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Planning and costing agriculture’s adaptation to climate change - Synthesis Report

Changing climate will have adverse effects on food production, food distribution, infrastructure, land availability for agriculture, and livelihood assets and opportunities in rural and urban areas. Adapting food systems to both enhance food security for the poor and to prevent the future negative impacts of climate change will require attention to more than just agricultural production. Food security can only be ensured and enhanced through a range of interventions across different agricultural systems and along the associated value chains, from production to distribution and allocation.

The current efforts to get agriculture into the global climate policy framework after the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol emphasises mitigation. Adaptation is an equally important objective in a world that cannot avoid climate change any more because of already accumulated greenhouse gases. In developing countries, adaptation is the primary concern due to their vulnerability to climate change and high dependence on weather-dependent agricultural systems. A complete response to climate change that integrates agriculture should therefore pursue both agricultural mitigation and adaptation. In order to plan for adaptation effectively, policy makers need reliable information from developing countries on the nature of adaptation, its costs and how these are related to ongoing efforts to develop the agriculture sector and food systems of developing countries.

This study set out to inform climate policy development by analysing agricultural adaptation in developing countries using a combination of desk studies and country case studies to provide a framework, areas to focus on when planning agricultural adaptation and the likely costs. It followed key steps for bringing together global and local perspectives for the benefit of both global stakeholders and developing countries.

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Chambwera, M., Downing, T., Crawford, V., Dyszynski, J., Cabot Venton, C., Butterfield, R., Birch, T., Bezabih, M., and Loga, D.. 2011. Planning and costing agriculture’s adaptation to climate change: Synthesis Report. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK.