Climate adaptation for bio-based development

Last changed: 31 March 2017

This theme works for boosting research initiatives for supporting the agricultural sector, with main focus on climate adaptation and mitigation.

The natural resource base in agriculture has undergone degradation during a long time and continues to be under threat from various pressures such as unsustainable practices and erratic climate conditions. Over the years societies have adapted farming practices to cope with environmental change and climate variability, but the present speed and intensity of climate change is challenging the capacity of agricultural communities in developing countries to adapt. Agriculture in these countries has a significant share of the national economy and has the highest percentage of the national population involved.  

Strategies and actions for climate adaptation and bio-based development are central in the strive for food security, poverty alleviation and economic growth. Adaptation will need a transformation of agricultural systems to be more productive, less vulnerable and to result in reduced carbon footprint.

This theme accommodates multidisciplinary research in three major main lines:

  • Knowledge gaps for assessing vulnerability and adaptation
  • Agriculture and sustainable management of land, water and biodiversity- potential and limitation for adapting production systems
  • Adaptation processes. Conditions for development and dissemination of knowledge

The following are focus areas that are in priority:

  • Local capacity adaptation - a comprehensive assessment that brings knowledge on socio-economic (e.g. participation and wiliness for adaptation), technical (e.g. hydro-geological in the case of water resource development), and institutional conditions (e.g. higher educational institutions, extension programmes and policy development).
  • Extending and adapting conservation agriculture techniques, to address the immediate climate related risks, including systems for soil conservation, water harvesting and improvement of grasslands.
  • Sustainable agricultural intensification (water and soil management, nutrient and pest management) and improved integration of small scale farmers into markets are crucial in reducing pressure on the natural resource base, as well as in achieving more climate compatible agriculture.
  • In livestock systems addressing fodder conservation, adapted storage facilities and livestock shelters, resilient animal breeding and pest management to cope with threats.
  • Tools for decision-makers on how to best apply specific areas of climate knowledge to strengthen the adaptation of agriculture to different pressures.
Theme leaders

Theme leader: Abraham Joel

Assistant theme leader: Libére Nkurunziza

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