In 1992, when countries across the globe joined an international treaty on climate change, their primary concern
was with food security. It was becoming apparent that global warming will set back all the advances we have
achieved in agriculture. This concern pales against the likelihood that the earth’s population is projected to reach
9 billion by the year 2050. FAO estimates that food production must increase by 60 percent to meet the needs of
such population growth. In such a scenario, the agriculture sector must transform itself to be far more productive
while being simultaneously resilient to the impacts of climate change.
In the face of such challenges, agriculture must be transformed into a “climate-smart” system to continue feeding
the world in a sustainable manner. FAO developed such a concept, called Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) as part
of the background document prepared for the 2010 Hague Conference on Food Security, Agriculture and Climate
Change. CSA is an approach, using appropriate technical, policy and investment conditions, to achieve sustainable
agricultural development for food security under climate change. CSA’s approach has three objectives: i) sustainably
increase agricultural productivity and incomes; ii) adapt and build resilience to climate change; and iii) reduce
and/or remove GHG emissions where possible.
When the concept of CSA began to capture much interest, there was the impression that CSA constitutes a new
approach. But upon further reflection, it is possible to recognize many low-carbon approaches have been in
practice in the Asia-Pacific region for millennia. It must also be realized that agriculture has been continuously
facing climate change, and farmers in the region have been adapting their practices to accommodate such forces
of nature. They have been innovating new technologies without any or much external support. Many of the
traditional practices are pre-adapted to climate change, are low-carbon approaches which are sustainable, cost
effective, and bring higher yields or more income. Considering they are already in use, it infers that they can be
easily adopted by communities elsewhere in the region. So, instead of looking for new technologies, it is equally
important to promote these traditional practices to farming communities across the region. With this in mind,
FAO looked at a number of such low-carbon climate-smart practices, and decided to capture briefly a selection
of those practices for this publication. The following case studies were selected:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
Aquasilviculture: An environmentally friendly mariculture system in Viet Nam
Seaweed farming: A community-based adaptation to climate change in the Philippines
The New Theory of Agriculture: A Thai farmer’s climate-smart pathway
Floating gardens: Spreading the tradition
India’s traditional water harvesting systems: Age-old, climate-smart agriculture
Leasehold forestry in Nepal: A new lease of life for rural communities and forests
Vertical farming: An innovative agriculture system for producing food in urban areas
It is the desire of FAO to showcase these case studies that demonstrate farming practices that are built on traditional
knowledge, cheap and renewable material, and with practically no external inputs. They represent some of the
most sustainable practices and activities that hardly result in GHG emissions, but more often are working to mitigate
climate change. This work also is a dedication to the farmers who have continuously improved their practices,
with little external support, and yet have achieved practices that are clearly adaptations to the impacts of climate
change.
FAO contracted out the studies to various experts in the region. In some cases, the reports were undertaken by
FAO officers themselves. The studies were selected based on their low-carbon approach in their design and
outcomes, and represent adaptation and resilience to climate change, sustainability, contribution to livelihoods
and incomes, and mitigation/ reduction of GHG emissions.
44
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 1
Aquasilviculture: An environmentally friendly mariculture system in Viet Nam1
Introduction
Ca Mau Province has the largest area for aquasilviculture in Viet Nam. In 2013, the total area of aquasilviculture
was around 60 000 ha (Tuan et al. 2013). This aquasilvilculture system is unique in Viet Nam for the production of
certified organic shrimp. Since 2002, the Ca Mau frozen seafood processing import-export corporation (Camimex)
has been certified to supply organic shrimp by IMO (Institute for Marketecology), Switzerland based on Naturland
standard of Germany. Camimex has exported approximately 350 to 390 tons of organic shrimp annually to the
Coop in Switzerland (Ha et al. 2010). Until 2013, Camimex had an organic shrimp certificate area of over 700
households in Nam Can and Ngoc Hien districts (Tuan et al. 2013). Recently, Minh Phu group has also received a
certificate of organic shrimp for 741 households in Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province.
Basically, the aquasilviculure model has been introduced as an environmentally friendly mariculture system to
adapt to climate change. A series of programmes have been conducted in this area to enhance this system, in
particular, the project “Mangroves and Markets” (MAM) being carried out by SNV Viet Nam. This project has applied
three approaches, including increasing yield, reducing cost and obtaining a premium price to improve livelihood,
food security, and adaptation of climate change for farmers living at Nhung Mien hamlet, Vien An Dong commune,
Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province.
This case study conducted a cost-benefit analysis of economic returns, livelihood and food security issues, usage
of natural resources, and low carbon agricultural practices. This study also indicated how the new practices
enhanced the current practices with extreme weather. Thirteen households living within the MAM project were
selected for interviews in this study. Farming practices, production value chain, cost, income and a status of organic
shrimp certificate were documented and assessed.
Technology/Practice
This study was carried out at Nhung Mien hamlet, Vien An Dong commune, Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province,
Viet Nam in May 2015. All farm owners have a green book land use right certificate issued by Nhung Mien Forestry
Management Board (FMB), and all activities such as selling, leasing and redesigning of the farm must be approved
by the FMB.
This aquasivilculture system was designed to be as simple as possible. Farm sizes varied from 3.1 to 5.5 ha and
water surface areas ranged from 1.1 to 2.4 ha. Mangrove forest area represented around 40 percent of the farm
area (Table 1).
Table 1. General information of the aquasilviculture farms in Nhung Mien hamlet,
Vien An Dong commune, Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam
Parameters
Mean ± STDEV (n=13)
Farm size (ha)
4.0±0.8
Water surface (ha)
1.8±0.4
Ratio between mangrove forest and total areas (%)
39.8±5.1
Black tiger shrimp stocking density (PLs/m2/year)
26.5± 6.7
Mud crab stocking density (crablets/ha/year)
3 966±1 874
Note: PLs = post larvae
1
Prepared by Dr Vu-Anh Tuan, Project Leader, Research Institute for Aquaculture, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
45
Annex 10
Each farm had three components including: 1) mangrove
forest area; 2) water surface area for aquaculture; and 3) the
remaining land for other trees and crops (Figure 1). Farms
were surrounded by a larger outer canal of more than 1.2 m
in depth and 6.0 m in width, with many smaller and shallower
inner canals dissecting the mangrove forest, which was more
elevated than the canal water surface. The farm usually had
one big water gate for water exchange, which is netted for
harvesting shrimp.
Based on the lunar calendar, post larvae (PLs) of black tiger
shrimp (Penaeus monodon) were stocked in October or
November every year, followed by supplemental monthly
stocking until December. Some farms were stocked continuously
until April or May. The stocking densities fell from the beginning
to the end of crop, with an average density of around 27 PLs
per m2 per year. During the post larval stocking period, mud
crablets were also released into the pond. Most farmers used
crab seed produced from hatcheries, though some used
seed from wild crablet collectors.
Figure 1. Aquasivicuture in Nhung Mien Hamlet,
Vien An Dong Commune, Ngoc Hien district
(Photo sourced by Tuan Anh Vu, 2015)
No feed, chemicals or antibiotics were used in this system, although some farmers used small amounts of lime to
reduce turbidity and increase pH. Prior to stocking PLs, farmers also used saponin to kill predatory wild fish in the
pond. In this system, shrimp and mud crab depended only on natural food. After four months from the first socking,
the biggest shrimp and mud crab were initially harvested. Harvest times of shrimp were based on the moon cycle,
with two harvest periods per month (middle and end of month). Shrimps were usually harvested at the sluice gate
at night by partially draining the pond, although some were also caught using the “against water current” netting
technique. Mud crabs were mainly harvested by hand net and line-hook.
The harvested shrimps were usually bigger than shrimp produced from intensive ponds (15 to 20 pieces make a
kg). In 2014, the farm gate price was around VND300 000 per kg for larger shrimp sized at 17 pieces per kg. Most
farmers sold their shrimps to middlemen rather than a wholesale buyer or companies because of their small volume
and distance from markets. The value chain analysis of black tiger shrimp in Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province
is described as below (Figure 2).
Input
Production
Collection
Processing
Trading
Consumption
Export
95.0%
Middle
men
99.0%
32.3%
Inputs:
62.7%
- Postlarvae
Farmers
4.0%
Wholesale
buyers
66.7%
Domestic
- Fuel
- Saponin
Processing
companies
1.0%
Figure 2. Value chain for non-certified and certified organic shrimps at Ngoc Hien district,
Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam (Tuan et al. 2013)
46
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Results
a. Case study findings
Shrimp sizes and prices
12%
11%
28%
49%
10-15 shrimps per kg
20-25 shrimps per kg
15-20 shrimps per kg
25-30 shrimps per kg
Figure 3. Ratio among four size classes of black tiger shrimp in Nhung Mien hamlet,
Vien An Dong Commune, Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province in 2014
The highest proportion of the harvested shrimp sizes was around 15 to 20 pieces per kg (Figure 3). In 2014, prices
ranged from VND280 000 to 330 000 for sizes in a range of 15 to 20 pieces per kg, respectively. Similarly, the highest
price was from VND350 000 to 400 000 for sizes in a range of 10 to 15 pieces per kg. (Note: Exchange rate was US$1=
VND21 500).
Yield, survival rate, income, cost and profit
The yield of black tiger shrimp was low and varied from farm to farm. In particular, survival rate was very low (about
1.9%) despite the relatively high stocking densities and farmers spent a lot of money to buy PLs. They could recoup
more of this initial outlay if the survival rate could be increased. The total income and income per hectare in Table
2 represents income from all sources, namely black tiger shrimp, wild shrimp, mud crab, wild fish and fruit trees.
Table 2. Yield of black tiger shrimp, survival rate, total income and income per hectare
Parameters
Mean ± STDEV
Yield of black tiger shrimp (kg/ha/year)
213±104
Survival rate of black tiger shrimp (%)
1.9± 1.1
Total income (US$/household/year)
7 026±2 278
Income per hectare (US$/ha/year)
4 115±1 761
Table 3 shows fixed and variable costs of the interviewed farms. The fixed cost included 50 percent of net, 20
percent of boat, and 10 percent of sluice gate cost. The variable cost consisted of farm preparation, PLs, mud
crablets, saponin, lime/zeolite, bank interest rate of 10 percent, and labour (one person per farm) for year 2014.
47
Annex 10
Table 3. Fixed cost, variable cost, total cost per hectare, total profit and profit per hectare of
the aquasilviculture model at Nhung Mien hamlet, Vien An Dong commune, Ngoc Hien district,
Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam in 2014
Parameters
Total fixed cost (US$)
Mean ± Stdev, n=13
98±12
Total variable cost (US$)
2 857±762
Total cost per ha (US$)
1 702±487
Total profit (US$/year)
4 072±2 020
Profit per ha (US$/ha/year)
2 414±1 458
The average profit was US$2 414 per ha per year. To compare with the profits of other models in Ca Mau in 2012,
this income was as similar as the previous finding for the certified organic shrimp farm but it was higher than that
of the uncertified aquasilviculture, the rice-shrimp farms, and the traditional extensive shrimp farm. According to
Tuan et al. (2013), the profit of the certified aquasilviculture was around US$2 356 per ha per year at Nam Can
district. The profits for uncertified aquasilviculture, rice-shrimp, and traditional extensive shrimp farms in Ca Mau
were US$1 849, 1 415 and 1 180 per ha per year, respectively. In general, this income was adequate to meet their
needs and keep operating their farm. However, the profit did not take into account the loan they were paying the
bank for purchasing the farm. (Note: exchange rate: US$1 = VND20 500 in 2012)
b. Implication for low carbon agriculture, biodiversity conservation, water saving, and forest
regeneration
Trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. According to Vu Tan Phuong and Nguyen Viet Xuan (2013), Rhizophora
trees could absorb approximately 136.6 tons/ha of CO2 and the value was VND3.3 million or US$154 per ha per
year. Each aquasilviculture farm contained around 1.6 ha of mangrove area, and the main mangrove tree species
is Rhizophora apiculata. Therefore, each aquasilviculture farm could absorb approximately 219 tons CO2 and the
value of carbon sequestration comes up to US$246 per year.
In addition to the mangroves, this system also has other trees. Although land area in this study has been known
to have low pH and salty soil, pineapple, mango, dragon fruit, and coconut trees have been raised in this area
(Figure 4). Many kinds of vegetables such as Kankun (Ipomoea aquatic) and Gotukola (Centella asiatica) have also
been cultivated.
Figure 4. Diversification of trees in Nhung Mien Hamlet, Vien An Dong commune, Ngoc Hien district,
Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam (Photo: Tuan Anh Vu, 2015)
In particular, the aquasilviculture system has a low carbon demand since it is mostly based on natural conditions.
According to Figure 5, the cost structure shows that the labour was a major cost of this system. No feed, chemical
or antibiotic was used, although some farmers used small amounts of lime and saponin. On the other hand, farm
preparation cost was the second biggest item of expenditure for this system. The machine to clean the channel
bottom consumes fuel. However, farm preparation is carried out only once a year, so carbon emissions from fuel
consumption are somewhat lower than that associated with intensive shrimp culture.
48
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Farm preparation
26%
Shrimp post larvae
38%
Mud crablet
Lime/Zeolite
Saponin
Interest rate (10%/year)
23%
2%
1%
2%
Labour
8%
Figure 5. Cost structure in 2014 for aquasilviculture aquasilviculture at Nhung Mien hamlet,
Vien An Dong commune, Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau Province, Viet Nam
Water management has not been considered in this model yet. The traditional habit of harvesting shrimp by
draining involves considerable water and increases the risk of disease transfer between farms. In fact, water exchange
is one of the main factors responsible for the outbreak of widespread shrimp disease in Ca Mau Province. Therefore,
the MAM project is using probiotics in some farm trials in this area to save water and to prevent disease. Hopefully,
this technique will be successful and help farmers in the near future.
Forest management and regeneration is one of the main targets of this system. Many programmes have been
introduced and training provided for farmers to replant their mangrove area. All mangrove seeds and techniques
have been given freely by Nhung Mien FMB. To encourage farmers to look after and protect the mangroves, the
FMB has signed a contract with farmers to share benefits when the mangrove forest is harvested. Accordingly, the
farmers will receive 95 percent value of harvested mangrove trees. Additionally, farmers will have an opportunity
to obtain a 10 percent premium on the payment for shrimp when they increase mangrove area in the farm to
meet the requirement of Naturland standard for organic shrimp.
c. Implication on livelihoods and food security
The farmers living in the study area have a diversified source of income – from black tiger shrimp, wild shrimp,
mud crab, wild fish and fruit trees (Figure 6). The main income was from black tiger shrimp (70%) while that from
fruit trees was approximately 1 percent overall, since only one farm owner received VND15 million from pineapple
in 2014. Some chicken, duck and fresh water fish (snakehead, catfish and tilapia) have been raised as well. These
provide food sources for the farmer’s family and diversification of their sources of income.
