DRAFT FOR CHIANG MAI WORKSHOP, 17-20 June, 2009

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DRAFT FOR CHIANG MAI WORKSH
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1

The use of agrobiodiversity by indigenous peoples and rural
communities in adapting to climate change



A discussion paper prepared by the Platform for Agrobiodiversity
Research






Contents


1.
Introduction

1.1
The c
ontext

1.2 Indigenous people and rural communities


maintainers and users of
agrobiodiversity

1.3
Indigenous peoples, rural communities and climate change


2.

Charting experiences of indigenous peoples and rural
communities

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Crops and agroforestry

2.3 Livestock

2.4 Soil and water management

2.5 Associated agrobiodiversity

2.6
Community and other perspectives


3. Expected and possible changes in agriculture

3.1 I
ntroduction

3.2 Climate change
phenomena

3.3 Extent of change

3.4 Effects on agricultural production

3.5 Adaptation and mitigation


4. Issues for discussion, areas for research and the need for new perspectives

4.1 Agrobiodiversity maintenance and use

4.2 Wider perspectives

4.3 Allianc
es and approaches


5. References





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1.
Introduction


1.1

The context

During the period 1995 to 2050, the world's population is projected to increase by
some 72 percent, from 5 700 million to 9 800 million people. These demographic
changes mean that food requirements of developing countries as a whole may have
to double in t
erms of plant
-
energy by 2050. Sub
-
Saharan Africa may have to more
than triple plant energy production. (WFS 1996)
. At the same time climate change
scenarios suggest temperatures may rise by
2
-
3 C with associated rise in sea levels
of 1


2m.
The changes in

agricultural production that will result from the changing
production environments and the increased demand will be substantial and possibly
dramatic.
Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s fresh water and is responsible for
about 15 percent of global GHG em
issions (Figure 1).

Increasingly
,

there are calls for
the development of a more sustainable agriculture

and for food and agricultural
production practices that respond to concerns about the environment.




Fig. 1
from
“Navigating the Numbers: Greenhouse Gas Data and International
Climate Policy”
WRI, 2005


The Millennium Development Goals adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in
Johannesburg
include agreements
to

"Eradicate extreme poverty &
hunger"
(MDG1) and "Ensure environmental sustainability" (MDG7)
(
http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
)

These challenges often lead to contradictory
and conflicting actions by different groups as illustrated by a con
tinuing emphasis on
“fertilizer and seed” types of solutions for increasing global crop production and
productivity and a continuing emphasis on the importance on managed protected
areas by those concerned with
environmental issues and biodiversity conserv
ation.



The global perspective, dealing
as it does
in worldwide production scenarios and
global averages
,

tends to obscure the
central role

of
small
-
scale farming
, of
pastoralists and of traditional rural communities in food production and environmental
management. IFAD figures suggest that
about 50% of developing country rural
populations are smallholders (farming less than 3ha of land). In W and S Africa and
Paci
fic
countries,

smallholders are responsible for cultivating about 70% of arable
and permanent cropland although this figure varies enormously across the world
(
Morton
, 2007).
It also does not adequately reflect the importance of indigenous
peoples and rura
l communities

and the
role
they play in the maintenance of key agro
-
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ecosystems and centres of cultural and biological diversity

and in the continuing
provision of vital ecosystem services.



Indigenous and other traditional peoples and rural communities ar
e having to cope
with many interlocking stresses that result from different aspects of global change.
The
y

have to confront the problems that result from population increase, insecure
and changing land ownership, environmental degradation, market failures
and
market globalization, protectionist and inappropriate policy regimes, state fragility and
armed conflict and disease problems from HIV/AIDS and new
pandemics (
Morton,
2007).


Climate change
presents an additional major challenge
to indigenous peoples and
rural communities
which brings with it new problems
, often interacting with or
exacerbating existing problems. It
makes new demands for adaptation and coping
strategies
by farmers and
rural communities

and presents new challenges
for the
management of their environment and agro
-
ecosystems.


1.2
I
ndigenous people
and
rural communities



maintainers and users of
agrobiodiversity


Agrobiodiversity includes all the components of biological diversity of relevance to
food and agricultur
e as well as the variety and variability of animals, plants and
micro
-
organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels that sustain the
functions, structure and processes of the agro
-
ecosystem. Maintained by farmers,
rural
communities and indigenous peoples, the nature and character of
agrobiodiversity in agro
-
ecosystems reflects the interactions between people, their
environment and their available biological diversity. The continued use and adaptive
management of agrobiodi
versity is central to sustainable production to improving the
livelihoods, food security, and health of poor farmers throughout the world. At the
global level, humanity depends upon the adaptability of agriculture to cope with
challenges such as climate ch
ange and to meet basic needs.


Significant agrobiodiversity has already been lost from many production systems
leaving them impoverished, vulnerable, dependent on external inputs and
increasingly unsustainable. However, much of the world’s agrobiodiversity is still
being used by indigen
ous and traditional agricultural communities that depend on
agrobiodiversity for their livelihoods. In this role they act as custodians of a diversity
of crops, forages, livestock, agroforestry products, and fish, and the other plant,
animal and microbial
species found in and around their production areas that are
managed and maintained to provide food, fuel, medicine and many other products
necessary to their wellbeing.


1.3
Indigenous peoples
, rural communities

and climate change


Indigenous and other tr
aditional peoples and rural communities confront many
interlocking stresses that result from different
aspects of global change. The

have to
confront the problems that result from
population increase, insecure and changing
land ownership, environmental deg
radation, market failures and market globalization,

pr
otectionist and inappropriate policy regimes,
state fragility and armed conflict and
disease problems from HIV/AIDS and new pandemics (Morton, 2007). Climate
change is
one problem among many which inte
racts with others in different and often
complex ways

compelling rural communities to adapt and change.


Climate change means that m
any communities are having to cope with specific
trends such as increased temperature or decreased rainfall under increasingly
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variable, unpredictable and fluctuating production conditions.
The burden is higher
considering an increase in the world's popula
tion and a decrease in food production
-

a global study showed that the production of rice and wheat could fall by eight per
cent and 32 per cent respectively by the year 2050 (IPCC Fourth Assessment Rep
ort
2007

-

http:/
/www.ipcc.ch/
,

Climate change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and
Vulnerability)
. T
hat t
raditional knowledge
and materials
built up over generations of
observation, experimentation and adaptation
are

often inadequate
in the face of

these

changing circumstances.

In addition,
climate change also affects many other
related aspects of livelihood and
well
-
being

of indigenous peoples and rural
communities including
their
health,
non
-
agricultural

work opportunities, labour
availability,
and
the characteristics of their
environment

leading to
conflict over
increasingly
scarce resources
.


