Climate risk management is a cornerstone of resilience building in agriculture: Lessons from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations / Multilateral body
Agricultural systems and food security are increasingly at risk from changes in climate and impacts of extreme weather, which are amplified when combined with other compounded threats such as conflict and protracted crises, animal plant and diseases, and recently the COVID-19 pandemic. While climate-related hazards can occur gradually over time or onset rapidly, the resulting risks have to be managed pro-actively to avoid potentially catastrophic impacts on food-systems and save lives.
Climate risk is a function of the exposure to hazards, vulnerability and adaptive capacity of a given social and ecological system. Climate risk management underpinned by robust science, data and assessments is a cornerstone of FAO's preparedness and resilience building efforts. FAO's climate risk management system for agricultural investment projects is being applied systematically across all FAO-Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, to be expanded across the entire portfolio of projects. Combining weather, climate and geospatial data on the observed and projected hazards and their impacts on land and crop dynamics together with detailed socio-economic analyses, over 80 projects worth of USD 254 million have been climate-proofed to ensure climate-resilient outcomes. For example, the climate risk assessment for FAO’s project in Uzbekistan focused on sustainable land management and restoration resulted in the inclusion of climate-related Land Degradation Neutrality indicators. Extreme heat, changes in onset of frost, and extended dry spells and drought were identified as major hazards impacting agricultural activities in the project sites. Targeted recommendations were provided to adjust the dairy and livestock sector to increasing temperatures and mitigate the impacts of drought by rotational grazing and pasture rehabilitation. Extreme heat and higher temperatures also contribute to increased incidence of diseases and parasites in apiculture. Therefore, beekeeping activities will have to adjust timing and geographical location of activities considering observed and future climatic trends. The project's climate analysis will also inform the cropping calendars and regions most suitable for nut and nut crop production. The investment in early risk identification and action has both financial and social benefits in the long term. As we build back agri-food systems from the detrimental impacts of COVID-19, the evidence-based management of climate and environmental risks is becoming increasingly an essential element of FAO’s programs.
FAO's climate risk management system for agricultural investment projects is being applied systematically across all FAO-Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, to be expanded across the entire portfolio of projects. Combining weather, climate and geospatial data on the observed and projected hazards and their impacts on land and crop dynamics together with detailed socio-economic analyses, over 80 projects worth of USD 254 million have been climate-proofed to ensure climate-resilient outcomes.
Integration of climate change considerations should be initiated at an early stage of project development (preferably starting from strategic investment planning at sector level), so that appropriate climate-proofing, adaptation and mitigation measures can be built into project conceptualization, design, appraisal and implementation in order to promote climate resilience. Successful integration of climate change considerations requires specific actions at each stage of the project cycle. To be successful, any agricultural investment needs to align with a country’s overarching strategies and policies, taking account of their interpretation and implementation at subnational levels. This not only ensures national level buy-in to the investment, but also allows for close coordination with the local government, NGOs and the private sector that can help to drive the investment project. The integration of climate considerations into investment decisions directly concerns the mainstreaming of climate change into a range of policies and action areas that are highly relevant to agriculture and food security. The development of climate-smart policies and plans should also be relevant to a country’s integrated efforts to achieve the SDGs and its NDC objectives and priorities.
The climate risk screening system supports the existing tools and policies that are used for the portfolio's risk management and sustainability of agriculture and food systems. The climate risk screening procedure is being included into the ongoing revision of the FAO's Framework for Environmental and Social Sustainability, for application in all FAO projects and programmes beyond the GEF portfolio. The screening framework is also an element of the FAO's contribution to One UN Reform.
http://www.fao.org/climate-change/our-work/areas-of-work/climate-risk-m… http://www.fao.org/climate-change/our-work/areas-of-work/climate-risk-m… http://www.fao.org/3/cb2669en/cb2669en.pdf http://www.fao.org/3/cb1067en/CB1067EN.pdf http://www.fao.org/3/ca9290en/CA9290EN.pdf https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtu8MkufmVgxS8_Ocl7mMig
COVID-19 pandemic did not have major impact on rolling out the system of climate risk screening and management at FAO. However, climate variability and change create challenges for managing human and natural systems. Weather-related disasters, extreme weather events, conflict and economic downturns are key drivers of the recent rise in hunger and malnutrition in the world. The COVID-19 crisis and its transboundary nature introduces new vulnerabilities and risks to agricultural production and value chains. While the crisis challenges livelihoods and agricultural systems around the world, it is also an opportunity to revisit risk management in a comprehensive way. Risk-informed decision-making is part of the solution to address the concurrent climate crisis and can bring about transformative change. Mainstreaming climate risks in FAO programming as a part of multi-risk management system for food security and nutrition makes an important contribution to building resilience of agri-food systems in countries the organization supports. It also forms an integral part of FAO's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Program.
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Recipients of GEF funds, including governments, public and private sector entities, academia, NGOs, FAO staff