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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

Fixing our food systems means getting the fundamentals right

The term “food systems” encompasses a huge variety of activities and issues. To make sure we’re all starting from the same place, let’s focus on the fundamentals: the land, and how to treat it well.

Tags: CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT, LAND

Related news

Related news

COP26: New US$143 million investment to restore Great Green Wall ecosystems and increase climate resilience in the Sahel, announce IFAD and GCF

November 2021 - NEWS
A new US$143 million investment programme will ensure millions of the most at-risk rural people living in the Sahel region of West Africa can adapt to climate change, with a wide-reaching plan to restore degraded land and provide climate information systems and agricultural insurance. The announcement was made today at the UN climate change conference (COP26) during a signing ceremony of the grant agreement between IFAD and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

COP26: Sweden steps up to help at-risk small-scale farmers adapt to climate change, pledging millions to IFAD’s climate fund

November 2021 - NEWS
Sweden today signalled its strong commitment to help some of the world’s poorest small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change, by pledging SEK100 million (nearly US$11.7 million) to IFAD. The announcement was made at the UN climate change conference (COP26) in Glasgow.  

IFAD Goodwill Ambassadors Idris and Sabrina Elba attend COP26 to advocate for increased investments in climate adaptation and biodiversity protection

November 2021 - NEWS
As climate negotiations enter a crucial phase, Idris and Sabrina Elba, UN Goodwill Ambassadors for IFAD, will attend COP26 to advocate for increased investments to help small-scale farmers to adapt to climate change and to protect biodiversity.

Related publications

Related publications

Geospatial tools and applications for climate investments

November 2021
This catalogue features innovative geospatial tools and real life case studies from IFAD’s operations, to give a flavour of how and where IFAD uses such technology.

Climate Action Report 2020

November 2021
This third edition of the IFAD Climate Action Report (CAR) describes the efforts that IFAD has made during the year to integrate climate change into every aspect of its plans and operations.

Building climate resilience in the Asia Pacific region

November 2021
This study examines six projects, in three principal ecosystems of the region: a mountainous region, wetlands and a river delta.

Related videos

Related videos

ShareFair of geospatial tools and applications for climate investments

November 2021 - VIDEO
As changing climates affect farming conditions across the world, how can geospatial and remote sensing tools help IFAD and others decide on where adaptation investments are best needed and what impact these interventions will have?

Tackling climate change: Saving Senegal's mangrove forests

September 2021 - VIDEO
Marianne Ndong and her colleagues make a living from raising and selling oysters in the village of Dassilamé Sérère, in Senegal’s Saloum Delta. Mangroves don’t just support marine life, like the oysters Marianne raises. They also form a protective barrier between land and sea.

Fighting climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean

May 2021 - VIDEO
Los pequeños agricultores, que producen hasta el 80 % de los alimentos en los países de América Latina y el Caribe, están en la primera línea de la batalla contra el cambio climático y la injusticia social.

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