1%
3%
Black tiger shrimp
18%
Wild shrimp
Mud crab
8%
Wild fish
70%
Fruit trees
Figure 6. Diversified income structure of aquasilviculture in 2014 at the case study site
Annex 10
Farm owners have signed long-term contracts with the Nhung Mien Forestry Management Board on sharing
benefits of timber from mangrove forests planted initially at 10 000 trees per hectare and harvested at 10 to 15
years of age. Mangrove forests in this study are presently around five to eight years old, so farm owners will have
to wait another five to seven years before they derive income from harvesting their mangroves.
A payment of premium price for organic aquatic products is another means to increase income for farmers in this
area. The Camimex company has paid a premium price of 6 percent higher than the conventional prices (Tuan,
et al. 2013), while Minh Phu group has agreed to pay 10 percent. The households that have been certified for
organic shrimp are having a chance to increase their livelihoods with the premium price.
Improving livelihoods of farmers in the Nhung Mien hamlet was conducted by MAM project managed by SNV
Viet Nam. The MAM project has been studying ways to increase incomes for farmers by raising the survival rate
and yield of shrimp and reducing variable costs and increasing premium price of shrimp. Therefore, the activities
of the MAM project has helped the Minh Phu group to obtain the organic certificate from Naturland which has
committed to paying a premium price which is 10 percent higher than the conventional price for organic shrimp.
For further food security and livelihood enhancement, a policy for payments for forest environmental services
(PFES) should be considered in this area. This would help farmers in this area to improve their livelihoods by planting
and protecting the mangroves.
Conclusions
The current practice of aquasilviculture approach using simple techniques and low cost inputs nevertheless
provides stable incomes. The system does not only have a low carbon footprint without feed, chemicals and
antibiotics but also absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Biodiversity conservation was established by
planting other vegetables and fruit trees, raising terrestrial animals and fresh water fish. The mangrove forest has
been reforested under a contract which allows the farmer to earn up to 95 percent of the harvest value while
simultaneously obtaining a certificate for organic shrimp.
Livelihoods and food security were stabilized and improved based on diversified income from aquatic animals
and other sources such as vegetables, fruit trees, terrestrial animals and even fresh water fish. New practices from
the MAM project include determining an optimal stocking density to reduce the cost of PLs, applying probiotics
to increase survival rate, yield and reduce the risk of disease outbreaks, and certifying organic shrimp to gain a
premium price that is 10 percent higher than the regular price.
However, some management issues still need to be addressed. These include low survival rates of the shrimps,
harvesting techniques, and water management to reduce the risk of disease transmission. Therefore, the following
recommendations are made: 1) Further studies on suitable methods to improve survival rate and harvesting
technique and reduction of risk from disease; and 2) Implement a payment for environmental services (PES) for
protection of the mangrove forest.
Reading material
Ha, T.T.T. & Bush, S.R. 2010. Transformation of Vietnamese shrimp aquaculture policy: empirical evidence from
the Mekong Delta. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. Vol. 28. pp. 1101–1119.
Tuan, V.A., Phan, T.L., Do, V.H., Ngo, T.N.T., Nguyen, D.K., Phan, Q.V., Nguyen, T.H. 2013. Status of small-scale
environmentally friendly shrimp production in Ca Mau province. ICMP/CCCEP (GIZ) in Ca Mau. GIZ, 85.
Vu Tan Phuong & Nguyen Viet Xuan. 2013. Carbon sequestration value of coastal mangrove forests in Kien
Giang and Ca Mau provinces. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, No. 14. pp. 93–98 (Vietnamese).
49
50
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 2
Seaweed farming: A community-based adaptation to climate change in the Philippines1
Introduction
What agricultural commodity is versatile, can be grown without land preparation, does not need fertilizer inputs,
is resilient against drought and heavy rain, can be harvested in 45 days, and is nutritious and fit for human
consumption right after harvest? Seaweeds! Seaweed has many other advantages. Demand for seaweed and
seaweed products are increasing, it is not perishable and can be dried and stored for two months or more. And
with hard work and determination, you can start your own seaweed farm with US$500 or even less. Seaweed,
specifically of the genus Eucheuma, and its extracts, Iota carrageenan (for Spinosum) and Kappa carrageenan (for
Cottonii) are used as follows (Table 1):
Table 1. Common uses of seaweed
Common uses of seaweeds
Product application
Finished product impact
Meat extenders
• Enhances texture and water retention
• Stabilizes fat-protein emulsion in meat
Dairy product stabilizer
• Allows homogeneity and smooth dispersion of ingredients
Pet-food binder
• Allows stable form and homogeneous appearance
Beer
• Allows for easy filtration
Pharmaceuticals
• Used in hard and soft gel capsules
Technical applications
• Used in technical beauty and other personal care products
Other applications
• Food stabilizers and thickeners for canned products
Aside from providing food and nutrition, seaweeds photosynthesize and draw off CO2 from the atmosphere, which
is a mitigation action against climate change.
Site selection for seaweed farming
Ideal sites for the setting up of seaweed farms are areas located between islands where current flow is moderate
allowing nutrients to reach the plants and drawing away waste material produced by the plants (Figures 1 & 2).
These areas also provide protection from strong winds and waves during inclement weather. They should also be
deep enough by at least one metre during low tide and away from rivers or possible sources of freshwater run-off.
The site should also be taking into consideration the presence of farms or fishponds that may release pesticides
or chemicals before or during their crop cycles.
1
Prepared by Mr J. Piscano, Business Manager, Center for Empowerment and Resource Development Inc. Hinatuan, Surigao
del Sur, the Philippines.
51
Annex 10
Figure 1. Site Selection – Choose sites with moderate current flow and allow protection
from winds and waves
Figure 2. Seaweed Farms and fish cages often look for the same site criteria
Planting method
Seaweed farmers select the method most suitable to their areas and species cultivated. Shallow areas are preferred
by Spinosum growers while Cottonii (Eucheuma cottonii) farmers prefer deeper areas and use the hanging method
more. Deeper areas allow greater leeway in management during extremes in weather such as storms and high
temperature.
While contacting your seedling plant supplier, you may begin to set up your lines. Lines are usually 20 to 50 metres
in length secured at both ends by bamboo stakes or stone anchors (Figure 3). There are no strict rules in layout of
farms, but rather conform to topography and current flow. Below is an example of a layout used in Barangay Salog.
52
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
TOP VIEW OF MODEL SEAWEED FARM LAYOUT
0.5 metre
5 metres
distance
between
bamboo poles
or anchors
Gap between secondary lines
Segment cut
Segment cut
20 metres distance from main or demarcation lines
Farm Layout as provided by Mr. Fernando Torremocha
Bamboo stakes
or anchor markers
20 metres
Length of
main lines
Figure 3. Layout of seaweed farm used in Barangay Salog
Floats are spaced at 0.5 metres apart, and may be reduced or increased as required. They can be made from
styropore or empty PET bottles or even bamboo. PET bottles, though unsightly, appear to be the most cost-effective
and with the least environmental impact. Styropore tends to breakdown over time and scatter into bits that are
hazardous to fish and small marine animals. The tie lines used to hold the seedling plants are spaced 8 to 10 cm
apart (Figures 4 & 5). Most farmers prefer to plant on the prepared lines set on the sea which reduces stress on the
plants. On the day of planting, seed stock is placed in net enclosures to ensure sufficient water movement around
the plants.
Figure 4. Seedling plant enclosure where seed stock is placed and checked just before transfer to the lines
53
Annex 10
Figure 5. Seedling plants being examined before distribution
Plants are then tied securely to the lines. About 150 to 200 grams of seed material are tied at intervals (Figures 6
& 7). The plants are allowed to grow for the next 45 to 60 days.
Figure 6. Seaweed harvested to be sold as seed plant. Note distance of straw ties on nylon line
54
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 7. Epiphytes growing on harvested line
Farm management
Inspect the farm regularly for signs of potential problems. Shake the lines if necessary to remove debris and other
foreign matter after storms or floods. Check for disease and grazing by fish which can be serious if left unchecked.
Reduce the number of floats during hot weather to further submerge the plants away from the surface. Also reduce
the floats during storms as wave action is stronger at the water surface than within the water column.
Check for epiphytes and other plants that adhere to your lines and compete for space and often reduce the value
of your crop. These need to be removed on a regular basis
Fish tend to congregate under the seaweed and can cause serious damage. Place gillnets near areas where fish
congregate to be able to collect the fish for yourself, and avoid fishermen coming over to check out your lines.
Harvesting and drying
Seaweeds may be harvested after 45 days but it is preferable to wait for 60 days or more. This allows the plants to
mature and produce more carrageenan and brings in a better price. Farmers harvest by either stripping the lines
at sea or bringing the whole line to shore and stripping seaweed on the beach.
It is best to immediately dry the seaweed after harvest. The best method of drying is air drying the seaweed. This
allows for cleaner seaweeds. Most farmers, however, sun dry their seaweeds by placing them over tarpaulins or
net material. One of the common problems for farmers is finding drying locations and drying facilities.
Storage
Dried seaweed is best stored in an enclosed warehouse. Inspect the dried seaweed regularly and roll them over
periodically. Keep your warehouse clean and prevent animals and pests from entering. Make sure your warehouse
and stock is protected from rain and well secured against theft. When you are ready to sell, you may pack your
seaweed in recycled bags of feed or rice. Rice sacks can be packed with up to 70 kg of dried seaweed.
Marketing
Prices of seaweed go up or down depending on supply and demand. Normally, however, buyers compute their
price offers based on your distance from the nearest port and processing plant. This reflects their own costs for
55
Annex 10
freight and handling as well as incidental fees like transport permits. Unlike fish and other perishables, dried seaweed
can be stored and producers may stockpile seaweed and wait for good prices.
Seaweed will continue to be a valued commodity in the market. It is the largest component of Philippine aquaculture
production comprising 69 percent of total production. The Philippines is the third largest exporter of seaweed
products in the world (Philippine Rural Development Program [PRDP] 2014) producing 1 751 kg of carrageenan
in 2012. Despite this, however, it imported both dried seaweed and carrageenan bulk from China and Indonesia
(Table 2).
Table 2. Import of seaweed products into the Philippines
Import of Seaweed Products Based on Issued SPS/Import Permits
YEAR
CARRAGEENAN
(tons)
DRIED SEAWEED (tons)
2011
4 299
0
2012
2 071
0
2013
1 717
668
2014
3 148
1 205
Total
11 235
1 873
This indicates that there is a strong local demand for seaweed and carrageenan. Changing lifestyles and food
preferences will further push the demand for carrageenan upwards.
Benefits provided by seaweed and seaweed farming
Most seaweed farmers produce seaweed to augment income from their main livelihood. Work in seaweed farms,
like in most agricultural activities, is seasonal and can be done by most people. A farmer together with family
members can tend a small farm that can provide extra income as follows (Table 3).
Table 3. Income from a seaweed farm typically managed by a farmer
Cost and return estimate for
Per crop
5 lines of Eucheuma farm using hanging line method ((Fresh
to dry ratio (kg) 7:1))
Price per (Pesos)
Sales for 1 000 kg dried seaweed/crop cycle
Kg
Per year
Ton
3 crops (Pesos)
40
40 000
120 000
20
20 000
60 000
3
3 000
9 000
Subtotal
23
23 000
69 000
Gross margin
17
17 000
51 000
2
4 000
12 000
Less cost of sales
Seedling plants 1 000 @20/kg
Cost for drying seaweed/kg
Less operating expenses
Amortization of initial investment (nylon lines, sacks, straw,
netting with a lifespan of 2 years or 6 crop cycles) = P12 000
Replacement floats, straw ties
Subtotal OPEX
Net income
1 000
2
5 000
15 000
15
12 000
36 000
56
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
While no records or statistics are available on the impact on the economic well being of residents brought on by
seaweed farming, many people, especially the farmers themselves say that seaweed farming has brought material
benefits to them. In Barangay Tulang, 40 percent of its 426 households report an improvement in economic status.
They point to the increased number of motorized boats, which are the main mode of transport in coastal and
island areas. They point to an increase in the number of families that have been able to send their children to
schools. Further, many farmers have been able to sustain farming from income derived from seaweed.
The farming of seaweed has also brought on an unexpected benefit: an increase in number and diversity of fish
that shelter under the plants, attracting bigger fish that provide both food and income to seaweed farmers. Also,
another valuable contribution of seaweed is its absorption of carbon dioxide from the environment. Carbon dioxide
is one major GHG contributing to global warming. Seaweeds take in CO2 and mitigate the effects of global warming.
A study by George and Rao (2012) estimated CO2 in the atmosphere at 373 parts per million (ppm). They also
estimated that Kappaphycus (Eucheuma) can utilize CO2 up to 185 ppm. This means a kilo of seaweed can take
185 milligrams of CO2 and hold it until it is harvested. The more seaweed we plant, the more we will benefit not
only financially but also environmentally.
The focus on the production of dried seaweed, unfortunately, has made people ignore the other by-products of
seaweed. Not one farmer has mentioned making use of the drippings from seaweed, which can be processed
into fertilizer and plant nutrients. Some people produce seaweed chips, which is processed seaweed mixed with
other ingredients to produce potato-string style chips on a limited scale. The relative high value of dried seaweed
eliminates its use as biofuel.
Regarding its impact on livelihood, seaweed farming is essentially a supplemental activity to either fishing or
farming. It has proven, however, to be capable of serving as a reliable safety net when the main livelihoods are
threatened or unable to deliver. Further, it taps the services of all family members as work revolves around manual
dexterity and keen observation rather than physical strength.
Conclusions
There are many positives with seaweed farming. Seaweed farming provides an alternative livelihood for farmers
– they are able not only to diversify their income, but supplement it as well. While the profits from seaweed farming
are still at the low end, higher profits will certainly encourage more farmers to take up this practice. However,
seaweed farming certainly contributes to food security and improvement of the communities’ livelihoods.
Socially, seaweed farming has positively transformed communities. It has provided a creative outlet for women
and the youth. People who used to while away their time are now engaged in discussing weather conditions,
prices and school concerns. The team-style nature of seaweed farming from seeding to harvesting has allowed
many families to have more time shared during work resulting in closer knit families and children highly appreciative
of the efforts of their parents in supporting their families and the education of their children. The learning process
is heightened as well – farmers have been able to identify, observe and respond to its challenges. Farmers now
respond by planting deeper, optimizing locations and selecting the best planting times of the year.
While the contribution of seaweed farming is generally observed in economic terms, its environmental benefits
may be higher still. Seaweed farming requires no chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides that are common
with land-based farming. Some seaweeds have been known to absorb some of the nitrogen-based fertilizers that
seep into the waters from the land-based farming activities, thereby removing these potentially toxic substances
from the environment. In addition, seaweed farming is a renewable source of food, which can be harvested
continuously with no depletion of minerals, which is the norm with soil-based farming. This is an important
contribution in our approaches to develop CSA – seaweed farming does not contribute to CO2 emissions, but
instead is potentially able to remove those gases from the atmosphere. If seaweed farming can be expanded, this
can become a significant positive contribution to global environment. The farms also appear to improve the
environment for fish, and their populations seem to grow around the area.