Indigenous and other traditional peoples have been largely ignored in discussions on
climate change and its consequences.

As Salick and Byg
(2007)
note
,

reports from
the IPCC make little mention of indigenous peoples
and then only in
Polar Regions

as helpless victims of changes beyond their control. This is now being challenged by
indigenous peoples as shown by
the recent
Guide on Climate Change and
Indig
enous Peoples
prepared by T
ebtebba

foundation (De Chavez, R. and Tauli
-
Corpuz 2009)
and by the debates and outcomes of the

Indigenous Peoples' Global
Summit on Climate Change which took place in Anchorage, Alaska from 20
-
24 April
2009


(
Anchorage Declarat
ion
:
http://www.tebtebba.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=4
02&Itemid=27
)
.


In their synthesis report of a
symposium

held in Oxford, UK on
indigenous peoples
and clim
ate change, Salick and Byg (2007
) emphasize that indigenous peoples
observe, adapt to and interpret climate change in ways that support the maintenance
of the ecosystems in which they live and work,
help ma
intain biodiversity, particularly
agrobiodiversity and provide ways of confronting the challenges of climate change
based on their own perceptions and experiences and the realities of the
circumstances they confront. At the same time, Salick and Byg
note t
hat indigenous
peoples will also need the support of international community, providing new
experiences, knowledge and materials to help them continue their roles and secure
their livelihoods and sustainable development.

They report that the Symposium
cal
led for
a conjoined, collaborative research and action agenda linking IP and rural
communities with researchers


The global processes that drive climate change may often be best met with local
level responses that are embedded in local cultures and based o
n agrobiodiversity.
Agrobiodiversity not only provides a ‘portfolio effect’ to buffer risks, it provides
landscape, species, and genetic diversity necessary for adaptability and resilience in
the face of fluctuating and variable environments. The practice
s and experiences
being developed by indigenous peoples and traditional agrarian communities in
marginal areas constitute an important element in the strategies to cope with and
adapt to climate change. Because they are often embedded in local cultures of
marginalized communities this experience and knowledge is often unrecognized and
undervalued. The emphasis of climate change policies tends to be on macro
-
level
global strategies which, although vital, neglect the very real practical actions being
undertak
en or needed by poor rural communities and by indigenous peoples seeking
to maintain their culture, traditions and production base. It is becoming increasingly
evident that successful global strategies for biodiversity conservation rely on local
leadership

and major investment in local capacity.


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Climate change and agrobiodiversity


Despite its importance for the livelihoods of rural commun
ities throughout the

world,
and for the development of adequate adaptation and mitigation strategies for
agriculture, agrobiodiversity has also been largely ignored in discussions on climate
change. The IPCC report more or less completely ignores the role of
diversity in
prod
uction systems and its treatment of agriculture and of biodiversity conservation
ignores the central role that agrobiodiversity
will
have to play in both adaptation and
mitigation at country, landscape, community and farmer levels.
Some recognition of
the
importance of agrobiodiversity has recently been given at an international level by
FAO and other partners in inputs to the recent
FAO
High Level Summit on Food
Securit
y, Climate Change and Bioenergy and there are signs of increasing
recognition of the imp
ortance of agrobiodiversity by international bodies.


One problem is that the information on the importance of agrobiodiversity and the
ways it is being used by farmers, communities and, particularly, indigenous people
is
scattered and not easily accessib
le and the roles of small scale farmers are not
appreciated.
Over the last year the Platform

for Agrobiodiversity Research (see Box
1)
, with the support of The Christensen Fund

and Bioversity International
, has
undertaken a project aimed improving our unde
rstanding of the central role that
agrobiodiversity plays in coping with climate change

and the ways in which
indigenous peoples and rural communities are already using agrobiodiversity as part
of their coping strategies for climate change.

The work has th
e following objectives:


1.

To bring together and make available information on the use of
agrobiodiversity by rural and indigenous communities to cope with climate
change, and relevant research work on effect of climate change on agriculture
and agrobiodiver
sity

2.

To support enhanced communication among agrobiodiversity researchers,
maintainers and users

3.

To prepare a synthesis and assessment on the maintenance and use of
agrobiodiversity by indigenous peoples and rural communities under
conditions of climate
change

4.

To identify new cross
-
cutting multidisciplinary research activities
in those
regions where the impacts of climate change are likely to be greatest on
agricultural systems and livelihoods and where indigenous peoples and
traditional communities resi
de.


In this discussion paper, prepared by the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (see
Box 1), the focus is how indigenous peoples and rural communities can
,

and do
,

use
agrobiodiversity to meet the challenges of climate change. Ways in which indigenous
farmers around the world are already using agrobiodiversity to help cope with climate
change are described and discussed in the context of their needs and expectations
.
The ways in which it is expected that agriculture around the world will have to adapt
to climate change are summarized. From these analyses some areas of agriculture
are identified where agrobiodiversity is particularly important in climate change
adapta
tion and mitigation. Areas of research are suggested where collaboration
between indigenous people, rural communities and the research community is likely
to make a significant contribution to the well being of small
-
scale farmers, sustainable
production a
nd the maintenance of agrobiodiversity.
The research will also contribute
evidence of potential contribution that indigenous people can make to improve global
understanding and responses to climate change impacts.



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Box 1. The Platform for Agrobiodiversity

Research


The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research (the Platform) brings together
researchers, civil society, international organizations and others to share knowledge
and experiences that can improve the maintenance and use of all aspects of
agrobiodiv
ersity. The Platform’s guiding principles include a concern with research of
potential global significance; a focus on work that complements existing research
efforts and addresses more than one component or level of agrobiodiversity; a
commitment to worki
ng with poor farmers, local communities and indigenous peoples
on agendas of relevance to their needs. It aims to work in ways that link custodians,
managers and beneficiaries of biodiversity. Currently hosted by Bioversity
International, the Platform’s ob
jectives are:


-

To collate and synthesize agrobiodiversity data and information and disseminate
knowledge, making available relevant tools and practices that support improved
use of agrobiodiversity and identifying areas where collaborative knowledge
gener
ation is needed.

-

To identify ways in which the use of agrobiodiversity can contribute to addressing
major global challenges, to make relevant information easily available and to
provide options on the contribution of agrobiodiversity in these areas.

-

To ide
ntify and facilitate relevant new and innovative research partnerships that
strengthen cross
-
cutting, multidisciplinary and participatory research and to
contribute to agrobiodiversity research capacity building in developing regions.



