Climate-Smart Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrating Adaptation and Mitigation in Tropical Agriculture
Peer-to-peer: Harvey et al. 2013, posted with the Inter-Agency Working Group on Climate Smart Agriculture
This paper shows that many tropical agricultural systems can provide both mitigation and adaptation benefits if they are designed and managed appropriately, and if the larger landscape context is considered. Many of the activities needed for adaptation and mitigation in these landscapes are those needed for sustainable agriculture, but thinking at the landscape scale opens possibilities for achieving synergies.
Doing both adaptation and mitigation in agricultural landscapes can help provide food security, conserve biodiversity, and alleviate poverty. However, achieving these objectives will require changes in current policies, institutional arrangements, and funding mechanisms.
Examples of achieving both adaptation and mitigation benefits at the plot and farm scale include soil conservation practices and the use of conservation agriculture. Techniques such as incorporating crop residues, composting, and minimum tillage can increase organic carbon in soils, improve soil moisture, and reduce erosion during extreme weather events.