Annex 10
Finally, there is a need to strengthen the seaweed farming system. The effort of the seaweed farmers has made
the Philippines the third largest seaweed exporter in the world. Yet, the farmers have done this largely on their
own initiative. The current approach of providing funding, but no marketing and capacity building support results
in many discouraged farmers who fall out, and this detracts from the overall success of seaweed farming. The
seaweed sector must provide farmers not only a fair price but social protection, health protection, crop insurance
and security of tenure of the farm. Seaweed farming must become profitable to attract investors and more farmers.
A paradigm shift from treating small seaweed farmers as mere producers to partners in a greater endeavour is
needed.
Reading material
Bureau of Fisheries. 2015. SPS Issuances for importation of RDS and carrageenan.
Bureau of Fisheries Region IV. n.d. A (Calabarzon). Culture of Seaweeds.
George, R. & Rao, S. 2012. Marine Fishery Development and Climate Change. Kerala Environment Congress.
Neish, I. The ABC of Eucheuma Seaplant Production.
Nobleza, J.S. 2014. VCA Findings: Seaweeds. Bohol, Cebu, Guimarras. Philippine Rural Development Program.
Piscano, C. 2010a. Seaweed farming practices: Its impact on social protection and environment case study prepared
for the Tambuyog Development Center.
Piscano, C. 2010b. Personal observations on CERD-Oxfam Project Sustainable Enterprise and Gender in Fisheries
Development (SEAGIFT): Seaweed production and marketing in Surigao del Sur.
57
cot
sp
Seaweed
by-products
Fernando
Torremocha
No seaweed byproduct
No seaweed byproduct
Increase in the
number of fish and
other organisms
around seaweed
farms
120 days
partial
Harvest sun dried,
packed in sacks
and brought to
consolidators
Different species
Low of 10; high of
40
Low of 30; high of
70
Substantial income Supplemental
income has
allowed
maintenance of
living standards
30 days
Partial
Buyers come to
farm and buy
stocks
Poblacion, Tubigon Salog, Jetafe
Seaweed farmer/
Seaweed farmer/
Entrepreneur
set gillnet
Fisherman/Rice
farmer
Caulerpa
E. spinosum – fast
growth/cottonii
Close system
Open Water;
protected from
strong waves; away
from freshwater
sources; sandy
bottom
Bottom
Hanging
Gil Leonor
Environmental Low input, naturedependent
operation
How
Economic
communities
benefit from
Guso Farming
Pricing
(Pesos)
Planting
method
Grow out
Harvest
Marketing
Site selection
Species
Location
Occupation
Name of
Interviewee
Lucio Baguio
Remy Regacho
No seaweed byproduct
Low waste,
materials used are
recycled and
reused; perceived
increase in fish and
other marine
animals
Has allowed
parents to send
children to school,
40% of residents
have improved
their economic
standing through
seaweed farming
40 - 60
45 days
Partial
Harvest dried and
brought to
consolidators in
Talibon
15
Hanging
Open water
E. spinosum
38
45 days
Partial
Harvest sun dried,
packed in sacks
and brought to
consolidators
17
Hanging
Eucheuma
spinosum
Open
Jetafe
Aquatechnician
Alex Ceredulla
No seaweed byproducts
Noticeable increase
in fish population
but no science
base
No by-products
Increase in income; Long time and
persistent growers
Documented
have attained
success stories
better living
from seaweed
standards
farming
36
17
45 days
Partial
Harvest dried and
brought to
consolidators
Bottom & hanging
Open
Eucheuma sp.
Tulang, Jetafe
Tagbilaran City
Seaweed farmer/
PAO
ex-Village chief, fish
farmer for 15 years
Seaweed Farming: Interview Matrix (22 to 26 May 2015)
No seaweed byproduct
Seaweed farms are
expected to
improve fish
populations
No seaweed byproduct
Visible impact of
government
initiatives
40
60 days
Partial
Harvest sun dried,
packed in sacks
and brought to
consolidators
15
Hanging
Open
Seaweeds
processed into
food chips (value
adding)
Visible impact of
government
initiatives
25–30 (dried)
15 (fresh)
30–45 days
Partial
Harvest is dried
and sold to
consolidators
Hanging
Open
Eucheuma
Catmonan, Calape
Seaweed farmer/
Land farmer
Rito Tesorio
Harvest dried and
sold to
consolidators
Spinosum &
Cottonii
Open
Poblacion, Calape
MAO of Calape
Elizabeth Cortez
Seaweeds
processed into
food chips (value
adding)
150 heads of
families engaged
in seaweed
farming able to
sell 50 kilos of
fresh seaweed and
estimated 1 ton of
dried seaweed at
PHP 28/kg
Noticeable increase Waters appear to be Seaweed prone to Seaweed farming
in fish population
cleaner or clearer,
toxins released into limited to areas
with seaweed taking the environment
with favorable
up nutrients that
coastline
may instead be used
for algal blooms;
Increase in income
45 days
Partial
Harvest sun dried,
packed in sacks
and brought to
consolidators
Hanging
Open
Eucheuma sp.
Calape
Seaweed farmer/
Fisherman
Alcantar
Tagbilaran City
City Fishery
Coordinator
Eucheuma sp.
Aniceto Cuatro
Meniranda
58
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Workers have
become
empowered,
working more as
contractors rather
than paid labour
Right of way to and Damage from
out of farm
shellfish gatherers
particularly in
shallow areas
All male crew, with Wife and daughter
women assisting in assist in farming
recording and
domestic chores
Social
benefits
Social issues
and concerns
Gender
contribution
Focus on
livelihood, people
are inspired to
work and are more
industrious
Family members
assist and alternate
in tending the
seaweed farm
Positive use of
time. Seaweed
farmers usually
work as family
groups
Contributes to
temperature
stability
Wife has adapted
to seaweed
farming activities
Increased
engagement of
women
Theft and
Theft and
poaching of
poaching
seaweed stock;
innovations in
poaching have also
been noted
Improvement in
living conditions
for 40% of 426
households.
Alex Ceredulla
Alex Ceredulla
Seaweed farming
ideal for small
holdings
Interest in
alternative income
source by other
fisherfolk
Family members
assist and alternate
in tending the
seaweed farm
Planting
depending on
availability of seed
plant
Funds to improve Funds to expand
houses and move farms
into other activities
Remy Regacho
Remy Regacho
Focus on
Productive use of
livelihood, less time time, less gossip
for gambling;
and gambling
Family members
assist and alternate
in tending the
seaweed farm
Workers often work
with family
members and
relatives
How seaweed
farming offers
families
opportunities
to unite and
work together
Climate
change
adaptation
Farmers have been
able to upgrade to
motorized boats,
buy household
appliances
Largely unaffected, Time of planting to Time of planting to
high temperatures coincide with
coincide with
make stock prone better part of the
better part of the
to diseases, but
year;
year. Seaweed is
mitigated by
resilient against
Reduce
number
of
increasing water
climate change
floats
during
hot
level
weather
Have allowed
investment in
fishing gear
Allowed recovery
from typhoon
damage
Lucio Baguio
Lucio Baguio
Livelihood
improvement
Fernando
Torremocha
Fernando
Torremocha
Gil Leonor
Gil Leonor
Respondent
Name of
Interviewee
Tagbilaran project
all women
initiative. 29
women have come
together to form a
seaweed growers
cooperative
Productive use of
time, leaving
behind mah-jong
and card games
Theft & poaching;
possible conflict
with tourism
activities and
income generation
Avenue for
improved
productivity for
women;
Women normally
take their children
to work on simple
tasks on seaweed
drying, etc.
Relatively new
activity in
Tagbilaran; high
temperature
increases risk of
diseases
Alcantar
Supplemental
income, secondary
to other activities
(tourism or selling)
Alcantar
Meniranda
Meniranda
Resistance of
fishers to register
with LGU
Participation of
women and
children apparent
Theft, destruction
of seaweed stock
due to suspected
release of toxic
chemicals into the
farm environment;
Early attempts to
farm seaweed
negated by disease
Seaweed work
allows participation
of small children,
providing
opportunities for
bonding and
appreciation of
farm work
Interest in
alternative income
source by other
fisherfolk
Increased
temperature makes
plants prone to
disease (ice-ice)
Supplemental
income allowing
crossover work
from fishing to
seaweed farming
Strong winds
becoming regular;
Aniceto Cuatro
Aniceto Cuatro
No comment on
gender
Seaweed farming
ideal for small
holdings
Recovery from loss
of estimated 2 tons
of seaweed
affected by toxin
release
Seaweed appears
resilient to natural
events but not to
toxic agents
Rito Tesorio
Rito Tesorio
MAO is female
Blast fishers
encouraged to
desist from this
practice
Extra income
allows parents to
enrol children in
school
Seaweed farming
involves father,
mother and
children,
especially during
school breaks
Effects or impact
of climate change
not so defined in
the area
Supplemental
income generated
Elizabeth Cortez
Elizabeth Cortez
Annex 10
59
60
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 3
The New Theory of Agriculture: A Thai farmer’s climate-smart pathway1
Introduction
FAO has recently stated that the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. At the same time, the
world is facing the challenge of climate change. With such challenges, there is a need for major improvements in
agriculture to achieve food security globally. In view of this, FAO is promoting CSA, an approach that fosters
adaptation to climate change while achieving sustainable production of adequate food supplies. The three
objectives of CSA are to: i) sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes; ii) adapt and build resilience
to climate change; and iii) reduce and/or remove GHG emissions where possible. The CSA employs an array of
technical, policy and investment measures to achieve sustainable agricultural development. The CSA principles
to increase agricultural productivity while maintaining the natural resource base are closely related to His Majesty
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy and the New Theory of Agriculture.
In Thailand, the concept of Sufficiency Economy philosophy developed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
was first introduced in 1974. However, it gained greater attention in 1997 when Thailand faced a financial crisis.
The “Sufficiency Economy” focuses on three components, namely moderation, reasonableness and self-immunity
based on knowledge and right living. The “Sufficiency Economy” has been adopted by the farmers in their farming
practice: adopting the concept of moderation would lead them to abandon monocultures in favour of multicropping practices; reasonableness requires due consideration of farmers to the risks of concentrating all resources
into one commodity; and the adoption of the principle of self-immunity means planning for price fluctuations in
the markets by producing enough to maintain food security as a priority and only then selling any surplus.
Under the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy, His Majesty has developed a specific application consisting of the
system of integrated and sustainable agriculture called the New Theory of Agriculture (or The New Theory). It
encourages self-reliance and addresses food security issues. The New Theory consists of three phases:
Phase 1: Farm households are encouraged to divide the farmland into well-defined parts so that farmers receive
optimum benefits and achieve efficient land use. This is to enable farmers to achieve self-sufficiency (be able to
support themselves).
According to this theory, the land is divided into four parts with an approximate ratio of 30:30:30:10 (Figure 1).
Based on this formula, 30 percent is set aside for pond and fish culture, 30 percent for rice cultivation, 30 percent
for growing fruit and perennial trees and the remaining 10 percent for housing, livestock and other activities.
However, the approximate ratio of 30:30:30:10 is indicative rather than prescriptive. Therefore, it could be adjusted
based on the geographical area of each farm. For example, in areas where rainfall is more abundant (i.e. the southern
part of Thailand), the dimension of the pond can be reduced and land area could be used for other farming
activities.
1
Prepared by Ms Wirya Khim (JPO, FAO) with advice from Mr S. Appanah (Climate Change Officer, FAO) and Ms N. Chalermpao
(AFAOR [Programme]), and support from Mr Patphong Mongkholkachanakhun, farm owner, Sisawath District, Kanchanaburi,
Thailand.
61
Annex 10
10%
Rice
30%
30%
Pond
Fruit and perennial trees
30%
Housing, livestock & other
activities
Figure 1. The New Theory of Agriculture
Phase 2: To enable farmers to work together and form a cooperative group to handle production, marketing,
management and educational welfare and social development.
Phase 3: To enable farmers to build up connections with various cooperative groups and expand their businesses
with the private sector, in order to assist the farmers in the areas of investment marketing, production, management
and information management.
The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy has greatly influenced Thailand’s agricultural development and further led
to implementation of integrated farming, organic farming, natural farming and agroforestry. The New Theory aims
at promoting diversified farming techniques for small-scale agriculture. This practice allows co-managing and
co-existence of multiple subsystems (i.e. multi-crop production, livestock, forest trees and aquaculture). While each
subsystem can function independently, the New Theory approach ensures that the resource (usually referred to
as waste) from one subsystem becomes an input to the next subsystem, resulting in greater efficiency and synergy
among the subsystems, and a higher total output of desired products.
The benefits of the New Theory are two-fold. First, it provides a steady and more stable income, and second, it can
result in a better agro-ecological equilibrium through the reduction of the build-up of pests and diseases through
natural cropping system management and reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Specifically,
the New Theory approach brought about many positive developments: i) improves space utilization and increases
productivity; ii) provides diversified products; iii) improves soil fertility and physical structure from appropriate crop
rotation and usage of cover crops and organic compost; iv) reduces weeds, insect pests and diseases through
appropriate crop rotation and simple mowing techniques; v) utilizes crop residues and livestock wastes; and vi)
relies less on outside inputs – fertilizers, agrochemicals, feeds and energy. As result of the integration, the New
Theory has generally brought higher net returns. The concepts associated with the New Theory are practiced by
numerous farmers in Thailand.
In order to gain a better understanding of how CSA principles, and the New Theory of Agriculture in particular,
are implemented in Thailand, a case study of a small-scale farmer in Sisawath District, Kanchanaburi was conducted.
The New Theory of Agriculture in practice
Mr Patphong owns 39 rai (6.24 ha) of farmland in Sisawath District, Kanchanaburi, Thailand (250 Km WNW from
Bangkok) (Figure 2). Initially, due to extremely high production costs and severe soil infertility, he could not make
ends meet. In 2006, Mr Patphong was introduced to the concept of Sufficiency Economy and the New Theory of
Agriculture and decided to change his farming practice from monoculture (i.e. focusing only on monocrop practices
for sweet corn or chilli) to integrated farming. His farm income and production have improved since then. According
to Mr Patphong, his farm income has steadily increased from US$19 773 in 2011, US$20 640 in 2012, US$35 700
in 2013 and US$47 217 in 2014 (with a total net income US$26 113).
62
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
“Because I could no longer feed my family, I decided to change my farming system from the monoculture to the New
Theory”- Mr Patphong Mongkholkachanakhun, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
Figure 2. Mr Patphong Mongkholkachanakhun, Khim/FAO (2015)
Mr Patphong’s adaptation of the New Theory includes a multi-cropping system, fish culture, animal-raising (e.g.
pigs, cows, ducks and chicken) along with soil improvement techniques through the use of green manure, green
mulching and organic matter, crop rotation, mowing, using cover crops for weed reduction, water saving methods
using a nozzle spray sprinkler irrigation system, bio-liquid fertilizer, and biogas from animals for household use.
The New Theory is different from conventional farming as it requires an area and resource analysis to determine
production direction and farming activities. At Mr Patphong’s farm, the land is divided systematically for various
farming activities (Figure 3). Mr Patphong adjusted the land division ratio slightly to maximize farm production.