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2: Charting
experiences of indigenous peoples and rural communities


2.1 Introduction


The emphasis of the section is on providing examples of the different ways in which
agrobiodiversity and response to climate change intersect at community and farmer
level. In this
way it is hoped to identify the main types of response and the most
important stresses or problems that have confronted indigenous peoples and rural
communities where agrobiodiversity has been used.

The information comes from
reports, reviews, books, websi
tes and information sent directly to, or gathered by the
Platform over the past year.


While collecting and reviewing the information it has been useful to distinguish two
broad types of response: (a) those in which the information suggests that
communities themselves are finding ways of dealing with particular climate change
problems, and (b) those where the information comes from reports on project
interventions where it is not so clear whether the change is internally or externally
initiated an
d driven. Information on the first may come from the communities or their
spokesmen or it may result from analyses by researchers or others. Of course, the
distinction between project and non
-
project interventions and between “researchers”
and the communit
ies and farmers is somewhat arbitrary but may help explain the
different kind of information gathered.


The information obtained on responses involving use of agrobiodiversity has been
grouped around different components of agro
-
ecosystems (crop and agrofo
restry,
livestock and pastoral, water and soil, associated agrobiodiversity) using examples to
illustrate the particular approaches adopted. It should be noted however that
, at
community and farmer level,
different responses are often combined in a more or

less integrated way and that there are other important perspectives as noted in the
final section.


2.2 Crops and agroforestry


Many changes in crop production practices and in the crops and varieties grown by
indigenous peoples and rural communities have

been described as resulting from
climate change. These include: changes in varieties and the variety characteristics of
crops, changes in crops and crop combinations, and alterations in agronomic
practices. The importance
of traditional

varieties or crops

in confronting change is
often described.


There is abundant evidence that communities and farmers are already involved in
selecting new varieties or varieties with altered traits and in adopting new crops.
Thus the development of short duration rice vari
eties formed part of the adaptation
strategies of people living in Gaibandha district of the Char islands, northern
Bangladesh where there have been an increasing number, magnitude, and duration
of flash floods during the last few decades.

The land area af
fected by major floods has increased from 35% in 1974 to 68% in
1998.


In Niger and Mali the amounts of intra
-
crop diversity of traditional varieties of pearl
millet and sorghum have remained broadly similar throughout the drought periods of
the last 30 ye
ars suggesting that these materials show sufficient adaptability to
enable farmers to cope, at least partially, with periods of significant rainfall shortage
(
Bezançon, G. et al.

2009
) and that farming practices and local institutions have
favoured mainten
ance of diversity. Interestingly, in both countries, there was some
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loss of long duration types with an apparent increasing preference
for rapidly
maturing varieties.


Reports suggest that participatory plant breeding has become increasingly important
as a

method by which different rural groups can ensure that their preferred materials
remain adapted to changing production environments and to changes in other areas
such as market requirements. Thus, as noted above, in Sri Lanka, participatory plant
breeding

using traditional varieties played an important part in

communities


efforts to
cope with post
-
Tsunami soil salinity.


Often, adaptation and selection of traditional varieties is associated with some
conservation work. In Honduras, farmers organized commu
nity
-
based agricultural
research teams (CIALs), to diversify their plant genetic resources and to develop
hardier plant varieties that grow well on their soils. Responding to the hurricanes that
recently and more frequently hit the area in Santa Cruz, thro
ugh a participatory
breeding process, farmers were able to produce improved maize varieties that are
shorter and capable to withstand the physical trauma brought by the hurricanes, with
a higher yield and still adapted to high altitude conditions. The sele
ction process was
accompanied to a conservation effort, as the seeds of the selected species are
stored in a community seed bank assuring availability of healthy and resistant plants
(
http://usc
-
canada.org/UserFiles/File/Pathways
-
Case01
-
Honduras.pdf?PHPSESSID=cdd31020d18395656e32413090eac2bc
)


The Indian organization, Navdanya, has been supporting the establishment of
community seed banks across India. A special emphasis is put on indigenous stress
-
resistant varieties such as millets, drought
-

and flood
-
resistant rice varieties, drought
resistan
t native wheats, as well as many varieties of other crops. The idea behind the
seed banks is that the diversity can serve as insurance in times of uncertainties and
unpredictability, as diversity gives the basis to evolve and adapt under changing
condition
s that cannot be anticipated. (
www.navdanya.org
)


The Potato Park in Peru is a locally managed community conserved area using the
model of an Indigenous Biocultural Heri
tage Area (IBCHA) developed by
Andes NGO
(Argum
edo, A. 2008)
. W
hile not developed only as a response to climate change
, it

provides an important resource for coping with change for the communities involved.
The park has organised indigenous technical experts to monitor biodiversity changes
and identify

responses and innovations that are consistent
with
the cultural
imperatives and livelihood needs of Andean communities.


Crop diversification and the introduction of new crops can complement use of intra
-
crop variation

when
existing
diversity
appear
s

to
be no longer adapted. This may
occur
as a local or community response
(as with the increasing importance of
grapevine and developing wine production in the Tibetan highlands (Salick, 2008) or
in a more planned way
,

as in the case of Practical Action’s proj
ect in Nepal where
crop diversification is an identified strategy supporting community action.


The increasing importance of traditional crops is illustrated by the continuing
dependence in the Bellary district in Northern Karnataka, India on foxtail mill
et. The
amount of rainfall has continuously dropped during the last four years in this part of
the country. It was below 300 mm in 2003. The finger millet varieties grown and
conserved by the villagers have excellent drought resistance.
(
Bala Ravi 2004).


The introduction of new crops is often characteristic of project interventions and
raises questions about the management of change strategies by the communities
themselves. Often the new crops and the materials needed are developed elsewhere
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and handed to
the communities with little involvement on their part in choice of
materials or its improvement. In other cases there is clearly a strong participatory
component. Examples of projects that have been reported in the literature include
selection of planting
material of Sona Mukhi (
Cassia angustifolia
), a drought resistant
cash crop by the Arid Forest Research Institute for use in the Thar Desert, Rajasthan
(
Bhagat, B. 2002
), assistance by the Red Cross for diversifying crops in to provide
improved drought res
istance in El Salvador (IFRC 2003) and planting drought
resistant fruit trees (mango and jujube) in the Barind tract of Bangladesh with T.
Aman [Transplanted (
Oryza sativa

L.)] and boro (or winter) rice as well as with
vegetables (
http://www.fao.org/climatechange/laccproject/en/
).


