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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

What I’ve learned about resilience from rural communities in Guatemala

Faced with the impacts of climate change, small-scale producers in Guatemala urgently need to manage risk using tools like insurance. Read how INSURED promotes the use of agricultural insurance to build resilience and strengthen livelihoods.

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Experts

Pierre Yves Guedez

Senior Technical Specialist, International Climate Trust Funds

p.guedez@ifad.org

Janie Rioux

Senior Technical Specialist, Environment and Climate Finance

j.rioux@ifad.org

Hisham Zehni

Senior Technical Specialist - SECAP, Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division

h.zehni@ifad.org

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Stories and news

Stories and news

What I’ve learned about resilience from rural communities in Guatemala

October 2022 - BLOG
Faced with the impacts of climate change, small-scale producers in Guatemala urgently need to manage risk using tools like insurance. Read how INSURED promotes the use of agricultural insurance to build resilience and strengthen livelihoods.

Tackling food loss for sustainable food systems

September 2022 - BLOG
Reducing food losses makes food systems more sustainable. Although the exact causes are different for every crop and in every country, there are plenty of avenues to prevent, detect, and reverse these losses.

The perfect weekend away in rural Bangladesh

September 2022 - BLOG
Discover hidden gems in rural Bangladesh with two IFAD colleagues as they visit a community-led eco-tourism project that has transformed the area.

Hungry caterpillars threaten Kenya's crops. Can plants provide a natural pest control solution?

September 2022 - BLOG
Kenyan farmers and their crops face a tiny but destructive threat: the fall armyworm. With climate change causing more infestations, push-pull technologies are a sustainable and affordable way of naturally controlling pest numbers. Find out how this simple but effective technology works.

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Related publications

Related publications

Engaging smallholder farmer communities to develop index-based insurance

August 2022
This knowledge brief explores the benefits of and rationale for community engagement in index insurance initiatives, with examples from a pilot project in rural Ethiopia.

IFAD Strategy and Knowledge Department Learning Note #1

August 2022
The Strategy and Knowledge Department (SKD) Learning Note #1 captures lessons about the design and supervision of Green Climate Fund (GCF) projects and lays out some possible recommendations, in order to build IFAD’s capacity and continue strengthening the partnership with GCF.  

Formulating a Climate Resilience Community Village Plan

July 2022
This How To Do Note provides guidance on building climate-resilient livelihoods through natural resources management.

Partners

Partners

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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