Agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, particularly in Asia, where climate models project higher temperatures, rising sea levels and an increase in the intensity of severe weather events. A novel learning platform should help to gather the much needed intelligence in one pool.
A novel learning platform meant to improve agricultural resilience to changing weather patterns, and to reduce emissions footprint has been launched by researchers in Asia. Leading Asian and global experts on climate change, agriculture, and food security meet in Bangkok, Thailand in April at a workshop “Climate Smart Agriculture in Asia: Research and Development Priorities” where the platform was established.
Although a reasonable amount of scientific information is now available on projected changes in climate, observed and expected impacts on agriculture, and climate smart adaptation practices, this is often scattered so that a substantial knowledge gap exists between farmers, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders.
The Climate Smart Agriculture Learning Platform for South Asia therefore seeks to improve communication between the various stakeholders in a region that is home to one-third of the worlds poor and malnourished. Escalating population in this region has also lead to an increase in food demand, placing enormous pressure on agricultural systems to produce more food from the same or less land and resources. Experts from the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and other institutions, concur that the region needs to sustainably increase crop productivity and climate resilience while also reducing or removing greenhouse gas emissions. “This learning platform provides a space for farmers to discuss the issues they face in the fields, for research scientists to share their findings on these issues, and for policy makers to respond and steer the agriculture sector from a more ground-based perspective”, said Ram Baran Yadav, president of Nepal.
The Climate Smart Agriculture Learning Platform was organised by the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI), the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO).