The Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook of FAO

The Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook of FAO

CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE SourcebookFAO 2013, 557 pages There has been a rapid uptake of the term Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) by the international community, national entities and local institutions, in the past years. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach to address the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change, that explicitly aims for three objectives:

  1. sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, to support equitable increases in farm incomes, food security and development; 
  2. adapting and building resilience of agricultural and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels; and 
  3. reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fishery).
However, implementing this approach is challenging, partly due to a lack of tools and experience. Climate-smart interventions are highly location-specific and knowledge-intensive. Considerable efforts are required to develop the knowledge and capacities to make CSA a reality.

The purpose of the sourcebook is to further elaborate the concept of CSA and demonstrate its potential, as well as its limitations. This sourcebook is a reference tool for planners, practitioners and policy makers working in agriculture, forestry and fisheries at national and subnational levels, dealing with the effects of climate change.
Read the publication here (8 Mb)
Executive summary

This sourcebook is divided into three main sections, which addresses the main following topics:

Section A
The Case for Climate-Smart Agriculture consists of two modules establishing a conceptual framework and is targeted to a broad audience. Module 1 explains the rationale for CSA and module 2 focuses on the adoption of a landscape approach.
Section B
Improved Technologies and Approaches for Sustainable Farm Management is divided in nine Modules. It is targeted primarily to the needs of planners and practitioners and analyzes what issues need to be addressed in the different sectors, in terms of water (Module 3), soils (Module 4), energy (Module 5) and genetic resources (Module 6) for up-scaling of practices of crop production (Module 7), livestock (Module 8), forestry (Module 9) and fisheries and aquaculture (Module 10) along sustainable and inclusive food value chains (Module 11).
Section C
Enabling frameworks encompasses seven Modules, targeted to policy makers, providing guidance on what institutional (Module 12), policy (Module 13) and finance (Module 14) options are available. It further provides information on links with disaster risk reduction (Module 15) and utilization of safety nets (Module 16) and also illustrates the key role of capacity development (Module 17) and assessments and monitoring (Module 18).

The sourcebook is also available through a web platform that facilitates stakeholders’ access to additional information, case studies, manuals, practices and systems. The platform is dynamic and updated on a regular


Published on 26 Feb 2014
Wendy Mann of FAO was among delegates who attended a workshop on African Agriculture in a changing climate organized by CCAFS and partners. Here, she shares insights on African Agriculture with a focus on the CSA and the UNFCCC negotiations.

Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture
16 March 2015 – 18 March 2015
France, Montpellier

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