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REPORT: Exploring the linkages and guiding concepts relevant to Climate Change, Agriculture and Development: A Detailed Resource

Agriculture is a mainstay of many developing country economies and forms the basis of millions of people’s livelihoods. Agriculture (occupying over a third of the Earth’s land area) both provides and is a major threat to ecosystem services (ES), broadly defined as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment). There is increasing recognition of the important role that agriculture may play as a provider not only of food and fibre, but also supporting the provision of a range of others ecosystem services. Growing domestic and global demands on agriculture and land resources in the developing world are creating major challenges, as well as opening up some opportunities, for the future direction of agriculture. Reconciling the need for major increases in agricultural productivity, with farming landscapes that also support the provision of other ES will require major responses to shape the key drivers that influence policy and practices at all levels.

This paper, Exploring the linkages and guiding concepts relevant to Climate Change, Agriculture and Development: A Detailed Resource, explores the linkages between climate change, agriculture and development. It reviews and analyses the relevance of key climate change concepts which currently inform thinking and interventions relating to agriculture and overall development pathways. It teases out the overlaps and similarities between the different conceptual frameworks – many of which have varying interpretations – focusing specifically on the agriculture sector. It is part of the CDKN-funded project, Using climate compatible development principles in African agricultural research and advisory services, which investigates ways in which ideas and principles of climate compatible development (CCD) are being used by agricultural research and advisory services across Africa, and reasons why this uptake has not been greater.

For a shorter briefing on the links between climate change, agriculture and development, please see here.