0.64
0.32
0.16
Rice farming
0.32
0.32
Sweet bamboo plantation
Organic pineapple plantation
0.16
Banana (Namwa) plantation
0.32
Papaya plantation
Guava plantation
Mango plantation
0.96
Dragon fruits
2.56
0.32
Livestock
Ponds
0.16
Others
Figure 3. Land division for farming activities
A clear farm management plan was prepared to guide his farming practices (i.e. to manage farm inputs, labour,
capital, timing of farm activities, processing for value addition, and marketing). He also carries out other supporting
activities in the production chain such as using surplus produce as animal feed, and growing herbs for insect
repellent. To reduce the input cost, he uses native plants from his farm to feed fish and cure diarrhoea in pigs.
63
Annex 10
In addition, he makes use of farm waste to make bio-liquid fertilizers and compost, and uses animal manure to
generate biogas for household use. The effluent from biogas production is used to fertilize the paddy field and
feed the fish. Instead of using chemical products to control weeds, mowing is introduced along with cover crops
such as citronella grass to reduce weed and retain soil moisture. Mr Patphong has begun to introduce organic
farming methods into his integrated farm practices. He has introduced practices to maintain/improve soil condition
through the use of compost, animal manure and green manure, reduced tillage, and use of natural pesticides. He
has eliminated the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. As a result, he is now able to sell organic produce for
local and international markets.
Results
The flow of resources (also referred to as waste) from one subsystem to another is schematically shown in Figure
4. Current farming practices include multi-cropping, livestock and fish culture. To maintain and improve soil
conditions for cropping, Sunn-hemp grass is planted in the infertile soil, and following its flowering the soil is
turned over to cover the grass which then acts as green manure. Only green manure, animal manure, compost
and bio-liquid fertilizers are used. Vetiver grass is planted around ponds and slope land to protect the soil from
erosion. The leaves are piled for mulching around the trees’ root zone which later breaks down into natural fertilizer.
Sustainable weed control techniques include mowing instead of spraying chemical substances and by planting
cover crops such as citronella grass to retain moisture and as an insect repellent. A sprinkler irrigation system
(Figure 5) was installed in the farm (it costed US$240 for the whole farm). The installation was done in 2006 and it
is still working well in 2015.
Crops
Feeding
Irrigation
Manure
Feeding
Livestock (cow, pig,
chicken, ducks)
Ponds/fish
culture
Effluent
Biogas
Manure
Figure 4. Integrated farming approach based on the New Theory of Agriculture at Mr Patphong’s farm
64
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 5. Sprinkler irrigation system in pineapple plantation at Mr Patphong’s farm, Khim/FAO, (2015)
Multi-cropping systems at Mr Patphong’s farm include:
1.
Rice (berry) covers 0.16 ha, and is mainly for family consumption. After harvesting, vetiver grass and sunnhemp grass (Por Thieng) are grown in the field to improve soil quality.
2.
Bamboo plantation covers an area of 0.32 ha. The sweet bamboo shoots are sold in the local market, and
the bamboo is used as multi-purpose wood in his farm (e.g. supporting plants, building nursery, leaves
for feeding pigs).
3.
Organic pineapple plantation covers an area of 0.32 ha.
4.
Banana plantation covers an area of 1.60 ha. Intercrops such as mango, rambutan, mangosteen, kaffir
lime, forest trees for vegetables such as Melientha suavis, citronella grass and vetiver grass surround the
plantation to retain soil moisture.
5.
Papaya plantation covers an area of 0.16 ha. The side-venner grafting technique and air layering are used
to produce a healthy varietal.
6.
Mango plantation covers an area of 0.96 ha.
7.
Guava plantation covers an area of 0.32 ha. It is mixed-grown with papaya.
8.
Dragon fruit plantation (started in 2015) covers an area of 0.32 ha.
9.
Vegetable garden: mixed herbs and vegetables are grown as intercrops between the plots of major crops
for home consumption and sale in the community.
10. Forest trees grown in the farm include Siamese rosewood, teak, and others.
The crops are sold in both local and international markets. The production surplus is for household consumption,
animals and fish feed as well as for compost and bio-liquid fertilizer (Figure 6).
65
Annex 10
Figure 6. Bio-liquid fertilizer production, Khim/FAO (2015)
Livestock production includes cows, pigs and poultry (chicken, ducks and Thai native chicken) (Figures 7, 8 & 9).
Waste from livestock (animal manure) is used for biogas production (Figure 10) – it produces up to 10 kilograms
of gas per month while previously the family paid approximately US$12 to 15 for purchasing gas. Waste from
biogas (effluent) is then used to Number
fertilize the paddy
field and to feed
the fish.
of livestock
(head)
30
4
29
Cows
Pig
Laying chicken
15
18
Laying duck
Thai native chicken
Figure 7. Composition of livestock at Mr Patphong’s farm
66
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 8. Cows are raised in banana plantation, Khim/FAO (2015)
Figure 9. Pigs fed left-over organic fruit at Mr Patphong’s farm, Khim/FAO (2015)
Fish culture: Two fish ponds were established in the farm, covering a total area of 0.32 ha (Figure 11). The fish
species include tilapia, silver barb and giant gourami. Left over organic fruits are used as fish feed together with
effluent from biogas production. The ponds hold sufficient water, and are used to irrigate the crops all year round.
67
Annex 10
Figure 10. Biogas production system at Mr Patphong’s farm, Khim/FAO (2015)
Figure 11. Fish pond at Mr Patphong’s farm, Khim/FAO (2015)
Implications of Mr Patphong’s farming practices for food, economic and energy security
The New Theory has enabled Mr Patphong to diversify his agricultural products, which allows him to maintain a
steady production all year round. This, in return, generates a constant flow of daily income (from vegetable,
mushroom and eggs), monthly income (from banana, papaya), and yearly income (from pig, fish, native chicken,
ducks and mango). Papaya is the main source of farm income accounting for 62.19 percent of total net income,
followed by others2 (19.88%), banana (9.15%), and rice (8.78%) (Figure 12). The New Theory also helps his family
to maintain a healthy diet based on a variety of food and other farm produce.
2
Others include mango, guava, oyster mushroom, pineapple, garden vegetable, sweet bamboo, poultry and pig farming.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Farm income diversification by crops, livestock and fish
Fish cage
Poultry
Pig farming
Garden vegetables
Oyster mushroom
Mango
Guava
Papaya local market
Papaya EU market
Banana
Pineapple
Sweet bamboo
Rice
0%
0.91%
2.24%
1.11%
0.80%
2.56%
6.86%
2.74%
58.30%
3.89%
9.15%
1.98%
0.69%
8.78%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
% of total net farm income per annum
Figure 12. Farm income diversification based on the New Theory
According to Mr Patphong’s estimation, the current net farm income per hectare (US$4 184) is about three times
higher than the income under the monoculture practice when he focused only on sweet corn or chilli (US$1 500).
The rise in farm income under the New Theory is reflected in products that are preferred by the markets locally
and internationally. He has kept his costs down by avoiding use of industrial fertilizers and pesticides. And with
other sustainable practices he has succeeded in maintaining the soil fertility, irrigation and lowered energy inputs.
With additional innovation, he has even introduced biogas production using animal manure, and he no longer
pays for cooking gas. In addition, by using low-cost technologies such as nozzle spray sprinklers and elephant
burglar alarms, crops are well irrigated and protected from animals, respectively.
Implications of Mr Patphong’s farming practices for ecosystem enhancement
The benefits of the New Theory for ecosystem enhancement based on Mr Patphong’s farming practices are many.
Firstly, it helps to conserve water through the application of low-cost water saving technology (i.e. low-emitter
sprinklers). Secondly, the soil fertility is improved through green mulching, cover crops and grasses. Thirdly, it saves
energy through the production of biogas from animal manure. The use of biogas and reduction of industrial
fertilizers and pesticides also result in lower GHG emissions.
Knowledge sharing and replication
Mr Patphong shares his knowledge and skills with other farmers through his Sufficiency Economy Learning Center
at his farm. He also hosts many study tours for participants coming from government agencies, NGOs and civil
society organizations (CSOs) to learn about the integrated farming practices. He advises his fellow farmers that to
become a successful farmer, “There is a strong and urgent need to reduce the high production costs, stop practicing
the monoculture system and stop using chemical products. We need to restore the environment and ecosystem
conditions first before they can provide us fertile soil and enabling conditions to farm”.
Conclusions
This study highlights the importance of the His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Sufficiency Economy philosophy
and the New Theory in promoting sustainable agriculture practices and poverty reduction in Thailand. It shows
that a farming system as carried out by Mr Patphong clearly presents the concepts and principles of CSA which
are in line with the New Theory of Agriculture. His practice has shown the critical role of the New Theory in: i)
improving soil conditions and nutrient recycling through the use of green manure, green mulching and green
weed control techniques; ii) reducing GHG emissions by introducing trees, using biogas production from animal
manures, and switching away from industrial fertilizers and pest control chemicals; iii) providing better crop yields
and better financial returns; and iv) promoting environmental sustainability. Based on a decade of implementing
Annex 10
the New Theory, a sustainable farming practice was achieved by Mr Patphong. Such developments provide valuable
lessons, and can even be replicated in other countries in the region with appropriate adjustments to suit the local
context.
In conclusion, the New Theory of Agriculture practiced by Mr Patphong demonstrates a clear pathway towards
climate-smart agriculture. It could prove to be an important development to the problems of food insecurity and
climate change. In this system nothing is wasted, the by-product of one system becomes the input for another.
Moreover, the system helps small-scale farmers to diversify their farm production and reduce risks, increase cash
income, and improve the quality and quantity of food production. However, farmers need to have sufficient access
to knowledge, assets and inputs to manage this system in a way that is economically and environmentally sustainable
over the long term.
Reading material
FAO. 2007. King Bhumibol: Sowing a future for farmers. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Regional office for Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok, Thailand.
FAO. 2010. “Climate-Smart” Agriculture: Policies, practices and financing for food security, adaptation and mitigation.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome. Italy.
FAO. 2013. Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome,
Italy.
69
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 4
Floating gardens: Spreading the tradition1
Introduction
The impact of climate change is seen vividly in Bangladesh. The cumulative effect of heavy rains, frequent storms
and sea level rise is severe flooding. With continuous water logging conditions, crops are often lost and land for
agriculture is becoming scarce. Evidence is that wetland areas face more flooding/water logging for a longer
duration.
The low-lying areas of the southern coastal areas of Bangladesh remain submerged for long periods (generally
from the month of June to December) every year, especially during the monsoon season. As a result, no crop
cultivation is possible in this land naturally. The detrimental impacts of changing climate may intensify these
situations in the future. In these circumstances, location-specific adaptation measures to climate change should
be taken on a priority basis for improving the food security of the vulnerable people.
The flooded lowland condition in Bangladesh is converted into opportunity – farmers are turning to floating
gardens, known locally as dhap or baira for their livelihood. These are floating plots made from local material on
which diversified vegetables are grown or seedlings are raised for marketing. These plots resting on mats of plant
material and bamboo can rise and fall with the river water levels, and are not washed away no matter how long
the floods last. The floating agriculture is based on local knowledge, and is helping people to achieve sustainable
livelihoods despite the adverse impacts of climate change. As one farmer said, “This has made a great difference
to my life. Now I have enough food in the floods and I can give some to help my relatives as well.”
This unique system of floating gardens for vegetable and spice production prevails in the deeply flooded wetlands
of the south central districts of Gopalgonj, Pirojpur and Barisal, primarily in low-lying areas where land is submerged
most of the year. While this farming practice grew in the area as an alternative form of livelihood, it is now being
replicated in other regions with similar ecology. The practice varies from place to place in the region in shape and
size as well production system.
“Soil-less agriculture evolved through people’s initiative for adaptation to an adverse environment,” said researchers.
It is said that the productivity of this farming system is much higher than traditional land-based agricultural
production. The practice attracted the attention of policymakers and scientists recently from a number of angles.
It clearly represents an adaptation to climate change, and has contributed to food security and livelihoods of
vulnerable people in the region. The practice itself, with no or less agro-chemicals for plant nutrition and pest
control, can be regarded as environmentally friendly with minimal GHG emissions. Initially, it was practiced mainly
for meeting household needs, but now commercialization has begun. The practice is now seen in other parts of
the country.
Floating gardens can clearly be classified as a CSA practice. Since it is receiving a lot of attention currently, and has
the potential for replication elsewhere, FAO undertook a rapid study in terms of how floating gardens are constructed,
their produce, contribution to livelihoods of the community, and their environmental value.
A rapid survey
The field visits were made to the remote southern region of the country (Bisharkandi union of Banaripara Upazila
and Botiagata of Najirpur Upazila) of Barisal and Pirojpur districts, where no direct communication is possible
(Figure 1). Localities are around 280 km from Dhaka. From Barisal HQs, it takes about three hours by road, and then
by mechanized boat (Harta river) where about 15 000 farm families are involved with floating bed culture. The
area (Ganges non-saline tidal floodplain) is under the influence of tide within large and small rivers; mostly low to
medium low land of flood plain and water-based transportation is widely used.
1
Prepared by Mr Wais Kabir, Team Leader, Mapping Exercise on Water Logging in SWB, FAO, Bangladesh.
71
Annex 10
Figure 1. Study site (black circle)
The study was conducted at three floating vegetable cultivating districts of Pirojpur, Barisal and Gopalgonj. The
practitioners, local extension providers, input suppliers and local government officials were consulted. Both
practitioners from floating vegetable farms and the plains were consulted.
Constructing floating gardens
There are few studies which elaborate the floating gardens production system. The plant bed is built using several
layers of water hyacinth and bamboo frames and the raft is overlaid with hyacinth to give it thickness. These beds
are typically 15 to 60 m in length, 1.5 to 3 m wide and 0.6 to 0.9 m thick (Figure 2). Traditionally the farmers stack
the water hyacinths on water in 2 to 4 layers at 8 to 10 days interval. When the stacked plants are partially
decomposed, another layer of water hyacinth is put on to the previous stack. Then Dulalilata (Hygroryza aristata)
and Topapana (Pistia stratiotes) are laid on top to facilitate germination and growth of crops. Semi-decomposed
aquatic plants are then added to the mix and left to sit for several days before it is ready to be seeded. The beds
can be prepared in any depth of water. Farmers can stand on some of them or manoeuvre around them in boats
(Figures 3–5). The farmers prepare the beds during June-July and sow/transplant seeds/seedlings after eight to
ten days of last stacking. General shape of the beds is rectangular. Materials like coconut husk are spread over the
floating bed to add additional height.
Figure 2. Plant bed construction (Source: Practicalaction.org)
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
The size and shape of the bed is not fixed. Farmers make the bed to their desired size and shape which varies from
area to area. Farmers of Barisal and Pirojpur district make longer beds than the farmers of Gopalgonj district. The
distance between beds depends on length of land. The narrow strip shaped bed is constructed so that gathering
water hyacinths and harvesting of crops is convenient.