Associated with changes in the varieties and crops grown are changes in agronomic
practices. These may involve increased use of traditional practices such as use of
seed storage practices in Egypt and elsewhere (Parrish, 1994), seed priming to
increase ger
mination in arid areas (Harris, 1999), and tree nurseries or floating
vegetable gardens in Bangladesh (Practical Action 2009). Adoption of such practices
often responds to changing circumstances and may be the result of moving from a
local specific respons
e to a single event to a more widely used adaptation. Thus,
farmers from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe are said to
have reported that, in the past, seed soaking was only done to "catch up" on time lost
to drought. However, it appear
s that this emergency situation is becoming normal
practice and is being widely adopted


An integrated approach that builds on traditional practices and materials in a project
framework is that undertaken by the World Resource Institute in Yemen which
seeks
to enhance coping strategies for adaptation to clima
te change for farmers who rely
on
rain fed

agriculture in the Yemen highlands, through the conservation and
utilization of biodiversity important to agriculture (particularly the local land races an
d
their wild relatives) and associated local traditional knowledge.

(
http://projects.wri.org/adaptation
-
database/y
emen
-
adaptation
-
climate
-
change
-
using
-
agrobiodiversity
-
resources
-
rainfed
-
highlan
)


There is considerable evidence that links changes in the maintenance and use of
medicinal plants and other useful wild species with climate change. Often this relates
to the
increasing difficulty in finding particular species and their declining abundance.
Alterations in distribution and availability may result from a combination of climate
change and over
-
harvesting. Salick et al.
(
2009
)

describe the changes affecting
occurre
nce of useful plants in Meili
Mountains
, China and note that alpine
vegetation
,

that has the highest frequency of useful plants
,

is particularly vulnerable.


Agroforestry can be described as a land use systems where woody perennials (trees,
shrubs, palms,
bamboos, etc.) are deliberately used on the same land management
unit as agricultural crops and/or animals, either in some form of spatial arrangement
or temporal sequence. Among other benefits, agroforestry contributes to better
utilization and conservati
on of soil and water resources. It has potential to
simultaneously buffer farmers against climate variability and changing climates, and
to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases
(
ht
tp://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/es/climate_change.asp
)
.


Most indigenous and traditional farming systems use agroforestry approaches to
provide livelihood and other benefits. The diversity of the system is increased and a
number of ecosystem benefits
provided. Thus, the Quezungal people in Honduras
plant crops under trees to fix the soil and reduce crop d
amage during natural
disasters
(Bergkamp et al., 2003) and FAO have reported that areas of Honduras
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10

with higher levels of diversity recovered more
quickly from hurricane
s than those with
lower levels.

A number of projects with indigenous peoples have been described which involve
support to agroforestry, mostly in the form of provision of new planting materials for
income generation and local nutritio
nal benefits. Examples include development of
mango production systems in Bangladesh and planting of orange and lemon trees
planted in Baharwala, Pakistan

to promote agroforestry and multiple cro
pping (Ensor
and Berger, 2009).

Some communities are also try
ing different approaches to resource management as
a specific response to recent environmental changes. Examples in the Wajir District
in Kenya include rainwater harvesting and tree planting. Schools throughout the
district are being provided with drought
-
resistant Neem
-
tree seedlings for plantation.
In the Kalahari there seems to be a shift from rain
-
fed agriculture to manually
watered homestead gardening and from cattle to goats. (Tebtebba Foundation, 2008)


2.3 Livestock


“The mobility of pastoralists an
d their herds is necessary for the care of the
rangelands. The herds stomp the soil, transport seeds of wild species, and fertilise
the land. Nomadic pastoralists have learned to conserve rangelands through
sophisticated techniques embedded in cultural ins
titutions.”

http://www.cenesta.org/projects/Pastoralism.htm


Over the past few decades greater pressure has been put on pastoralist grazing
lands and water resources, as populations have incre
ased and grazing land has
been taken for cultivation, conservation areas, and state use (Oxfam, 2008). The
emergence of crops that can withstand drier conditions has increased competition
from arable farming. Key resource areas, for example dry
-
season graz
ing lands, are
a target for agricultural use because of their productive potential. Once pastoralists
lose these key resource areas, their whole strategy for dealing with drought is
compromised. In addition, lack of scarce resources increases conflict amon
gst
community members. An IDRC project “
Enhancing Adaptation to Climate Change
among Pastoralists in Northern Kenya
” is addressing the issue of access to
resources of pastoralists by seeking for practices that improve herd movement, such
as livestock
corridors, while securing pastoralists' right to water and forage, stressing
the importance of mobility and access to resources.

(
http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev
-
118881
-
201_104752
-
1
-
I
DRC_ADM_INFO.html
)


A number of different approaches were identified which included livelihood
diversification, herd management and improvement,
and
alter
ed

social practices.
Thus
, i
n times of drought the Rendille pastoralists in northern Kenya which gener
ally
rely on their herds of camel, cattle, sheep and goats for their primary means of
subsistence look out for wild fruits and vegetables for consumption.

Some of these alternative sources of food are available during the drought itself
(depending on sever
ity) and others having to be collected prior to the drought during
the rainy season and then preserved for use later. Switching eating habits in times of
crisis is possible for these pastoralists only if the knowledge on wild fruits and
vegetables is acces
sible and transmitted amongst the group members. (Langill, S.
and Ndathi, A.J.N. 1998)


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In the Char islands, northern Bangladesh improved goat breeding and an insurance
scheme allows goat breeders to safeguard their financial assets in case of loss of
live
stock.


The development of a fixed point or permanent base has been part of the strategy
developed by Practical Action working with the semi
-
nomadic Tamasheq people of
central Niger. This responds to the increasing vulnerability to a drying climate and
enc
roachment of agriculture. Practical Action reports that it helps to organize and
perform community based activities, regenerate degraded land, diversify livelihoods
and engage in political processes to fight for a policy environment that will allow them
to

continue to adapt to climate change (Ensor, J. and Berger, R. 2009).


Morton (2007) provides a general overview and argues that pastoralists’ adaptation
to change, especially climate change
,

involves a range of activities which are part of
traditional risk
-
management systems. These include:




Mobility
-

Movement and migration



Herd accumulation (Stocking up the herd) as an insurance against drought



Destocking by salvaging some animals before th
ey lose condition or die in order
to provide funds for other activities or necessities



Herd management: This covers various strategies including:



Changing herd diversity and maintaining different mixtures of cattle,
camels, goats, and sheep. Diversity al
so allows pastoralists to take
advantage of the
labour

of men, women and children.



Maintenance of female
-
dominated herds to offset long calving intervals
and thus stabilise milk production. (ILRI, 2000)



Herd accumulation in recovery periods between drought
s



Herd splitting to prevent over
-
grazing and maintain the long
-
term
productivity (ILRI, 2000)



Livestock feed supplementation: is common during drought. (ILRI,
2000).



