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Coping with a changing climate: considerations for adaptation and mitigation in agriculture

This book presents historical evidence of the linkages between climate and food security and the current challenges climate change poses on world food security. It argues that changing climatic conditions are projected to affect food security from the local to the global level as the unpredictability of weather conditions increases. It calls for new policy driven options to address the emerging challenges of attaining improved food security.

The book sets out to:

  • highlight the need for baseline diagnostics on impacts, vulnerability and resiliency patterns and decision-making under uncertainty
  • elaborate on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and how to effectively address these impacts
  • present guidelines for policymakers to identify, develop and implement adaptation and mitigation strategies
  • elaborate on the fact that climate impacts and response mechanisms are likely to remain the same in the near future
  • focus on decision-making under uncertainties and improve ways of identifying vulnerable communities and coping with current climate variability and extremes.

Recommendations for policymakers include:

  • introduce, harmonise and foster the notion of resilient adaptation in various policymaking levels
  • require researchers to identify and focus on areas of concern to stop environmental degradation
  • explicitly acknowledge agriculture-related controversies and conflicts to generate cooperation
  • do not use scientific uncertainty as an excuse to avoid decision-making concerning strategic planning for climate change scenarios
  • due to limited funds, governments must prioritise their adaptive capacity building to climate change impacts and focus their assistance on the most vulnerable populations and regions
  • all new projects affecting the environment must include a Food Security Impact Assessment
  • in addition to mitigation and adaptation, preventive actions should be considered to block emissions from new activities.

The book warns that there should be no adaptation recommendations without ramifications and calls for policy-driven strategic thinking about adaptation to and mitigation of climate change with a focus on improved food security.