Figure 3. Floating farm (source: http://www.irinnews.org/report/90002/bangladesh)
Figure 4. Farmer walking over layered bed of aquatic plants
73
Annex 10
Figure 5. Beds of different sizes; note boat used to manoeuvre around
Around 30 species of vegetables, spices and other crops or seedlings are grown in the water based production
system. The major vegetable crops are okra, ribbed gourd, Indian spinach, brinjal, cucumber, red amaranth, stem
amaranth, wax gourd, and in winter turnip, papaya, cabbage, cauliflower, tomato and red amaranth. Among the
spices, turmeric and chili are grown. Mixed intercropping is the most prevalent system. In Gopalgong farmers
mainly grow vegetables while the Barisal farmers prefer to raise vegetable seedlings (six to seven cycles of seedlings
per bed per season) (Figure 6–7).
Figure 6. Raising seedlings
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 7. Marketing seedlings from a boat
An important part of the practice is recycling. With recession of floodwater, decomposed beds are used as compost
on the ground to grow winter crops. The production system is almost organic in nature. Family members, especially
women, are involved in: (i) nursing and intercultural operations of vegetables, (ii) making tema, a ball type devise
for raising seedlings, (ii) nursing the bed, (iii) harvest and post-harvest operations, and (iv) seed processing and
preservation (Figure 8). The main cost includes labour for preparing the bed, sowing and harvesting. Cost of fertilizer
(urea) and pesticides, if applied is minimal. Present transportation and marketing is indigenous. Organic production
of vegetables is of importance for both local, urban and export markets. Besides, there is scope of improving
productivity, profitability, marketing and opportunities for value addition through research and development
programs.
Figure 8. Woman engaged in ball preparation for seeding (right)
Annex 10
The farmers
The community here is impoverished, with about 90 percent of them engaged in agriculture alone with no or few
livelihood options during the monsoon. Some of the responding farmers were also involved in other business and
services. The farm size varied from 0.6 to 0.88 ha with an average of 0.75 ha. Average holding of floating beds is
five.
Problems in floating vegetables cultivation
The farmers continue to face some problems in production and marketing of floating vegetables. The interviews
brought out several issues, primarily lack of credit facility, low seed quality, high cost of inputs, and problem of
heavy rainfall, lack of water hyacinth and other aquatic plants due to salinity.
Cost of the practice
Costs are the expenses incurred for organizing and carrying out the production process. The cost of production
includes different variable cost items like labour, seed, materials (includes bamboo, different elements required
for preparation of seed ball [tema/mada], fertilizers and insecticides). Both cash expenditure and imputed value
of family supplied labour are included in the analysis. As sizes vary from place to place, for the purpose of calculation,
100 m2 of floating bed was used. Floating bed vegetable cultivation was high labour intensive. The highest cost
was incurred for human labour (79%) followed by material cost (9%) and seedling cost (7%). Highest labour was
used for seedling raising as farmers raised seedlings for 5 to 6 times each season. Women are involved in seed ball
(mada/tema) preparation, nursing, harvesting, i.e women are contributing to increase income of their family.
Profitability of vegetable cultivation
Farmers get gross return of Tk.33 540, gross margin of Tk.26 544 and net return of Tk.18 418 in vegetable seedling
growing. BCR on total cost is found to be 2.22 and 4.79 on variable cost from bitter gourd seedling growing which
is higher than any other seedling growing at Barisal district. Farmers get gross return of Tk.26 489, gross margin of
Tk.20 373 and net return of Tk.15 113 from country bean seedling. BCR on total cost is 2.33 and 4.33 on variable
cost from country bean seedling raising which is higher than any other seedling raising at Pirojpur district. On
average farmers get gross return of Tk.25 093, gross margin of Tk.18 836 and net return of Tk.13 810 while BCR on
total cost is 2.23 and 4.0 on variable cost.
Considering all areas (districts) together for 100 m2 area, farmers get gross return of Tk.22 404 and net return of
Tk.11 356. BCR on total cost is 2.07 and 5.16 on variable cost from seedling raising and vegetable cultivation
together. In comparison, cropping on plain land, on average farmers get gross return of Tk.2 640 and net return
of Tk.869 and BCR on total cost is 1.54 and 2.72 on variable cost, which is lower than the floating bed vegetable
cultivation technique. It is clear from the analysis that the floating bed vegetable cultivation technique is more
profitable than the plain land vegetable cultivation. While the farmers cultivating floating gardens incurred higher
cost, their returns were higher than the plain land vegetable farmers. During field visits it has been observed that
commercial cultivation and marketing of hyacinth and other aquatic material has started to support floating
cultivation (Figures 9–10).
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 9. Trading coconut husk (left) and aquatic plant (right) by boat for dhap making
Figure 10. Trading of aquatic plants for bed making
Annex 10
The study also showed that the income from floating vegetables reached 60 to 70 percent of family income, with
20 to 30 percent from paddy, and the remaining from trading or any other off-farm activities. However, this varies
considerably from place to place.
Future research and development agenda for replication
Organized system based research program has not been started. However, some documentation, demonstration
and training have been made by the Department of Extension and other NGOs. There is a huge scope to further
improve the system and make it more efficient and profitable. Some researchable issues include management of
fertilizer, pests and diseases, organization of the business model, shortening crop life cycles, and development of
integrated crop-fish culture in the floating bed.
Social, economic and environmental benefit
In Bangladesh most of the lowlands remain waterlogged or under submergence year-round or at least 6 to 8
months. Floating gardening has several advantages: 1) the fallow waterlogged area can be cultivated and the total
cultivable area increased, 2) area under floating cultivation is more fertile compared with the plain land, 3) no or
less fertilizer and manure are required unlike in the conventional agricultural system, 4) after cultivation, the biomass
generated can be used as organic fertilizer in the field, 5) it conserves the environment, 6) during the floods it can
be used as a shelter for poultry and cattle, and 7) fishermen can cultivate crops and fish at the same time. There
are additional advantages: the crops never wash away; and the platforms, made from plants are practically free,
recyclable, and do not pollute. All the activities of the practice are environment friendly, while contributing to food
security and nutrition under the impacts of climate change.
Conclusion
Though the practice began long ago, it has not attracted the notice of the researchers until very recently. Base
line survey and in depth studies are needed to develop location specific improved practices. About 3.0 million ha
of medium low to very low lands exist all over Bangladesh, which cover about 21 percent of the total country. The
low-lying lands of these areas remain fallow especially during the monsoon season due to flooding or submergence.
The potential for floating gardens to improve the quality of the life of agriculture-dependent communities is very
high. Even though the floating garden technology was developed out of necessity, the poor have the capacity to
adapt to tough conditions posed by climate change. The floating garden approach uses local skills and knowledge
in adapting to the impacts of climate change, and fosters the self-reliance, drive and commitment to meet the
challenges from climate change.
Reading material
Al Pavel, M.A., Chowdhury, M.A., & Al Mamun, A. 2014. Economic evaluation of floating gardening as a means
of adapting to climate change in Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 71, Issue 3.
DCRMA. n.d. Guideline on disaster and climate risk management in agriculture. DCRMA project, CDMP-2, DAE part,
(in Bangla).
Irfanullah, H. 2005. Baira: The floating garden for sustainable livelihood. IUCN, Bangladesh Country office.
Kundu, N. D. 2014. Economics of floating vegetables cultivation in some southern vulnerable areas of Bangladesh.
Research report, Regional Research Station, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, Rhamatput, Barishal.
Rahman, A. 2014. Floating garden: Climate-smart agriculture for submerged ecosystem of Bangladesh. Research
Proposal. Regional Research Station, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, Rhamatput, Barishal.
SATNET Asia. 2014. Floating Vegetable Garden. (available at www.satnetasia.org/database/pdf/Floating_Vegetable_
Garden.pdf)
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 5
India’s traditional water harvesting systems: Age-old, climate-smart agriculture1
Introduction
With its unique diversity and history – environmental as well as cultural – India offers a rich range of references in
humankind’s efforts to deal with climate change. India has 15 distinct agro-ecological zones. An aerial journey of
only about 850 km can take you from sea level in the city of Bhubaneswar to the mighty Kanchenjunga in the
Himalaya, which peaks at an altitude of 8 586 masl. Cherrapunji in the northeast is among the wettest places in
the world, while the Thar in the west is among the world’s driest areas. Some regions in the states of Assam and
Bihar face fierce annual floods; some others in central and western India are accustomed to several, consecutive
years of drought. And some of the islands and coastal regions bear resemblance with Southeast Asia.
Yet if there is one element that unites India despite its mind-boggling diversity, it has to be the Southwest Monsoon.
Since pre-historic times, residents of the Indian subcontinent have made efforts to understand the hydrological
cycle, of how the Monsoon brings water-bearing clouds from the ocean, and how that water flows back to the
seas through rivers. The oldest textual reference to this is in the Chhandogya Upanishad, a Sanskrit text some
scholars have dated to more than 3 000 years ago.
India’s numerous calendars are all centred around the Monsoon. The term for year in Sanskrit is varsh, which
originates from varsha, the term for rainfall. Time has been measured in drops of rain. Figure 1, a method to measure
water level using statues of elephants and horses used to measure water level, is an example of how engineering
was steeped in culture, and not in impersonal units and measurements. About 70 to 90 percent of India’s total
rainfall occurs in a few days during the three-month Monsoon period: from June to August. Even then, the amount
and timing of rainfall varies a lot from year to year and from place to place.
Figure 1. The water level in Amarsagar pond, Rajasthan, was
built in the fifteenth century. The water level is measured by
the statues of elephants and horses
1
Anupam Mishra & Sopan Joshi, Head and Fellow respectively, of Natural Resource Management (NRM), Gandhi Peace
Foundation, New Delhi, India.
79
Annex 10
Water harvesting: An indigenous way of life
The key to survival in India has been to build systems to harvest this seasonal bounty, so that water remains available
over the remaining nine months. Such systems date to prehistoric times, and references to their role in irrigation2
and agriculture3 can be found in ancient texts and treatises. Perhaps the most ubiquitous structure like this is the
taal or talaab (pond or lake, depending on size) (Figure 2). It can still be found across India, even if a bulk of such
water bodies has now fallen into disrepair.
Questions remain as to who built them and how they were maintained over time. Some answers can be found in
folk narratives, songs and descriptions.4 People simply got together to do what was required for their survival and
prosperity (Figure 3). These water bodies were built with community effort, with a festive spirit, as all efforts related
to water-works were tied up with the agricultural and religious calendars. One term often used in some Indian
languages for such congregations is goth, which simply means a get-together to shoot the breeze, combined
with a feast and collective labours for building and maintaining water bodies. People knew how to design and
build water-harvesting structures, and the knowledge was passed from generation to generation. An example is
the famous stepwell (Figure 4) of the Toda Rai Singh Baodi in Tonk District, Rajasthan. The stepwells are some of
the oldest designs of waterworks across India . Over the centuries, the physical proliferation of such systems became
so widespread that they became omnipresent. When the first enumeration was carried out by the colonial British
administration in the mid-nineteenth century across India, they found about 3 million water bodies in about
500 000 villages. In a variety of ways – and over centuries – communities in India have fashioned systems that
provide a predictable supply of water, despite the unpredictable nature of the Monsoon. At a time when weather
patterns are changing rapidly due to climate change, such systems are examples of dealing with unpredictable
rainfall for both drinking water and irrigation.
Figure 2. A view of Jaisalmer’s Gadsisar pond, an
international tourist attraction that shows the
beauty that was associated with all traditional
waterworks engineering in India
2
3
4
Anon. 1965. Irrigation in India through the ages. Central Board of Irrigation and Power, New Delhi, India.
Anon. 1964. Agriculture in ancient India. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India. pp 113-133.
Anupam Mishra. 1993. Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talab (Hindi). Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi, India.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 3. Village folks surveying
an embankment of a pond they
built, in order to carry out
maintenance work
Figure 4. The Toda Rai Singh Ki
Baodi, one of the oldest and
most famous step-well in Tonk
District, Rajasthan. The stepwell was built not just to
provide potable water around
the year, but is constructed
with great architectural beauty
Annex 10
Lessons from the driest region – local knowledge and local material
About 30 million ha of the Thar Desert lie in the western state of Rajasthan. In its western reaches, annual average
rainfall is about 100 mm or even lower. The temperature during the peak of summer rises to just under 50°C. The
groundwater in several regions of western Rajasthan is so saline it is unfit for consumption. Despite the hostile
environmental conditions, the Thar is often counted among the most populated deserts in the world, both with
people and livestock. Lacking sources of water from the Himalayan glacial melt, they found it in other natural
sources such as the layers of gypsum under the desert sand. Rainwater does not percolate into the saline groundwater
deep beneath the sands because the gypsum forms an impermeable layer, leaving water trapped in the sand
above. This changes the nature of the vegetation on the ground as plant roots can tap this moisture. By observing
the vegetation, people have learned to tap water from the ground.
In the district of Jaisalmer, where annual average rainfall is around 160 mm, people have been cultivating wheat
without any irrigation for over 800 years (Figure 5). They use a system called khadin in areas where the gypsum
layer is not too deep. Embankments of sand are built to create a physical barrier for water running down the natural
slope of the gypsum belt. The embankment is built by first accumulating dry, thorny bushes along its length,
usually east-to-west, against the northwards direction of the wind. The obstruction of the thorny bushes collects
and deposits sand along its length. The amount of this sand increases with time, thus the embankment rises
naturally. It is then compacted. This obstruction traps the runoff from rainfall that runs down the slope of the
gypsum layer. In the Monsoon season, this creates a pond in some places. In the winter season, this water turns
to soil moisture, and is used to grow the winter crops of wheat and chickpea, without any irrigation.
Figure 5. Villager next to his khadin with wheat crop in the background, grown only with soil moisture
“The crop output of a khadin is better than it would be in a patch of land irrigated by a canal or even a bore-well,”
says Girdhari Singh, a social activist in the region, working with Sambhaav, a civil society organisation. The runoff
brings to the khadin lots of biomass that results from pastoralism on higher ground – animals’ droppings and
other plant material add nutrients and replenish the sandy soil, giving it texture, which in turn increases its capacity
to retain water. “Farmers do not need to apply fertilizers purchased from the market in khadins. Its sands are fertile,”
Singh observes. The khadin’s soil fertility actually accrues over time, as the organic matter accumulates year on
year, creating a topsoil even in the desert conditions, he points out. “Using local knowledge and material, the
estimated annual cost of maintenance would be about US$31 to 78,” says Singh. However, one acre of winter crop
of wheat or chickpea can yield between US$392 and $471.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
How to survive consecutive years of drought
Ponds are also built above the gypsum layer. Two such ponds exist near Ramgarh town of Jaisalmer. The 2014
Monsoon failed this area, resulting in an acute drought. One of the ponds dried up, yet there was enough drinking
water for nearby villages. This is down to a structure called a kui or a beri, which means a small well (Figure 6). A
kui is lined with stones, or even with tree branches. The walls of this well are porous, going down to the gypsum
layer. Sand water trickles in slowly into these shallow wells, which are narrow at the top, getting wider with depth
(Figure 7). This maximizes the surface area for the sand water to trickle in, minimizing the surface available for
evaporation losses from the desert heat. In the Ramgarh area, kuis have seen them through the current drought.