Management of diseases to reduce parasites destroy unpalatable grass species
and shrubs
and encourage the growth of favoured species.



Livelihood diversification:



Sharing, loaning, and giving of livestock as gifts



Collective
action to

provide a social
safety net

that can carry vulnerable families
through drought and flood events.


Of these di
versification seems to be a particularly important strategy but for the many
pastoralists that undertake some farming activities, it is crucial to make sure that the
scope and space for mobile livestock herding is not compromised. Pastoralists’
needs are d
istinct from other farming groups and the potential returns from farming
are limited (CENESTA, 2004).


2.4 Soil and water management


By far the largest
numbers of reports of responses to climate change were

concerned
with water management; increasing or improving availability, coping with excess or
dealing with problems of water quality. Responses focus on both chronic and
increasing problems such as increasing aridity and with specific events such as
increa
sed frequency of floods. Linked to water quality was the management of soil
and of soil properties which, to a significant extent, affect water availability and
quality.


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12

In arid areas people and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to decreasing and
mo
re variable precipitation due to climate change. There are many cases where
farmers and communities have revived traditional water management practi
ces or
adopted new approaches.
Thus, Aymara communities in the Andes have a long
established system of rainw
ater harvesting in the mountains and pampas based on
constructing small dams (qhuthañas) which may help them to respond to the
increased desertification of the last 50 years

(UNFCCC, 2007).
(
http://www.unisdr.org/eng/public_aware/world_camp/2003/english/17_Article_BOLIV
IA_eng.pdf
)


Micro
-
catchment rainwater harvesting systems in forms of terraces, earth or rock
bunds, tied ridges, rock dikes, stone lines, planting pits or basins are found in
different parts of the world.
Planting pits or basins are

commonly used including the
Zai

in
Burkina Faso and Mali, and also
Tassa

and
half moon

in Niger. Associate
particularly with the Yatenga province, in N W Burkina Faso, the zai system has been
revived and adopted by farmers, resulting by 1989, in rehabilitation of over 8000
hectares of degra
ded land in over 400 villages in Burkina Faso.


Illustrating the integrated nature of many climate related responses, the zai approach
includes replenishment with soil organic manure that attracts termites which dig
underground galleries that facilitate t
he deep infiltration of rainwater and limit runoff
resulting in an overall improved soil structure. Sorghum is the preferred crop because
of its greater adaptation to possible temporary hydromorphic conditions in the hole.
(
http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/taxonomy/term/579
; Barro, A. et al., 2005)


Spate irrigation is an ancient type of flood irrigation management that is widespread
in semi
-
arid environments in the Middle East, Nort
h Africa, West Asia, East Africa
and parts of Latin America. Flood water from mountain catchments is diverted from
river beds and spread over large areas. Substantial local knowledge can be involved
in organizing spate systems and managing both the flood w
ater and the heavy
sediment loads that go along with it. Sudden floods, or spates, originate from
sporadic rainfall in macro
-
catchments. After the land is inundated, crops are sown


sometimes immediately, but often the moisture is stored in the soil profi
le and used
later.
http://www.ifad.org/english/water/innowat/topic/irrigation.htm

http://www.spate
-
irrigation.org/


An example of the revival of a traditional rainwater harvesting system in
Rajasthan

that has been revived has been described by Scherr and McNeely (2007).
For most
of the past century, drought and environmental degradation severely impaired the
livelihood
security of local communities within Rajasthan’s Arvari Basin. Twenty years
ago, the Tarun Bharat Sangh, a voluntary organization based in Jaipur, India,
initiated a community
-
led watershed restoration programme which reinstated
‘johads’. Johads are simple

concave mud barriers, built across small, uphill river
tributaries to collect water. They encourage groundwater recharge and improve forest
growth, while providing water for irrigation, wildlife, livestock and domestic use. Over
5000 johads now serve over

1000
villages in the region, and are coordinated by
village councils. (Narain et al. 2005).


In northern Tigray,
Ethiopia,

daldals (dams) are built by the Irob people on step
-
like
terraces developed where the landscape is very rugged and stony, with stee
p slopes
and deep narrow valleys. These provide a more stable water supply replenish
groundwater reserves, combat erosion and improve soil fertility (Reij, C. and Waters
-
Bayer, A. (eds) 2001).


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13

There are many other traditional water management and irrigati
on systems
developed and maintained by rural communities. These include for example the use
of bamboo pipes by the tribal communities in the Khasi and Jaintia hills in
Meghalaya, India who have been using the bamboo drip system for the last 200
years. Simi
lar bamboo pipes are used for harvesting drinking water from small
streams in Bangladesh
(http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/methods/traditional/bamboo.htm). While these
water management techniques may not seem directly inked to agrobiodiversity
maintenanc
e and use, they can certainly increase the extent and use of
agrobiodiversity, and in a number of cases agrobiodiversity plays a role in the water
management techniques.


Soil and water management are closely inter
-
related. Improved soil management
usually

results in better water holding capacity, availability and drainage. A number of
traditional techniques (e.g. those involving mulching or green manuring) that achieve
these objectives have become more important under increased climate stress or
climate ch
ange.


In Burkina Faso, where many soils have become severely degraded, famers have
responded by applying mulch to attract termites that then help to rehabilitate the soil.
The mulch consists of dry straw and shrubs applied usually at the rate of 2
-
4 t/ha
on
the bare impenetrable soil. The termites, attracted by mulch, open burrows through
the sealed surface of the soil and slowly improve soil structure and water infiltration
and drainage. (
http://www.ileia.org/index.php?url=show
-
blob
-
html.tpl&p[o_id]=209106&p[a_id]=211&p[a_seq]=1
).


In Jaffna,
Sri Lanka,
green manure is seen as an essential input for cultivating crops.
Green manures are gr
own in situ (sunn hemp, green gram, black gram and grasses)
or green leaf manure is obtained from trees and bushes around the fields
(e.g.
Thespesia

and
Gliricidia
,

J
ackfruit,
N
eem and
P
almyrah). By applying
appropriate green manures, farmers succeeded in r
eclaiming the soil within 4
-
6
months of the tsunami disaster of 2004 (
http://www.leisa.info/index.php?url=show
-
blob
-
html.tpl&p[o_id]=20
9099&p[a_id]=211&p[a_seq]=1
)


Increasing salinity in the paddy rice fields in Sri Lanka due to sea level rise,
increased temperature and the failure of irrigation systems has also been addressed
by a project in which farmers selected and reintroduced tradi
tional rice varieties. The
project involved joint work by farmers and researchers in assessing and selecting
rice performance, linking the farmers involved in participatory plant breeding with the
National
Federation

for Conservation of Traditional Seeds a
nd Agricultural
Resources (NFCTSAR) an NGO dedicated to the conservation of traditional seeds
(Ensor, J. and Berger, R. 2009).


