Global Environment Facility and Smart Agriculture
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
GEF, established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, is a catalyst for action on the
environment — and much more.
Through its strategic investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle the planet’s
biggest environmental issues.
Their funding also helps reduce poverty, strengthen governance and achieve greater
equality between women and men.
It is the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment.
The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions –
- o Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
o United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
o UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
o Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
o Minamata Convention on Mercury
The GEF now has six focal areas –
- o Biological diversity
o Climate change
o International waters
o Land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation
o Ozone layer depletion
o Persistent organic pollutants
Climate – Smart Agriculture
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) may be defined as an approach for transforming and
reorienting agricultural development under the new realities of climate change.
UN FAO’s definition – “agriculture that sustainably increases productivity, enhances
resilience (adaptation), reduces/removes GHGs (mitigation) where possible, and
enhances achievement of national food security and development goals”.
The three pillars of CSA
Productivity – CSA aims to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
from crops, livestock and fish, without having a negative impact on the environment.
Adaptation – CSA aims to reduce the exposure of farmers to short-term risks, while also
strengthening their resilience by building their capacity to adapt and prosper in the face
of shocks and longer-term stresses.
Mitigation – Wherever and whenever possible, CSA should help to reduce and/or
remove greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions. This implies that we reduce emissions for each
calorie or kilo of food, fibre and fuel that we produce. That we avoid deforestation from
agriculture. And that we manage soils and trees in ways that maximizes their potential
to acts as carbon sinks and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.
Key characteristics of CSA
CSA addresses climate change – CSA systematically integrates climate change into the
planning and development of sustainable agricultural systems
CSA integrates multiple goals and manages trade-offs – Ideally, CSA produces triple-win
outcomes: increased productivity, enhanced resilience and reduced emissions. But often
it is not possible to achieve all three. Frequently, when it comes time to implement CSA,
trade-offs must be made. This requires us to identify synergies and weigh the costs and
benefits of different options based on stakeholder objectives identified through
CSA maintains ecosystems services – Ecosystems provide farmers with essential
services, including clean air, water, food and materials.
CSA has multiple entry points at different levels: CSA should not be perceived as a set
of practices and technologies. It has multiple entry points, ranging from the
development of technologies and practices to the elaboration of climate change models
and scenarios, information technologies, insurance schemes, value chains and the
strengthening of institutional and political enabling environments.
CSA is context specific: What is climate-smart in one-place may not be climate-smart in
another, and no interventions are climate-smart everywhere or every time.
Interventions must take into account how different elements interact at the landscape
level, within or among ecosystems and as a part of different institutional arrangements
and political realities.
CSA engages women and marginalised groups – To achieve food security goals and
enhance resilience, CSA approaches must involve the poorest and most vulnerable
groups. These groups often live on marginal lands which are most vulnerable to climate
events like drought and floods. They are, thus, most likely to be affected by climate
change. Gender is another central aspect of CSA. Women typically have less access and
legal right to the land which they farm, or to other productive and economic resources
which could help build their adaptive capacity to cope with events like droughts and