Such low-cost methods, from labour to technology to the material and maintenance, come without money
changing hands (Figure 8). In contrast, the desert towns that have water tankers to deliver water pay as much as
INR1 000 (US$15) per tanker.
Figure 6. Kui or small well
Figure 7. Diagram showing a kui
going down to gypsum layer
Singh’s organization has developed a system of making kuis with reinforced cement concrete; it has built about
200 such narrow wells, based on the old concept, but using modern materials. The cost of this seldom goes beyond
INR6 500 and INR10 000 (US$102 and $157) for each well. Some cities of Rajasthan are being served by the Indira
Gandhi Canal, built from the 1960s to bring water from Punjab. But the feeder system to supply smaller settlements
is often found in a state of disrepair, with sand flowing in the canal network, instead of water. Some of the areas
served by the canal have serious problems with water logging and salinity. The high concentrations of salt in the
desert sand and groundwater gradually make surface water unfit for drinking or irrigation.
The modern apathy to time-tested systems
Another structure that became ubiquitous is the tanka or tanki, which is the etymological origin of the English
word “tank” (Figure 9). It is an enclosed structure to harvest rainwater for drinking. Such structures were as common
in cities as they were in villages and pastures and were even found by the roadside; they were the only source of
potable water in regions where the groundwater is saline. An average-sized tank seldom costs more than INR50
000 (US$785). Singh has built one recently which can store 10 000 litres of water, and it fills up with rainwater at
least twice a year, sometimes thrice. If this structure is filled with water fetched by a tanker, it would require three
tankers and cost INR3 000 (US$47). If the tanka was to be filled by tankers, it would cost the owner up to INR9 000
(US$141) each year. This means the cost of construction will be recovered in four to six years; after that, the tank
will provide rainwater for free. Such structures, once built, have provided water for generations. Their cost of
cultivation becomes ridiculously small when seen over time.
Another natural resource that the desert folk have used is a rare rock called habur, found in only one village of
western Rajasthan. Geologists say this unique, red-coloured, shiny rock was formed during the early Cretaceous
period, more than 100 million years ago. It contains calciferous deposits like shells of marine creatures. It has variable
porosity, filtering water by taking out its impurities. So people come from far and wide to get this stone and use
it in all their waterworks. Nobody can say how old this practice is. But it reflects how carefully traditional societies
83
Annex 10
have observed their environment, the resources it offers, and how they have used every possible method to
conserve water. Where water was too scarce for any kind of agriculture, people relied on livestock and pastoralism,
converting the nutritious desert grasses into milk and butter (Figure 10).
The good sense of pastoralists
In the dry and saline district of Kutch, Gujarat, traditional nomadic pastoralists called the Maldhari have engineered
a system called virda – shallow wells that separate freshwater from saline. These are built in depressions in the
vast, arid flatland, where chances of rainwater collection are high. The Maldhari must have noticed that rainwater
stays above the saline groundwater due to the difference in density; salt makes the water denser, so it stays beneath
fresh water, until the two dissolve.
Figure 8. Shallow well – workman digging a kui
Figure 9. A tanka or tanki (also called a kund in some places). This image is of a 250-year old kund in Churu
District, Rajasthan. It is for harvesting rainwater in a region where the groundwater is saline
Figure 10. Pastoralists in Rajasthan have played a role in water conservation – where land is not fit for cultivation,
pastoralists have relied on livestock to convert desert grasses into milk and butter
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
So the pastoralists began the practice of digging their wells only till the depth of about a metre above the
groundwater. When it rains, the water level rises. But only the freshwater above the saline groundwater gets inside
the virda. This system relies on maintaining an optimum vegetative cover in the surrounding areas, so the Maldhari
learned to not allow their animals to overgraze. To survive in difficult environmental conditions, engineering must
go hand in hand with social and environmental regulation.5
Far from this region, in the coastal plains of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, farmers had evolved the eri, a system
of tank irrigation that made possible paddy cultivation in this region. An eri traps the rainwater running down the
eastward slope to the coast. These were maintained by village communities themselves, with officials appointed
informally to distribute water equitably. Eris also provided soil conservation and flood control.
The eri system suffered a great deal when the colonial British Government tried to control this economic resource
by centralizing it in the mid-nineteenth century. This alienated the communities. Efforts to revive the system after
India achieved independence have not adequately recognized the role of community ownership and management.
Across India – and through the history of the land – water management systems that provided water during
drought and also functioned as flood control measures were built and controlled by communities.
Signs of revival
While traditionally the ruling class and the State contributed to them in varying ways, every part of society was
responsible for water management in its own field. Sensible water management was regarded essential for farming
– and for surviving the vagaries of the Monsoon. Advances in modern engineering over the past century have
taken the spotlight away from such systems. In some quarters, they are described as vestiges of the past, with no
place in the future. But the limitations of modern engineering have revived popular interest in traditional systems.
Dams and canal projects have not delivered the results they promised. With the effects of climate change becoming
clear with time, there are efforts to retrieve the good sense of traditional systems.
In two parts of the central province of Madhya Pradesh, farmers have invested their money and effort into reviving
old systems of irrigation and water conservation. Mahoba district, in the parched northern region of Bundelkhand,
saw a turnaround in March 2013.6 At the initiative of a CSO, farmers began a “Build Your Own Tank Campaign”.
While the district administration was supportive and even offered funds, the farmers said they were doing this for
their benefit so they did not need assistance.
Most of these tanks got filled up during the Monsoon rains, and several retained water till March 2014.7 Seeing
the results, several farmers in the area built tanks before the 2014 Monsoon. Some 400 were built and they provided
vital support for farmers in the weak monsoon that year.
An even more dramatic turnaround has happened in the State’s south. The Malwa plateau was traditionally
considered water rich, with innumerable tanks. Rampant withdrawal of groundwater since the 1960s took the city
of Dewas and surrounding areas to a point where drinking water was being supplied by train. The groundwater
table sank to depths of over 400 feet in some areas, putting a great burden on even the electric pumps for water
withdrawal.
5
Agarwal, Anil & Narain, Sunita (eds.). 1997. Dying wisdom: Rise, fall and potential of India’s traditional water harvesting systems.
Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, India. p. 146.
6 Bhaduri, Amita & Jha, Prabhat. 2014. “Princely” Private Ponds. (available at www.IndiaWater.Portal.org)
7 Khandekar, Nivedita. 2014. For more than 20 years, a slim book has helped Indian farmers become self-reliant in water.
(available at www.Scroll.in).
Annex 10
Over the past decade or so, some progressive farmers decided to revert to the traditional tanks to harvest rainwater
and improve water availability, rather than sinking ever-deeper bore-wells to mine groundwater. Since then, more
than 6 000 tanks – small and big – have been built by farmers. Dhaturia village of about 120 households, for
example, has 154 tanks now. As a consequence, the water table in some parts of the region has risen so much
that water is now available at 40 feet. It has recharged the bore-wells and dug-wells of several farmers. Several
tracts of land that were lying fallow earlier due to lack of irrigation are now productive. The water conservation
efforts of the district won it the “Water for Life” UN-Water Best Practices Award8 in 2012. One or two academic
evaluations9 have spelled out the economic potential of the waterworks carried out.10
The cultural aspect of dealing with climate change
Discussions of combating climate change and sustainable development often tackle the social, economic and
environmental dimensions of water management for food and agriculture. There is also a cultural aspect of such
efforts. Since time immemorial, societies in India have dealt with erratic rainfall and weather extremes by creating
a culture of water harvesting, which intrinsically accounted for socio-economic and environmental factors.
This value system materialized the potential of natural resources for food and agriculture in trying circumstances.
The core institution was that of society, of people acknowledging that their survival and well-being was tied with
the well-being of the natural resources. The names of cities and villages were often based on their water bodies.
This value system gave the natural world a cultural respect, a sense of gratitude, which made collective action
easier. Systems created by societies in India to deal with the caprices of the Monsoon are a valuable resource for
humankind’s efforts to deal with a changing climate regime due to global warming.
8
Anon. 2012. “Water for Life” UN-Water Best Practices Award: 2012 edition: Finalists. (available at www.un.org).
Malik, R.P.S., Giordano, M., & Sharma, V. 2014. Examining farm-level perceptions, costs, and benefits of small water harvesting
structures in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. Agricultural Water Management, Vol. 131, pp. 204–211.
10Anon. 2011. Miracle achieved by the joint efforts of a local community and a government administration: An economy of
water by a visionary crusader Umakant Umrao, (available at www.thegroundreportindia.com).
9
85
86
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 6
Leasehold forestry of Nepal: A new lease of life for rural communities and forests1
Introduction
Landlocked Nepal remains a poor country, with over 80 percent of its 26 million people living in rural areas. These
rural communities, with very small land holdings, are heavily dependent on forests to supplement their daily needs.
Figure 1 displays how rural livelihoods are dependent on forests. Forest resources have been dwindling for decades
as a result of land use conversion and over-harvesting of trees and other products. Deforestation, land degradation
and soil erosion took their toll on the rural populations. As forests declined, people – especially women – spent
much more time to collect fodder and fuelwood, which resulted in lower agricultural production and decreased
food security.
Tree
Timber, fuel, fruit, shade,
shelter, medicine, income
Fodder
Bedding
Shade
Shelter
Family livelihood
Food & income
Animal
Soil stability
Moisture & nutrition
Shade
Shelter
Food & income
Manure, compost, cultivation
Fodder, bedding
Crops
Figure 1. The link between tree-animal-crop farming system in Nepal
To address the situation, in 1978 the Government of Nepal initiated Community Forestry schemes, whereby the nation’s
forests were handed over to local communities (panchayats) to manage them. Currently, about 1.7 million ha of forests
are managed as Community Forests which has benefitted about 2.2 million households so far. In essence the
Community Forestry with its base as common-property forest, primarily met the basic needs of communities from
forests while improving the forest conditions.
However, the resource-poor households and socially marginalized people such as women and low caste groups
benefited little from the community-based forest lands as the benefits tended to accrue to the influential and
well-off households. Recognizing this flaw, the Leasehold Forestry (LF) was developed to address poverty of
marginalized groups. The term leasehold, which is not instantly associated with community forestry, is due to the
Forest Act of 1993 which permits forest tenures for forest-based industries and private individuals. The Government
of Nepal utilized the Forest Act to lease out forest land to marginalized households. Under the guidance of the
Forest Regulation of 1995, community-based LF was specially provisioned for the poor. The LF of Nepal is a
pioneering approach to reverse deforestation and land degradation while involving and benefitting underprivileged
rural communities. Currently, Nepal has some 40 000 ha under LF for nearly 66 000 households.
1
Prepared by Mr Simmathiri Appanah (FAO Climate Change and Bioenergy Officer, FAO) & Mr Kenichi Shono (FAO Forestry
Resources Officer).
Annex 10
Leasehold forestry – an agroforestry approach
Only households living below the poverty line and owning less than 0.5 ha of land are eligible to become Leasehold
Forestry User Groups (LFUGs) (Figure 2). Each household receives about 1 hectare of state forest land for a lease
of 40 years, with a provision for extension. These lands are usually extremely degraded, even barren. The LFUGs
are required to protect the forest lands against degradation so natural regeneration of trees, shrubs and grass can
take place. Since the land is deemed forest, the user groups are allowed to cultivate economically valuable perennial
plants such as non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and fodder. Open grazing has been disallowed, and has been
replaced with stall feeding. Technical advice, training, and basic material are provided to start planting and
generating other income-producing activities. The concept of LF was further expanded by including livestock
(mainly goats), and was called the Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme (LFLP).
Figure 2. User groups tending to their Leasehold Forestry plots (Photo: Department of Forests, Nepal)
Forestry is usually a long-term economic activity, which is unrealistic for the poor who have no agricultural land
for raising food crops. In order to create short-term revenue flow on degraded forest lands, the households initially
raised broom grass (Thysanchaena maxima) and other fodder species. The fodder was for raising livestock, which
established income over the short term. The livestock initially included goats, but over time cows and buffaloes
were added. The milk and meat from them not only improved the nutritional levels of the households, but the
surplus was sold for instant cash. A market for broom grass has also grown in the region. A number of other highvalue NTFPs such as bay leaf (Cinnamomum tamala), Nepal pepper (Zanthoxylum armatum), cardamom (Amomum
subulatum) and Nepalese paperbush (Edgeworthia gardneri) were raised. Existing timber species from seedlings
and coppice growth were protected. Additional plantings generally included Himalayan Ash (Fraxinus floribunda),
Garuga pinnata, Ficus spp., Acacia catechu, Schima wallichii and Castanopsis indica. These were interplanted among
the fodder species or in completely barren sites. The NTFPs and timber species provided longer-term income
generation, while restoring the degraded forest lands.
This integration of forestry, agriculture and livestock provided the income and material resources for subsistence
in some of the extremely poor mid-hill regions of Nepal. Through a participatory approach, the LFUGs were
encouraged to determine the activities that provided both incomes as well the restoration of productive landscape
for meeting their social, economic and environmental requirements for the future.
87
88
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
The link between LF and CSA is clear cut. LF achieves two goals (Figure 3). LF as an agroforestry system starts with
degraded forests or low-productivity sites which are gradually turned into regenerated forests. Recovery of many
of the environmental values of forests and their biodiversity follow. The LFs, with planting of fodder and NTFPs,
are geared towards improving the livelihoods of poor households. When the LFs are linked with livestock (LFLP),
they enhance the food security of the users (Figure 4). Inherent in the system is the potential for LF to be climate
resilient by improving the environmental conditions for sustainable farming. This report examines briefly LF in
terms of environmental, economic and social values.
Leasehold forestry
Restoration of degraded
forest ecosystems
Diversificaton of
income and
iimprovement of food
security
Figure 3: Dual goals of Leasehold Forestry
Figure 4. Livestock incorporated into Leasehold Forestry to form the Leasehold Forestry
and Livestock Programme (Photo: Shono)
89
Annex 10
Outcome of Leasehold Forestry
The findings here are based mainly on two FAO studies: a) two LFs with 1 500 LFUGs in Chitripani and Bhagawathisthan
districts (1994-2000); and b) four LFs with 352 LFUGs in Palpa, Nawalparasi, Gulmi and Syangja districts (2010-2013).
Data from other studies, where available, are used to augment the findings of LF implementation.
Socio-economic development
Overall, there was a clear trend in the proportion of the poorest households participating in the LF programme
– their numbers, based on economic categorization, declined from 41 percent in 2006 to 19 percent in 2013 (Figure
5). The programme appears to have contributed to the reduction in poverty.
