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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.


Spotlight

Italian Chef Carlo Cracco draws attention to climate change threats for small scale farmers in Cambodia

For World Environment Day, IFAD partners with Italian chef Carlo Cracco to shed light on the devastating impact that climate change is having on rice production in Cambodia. 
 

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IFAD and Sudan invest US$47.5 million to raise incomes and resilience to climate change

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Sudan signed a financing agreement today to improve household incomes and resilience to climate change in the States of Sinnar, North Kordofan, South Dordofan and West Kordofan.

IFAD and Bangladesh invest US$92.4 million to improve livelihoods for poorest rural households in flood-prone areas

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Related publications

Toolkit: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture of IFAD investments in sub-Saharan Africa

detsember 2016
Conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa has multiple, but often very specific, niches for investment that need to be understood to support its inclusion and implementation in projects.
LANGUAGES: English

Lesson learned: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture of IFAD investments in sub-Saharan Africa

detsember 2016
This “Lessons Learned” document of the conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa toolkit reviews experiences over the last two decades.
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Comprehensive environment and climate change assessment in Viet Nam

juuni 2010

This report was prepared for informing IFAD‘s Country Strategic Opportunities Program (COSOP) 2012 – 2017 for Viet Nam. In preparation of this report a brainstorming workshop was held on 9 May 2011 in Hanoi bringing together key national research institutes working on climate change (CC) and environment related issues, ministries of agriculture and environment and bilateral and multilateral donors.

LANGUAGES: English

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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