The Paris Agreement defined at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21nd Conference of Parties (COP21, 2015) in France, unified the global community toward the common cause of adapting to climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering sustainable development. The climate challenge to agriculture in Africa was recognized the following year at COP22 (2016) in Marrakech, Morocco, where the Moroccan government launched the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) Initiative. This initiative aimed to highlight the investment needs for helping African countries cope with climate change risks to agriculture and best position themselves for a future of higher temperatures, uncertain precipitation and increased frequency of extreme events. The AAA Initiative builds on the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), first launched in 2003 through the African Union, which promotes the development of national agricultural investment plans (NAIPs) for African countries. The development of climate-Smart Agriculture Investment Plans (CSAIPs) has been identified as important for identifying priority Climate Smart Agriculture projects and making the case for funding and financing.
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) focuses on the three pillars of enhancing food security: (i) sustainably increasing production, (ii) enhancing resilience (adapting) to climate change, and (iii) mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, where possible and appropriate. CSA is not a set of practices; it is an approach to selecting and implementing agricultural practices, policies and services that are tailored to the context, in both space and time, and are integrated, so they work together to maximize synergy and minimize tradeoffs. What works for one group of farmers—given their location, culture and circumstances—may not work for another group. Effective CSAIP requires evaluating the impacts of an investment based on the biophysical, agricultural and the socioeconomic context of a given place.
This guide offers a blueprint for developing a CSAIP. A CSAIP is a strategic and thorough planning document for proposing high potential and high-suitability agricultural development projects. The process of creating a CSAIP leverages stakeholder engagement and capacity building by conducting a situation analysis, listing and prioritizing potential CSA investments, and developing preliminary designs and guidance for implementing and monitoring project investments. The result is a suite of country-supported and scientifically vetted investments ready to present to potential investors.