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Climate Action 2010-2011

Ecosystem based

Ecosystem based adaptation Dutyion Test Site in the United Arab Emirates. One example of a promising new technology is the Root Hydration System owned by DuPont. Faced with increasing climate-induced water stress, the government of Jordan, in collaboration with IFAD, the Global Environment Facility, DuPont and local farming communities, is testing this innovative and low-energy irrigation technology. The innovation is a new, durable plastic tubing material that retains contaminants while letting clean water through the pipe’s surface to the plants’ roots. This new system will allow farmers to use saltwater and low-grade, brackish water to irrigate their crops. It has great potential to increase the land available for cultivation, enabling smallholder farmers to grow more crops in water-stressed zones, particularly in coastal areas, without competing for precious freshwater supplies. and ecosystem services can effectively support adaptation to climate change by marginal rural and indigenous communities and strengthen the deployment of new technologies. IFAD is supporting indigenous communities through programmes such as the Regional Programme in Support of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin (PRAIA). The programme aims to recapture the traditional knowledge of indigenous groups that helps them diversify their incomes and food sources, for example, in the harvesting of indigenous plant species for food in times of drought and medicine in times of hardship. Practical research to benefit smallholders Climate adaptation requires the blending of local knowledge with scientific research. IFAD has a history of supporting and interacting with research institutes and other technical bodies, including the Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), to test, adapt and disseminate technologies. IFAD has taken a lead in mobilising interest in and donor support for research on some of the most important crops of poor people, such as plantain, bamboo and rattan, and cassava. Cassava research has been supported for over two decades, with a range of products generated, including improved cassava varieties, highly cost-effective biological control technology for two major cassava pests, transfer of improved cassava varieties from Latin America to Africa and, together with CGIAR, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and others, the development of a global cassava development strategy, with significant benefits for rural poor people. Beyond carbon markets: payments for environmental services Given the apparent difficulties in securing access for smallholders to carbon market revenues, we must look more closely at other payments for environmental services (PES) approaches to provide smallholder farmers with increased revenue streams or incentives and foster an integrated and sustainable approach to agriculture. PES, if formulated correctly, has significant potential to bolster rural livelihoods and agricultural yields, and maintain and enhance ecosystem services, such as watersheds and biodiversity. In addition it can contribute to disaster risk reduction, with PES revenues generated serving as financial buffers for communities to climateinduced shocks. Provided with financing opportunities and incentives, smallholders and rural communities can invest in preventing natural disasters by maintaining sand dunes, mangrove belts, coral reefs, wetlands and forested slopes as cost-effective measures, while at the same time protecting their own assets and livelihoods. Dependable revenue streams would allow them to invest in their crops and land, strengthening their businesses. Increase smallholder profits through sustainable value chains There is often a misconception that sustainable approaches to agriculture are not profitable or that smallholders are not viable business partners at scale. The experience base that IFAD has built with partner In the Philippines, the IFAD-supported Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project has replicated the ‘Lapat’ indigenous system to protect the country’s vast watersheds. This traditional system calls upon all community members and neighbouring communities to observe rules for environmental protection. These include restrictions on cutting trees, gathering rattan, hunting animals, and even fishing in the rivers and streams within the ‘Lapat’ area. By promoting adoption of the ‘Lapat’ system, national and regional authorities have empowered indigenous communities to take over the responsibility, care and management of forests and natural resources. By the end of 2007, some 50,000 households were practicing the ‘Lapat’ system. The sustainability of this approach lies in the blending and linking of indigenous practices within modern institutional and policy frameworks. In this case, ancestral land was surveyed and over 1,000 land ownership certificates were issued, strengthening the indigenous communities’ vested, long-term interest in their land. | 148 | www.climateactionprogramme.org