45.00%
41.40%
40.00%
35.00%
30.00%
29%
25.00%
23%
20.00%
19%
15.00%
Poorest
10.00%
5.00%
0.00%
2006
2010
2011
2013
Figure 5. Trend in poor household numbers in the Leasehold Forestry Programme (FAO 2013)
Once the forest lands came under LF management, grazing and fire were controlled, and the forest productivity
increased, as measured from fodder and fuelwood. As shown in Figure 6, households receiving less than three
months of fuelwood decreased, and the proportion of households receiving up to six, nine and more months
increased during the period. The supply of fuelwood from LFs gradually increased.
60%
50%
55%
47%
40%
29%
31%
2010
30%
13%
20%
2013
17%
3%
10%
4%
0%
<3 Months
3-6 Months
6-9 Months
>9 Months
Figure 6. Percentage of households receiving fuelwood from Leasehold Forests (FAO 2013)
90
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Percentage HHs generating income
The LFs became a vital source of income for the LFUGs. With the increase in fodder, the LFUGs were able to raise
goats and maintain buffalos for milk production. There was a diversification of income from the sale of goats and
buffalo milk, and even fodder. The percentage of income from the sale of such produce increased steadily over
the six years that data were collected (Figure 7). LF made it possible for almost 90 percent of the households to
earn cash income, an increase of 40 percent in six years.
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
goats
milk
fodder
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Years since leasehold group formed
Figure 7. Percentage of Leasehold Forestry User Groups earning income from sale of fodder,
milk and goats (Ohler 2000)
The impact of LF can also be seen in the number of hours women devoted to collecting fodder. Before the LF
Programme women spent almost four hours daily to the task, whereas with the LF, this was reduced to 1.4 hours
a day (Figure 8). As a result, the women folk could devote their time to other vital tasks.
3.9
hours per day
4
3
1.4
2
1
0
before
after 5 years
Figure 8. Time women from leasehold forestry households need to collect fodder (Ohler 2000)
Environmental change
To start with, only degraded forests with less that 20 percent crown cover can be handed over as LFs. An analysis
of forest cover based on perception by the User Groups is shown in Figure 9. At handover, on average 53 percent
of the LFs had low forest cover (<25%). A survey three years following LF management, only 15 pecent of the LFs
were in the <25 percent category. Almost half of the LFs had green cover of 25 to 50 percent. This is an excellent
achievement in comparison to the almost barren lands at the handover to the LFUGs.
91
Annex 10
60%
50%
40%
At hand Over (2010)
At hand Over (2013)
30%
20%
10%
0%
0-25%
25-50%
50-75%
>75%
60%
50%
40%
Survey period 2010
Survey period 2013
30%
20%
10%
0%
0-25%
25-50%
50-75%
>75%
Figure 9. Change in land cover in Leasehold Forests from handover to survey
(sampling based on feedback from LFUGs) (FAO 2013)
Besides planted fodder grasses, NTFPs and timber trees, the establishment and growth of natural regeneration
accelerated in most of the LF sites. Another FAO study in Makwanpur and Kavrepalanchok showed rapid increase
in vegetation ground cover of the sites from an initial 32 to 50 percent after one full growing season, and reached
over 80 percent seven years later (between 1994 and 2000) (Figure 10).
100
Percentage ground cover
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Years since leasehold group formed
Figure 10. Percentage of ground cover following management as Leasehold Forest plots (Ohler 2000)
Based on an assessment, LFUGs perceived significant enhancement in forest conditions and environmental services
following LF management, with improvements in overall green cover, access to forest resources, availability of
fodder, and plant diversity (Figure 11). However, the groups perceived no change in water sources.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
80
70
60
50
Significantly Improved
Better than before
No Change at all
40
30
20
10
0
Access to Forest Increased
forest
Coverage water in
resources /Land Use sources
Green
fodder
Green
forage
Figure 11. Perceived improvements in environmental services (FAO 2013)
Considering most LFs were barren or low in vegetation cover at time of transfer, once grazing was stopped, rapid
natural regeneration of herbs, grasses and trees took place. Many trees regenerated from stumps. Further, with
the active introduction of plants, the overall rehabilitation was impressive, resulting even in multi-layered forest.
The biodiversity, based on LFs in two study sites, increased by 57 and 86 percent (Figure 12).
130
140
Plant species
120
100
70
80
60
40
37
58
20
Bhagawatisthan
0
Chitripani
1994/95
2000
Figure 12. Changes in plant biodiversity in two Leasehold Forest sites between 1994 and 2000 (Ohler 2000)
No detailed studies on the mitigation benefits of LF have been carried out. One review by FAO states that the LF
programme is in total a sink and leads to carbon sequestration. The activities such as agroforestry in the LF areas
can account for 3 442 904 tCO2-e. Another benefit is the land-use change from degraded land to annual and
perennial croplands. However, livestock production is a source of GHG emission, with a total of 773 270 tCO2-e,
which is moderate. The overall results of reversing land degradation can translate into benefits of 96 tons of CO2-e
per hectare or 85 tons of CO2-e per farmer.
Annex 10
Conclusions
This transfer of degraded forests lands on a 40-year lease to some of the poorest people in rural areas of Nepal
achieved multiple objectives. It is one of the best forestry models that while focusing on poverty alleviation and
food security, also improved the environment and forest recovery. The examples of the impacts include: a) significant
increase in income for the user groups from sale of goats, milk and animal feed; b) enhanced food security and
improved diets for children; c) diversification of income beyond that of casual labour; d) reduction in women’s
time for forage and firewood collection that can be transferred to other vital uses; and e) an improvement of the
environment and expansion of forest cover in the hilly areas, which also can contribute to climate change mitigation.
Considering the participants were mainly from marginalized groups, this change in their quality of life would mean
a big difference to their status in society. The LF of Nepal holds another important lesson in the annals of development
work – the LF programme required little investment other than the transfer of some degraded lands to the people.
Most of the development took place through empowerment of the people.
Reading material
FAO. 2013. An assessment of outcome of Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme. Study conducted by LFLP
& Technical Assistance for LFLP, FAO Nepal.
FAO. 2014. Impacts of Leasehold Forestry on livelihoods and forest management. FAO Nepal.
Ohler, F.M.J. 2000. The impact of leasehold forestry on livelihoods and environment. Field Document 3/2000.
Kathmandu, Nepal, FAO-Technical Assistance/ Hills Leasehold Forestry & Forage Development Project.
Thierry, B., Hancock, J., & Shono, K. (eds.). 2014. A new lease on life – regenerating forests and livelihoods in
Nepal. IFAD, FAO & Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation publication.
93
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Case 7
Vertical farming: An innovative agriculture system for producing food in urban areas1
Introduction
The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. With the impact of climate change, producing
enough food for the growing population would be a challenge. With this concern for maintaining food security,
FAO has introduced the concept of CSA aiming to foster climate change adaptation while achieving sustainable
production of adequate food supplies. The CSA has three objectives: i) sustainably increase agricultural productivity
and incomes; ii) adapt and build resilience to climate change; and iii) reduce and/or remove GHG emissions where
possible. The concept of CSA is rather a location specific; therefore, the adoption of the practice can vary across
the region.
The population projections show that today 54 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and by 2050
the ratio is expected to reach 66 percent (United Nations 2014). And much of urbanization growth is likely to take
place in Asia and Africa (ibid 2014). These projections provide valuable guidance for the governments and
policymakers to develop long term urban development plans and strategies including sustainable urban agriculture.
There is growing interest worldwide in urban farming, which can provide food locally, as fresh as possible, with
reduced “food miles” from long-distance transport. There are other benefits such as making the city greener and
reconnecting people to the Earth. Urban farming comes in various types, and includes small land plots, rooftop
gardens and other more technology-based approaches referred to as vertical farms.
In this context, the developments with urban farming taking place in Singapore may provide a beacon for other
similar urban setups. Singapore with 716 km2 and a population of over 5.4 million is one of the most densely
populated cities in the world. Most of its land is allocated for urban development, leaving only about 101 ha of
farmland for agriculture development. As a result, Singapore could only produce 7 percent of the green leafy
vegetables locally and it has to rely on imports to feed its growing population. This has its drawbacks which includes
food security, exposure to price volatility, higher costs, and much more GHG emissions as a result of transport.
To reduce their dependence on food imports somewhat, the Government of Singapore has set a target to produce
at least 10 percent of local production of leafy vegetables. The country is embarking on innovative work on urban
farming which is simultaneously resilient to climate change. While hobbyists and volunteers are starting minor
initiatives such as rooftop gardens and small land lots for agriculture, the major advancement is with vertical
farming. Some entrepreneurs have come up the concept of a green vertical farming system which can provide
high agricultural yields, good quality food with high adaptability to the growing media and environment while
minimizing the use of natural resources. The Government of Singapore is a strong promoter of such enterprises,
and has established a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore
(AVA) and a local firm called Sky Greens to launch the green vertical farm in 2010. This case study of vertical farming
concept is based on the Sky Greens enterprise in Singapore. The study aims to identify the role that vertical farming
plays in increasing agricultural productivity while minimizing area of land use, reducing water and energy
consumption as well as lowering GHG emissions.
Vertical farming technology: the Sky Greens
Vertical farming refers to the practice of cultivating plant life within a skyscraper greenhouse or on vertically inclined
surfaces (Hix, 1974). The vertical farming implemented in Singapore was invented by Mr Jack Ng, the founder/CEO
of the Sky Greens. The Sky Greens started building its first prototype in 2009. In April 2010, a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) on collaborative research agreement was signed between Sky Greens and AVA. The jointventure is considered as the world’s first low-carbon, water-driven, rotating, vertical farm for growing tropical
vegetables in an urban environment.
1
Prepared by Ms Wirya Khim (FAO), with advice from Mr Simmathiri Appanah (FAO); this work received considerable support
from the Officers of AVA.
95
Annex 10
Following its success, the Sky Greens’ Vertical Farm won the Minister for National Development’s Research &
Development (R&D) Award 2011 (Merit Award) for providing an innovative and green solution for the national
urban food sustainability challenges. The technique is called “A-Go-Gro” technology (Figure 1). The system gives
a much higher yield, uses much less water, energy and natural resources, and aims to achieve a sustainable
agriculture practice which is in line with the CSA practice promoted by FAO. The technology is available for about
S$10 000 to 15 000 for each tower based on the dimensions required. Although the initial set up cost is high, the
vertical farming system could boost productivity, use less inputs and raw materials, with very low maintenance
costs.
Figure 1. The A-Go-Gro vertical farming technology of Sky Greens (2012)
In this system, the vegetables are grown in A-shaped towers, each of which is 9 metres tall. These modular A-frames
are quick to install and easy to maintain. It can also be installed on the rooftop if there is a concrete base, as the
system is specifically designed for urban areas. Each tower consists of 38 tiers of growing troughs, which are rotated
around the aluminum tower frame at a rate of 1 mm per second to ensure uniform distribution of sunlight, irrigation,
nutrients and good air flow for all plants. Each tower is powered by a gravity water wheel (Figure 2). According to
Mr Ng, “by using the water wheel to rotate the tower, the plants don’t get overstressed under the sun and at the
same time they can get nutrients from the water equally.”
96
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Figure 2. A-frame shaped tower and water wheel, Sky Greens (2012)
The vertical farming system is installed in a protected environment of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) roofing and netted
walls to enable cultivation of vegetables under natural sunlight all year round. All these efficiencies ensure that
production costs are kept low. Operational costs include items such as soil, seed and electricity for pumping water .
This green technology is designed with the five principles called MAGIC (Figure 3).
M
A
G
I
C
• Maximize use of natural systems (sunlight and gravity)
• Alleviate impact to the environment
• Generate high productivity
• Improve workers’ quality of life
• Consume low level of resources
Figure 3. MAGIC principles of Sky Greens
97
Annex 10
Conditions in the greenhouse are carefully monitored to ensure that weather related events will not impact the
production. The temperature in the greenhouses is normally 2oC lower than the outside temperature (year-round
temperature in Singapore is around 30oC).
Results
The vertical farm covers an area of 3.65 ha (greenhouses space occupies 2.5 ha) located in Lim Chu Kang, Kranji,
about 23 km from the city centre. Currently, the farm employs 20 full-time trained workers. Training in-house takes
about two to three days, with additional practice in the greenhouses. At the start of operation, the farm had only
120 towers, which could produce up to 500 kg of vegetables per day. However, with 1 800 towers in operation
now, the farm produces from 4 to 9 tons of vegetables per day (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Production trays with leafy vegetables
The process of growing leafy vegetables takes a five-week cycle (i.e. 28–30 days after transplanting) in total (Figure
5). This has allowed 11 harvests across a year. This includes four weeks for growing, and one week for harvesting
and processing (Figure 6), and transplanting (Figure 7) (i.e., two days for harvesting, one day for soil cleaning and
processing, two days break, and two days for transplanting). During the full four weeks of growing period, pest
management control is required twice a week inside the greenhouses. Although the soil could be used up to five
times for five cycles of production, the yield starts to decrease slightly after three cycles of harvests. After being
used for five full cycles, the soil will then be re-processed and appropriate organic matter and nutrients will be
added.
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Growing
period (4
weeks)
Transplanting
(2 days)
Harvesting &
packaging (2
days)
Break (2 days)
Soil cleaning
up and
processing
( 1 day)
Figure 5. Five-week cycle of vegetable production
Figure 6. Workers harvesting and packing the Chinese cabbage
99
Annex 10
Figure 7. Transplanting activity
Economic analysis of the production
Detailed economic analysis of production per unit (per tower) per month is provided in Table 1 below. According
to Sky Greens, the estimated sales per tower are about S$700.00 while the production cost is around S$130.
Table 1. Economic analysis of the production per unit (per tower) (AVA Singapore, pers. comm.)
Production output per tower
150kg
Estimated sales per tower
$700
Production cost per tower
Cost components
Requirement per tower
Cost/Unit
Manpower
9 man-hours
$8/man-hour
Media
900 L
$0.015/L
Seeds
100 g
$2.50/100 g
$2.50
Fertilisers
3.2 kg
$3/kg
$9.60
$2.60
$2.60
Pesticide
Cost (S$)
$72
$13.50
Power / Energy
60 watt daily / tower
$3/month
Packing materials
150 g/bag
$0.03/plastic bag
$20
$10
$10
Maintenance cost
$3
Production cost per tower
$130.60
Total estimated profit per tower
$569.40
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Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Vertical farming versus traditional farming
A comparison between vertical and traditional farming practices is summarized in Table 2.
