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Climate

Ensuring environmental sustainability and building resilience to climate change

Smallholder farmers and poor rural people bear the brunt of climate change and the degradation of natural resources. Extreme weather events, such as droughts, storms and floods, are putting pressure on the ecosystems that farmers depend on, as are gradual processes such as rising sea levels and melting glaciers.

Crop failures and livestock deaths are causing economic losses and undermining the food security of rural people with ever-greater frequency, especially in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

At the same time, the rapidly growing global population demands higher levels of food production. To meet the world’s growing needs, agricultural production must double by 2050, food waste must be reduced and value chains have to become sustainable and efficient.

The ecosystems on which smallholder farmers rely are increasingly undermined. Access to suitable agricultural land is declining, and forest, soil and water resources are increasingly restricted and degraded. 

Many farmers produce on marginal, rainfed land, where water is increasingly scarce. Pollution and overexploitation are causing a serious decline in fish populations, threatening essential sources of income and nutrition.

Improving farming practices and safeguarding the environment

Poor farmers and fishers are guardians of natural resources. With targeted assistance, agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors can play a key role in tackling environmental degradation and climate change.

Improving land management and adjusting farming practices can help alleviate pressure on the environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions. 

Farming systems that embrace sustainable intensification practices can increase crop tolerance, diversify production and hinder environmental degradation.

Sustainable agricultural intensification

IFAD promotes agricultural growth that is environmentally sustainable and integrated into ecosystems. We help farmers and fishers become more resilient to the impact of climate change.

IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme is the largest global climate adaptation programme for smallholder farmers. We channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers, helping them to reduce poverty, enhance biodiversity, increase yields and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

IFAD is also an executing agency of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). These are among the main financial mechanisms for addressing the intertwined issues of poverty alleviation, sustainable ecosystem management and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Through these programmes, IFAD works with our partners to scale up successful approaches to sustainable agricultural production and green value chains. These approaches build climate resilience by managing competing land-use systems while reducing poverty, enhancing biodiversity, increasing yields and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

In depth

In depth

Renewable energy

More than 2.5 billion people rely on biomass, such as fuel wood, charcoal, agricultural waste and animal dung to meet their energy needs for cooking. In many countries, these resources account for over 90 per cent of household energy consumption.

Spotlight

Spotlight

Re-imagining food systems through the climate–nutrition nexus

The food we eat plays a role in not just our health, but that of our descendants. How we grow, hunt, fish or gather it, how we process it and bring it to market, affects the world around us. These simple relationships are the foundation of the climate–nutrition nexus.

Tags: NUTRITION, CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT

Related news

Related news

African small-scale farmers use radio and mobile phones to send a message of optimism and caution to world leaders attending Food Systems Summit

September 2021 - NEWS
Small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are impacted disproportionately by climate change, poverty and undernutrition, yet a report released today shows many remain optimistic about the future of farming.

South Sudan and IFAD to boost productivity, food security and resilience of small-scale farmers faced with climate change

June 2021 - NEWS
The South Sudan Livelihoods Resilience Project (SSLRP) will empower rural people to boost productivity, food security and nutrition, and resilience.

Tanzania and IFAD partner to boost productivity, improve food security and build resilience of small-scale farmers in the face of the climate change 

May 2021 - NEWS
A US$77.4 million project signed by IFAD and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will bring much needed help to 260,000 rural households facing the impacts of climate change.

Related publications

Related publications

Climate adaptation and mitigation measures for nutrition co-benefits in IFAD investments in Ghana

June 2021
This report describes the findings of the country study carried out for the design of IFAD project on Livelihood and Productivity Enhancement of Smallholder Farmers (PROSPER) in Ghana.

Climate adaptation and mitigation measures for nutrition co-benefits in IFAD investments in Lesotho

June 2021
This report describes the findings of the country study carried out for the design of IFAD project on Restoration of Landscapes and Livelihoods (ROLL P) in Lesotho.

Climate adaptation and mitigation measures for nutrition co-benefits in IFAD investments in Zimbabwe

June 2021
This report describes the findings of the country study carried out for the design of IFAD Smallholder Agriculture Cluster Project (SACP) in Zimbabwe.

Partners

Partners

Asset Publisher

Contact us

For questions please contact Brian J. Thomson,

Knowledge Management and Communication Manager,

+39 0654592282 and mobile: +39 366 6121101, b.thomson@ifad.org