2.5 Associated agrobiodiversity


In addition to crop, livestock and soil biotic diversity, traditional agro
-
ecosystems all
possess large amounts of associated diversity of plant and animal species. These
are often functionally important components of the agro
-
ecosystem providing a
number
of key ecosystem services. Often the value of this diversity is not fully
realized or is associated directly with crop, livestock and soil characteristics and
therefore not recognized separately. A classic example is the increased importance
of mangrove sy
stems in providing “bioshields” (MSSRF) which protects shorelines
and improves fish abundance. Two other examples where there are reports on
changes in diversity associated with climate change are the role of pollinators and
the use of diversity to support

timing of agronomic practices.

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14


The ecosystem services rendered by pollinators are of great importance providing
not only pollination of useful plants but also, in the case of bees, useful products and
income.
Plant species diversity in agricultural ecos
ystems is also often crucial for the
maintenance of the birds, bats and insects that are the principal pollinators of many
crops (McNeely, J.A. and Scherr, S. 2001).


During the past few years apple production in Himachal Pradesh, in the north
-
west
Indian

Himalayas of Nepal has been declining continuously. A study conducted by
the Beekeeping Project of ICIMOD has shown that this decline in productivity is due
to pollination failure. The reasons are lack of pollinisers (i.e. trees that can provide
fertile c
ompatible pollen) and lack of pollinators (bees, butterflies and moths). To
overcome the lack of insect pollinators farmers are renting honeybees (
Apis cerana

and
Apis mellifera
), decreasing the numbers of pesticide sprays and carrying out
hand pollination
. It is reported that climate change during the past eight years has
played a critical role in apple pollination failure. There are rains during the flowering
season which affect pollination by wind and insects. Low temperatures also
adversely affect fruit

set in apple.

http://www.beesfordevelopment.org/info/info/pollination/successful
-
pollination
-
of.shtml


As farmers, livestock keepers and rural dwellers need to deal with uncertainty,
forecasting is of major importance. It has been reported that many IK based
forecasting techniques have become less reliable due to increasing climate variability
leading to a
declining confidence amongst community members in the traditional, and
often solely available, forecasts. In some cases modern weather forecasting and IK
based approaches are being combined. The importance of traditional methods to
predict weather has been

recognized by the Australian's Government bureau of
meteorology who include the knowledge that indigenous Australians
have on

the
local sequence of natural events (
http://www.bom.gov.au/iwk/about
/index.shtml
)


Some of this knowledge is of a purely observational type, which records how various
plants and animals react to the weather around them at the time.

Other types of observations are linked to seasonal expectations such as
behavioural

patterns

of animals, leaf fall, growth of particular plant species, water level in streams
and ponds, length of a cold season, astronomic observations such as phases of the
moon, and appearance of certain stars (See Box).


Box: Some examples of indigenous forecas
ting


In Australia



䙬祩湧 f潸敳潶攠fr潭 t桥 i湬慮搠扵獨dt漠t桥 riv敲猠摵ri湧 t桥 摲d 獥s獯渠
慮搠湥獴 i渠t桥
P慮摡湵s

灡lm tr敥献 Wh敮 t桩s 桡灰敮猠t桥 潮獥t of r慩湳⁩猠
immi湥湴. (Y慲a慬i渠nr敡 of t桥 N潲t桥rn Territory)

Whit攠er敡獴敤 w潯搠獷dllow猠慲攠
潮ly f潵湤 to来t桥r wit栠h畤l慲ks for tw漠
獨srt 灥ri潤s 敡捨⁹敡r. T桥獥 潣捡獩潮s 獩g湡l t桥 扥gi湮i湧s of t桥 w整e
慮搠摲y 獥s獯ss. (N潲th敡獴 Ar湨敭 䱡湤 ar敡)
(
桴t瀺//www.扯m.g潶.
慵/iwk/捬im慴敟捵ature/Clim彃畬t.獨sml
)


I渠䉡ngl慤敳e



慮t猠捡rryi湧 t桥ir e杧s wit栠h桥ir m潵t桳, cr慢猠ri獩湧 異 t漠t桥 桯畳u猠of t桥
捯浭畮ity'猠桯畳us, 敡rt桷潲o猠em敲gin朠楮摩捡瑥ca fl潯搠dill 潣捵r



If t桥 獡牡獨s (a sm慬l i湳n捴) 扩t敳 灥潰l攠愠獴or
m 潲 愠捹捬潮攠楳⁡扯et t漠
捯浥c慬潮g

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15

(
Ensor, J. and Berger, R. 2009
)


In Burkina Faso



production of fruit by certain local trees and time in which leaves fall from
certain plant species are used as indicators of a good rainy season
-

good
yields from the
taanga (
Butyrospermum parkii
) and sibga (
Anogeissus
leiocarpus
)
-

or drought, abundant fruit production by nobga (
Schlerocarya
birrea
) and sabtuluga (
Lannea acida
) trees predicts a drought.

When the sibga begins fruiting and the sabtuluga loses its
leaves, the farmers
prepare for planting.





nesting of small quail
-
like bird (known as koobre in Moré) and believe that
when nests hang high on trees then the rains will be heavy; when nests hang
low, the rains will be scarce.

(
Roncoli, C. et al. 2001)




2.6 Community and other perspectives


The information in the preceding sections illustrates the ways in which communities
are using particular components of agrobiodiversity to cope with climate change.
There are no doubt many other cases but, so far, unl
ess they are associated with
particular research or particular projects, information on them does not become
widely available.


The changes described often involve more than just one component of
agrobiodiversity. Changes in livestock management practices

are associated with
changes in crop production and in water management. While the examples reported
have been characterized in terms of one particular component it is important to
recognize that this can present an oversimplified story of complex and inte
grated
changes in management practices which also involve linked changes in labour use
and non
-
farm activities. Some changes involve the development of new production
systems such as floating vegetable gardens in Bangladesh or new home gardens.


Salick and

Byg (2007) list some of the environments which are most sensitive to
climate change related stresses. This allows them to identify areas of the world
where there are some climate change commonalities:
p
olar
r
egions
, alpine areas,
deserts, tropical rainfor
ests, islands and temperate ecosystems. This is also a useful
way of looking at coping strategies since it allows identification of similarities in
response from similar agro
-
ecosystems in different parts of the world. By far the
greatest numbers of storie
s identified related to arid and semi
-
arid landscapes
although indigenous peoples and rural communities from upland (or alpine) and
coastal areas are also developing adaptation strategies appropriate to the changes
they are experiencing.