Table 2. Comparison between vertical farming and traditional farming
Inputs
required
Vertical farming
Traditional farming
Land area
and space
Uses only 6 m2 to produce 150 kg of vegetable
per month, which is 10 times higher output
compared to average traditional farming
Requires at least 72 m2 to
produce 150 kg per month
with intensive care and inputs
Crop rotation is not required
Requires crop rotation
Multi-layer system to maximize the use of airspace
Monolayer farming
Water
Uses recycled water (12 l to produce 1 kg of
vegetables)
Uses 300–400 l to produce 1
kg of vegetables
Energy
Sunlight, and each tower consumes only 60 watt of
power daily to rotate the trough
Sunlight and requires more energy
to run the water pump for irrigation
Labour
Uses less than half the labour compared to
traditional farming (requires only 9 hours for 5-week
cycle) for each tower
Requires higher manpower cost for
the whole farming process (at least
12–15 days for a 5-week cycle)
Soil, seed,
and nutrients
Consumes 75% less raw material than traditional
farming (nutrients are input into the water with no
wastage from water run-off)
Requires more seeds and a large
amount of soil and nutrients
When compared with traditional monolayer farms, the vertical farming system could intensify land use and produce
higher yields (1 320 tons per ha per year), which is more than ten times that of traditional farming as practiced in
Singapore (90 tons per ha per year). According to Mr Ng, this vertical farm practice uses at least ten times less land
space than traditional farming (Figure 9). Actually it does not need arable land, each 9-metre tower occupies up
to 6 m2 of space, and can accommodate 2 500 plants (545 plants per square metre) and produce 150 kg of
vegetables within a five-week cycle. In comparison, one would need 72 m2 of land to produce the same amount
of vegetables in traditional farming. This is a multiple of 12 times in favour of vertical farms.
The vertical farming system produces high quality vegetables. The structures are installed in a controlled environment
which enables a strict control of input materials. It allows high flexibility as the modular structures are made of
aluminum and steel which are highly customizable and scalable. The system uses very little water. While traditional
farming uses 300 to 400 litres of water to produce 1 kg of vegetable, this system only consumes 12 litres of water
to produce the same amount. Each tower uses only 0.5 litres of recycled water to rotate the 1.7 ton vertical structure.
The operational system of the vertical farm requires very low energy use. Sky Greens’ vertical farm technology is
different from others because the greenhouses are designed in a way that they could receive abundant natural
heating and light. Therefore, artificial lighting is not required, which is a major constraint of vertical farms in other
regions. In addition, the trough rotation system does not require an electrical generator. The rack is rotated three
times a day to ensure that all plants receive adequate sunlight (approximately two hours per day). It is powered
by a unique gravity aided water-pulley system. Each tower consumes 60 watt of power daily (equivalent to the
same amount of energy consumed by a single light bulb) which is about S$3 per month, with a breakdown cost
of S$0.05 for 1 kg of vegetables.
101
Annex 10
The vertical farming system is installed in a protected environment which ensures that the system can be relatively
maintenance-free and has high manpower efficiency. Specifically, for a full five-week cycle of growing, each tower
requires only nine hours of manpower. This vertical farming uses less than half the labour compared to traditional
farming to produce the same amount of output. The system is therefore considered as low cost and wastage
because it uses less energy and water (reduces utilities bills), and organic matter is composted on-site at the farm.
Mr Ng also added that his farming practice consumes at least 75 percent less raw material than traditional farming.
The benefits of the vertical farming system are presented in Figure 8.
Low
mantainence
High
manpower
efficiency
Low energy
use
Low water
use
High yield
Patented
vertical
farming
Low cost &
wastage
High
flexiblity
High quality
Figure 8. Economic and environmental benefits of the vertical farming system
Currently, the vertical farm produces four types of vegetables: Bok Choy, Nai Bai (Milk cabbage), Xiao Bai Cai (Chinese
cabbage), and Cai Xin (Choy Sum). All of Sky Greens’ produce are exclusively sold to National Trades Union Congress
(NTUC) FairPrice Finest supermarkets. Despite costing 20 to 30 percent more than vegetables from other sources,
Sky Greens’ produce has received a positive response from customers and the demand keeps increasing. There
are two main reasons why customers choose to purchase Sky Greens’ produce. Firstly, they know clearly where
the vegetables are grown. Consumers in Singapore, with Government’s campaign, are becoming more conscious
about their carbon footprint, and this too has been a positive point for the vertical farm’s vegetables.
However, the innovative vertical farm in Singapore is facing pest problems. Mr Ng suggested that, “there is a need
to understand the full cycle of pests in order to successfully manage them. This obviously takes time for us to learn.
When we face pest problems, sometimes it even requires a short shut down of the system of the infected tower
and immediate soil treatment is required”. Mr Ng added that the soil condition will remain fertile even if the system
is shut for a few days.
102
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
“Our vegetables are harvested every day and delivered
almost immediately to retail outlets. Although it costs
about 20 to 30 percent more than the imported
vegetables, they are in great demand by customers
because our produce is safe, fresh and coming from a
reliable farm that they trust. And most importantly our
produce is delicious.”
– Mr. Jack Ng.
Figure 9. Mr Jack Ng, CEO of Sky Greens
Implications for food security
Urban farming such as a vertical farm could contribute significantly to national economic development and food
and energy security. The system is designed in an enclosed and protected environment that is not subject to the
impact of changing weather and could provide outputs all year-round. This has made vertical farming become
much more efficient than traditional farming. For example, the A-Go-Gro technology has already begun to make
a small step towards reducing Singapore’s dependence on food imports. At present, the vertical farm produces 4
percent of locally grown vegetables in the country. It has worked to reduce manpower cost by undertaking the
harvesting and packing at the same time. Compared to traditional farming practice which uses fossil fuel inputs
to plant, harvest, pack and transport their produce, the savings from the vertical farm is quite high (Table 1). Despite
the high initial set up cost, the vertical farm’s annual output per hectare is 1 320 tons, and at a cost of only a quarter
of that to run a conventional farm in Singapore. The vertical farming system could provide livelihoods not only for
urban farmers, but also retirees and housewives as the system requires only a few hours up on the roof to operate
and attend. This technology-based system can even attract the younger generation who are currently shifting
away to non-agricultural employment sectors.
Implications for ecosystem enhancement
The patented vertical farming system in operation in Singapore can be considered a “climate-smart” solution for
sustainable food production. It adopts green technologies to achieve the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). The
system only requires a small amount of energy, and therefore, boasts a very low carbon footprint. The water
powering the tower is recycled and filtered before returning to the plants. This study confirmed that the system
could save up to 95 percent of water (12 l/kg of vegetables) compared to traditional farming (300–400 l/kg of
vegetables). This is an important factor with droughts becoming more frequent and demand for water for farming
is increasing. The vertical farms have reduced the use of industrial fertilizers and chemical pesticides as well. The
organic waste in the farm is composted and reused.
In addition, the shorter farm to market distribution makes it much more environmentally friendly compared to
imported produce. For example, it takes only six hours from the farm to the supermarket. If the vegetables are
imported from Malaysia, it may take up to 16 to 18 hours, or even days from elsewhere. The local produce is,
therefore, contributing significantly to reduce food miles, transportation costs, GHG emissions and risk of spoilage.
Most importantly, what is unique about the vertical farming is that it offers a win-win option to maximize the land
use in urban areas – even land unsuited for agriculture can house a vertical farm.
Conclusions
This case study clearly reinforces the view that vertical farming system can effectively raise food production and
can be an effective contributor for addressing food security issues, particularly in urban areas with high population
density and associated land pressures. The vertical farm, exemplified by Singapore, not only demonstrates its
viability for enhancing food production, but this practice helps in adding the “what works” to the paradigm of
Annex 10
CSA. The green technology-based vertical farming system boosts productivity, while requiring much less of the
natural resource inputs (water, land, energy) and labour, and GHG emission reduction is achieved through reducing
food miles and the use of industrial fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The data have not been clearly accessed,
but the vertical farm, as operated in Singapore, is a major step forward in terms of reducing GHG emissions, and
thereby reducing a nation’s carbon footprint. It is in step with many of the principles advocated through the CSA
approach. This case study shows that there is clear efficiency, resiliency and environmental benefits of vertical
farming over traditional “land-based” farming in land scare urban areas.
Besides climate change, agriculture also has to contend with declining arable land and water resources, and this
is not an issue only in urban centres. In fact, the time has come to investigate how vertical farming can also provide
additional solutions for the continued decline in our natural resource base that is particularly affecting the agriculture
sector. In this context vertical farming and related approaches can even be considered as alternatives to conventional
farming where natural resources for supporting agriculture are on the decline.
Recognizing the benefits of vertical farming, the Government of Singapore is committed to boosting food security
and food safety in the country by using this CSA practice in their urban environment. The vertical farming system
could be adopted and replicated in urban areas of other countries in the region to ensure responsible and
sustainable food production. However, it requires a high initial capital input, obviously a deterrent for poor urban
communities.
The future capacity and ability to deliver agricultural outputs is strongly dependent on healthy ecosystems.
Therefore, there is a need for policy support from governments in the region to foster this environmentally
responsible food production system that could meet the growing population in urban areas. Further experiments
are needed to see if vertical farms can also grow other vegetables, such as tomatoes, beans, carrots and cucumbers.
Additional research is also needed for a more effective pest control and management technique.
With the growing challenge from climate change, every option possible for achieving resiliency in agriculture and
food security is a major step forward. Vertical farming, while still in its infancy, holds a great potential for achieving
food security without high GHG emissions. While we may debate that vertical farming, particularly the intensive
and high-technology based systems may not be affordable for many countries in the region, with economy of
scale, further improvements to the technology, and adoption of cheaper components, this may change, and
variations of the vertical farming systems may dot the landscape where traditional farming once stood. What may
have started as a solution to agriculture in land-scarce urban areas, may even eventually be a part of our solution
for feeding the world without the deleterious impacts on climate and depletion of natural resources.
Reading material
Bailkey, M., & Nasr, J. 2000. From brownfields to greenfields: Producing food in North American cities. Community
Food Security News.
Building and Construction Authority. 2015. 3rd Green Building Master Plan. Singapore.
Dubbeling, M., & Massonneau, E. 2014. Rooftop agriculture in a climate change perspective. Urban Agriculture
Magazine, 27.
Hix, J. 1974. The glass house. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Sky Greens. 2012. Sky Greens tropical vegetable urban vertical farm. Singapore.
Smit, J., & Nasr, J. 1992. Urban agriculture for sustainable cities: Using wastes and idle land and water bodies as
resources. Environment and Urbanization, 4(2), pp. 141–152.
UN. 2014. World urbanization prospects: The 2014 revision. UN: New York.
Wakefield, S., Yeudall, F., Taron, C. & Skinner, A. 2007. Growing urban health: Community gardening in SouthEast Toronto. Health Promotion International, 22 (2).
103
104
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Annex 11
List of participants
Regional Asia-Pacific Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Country Representatives
No.
Country
Name
Affiliation
1
Bangladesh
Mr MD Jillur Rahman
Horticulture Research Centre, Bangladesh
Agricultural Research Institute
2
Bangladesh
Dr Wais Rahman
Consultant, FAO Bangladesh
3
Bhutan
Mr Chimi Rizin
Department of Agriculture
4
Cambodia
Dr Seng Vang
Cambodian Agriculture Research and
Development Institute
5
China
Prof. Yue Li
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
6
Fiji
Mr Vinesh Kumar
Ministry of Agriculture, Western Division
7
India
Mr Mahendra Narain Singh
Department of Agriculture and
Cooperation
8
Indonesia
Dr Ir Catur Hermanto
North Sumatera Assessment Institute for
Agriculture Technology
9
Japan
Mr Toru Adachi
Embassy of Japan, Thailand
10
Japan
Ms Chanayapach Unhajata
Embassy of Japan, Thailand
11
Lao PDR
Mr Khamphone Mounlamai
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
12
Malaysia
Dr Norlida Mohd Hamim
Malaysian Agricultural Research and
Development Institute
13
Mongolia
Dr Sharavjamts Oyuntuya
School of Agroecology, Mongolian
University of Life Science
14
Myanmar
Mr Myo Tint Tun
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
15
Nepal
Mr Sanjay Dhimal
Ministry of Agricultural Development
16
Netherlands
Mr Arie Veldhuizen
Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands,
Viet Nam
17
Netherlands
Mr Sarawut Chantachitpreecha
Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands,
Thailand
18
Pakistan
Mr Rashid Sohail
Ministry of National Food Security and
Research
19
Papua New Guinea
Mr Heai Steven Hoko
Department of Agriculture and Livestock
20
Philippines
Mr Carlos Magnaye
Department of Agriculture
21
Singapore
Mr Tay Jwee Boon
Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of
Singapore
22
Sri Lanka
Mr Namal Hettiarachchi
Department of Agriculture
23
Thailand
Dr Akarapon Houbcharaun
Office of Agricultural Economics
24
Thailand
Ms Kanjana Malaikritsanachalee
Office of Agricultural Economics
105
Annex 11
Country Representatives
No.
Country
Name
Affiliation
25
Thailand
Ms Kittima Jintanasonti
Office of Agricultural Economics
26
Thailand
Dr Margaret Yoovatana
Department of Agriculture
27
Viet Nam
Dr Le Quoc Doanh
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development
28
Viet Nam
Mr To Viet Chau
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development
29
Viet Nam
Dr Ta Quang Kien
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development
Agency participants
No
Country
Name
Affiliation
30
France
Mr Samuel Monteiro
Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
French Development Agency
31
Myanmar
Dr Pau Sian Kam
ASEAN
32
Thailand
Dr Raghunath Ghodake
Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural
Research Institutions
33
India
Dr Pramod Aggarwal
CGIAR Research Program on CCAFS
34
Thailand
Mr Hiroyuki Konuma
FAO
35
Italy
Mr Fred Snijders
FAO
36
Italy
Ms Kaisa Karttunen
FAO
37
Thailand
Mr Simmathiri Appanah
FAO
38
Thailand
Mr Kenichi Shono
FAO
39
Thailand
Ms Kim Soojin
FAO
40
Thailand
Ms Wirya Khim
FAO
41
Thailand
Mr Artur Shamilov
FAO
42
Thailand
Ms Mayling FloresRojas
FAO
43
Thailand
Mr Johannes Ketelaar
FAO
44
Republic of Korea
Mr Leo Hyoungkun
Green Climate Fund
45
Indonesia
Ms Imelda Bacudo
GIZ Jakarta
46
Indonesia
Mr Jonas Dallinger
GIZ Jakarta
47
Thailand
Ms Pouchamarn Wongsanga
GIZ ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood System
48
Thailand
Ms Duangruetai Surasakjinda
GIZ ASEAN Sustainable Agrifood System
49
Thailand
Dr Carlos Ludena
Inter-American Development Bank
50
India
Dr Promode Kant
Institute of Green Economy
51
Thailand
Mr Michael Sheinkman
International Rice Research Institute
52
Thailand
Ms Sandra Khananusit
Asia Low Emission Development
Strategies (Asia LEDS)
53
Nepal
Mr MJH Jabed
South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation
106
Climate-Smart Agriculture: A call for action
Agency participants
No
Country
Name
Affiliation
54
Thailand
Mr Youlin Yang
UNCCD
55
Thailand
Ms Hang Wei
UNCCD
56
Thailand
Mr Jihwan Jeong
UNCCD
57
Thailand
Ms Yunqi Lu
UNCCD
58
Thailand
Ms Niran Nirannoot
United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP)
59
Thailand
Mr Kipp Sutton
United States Agency for International
Development (USAID)
60
Thailand
Mr Sergiy Zorya
World Bank
61
Malaysia
Dr Suan Pheng Kam
WorldFish
ISBN 978-92-5-108863-0
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