Insight into successful “climate smart” agriculture experiences

Photo credit: FAO

Farmers clear weeds from a trench, which retains water and prevents soil erosion during rains, as part of the FAO project to strengthen capacity of farms for climate change in Kiroka, Tanzania.

Countries share lessons on how to tackle the challenges climate change poses to agriculture

As part of efforts  to move towards “climate-smart” agriculture, countries have shared new experiences on how to produce food in ways that help farmers cope with the impacts of climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture.

The exchange took place at a special 26 April side-event during a session of FAO’s executive Council.

While countries are embarking on the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – the actions nations are taking under the Paris Agreement – the event provided an opportunity to learn from countries who have championed climate-smart agriculture  in different regions.

Climate-smart agriculture is an approach aimed at transforming food systems. It involves pursuing sustainable productivity increases while implementing climate adaptation strategies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions where possible, to achieve food security in the face of increasing climate change.

Embracing  climate-smart agriculture at a political and field level in Tanzania to transform people’s lives

In Tanzania, estimated loss in the agriculture sector due to climate change is about $200 million per year. To tackle this problem the government has brought the climate agenda in line with agriculture development and food security policies, and climate change considerations are now mainstreamed into national development planning and budget allocations. The country also intends to invest more in research on climate-smart agriculture to inform decision-making and involve private partners to catalyse additional investment in the sector.

The national policy focus in Tanzania has hence shifted towards building resilience of agricultural and food production systems in the face of climate change and fostering adoption of climate smart agriculture, particularly among vulnerable, smallholder farmers.

Read the full article: FAO

37 fellows from 9 African nations to combat climate change

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Panos

New research fellows to combat climate change in Africa

by Samuel Hinneh

Speed read

  • The CIRCLE programme has selected 37 fellows from nine African nations
  • They will conduct climate change R&D outside their home institutions for a year
  • An expert urges them to consider studying biodiversity conservation

A programme is building the capacity of African researchers to understand climate change impacts and develop evidence-based solutions to help policymakers tackle climate change challenges.

The Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) fellowship – an initiative by the African Academy of Sciences and Association of Commonwealth Universities – seeks to help early-career researchers undertake research to address climate change in Africa.

The five-year, £4.85 million (almost US$ 6 million) programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development has selected 37 researchers from about 100 applications as visiting fellows, according to Benjamin Gyampoh, CIRCLE programme manager.

“There is a research uptake component where the researchers are supported to identify the key stakeholders of their work.”

Benjamin Gyampoh, CIRCLE programme

The third cohort of fellows are from 25 universities and research institutes based in  nine countries –Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The fellows attended an induction workshop last month (10-12 February) in Kenya.

The 25 institutions nominated the researchers to the programme, and their applications went through rigorous review processes.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Newsletter of WeForest 🌎 🌿

WeForest 🌎 🌿 <contact@weforest.org>

“How much would it cost to halt global warming ?”

The economics are clear. The benefits of trees far outweigh the cost of planting and maintaining them. Restoring 350 million hectares to contain global warming requires between $79 and $130 Bn (or an average $7 Bn per annum over the next 15 years.

In 2014, global GDP amounted to about 77.3 trillion U.S. dollars[1], this total investment to contain global warming represents merely 0,001% of 1 years’ global GDP or 0,08% of 1 years’ global military spending[2].

If creative mechanisms where private contributions are matched by public grants can be developed, like in the WeForest Zambia project where a grant from Finland (CSEF) is covering 60% of the project costs, corporates will enjoy a huge positive impact with a minimal investment. Ask us about this opportunity to contribute in Zambia.

[1] Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices from 2010-2020 (in billion U.S. dollars): Statista. (2015),

[2] Reuters. (2015), Top News, , 02.06.2015.

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Plants, soil and climate change

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Data was provided from CEH’s climate change manipulation experiment, which has been running for 18 years in Cloceanog forest, a wet Welsh upland site with a peat layer resulting from seasonal waterlogging. Credit: Rachel Harvey

 

Future climate change will affect plants and soil differently

A new study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. In drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased.

Date:
March 7, 2017
Source:
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Summary:
A new study has found that soil carbon loss is more sensitive to climate change compared to carbon taken up by plants. In drier regions, soil carbon loss decreased but in wetter regions soil carbon loss increased. This could result in a positive feedback to the atmosphere leading to an additional increase of atmospheric CO2 levels.

Read the full article: Science Daily

California grasslands will become less productive if temperature or precipitation increases

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Grassland at Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. An examination of 17 years of experimental data from the preserve is helping scientists from Rice University, Stanford and the Carnegie Institution for Science better understand how ecosystems will respond to climate change.Credit: Daniel J. Quinn/Stanford University

 

Warmer, wetter climate would impair California grasslands

17-year experiment finds present climate near optimal for plant growth

Date:
September 6, 2016
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Scientists said data from one of the world’s longest-running climate-change experiments show that California grasslands will become less productive if the temperature or precipitation increases substantially above average conditions from the past 40 years.

Results from one of the longest-running and most extensive experiments to examine how climate change will affect agricultural productivity show that California grasslands will become less productive if the temperature or precipitation increases substantially above average conditions from the past 40 years.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Predicting how plants will respond to warming climate conditions.

 

 

US grasslands affected more by atmospheric dryness than precipitation

Date:
March 7, 2017
Source:
Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
Summary:
According to 33 years of remote sensing data, productivity of US grasslands is more sensitive to dryness of the atmosphere than precipitation, important information for understanding how ecosystems will respond to climate change.

A new study showing dryness of the atmosphere affects U.S. grassland productivity more than rainfall could have important implications for predicting how plants will respond to warming climate conditions.

Read the full article: Science Daily

Climate change in Zimbabwe and women farmers

 

Photo credit: IRIN

How women farmers are battling climate change in Zimbabwe

by Tonderayi Mukeredzi, IRIN contributor in Zimbabwe

Chengetai Zonke lost much of her maize crop to drought last year. When it came to planting again, she decided to reduce her stake in what has become a recurrent climate change gamble.

At her homestead in Chiware, in Zimbabwe’s northeastern Manicaland Province, the 52-year-old farmer explained why. “I’ve abandoned tilling the bigger fields to avoid the risk of putting more land under crops that may fail due to lack of rain or too much rain,” she told IRIN. “Replanting costs money, which is scarce.”

Allowing for the unpredictability of climate change turned out to be a shrewd move. After years of drought, Cyclone Dineo struck mid-February. Almost the entire country is now affected by floods, which have washed away bridges and roads and marooned some communities in the south entirely.

Almost 250 people have been killed in what President Robert Mugabe has declared a “national disaster”. Nearly 2,000 more have been left homeless, while many others remain vulnerable to dams bursting or overflowing upstream.

Several weeks of heavy rain have also taken their toll on agriculture – already struggling due to a critical shortage of fertiliser and a persistent outrbeak of fall armyworm.

“Some farmers face hunger because they planted late. Their crops are waterlogged, and have been leached,” said Zonke, whose own maize was affected.

Before the cyclone struck, the Zimbabwe Food Security Cluster (UN agencies, NGOs, government and donor representatives) was estimating that 43 percent of the rural population, some 4.1 million people, would be food insecure at the peak of the lean season, between January and March.

Women’s work

Zonke has four children, who have all finished school, and lives with four grandchildren. As is the norm in Zimbabwe, although she has a husband, it is she who does most of the work on the family farm.

Read the full story: IRIN