Climate-smart agriculture: the scientific basis

Lead reviewer: Todd Rosenstock, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Collaborating institutions: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Systematic map protocol: CCAFS Working Paper No. 136.

Everywhere it seems someone is talking about climate-smart agriculture (CSA). Development practitioners and the popular press enthuse about the idea, policy makers take a more sobering perspective, and scientists seem skeptical and concerned. Despite the mixed emotions, CSA has quickly been integrated into the global development agenda at the highest levels. There is an urgent need to examine CSA objectively to understand what is really known about purported CSA practices and technologies, the synergies and tradeoffs among its three pillars (increasing productivity, enhancing resiliency, and reducing and removing greenhouse gas emissions), and socio-ecological niches where CSA is or is not appropriate to calibrate expectations, inform sustainable development discourse and appropriately target agricultural innovations.

The objective of this systematic map is to establish the authoritative benchmark on science supporting CSA. We will be reviewing a suite of field management activities such as conservation agriculture or genetic improvement of crops and the potential impacts on food production, adaptive capacity and climate change mitigation. Furthermore we will examine the costs of implementation, and constraints and barriers. In addition to the average effect, we specifically want to document the uncertainty and variability in the relationships between practice and impact.

Primary funding for this project comes from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS).

Funding Partners