Ecosystem based adaptation A promising pilot called Reward Upland Poor of Asia for the Environment Services they Provide (RUPES), implemented in China, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, the Philippines and Vietnam through the World Agroforestry Centre, has shown great potential for PES. In Indonesia alone, over 6,000 farmers in 18 communities received permits to grow coffee while protecting the forests. Providing communities with clear land tenure rights gave them the incentive to maintain or restore environmental services, such as replanting and managing forest areas. In addition to a scaled up RUPES-II project, a follow-up programme, Pro-poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa (PRESA) is currently being piloted in Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. These activities are providing further evidence that PES incentives don’t necessarily need to be financial, but can be provided in the form of secure land rights. governments and smallholder communities demonstrates the contrary. The private sector does have an appetite for working with smallholders when they are sufficiently organised. Public-private partnerships can help to identify where smallholders’ comparative advantages lie and connect more of them to business opportunities, increasing their profits. In Sao Tome and Principe, IFAD linked cocoa farmers with KAOKA, a French organic chocolate-maker that agreed to purchase as much organic cocoa as farmers could supply. The programme halted the planned razing of existing cocoa plantations, maintained their productive capacity, avoided a potential increase in pesticide use and considerably improved the incomes of participating farmers from 25 per cent below the poverty line to eight per cent above it. This is just one example of linking smallholder farmers to eco-efficient value chains. In today’s globalised world, international markets coexist with traditional markets characterised by smallholder-dominated, low-input production systems. Environmental or eco-friendly value chains can provide good opportunities for smallholders because of the value they place on certain low-input production methods. Value chains also offer an opportunity to promote and support sustainable agriculture practices. IFAD is working with smallholders and other partners in Albania, Cameroon, Fiji, Guatemala, India, Laos, Morocco, Zambia and elsewhere to get their sustainably produced fish fingerlings (young fish), french beans, onions, coconuts, turmeric, olives, almonds and meat to larger markets. Farmers, fishermen, herders and governments all understand that profits lie in access to markets, and agricultural value chains can provide that access. Given the opportunity and incentive to link to them, farmers will organise and co-operate to compete. Support will help them strengthen their comparative advantage and remain competitive in an increasingly globalised and volatile international agricultural market. Smallholders are ready The imperative of reducing emissions globally to stave off climate change is clear but we must ensure that climate and other innovative finance reaches the poorest communities to build their resilience to climate change. The World Bank-led Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change study estimates it will cost US$70 – 100 billion each year to adapt to climate change between now and 2050. Unfortunately, additional financial support for adaptation to date has been woefully inadequate. Smallholder farmers account for 60 per cent of global agriculture and provide 80 per cent of food in developing countries (Cosgrove and Rijsberman 2000). Their households account for almost one-third of the world’s population, and constitute the largest share of the developing world’s undernourished (FAO). We must embark on a rapid programme of action to increase sustainable agriculture that rewards ‘no regrets’, multiplebenefit investments and includes smallholders. Many of these approaches are already available. It’s time for the public sector to prioritise these and give the market signals the private sector is looking for. Kanayo F. Nwanze began his term as IFAD’s fifth President in April 2009, after serving for two years as Vice-President. Prior to that, he was Director-General of the Africa Rice Center for a decade, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Alliance of CGIAR Centers. He was asked to chair the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security in 2010. Elwyn Grainger-Jones joined IFAD in 2009 to set up and lead its new Environment and Climate Division. Previously, he established and led DFID’s Climate and Environment Department and held positions with the World Bank, as its trade representative in Geneva, the EBRD, and the Overseas Development Institute as a fellow in Guyana. IFAD is an international financial institution and specialised UN agency and has, since 1978, invested over US$12 billion in grants and low-interest loans to enable rural poor people to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Jeff Brez, Knowledge and Advocacy Manager Environment and Climate Division International Fund for Agricultural Development Via Paolo di Dono 44 00142 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 06 5459 2142 Email: j.brez@ifad.org Website: www.ifad.org/climate www.climateactionprogramme.org | 149 |