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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.

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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.

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Building Resilience in a Time of Famine – Episode 33

20 million people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of starvation, largely due to a four-year drought making the region the driest it’s been in forty years. Dr Joseph Awange and IFAD’s Satu Santala discuss the root causes of famine and the solutions we can put in place.

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Building Resilience in a Time of Famine – Episode 33

Junho 2022 - PODCAST
20 million people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of starvation, largely due to a four-year drought making the region the driest it’s been in forty years. Dr Joseph Awange and IFAD’s Satu Santala discuss the root causes of famine and the solutions we can put in place.

Against the backdrop of conflict and COVID-19, IFAD is helping farmers grow in Yemen

Junho 2022 - STORY
Years of conflict in Yemen have taken their toll – and among all of the devastation that’s been wrought, the country’s agricultural sector is one of the hardest hit. Now, an IFAD-supported initiative is helping Yemeni farmers get back on their feet.

O semiárido brasileiro está cheio de vida

Junho 2022 - VIDEO
O semiárido nordestino, conhecido como sertão, é uma terra rica em cultura e paisagens encantadoras. Embora o clima rigoroso e a falta de água dificultem a vida aqui, nas últimas décadas, a engenhosidade moderna se juntou aos sistemas tradicionais de ajuda mútua para ajudar as comunidades a aproveitar ao máximo os recursos naturais da região.

IFAD and Government of Uttarakhand partner to double rural incomes and build climate resilience in the state

Junho 2022 - NEWS
IFAD and the Government of India signed a US$ 105 million financing agreement last week for a project in the northern state of Uttarakhand that aims to double rural incomes, reaching over half a million families across the state. It will do this by supporting smallholder farmers, agricultural labourers, and micro and small agribusinesses to start and expand competitive businesses and focus on food production that is climate-resilient.

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Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) brochure

Outubro 2015
The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) was launched by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2012 to make climate and environmental finance work for smallholder farmers. A multi-year and multi-donor financing window, ASAP provides a new source of cofinancing to scale up and integrate climate change adaptation across IFAD’s approximately US$1billion per year of new investments. The programme is joined up with IFAD’s regular investment processes and benefits from rigorous quality control and supervision systems. ASAP is driving a major scaling up of successful ‘multiple-benefit’ approaches to smallholder agriculture, which improve production while reducing and diversifying climate-related risks. In doing so, ASAP is blending tried-and tested approaches to rural development with relevant adaptation know-how and technologies. This will increase the capacity of at least 8 million smallholder farmers to expand their livelihood options in an uncertain and rapidly changing environment.
additional-languages: Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Russian

Adaptation Framework Tool

Janeiro 2021
The Adaptation Framework is a repository of adaptation actions for small-scale agriculture, including livestock, forestry, and fisheries. It provides an approach for incorporating adaptation practices into project design.

Addressing climate change in East and Southern Africa

Novembro 2011
Climate variability and change are expected to compromise agricultural production and food security severely in many African countries.

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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