Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Asia: Research and Development Priorities was jointly organized by APAARI, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangkok on 11-12 April, 2012.
The workshop was attended by 77 participants, representing chiefs of agricultural research organizations of south and south-east Asian countries, negotiators from the south and south-east Asian countries responsible for discussion on adaptation and mitigation in agriculture in UNFCC, chiefs of the meteorology departments of south and south-east Asian countries, regional and global agriculture and climate change experts, CGIAR climate change scientists and representatives of regional and global development organizations.
The workshop was organized with the following objectives: i) review the best practices and technologies being used to make agriculture climate-smart, ii) review the latest knowledge of impacts of climate change on agriculture, iii) identify gaps in solutions available and prioritize research and development needed to fill these gaps, and iv) agree on a plan to address gaps and link knowledge with policy actions at the local/national/regional level to make agriculture climate-smart. The workshop was structured in different technical sessions: i) climate services to agriculture, adaptation to progressive climate change and mitigation in agriculture, ii) agriculture in UNFCCC, iii) adaptation to climate change, iv) mitigation in agriculture, v) country reports on current state of research and development on climate-smart agriculture, vi) adapting to current weather variability and knowledge to action and policies for climate smart agriculture, vii) adapting to current weather variability, and viii) knowledge to action and policies for climate-smart agriculture.
Key priorities and recommendations
- Development of adaptation strategies to current weather variability and long-term climate change with co-benefits in mitigation including information and communication technologies, climate models and decision support systems for seasonal forecasts, refining existing technologies for insect-pest and disease management, and breeding multi-stress tolerant varieties of crops, livestock and fish.
- Renewed focus on conservation and management of resources including water, soil, nutrient, energy and germplasm (including microbial diversity).
- Promotion of regional cooperation including regional learning platforms for transfer of technologies and knowledge of climate resilient agriculture.
- Identification of best practices for mitigation of greenhouse gases from agriculture at local, national and regional scales including alternative wetting and drying in rice, diversification, alternate feeding strategies for livestock, grazing land management, and water land use and crop residue management.
- Improvement in credibility, accuracy, timeliness, spatial resolution and relevance of weather forecast systems at short- and medium term time scales. This should be accompanied with improved coordination and knowledge sharing among climate services and agro-meteorological advisory providers including data sharing, and documenting and evaluating case studies of good practices.
- Investment in capacity building of agriculture sector to respond to advanced information about weather events and seasonal climate fluctuations through advisory systems, delivery mechanisms, training, and favourable policies.
- Strengthening extension services including addressing gender issues and opportunities, and building capacity of tomorrow’s farmers through climate-smart field schools, participatory videos, social media and community radio featuring local content and demonstrations, roving seminars, training of trainers, field demonstrations, and private sector participation.
- Documenting innovative institutional arrangements that promote climate-smart agriculture such as pricing for environmental services, carbon payments, index-based insurance, and community management of resources and risks.
- Assessment and documentation of existing knowledge of climate smart agriculture including constraints to adoption, indigenous knowledge, impacts, benefits, costs and productivity gains, and lessons where collaborations (public-public and public-private) are working.
- Assessment of policies in support of climate-smart agriculture including water pricing, fertilizer pricing and subsidies, irrigation, seed, risk transfer (insurance) and disaster relief.