According to the World Bank, the goal of CSA is to “transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.” In order to do this, CSA must address three critical needs: sustainable production, adaptation and mitigation.
This graphic comes from the World Bank and illustrates the relationship between sustainable production, adaptation and mitigation, where climate smart agriculture is the combination of all three. Let’s look at each in turn.
Sustainable production means an increase in agricultural production and incomes from crops, livestock and fish that does not harm the environment, such as using intercropping techniques to improve production of different crops.
Adaptation means reducing exposure to short term risks of climate change while increasing resilience around long term change. An example of this is developing irrigation systems to protect against drought caused by climate change.
Mitigation means taking steps to reduce the contribution of agriculture to climate change. One way to do this is to use biogas digesters to turn waste into fertilizer and fuel, which reduces the greenhouse gas emissions caused in producing and using these resources.
What we see below the graphic in the rectangles are different elements of agricultural production that need to respond to changing climates in a climate-smart way: crop production, livestock management, soil, water and energy management and the careful combination of practices. We will explain each of these more thoroughly in Module 4, with descriptions of specific techniques for each.