Many commentato
rs stress the importance of social structures and institutions in the
responses of indigenous peoples and rural communities to climate change.
Examples cited by researchers include the maintenance of seed systems, common
management of water resources, info
rmation sharing, community support in livestock
management systems and the maintenance of social networks. A number of project
interventions have supported these aspects of climate change coping and added
additional ones such as community genebanks and inf
ormation management and
participatory plant breeding.

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Social networks support the flow of information, exchange of experiences and
knowledge, of new materials and new techniques. They can provide the opportunity
for vertical communication that happens wit
h the next level of the government as well
as horizontal communication that allows sharing of adaptation practice/s amongst
community members. The cases presented by Practical Action in the book
"Understanding Climate Change Adaptation" by Jonathan Ensor a
nd Rachel Berger
(2009) highlight the fact that adaptation projects can support development of
leadership, provide training on climate change and the skills needed to address the
impacts. They can support experimentation (trial fields) build the confidence

of
communities to employ alternative technologies.


While the emphasis of most of the reports is on adaptation, a number of the ways in
which people are adapting also contribute to mitigation (in the sense in which IPCC
uses this word). Jackson (2008) poi
nted out that the difference between adaptation
and mitigation is not something necessarily recognized by farmers and communities
in California.

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3. Expected and possible changes


3.1 Introduction


This section is concerned with available evidence from th
e scientific community on
the effect of climate change on agriculture. It briefly outlines some of the changes in
agricultural environments that are either possible or likely as a result of climate
change, and the likely changes in agricultural production
and production practices.
As in the previous section, the emphasis is on the effects on small
-
scale or
smallholder agriculture and on the ways in which climate change might affect
agrobiodiversity and its maintenance and use in such production systems. A n
umber
of studies and reports provide comprehensive and complete information on the
changes in productivity that might result from changes in CO2, temperature and
moisture levels and the effects of climate change on food security more generally,
including t
he 4
th

Report of IPCC and the FAO report “Climate change and food
security: a framework document”.


3.2 Climate change phenomena


The FAO report (FAO, 2008) identifies the following climate change variables as
being of importance to food systems:



CO2
fertilization effect of increased gas concentrations



Increased mean, maximum and minimum temperatures



Changes precipitation with effect on

(a)

dry spells and droughts, and

(b)

timing location and amounts of rainfall



Increase in frequency and intensity of storms
and floods



Greater seasonal weather variability and changes in the start and end of the
growing season


These include changes which are continuing (such as increasing temperature), are
associated with increasing variability of specific phenomena (amounts o
f rain,
temperature fluctuation) or involve sudden extreme events (flash floods, fires). These
changes affect agricultural production and its various components and
agrobiodiversity in the sense of the extent and distribution of the diversity found in
and
around production systems at genetic, species and ecosystem levels.


The ways in which rural communities can or do respond to the different changes and
uncertainties will be complex involving many different components of agrobiodiversity
that may be used
in different combinations and ways. Similarly the different changes
themselves lead to different responses in the components of production systems
(e.g. soil biota, insects, pollinators)


Although there remains a tendency to think of climate change as alwa
ys being in the
future, significant changes have occurred in many regions of the world. Average
temperatures have risen, glaciers and snow lines have retreated, prolonged droughts
have occurred and there has been a marked increase in extreme events (storms
,
floods, hurricanes etc.) The extent and nature of change is unequal, particularly
evident in high latitudes and mountainous areas. It has largely been described in
terms of temperature and moisture but its effects have also been measured with
respect to
biodiversity. Thus, in the Northern hemisphere the range of terrestrial
plants and animals has shifted, on average 6.1 km per decade northward or 6.1 m
per decade upward, with an advance of seasonal phenomena by 2.3


5.1 days per
decade over the last 50 y
ears. (Thuiller W, 2007).

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There is evidence of similar changes in patterns of agricultural production leading
e.g. to introduction of new crops, reduced use of long duration varieties of sorghum
and millet in Mali and Niger (Kouressy et al., 2003,
Bezanç
on
,
G. et al.
2009) and, at
community level, many of the kinds of changes described in section 2.


3.3 Extent of change


It is important to appreciate how variable the effects are likely to be globally and how
large they may be in some areas. Thus, the di
fferent scenarios suggest that change
in E Africa will be very much less than that in Southern Africa. Some scenario
analyses of the future have pointed out that by the end of this century the lowest
average summer temperatures will exceed the current high
est average temperatures
of the last 100 years i.e. the average coolest conditions in 60 years will exceed the
average warmest conditions today


Williams et al. (2007) analyzed multi
-
model ensembles for the A2 and B1 emission
scenarios produced for the fou
rth assessment report of the IPCC, with the goal of
identifying regions projected to experience (
i
) high magnitudes of local climate
change, (
ii
) development of novel 21st
-
century climates, and/or (
iii
) the
disappearance of
existent

climates. Novel climate
s are projected to develop primarily
in the tropics and subtropics, whereas disappearing climates are concentrated in
tropical montane regions and the poleward portions of continents. Interestingly
,
d
isappearing climates seem most likely to occur in at lea
st three primary centres of
crop diversity (Ethiopia, Mexico
,
Andes and likely in SE Asia). A recent analysis by
Burke et al. (2009) argues that “the majority of African countries will have novel
climates over at least half of their current crop area by 20
50. Of these 75% will have
novel climates with analogs in the current climates of at least 5 other countries”. Thus
there will be substantial change


often to environments that already exist but, in
significant areas, also to production environments that
are novel.


One of major problems that have faced analysis of likely effects of climate change is
the great variability in expected magnitude of change and vulnerability of agriculture,
especially smallholder agriculture. Mapping approaches have been used to identify
vulnerability hotspots (ILRI, 2006). Hotspots may describe areas of particularly
vulnerability for communities (socio
-
economic) or for agricultural production. Mostly
the scale of these studies is quite coarse. This Lobell et al’s (2008) analysis is
region
al and identifies Southern Africa and S Asia as areas in which key crops for
food security crops are likely to show substantially reduced production.


It might be useful to explore further the effect of different degrees of climate change
specifically fo
cusing on agrobiodiversity in order to identify areas with different
degrees of vulnerability. There are some entry points for this kind of analysis in the
studies by Jarvis et al on effects of climate change on future distributions of crop wild
relatives
and by Jarvis and Lane (2008) on future crop patterns.


