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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

IFAD at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15

The governing body of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will have its 15th meeting of Conference of the Parties (COP15) to approve the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

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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

Five ways IFAD is helping to reduce rural poverty in an age of climate change

October 2022 - STORY
Even when a world without poverty seems out of reach, here’s how IFAD continues to work in developing countries, amplifying the voices of rural people and integrating them into value chains, so they can earn and save, while feeding the world and conserving the natural environment.

Recipes for Change: Lamb tagine with Moroccan truffles

May 2015 - STORY
The Highlands of Eastern Morocco, located approximately 1000-1400m above sea level, stretch over four provinces (Oujda, Taourirt, Jerada and Figuig). It is an environmentally and socioeconomically fragile area.

Building biodiversity for a successful farming future – Episode 38

November 2022 - PODCAST
This month we kick off with the Conference of the Parties on Biological Diversity, or COP 15, followed by three IFAD projects that put biodiversity and conservation at the forefront of their missions.

Climate finance keeps carbon where it belongs: underground

November 2022 - STORY
Climate finance is essential to prevent the worst-case climate scenarios from happening and to protect the most vulnerable people from a climate breakdown.

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Related publications

Related publications

Research Series 87: Incorporating the Impact of Climate and Weather Variables in Impact Assessments

November 2022
This paper outlines a methodological strategy for incorporating weather and long-term climate conditions into impact assessments, based on an IFAD-supported project that invested in grain storage in Chad.

On Air Dialogues – Listening to Rural Africans

November 2022
Farm Radio International’s On Air Dialogues gathered the perspectives and experiences of rural people in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso as they contend with climate change. People responded to poll questions and left voice messages sharing their opinions on and experiences of climate change and what global leaders should do to help them adapt and prosper.

ASAP Technical Series: Gender and Climate Change

November 2022
This paper defines gender sensitive as recognizing different roles of women, men, boys and girls, inequalities and gender power dynamics and trying to mitigate negative impacts in programme/action design.

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