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Sustainability and Climate Change in Agriculture sector Ms. Divya Mohan Associate Fellow Earth Sceince and Climate Change Division The Energy and Resources.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainability and Climate Change in Agriculture sector Ms. Divya Mohan Associate Fellow Earth Sceince and Climate Change Division The Energy and Resources."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainability and Climate Change in Agriculture sector Ms. Divya Mohan Associate Fellow Earth Sceince and Climate Change Division The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

2 Agriculture and Climate Change Agriculture contributes to climate change through GHG emissions Burning of fossil fuel Methane emission through agricultural practices like inundated paddy fields Nitrous oxide through fertilizers Burning of crop residues. The livestock sector is another major contributor to production of GHGs. In India a substantial fraction of the GHG emissions are from agriculture

3 Climate Change and Agriculture Agriculture sector is highly vulnerable to climate change Some of the observed and likely impacts include: Biophysical impacts: Physiological effects on cultivated crops, forests, fish livestock Changes in the quality and quantity of land, soil and water resources Increased weed and pest challenge, alien invasive species Sea temperature rise causing fish to inhabit different ranges Socio-economic impacts Changes in yields and production Reduced GDP from agriculture in the long term Great fluctuations in world market price Increased number of people at risk of hunger and food security Migration

4 Impacts and vulnerabilities in India High vulnerability as it is sensitive to climate variability and climate change Various direct and indirect impacts on the sector and dependent livelihoods Distribution of agro-ecological zones Water availability Agricultural losses Shifting of growing zone in higher elevation Poorest people are likely to be hardest hit Rely heavily on climate-sensitive sectors such as rainfed agriculture and fisheries. Tend to be located geographically in more exposed or marginal areas, such as flood plains or nutrient-poor soils. Less able to respond due to limited human, institutional and financial capacity and have very limited ability to cope with climate impacts

5 Future risks Future projections indicate : Warming in some regions Increases in the amount of precipitation likely in high latitudes, while decreases likely in most subtropical land regions. Drought-affected areas will likely increase in extent. Hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events are likely to become more frequent. Agricultural production is vulnerable to climate risks, as is food security Impacts will vary in intensity at local, regional and global levels Uncertainty concerning the extent of impacts, but agricultural production in the developing countries is projected to be worst affected For the major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, climate change without adaptation will negatively impact production (with variation in crop, region and adaptation scenario)

6 Sustainability Developmental pressures leading to stress on natural resources leading to their exploitation Sustainability is striking a balance between human needs and environmental concerns Maintaining sustainability means providing for the needs of current, as well as future generations, while conserving natural resources Sustainable Agriculture can be defined as an integrated farming system (with crops, trees, livestock etc.) which is based on locally adapted agro-diverse cropping patterns and use of local resources (natural resources and natural processes), based on local knowledge, skills and innovations. Sustainable agricultural systems remain productive over time. Climate change pose enormous risks to fresh water availability and affect the sustainability of agriculture and food security of billions of people around the world, especially in the developing countries

7 Agriculture, climate change and sustainability Agricultural sector will be under increasing pressures to ensure continued productivity, while safeguarding environmental quality. Sustainability will depend on our ability to maintain the natural resource base that supports and sustains agriculture, especially in the developing world. Understanding the impacts, vulnerabilities and complex relationships between climate and agriculture and then efficiently manage the system and resources Large variability in agricultural production is due to the variability in weather conditions, e.g. Dependence of production on monsoon

8 How to achieve sustainability Improved land and water management significant in this scenario of climate change. Need for efficient farming systems Planned adaptation important in some regions already facing slow growth yields Use of technology to improve yields for adaptation to climate change is a major thrust for the Indian agricultural sector. Improvement in yield can come through better seed quality, better land and water conservation practices, farm mechanisation, access to credit and improved extension services. Potential of sustainable agriculture Food security Improvement of rural livelihoods Reduction in GHG emissions Creation of resilient systems leading to better adaptation

9 Implementing Solutions: Mitigation Improved crop and grazing land management to increase soil carbon storage; Restoration of degraded lands; Improved rice cultivation techniques and livestock and manure management to reduce CH4 emissions; Improved nitrogen fertilizer application techniques to reduce N2O emissions; Improved energy efficiency.

10 Implementing Solutions: Adaptation Several adaptation measures - behaviour, technology, policy and practice Changing planting dates; Planting different varieties or crop species; Using sustainable fertilizer and tillage practices (improving soil drainage, no-till, etc) Improved crop residue and weed management; More use of water harvesting techniques, Better pest and disease control for crops; Implementing new or improving existing irrigation systems Improved livestock management Development of early-warning systems and protection measures for natural disasters (droughts, floods, tropical cyclones, etc)

11 Implementing Solutions: Adaptation Policy options Promote agricultural research Promote crop and livestock diversification and agrobiodiversity Promote adoption of technologies Increase efficiency of water infrastructure and water use Disperse information on conservation management practices Provide agriculture extension services Promote investments in agriculture Promote investment in better info and forecasts Provide food reserves and reduce post harvest losses

12 Initiatives in India National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) Dryland agriculture Risk management Access to information Use of biotech

13 Targeting the most vulnerable Large fraction of farmers small and marginal who are highly vulnerable Adaptation in agriculture will require not only availability, but also access of these measures and resources to these farmers A number of measures being undertaken for research of technologies and dissemination through extension services; government polices Communities and the vulnerable groups need to be actively involved in implementation of solutions A new learning paradigm is needed – to learn from farmer innovators, from traditional knowledge and resources and disseminating useful practices and resources to others.

14 Identification of adaptation options Consultation with communities and district level officers Designing endogenously generated responses Prioritization of identified adaptation options Workshops with multi stakeholders Capturing variation in priorities within community Sensitivity Analysis and Evaluation of adaptation options Analysis to evaluate potential implementation and effectiveness Exploring a participatory approach for adaptation

15 Mainstreaming solutions in sustainable development pathway Addressing climate change can be considered an integral element of sustainable development policies. Climate change and other sustainable development policies are often, but not always, synergistic. Reducing both loss of natural habitat and deforestation can have significant biodiversity, soil and water conservation benefits, and can be implemented in a socially and economically sustainable manner. Making development more sustainable can enhance both mitigation and adaptive capacity, and reduce emissions and vulnerability to climate change. Synergies between mitigation and adaptation can exist, for example land management.

16 Conclusion It is essential to develop a portfolio of strategies that includes adaptation, mitigation, technological development and research (climate science, impacts, adaptation and mitigation) to combat climate change It is imperative to take a proactive role in planning national and regional programmes on adaptation to climate variability and climate change. Integration of mitigation and adaptation frameworks into sustainable development planning is an urgent need, especially in the developing countries.

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