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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

GC46 interactive session - Youth and agriculture

Young people play a vital role in transforming food systems and accelerating a “Just Transition”. Leveraging young people’s fresh perspectives, innovation, and energy can spur inclusive green work opportunities in agrifood systems.
 

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Experts

Jahan-Zeb Chowdhury

Lead Technical Specialist - Environment & Climate Cluster Coordinator

j.chowdhury@ifad.org

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

How livestock in Lesotho is adapting to climate change

January 2023 - BLOG
An IFAD-FAO study from Lesotho provides valuable insight on how to mitigate against climate change while sustainably producing enough healthy food for everyone.

Why insects are the next global superfood

January 2023 - BLOG
IFAD helps rural small-scale farmers reduce emissions while adapting to climate change. Find out how rearing insects as human food and livestock feed can achieve these goals.

2022: Resilience in the face of adversity

December 2022 - STORY
As we near the end of 2022, IFAD looks back on some of the themes that defined a year of dramatic change.

Rising sea levels threaten Egypt's fertile plains in the Nile Delta

December 2022 - STORY
The Nile Delta is the breadbasket of Egypt, but climate change threatens agriculture here. IFAD is working to protect the land and improve the quality of previously infertile land. Sabrina Dhowre Elba, IFAD colleagues, and project coordinators and participants describe how this is changing people’s lives.

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Related publications

Related publications

Behavioral Science Interventions within the Development and Environmental Fields in Developing Countries: An Evidence Gap Map

February 2023
This evidence gap map (EGM) presents a landscape of studies on the effectiveness of behavioural science interventions in developing countries within the context of climate change.

Behavioural science interventions within the development and environmental fields in developing countries: a systematic review

February 2023
This paper presents a systematic review on behavioural science interventions in the human development and environmental fields in developing countries.

Evidence review on behavioural change in developing countries: Approach paper

February 2023
This review examines which interventions are effective in promoting environmental and development outcomes from individuals, households, communities and companies, and how effective efforts have been to date.

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