3.4 Expected effects on agriculture


There is a substantial literature which describes the different effects that climate
change is expected to have on agriculture. These effects have been explored
from
the perspective of different components (crops


Lobell
, 2008
, livestock, fish,
agroforestry, soil, insects


Menendez, 2007, pollinators etc) inputs (water, fertilizer)
and from the interactions between different components or from a food systems
per
spective (e.g. Schmidhuber and Tubiello, 2007; Challinor et al., 2007). While
some have considered the effects of particular climate changes on agriculture (FAO,
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19

2008, IPCC), others have focused on specific components such as crops or livestock
(Jarvis and

Lane, 2008).


Much of the literature combines some exploration of changes are expected with an
exploration of the adaptation strategies that are used or might be adopted to cope
with climate change (Howden et al, 2007 or Niggol Seo et al., 2008a and 2008
b for
crops and livestock in Africa). These studies tend to be global or continental though
there are also some more localized studies (e.g. Molua, 2002 for S Cameroon).


Crop

production is expected to benefit in higher latitudes with higher yields of fo
od
and cash crops mainly in temperate regions. While higher levels of CO2 and higher
temperatures can be expected to increase yields these effects are expected to be
offset by crop losses due to heat and water stress or undesirable changes in water
availab
ility and temperature patterns.


Lobell et al’s (2008) study suggested that for a number of different models and a
range of assumptions Southern African and South Asia were areas where food
security was particularly threatened through negative effects on
key crops. They
suggest that crops which might be most negatively affected include: Southern Africa


maize, Sahel


sorghum, S Asia


wheat, millet groundnut. As noted below, most
major crops are adapted to an extremely wide range of production environmen
ts.
While it might be suggested that some crops like sorghum and millet are hardier,
characterized by a plasticity and great adaptability, the ecological envelope of the full
range of modern varieties of crops such as maize and wheat is just as wide althou
gh
the individual varieties may often seem to be much less adaptable, requiring
reasonable inputs of fertilizer and water to perform adequately.


Jarvis and Lane (2008) used 2 different climate prediction models and suggested that
crops such as wheat, ry
e, apple and oats were likely to experience significant
reduction in areas suitable for their cultivation In their study of crops listed in Annex 1
of the ITPGRFA twenty
-
three crops are projected to suffer decreases in suitable
area, on average, whilst som
e 20 crops gain suitable area. The biggest gains are in
areas suitable for pearl millet, sunflower, common millet, chick pea and soybean,
although many of the gains in suitable area occur in regions where these crops are
currently not an integral component

of food
-
security in temperate areas of Europe.
Jarvis and Lane’s study reinforces the general view that areas of higher food
insecurity will suffer most from climate change while agriculture in developed
countries may well benefit.


Other problems that h
ave been identified include changed labour requirements,
increased storage demands as a result of increased temperature and pest activity,
and associated effects described below such as changed availability of pollinators
and other beneficial insects. Prob
lems may also be exacerbated where cropping
practices involve use of other ecological indicators whose timing and properties
change as a result of altered climate.


Many crops (and most major food staples) are adapted to a wide range of production
environm
ents (see e.g.
www.ecoport.org
). This is the case for crops such as wheat,
maize, potato and rive. Many different varieties are available for many different types
of production conditions. The varieties themselves, ho
wever, may not be widely
adapted and the development and availability of materials adapted to new production
conditions may cause problems. Other crops, important for local communities, such
as fonio or buckwheat are more narrowly adapted and the crops its
elf may cease to
be appropriate. In some cases, hardiness and plasticity of many traditional crops
such as fonio, finger millet, or cowpea may lead to increases in their growing areas,
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20

provided agricultural policies do not create disincentives to their exp
ansion and
development. The rate and extent of change, the process of identifying and
maintaining adaptability and the development of new adapted materials all become
important elements in crop production.


Coping with increased variability in climate and
with extreme events is not usually
possible simply through the development and use of specific varieties (though some
do show higher resilience than others). As shown in Section 2, and noted by Morton
(2007), communities in marginal rural environments ofte
n have a range of coping and
adaptation strategies that can be more widely adopted as instability increases.


For livestock significant losses in production and productivity are expected, especially
in tropical and semi
-
arid production environments, due t
o temperature and water
stress or changed water and temperature patterns. Lower yields are predicted for
dairy cattle. It is likely that in a number of production systems the composition of
livestock kept will change in favour of those more adapted to hott
er, drier conditions
(Niggol Seo et al., 2008). Other changes expected include change in stocking rate
and pasture management, altered pasture rotation and timing of grazing and change
of forage species and livestock breeds (Howden et al, 2007).


Coping s
trategies identified by Morton (2006) for pastoralists in N Kenya and S
Ethiopia include mobility, herd accumulation, multispecies herds, supplementary
feed, disease management, accepting need to pay for water, livelihood
diversification, use of bank accou
nts to store wealth, intracommunity mechanisms to
support poorer and destitute community members (but the
se appear to be breaking
down).


Insects

contribute to 7 of the 17 Ecosystem Services recognized by Turner et al
2007. These include food production, s
oil formation, nutrient cycling, pollination,
biological control, waste treatment, raw materials production (Gordon, 2008). The
review by Menendez (2007) identified and discussed changes in phenology (adult
and larval emergence, migration), distribution (l
atitude, altitude including expansion
of tropical species into temperate areas), and evolutionary response. Changes in
species interactions (the utilization of a new host plant, maladaptive early hatching
before host bud burst, phenological mismatches) or
, more generally trophic
interactions, are likely to be of particular importance and may be largely
unpredictable.


Changes in soil properties and in soil microflora are likely to have a substantial effect
on production. These will include changes in wat
er availability, soil moisture retention
and in the rate of acquifer recharge. Changes in soil microflora can be expected to
affect both individual species and the interactions between them. Thus, trophic
interactions will be important including trophic de
coupling of the food web, potential
disruptions of mutualisms,

mismatches and new encounters.


Soil related problems associate with climate change are likely to reflect continuing
over
-
use of fertilizers in some parts of the world, increased erosion, and l
and
degradation which reflect continuing use of non
-
sustainable production practices in
an increasingly challenging (or different) production environment. However, it is worth
noting that the picture is very uneven. The amount of fertilizer used by small
-
s
cale
farmers in Africa is below that required to maintain soil fertility resulting in continuing
nutrient depletion and loss of soil organic matter (Bellarby et al., 2008)
.


Water management has received significant attention in discussions of the effects of
climate change and adaptation to change (see also above Section 2). It is expected
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21

that problems of water supply will be increased in many parts of the world. Supply of
ad
equate water has been repeatedly shown to be a major constraint on agricultural
production for many poor and marginal communities. Improved techniques of water
harvesting and irrigation have been identified as important and agricultural practices
such as c
onservation agriculture may gain in importance. In other areas of the world
water management under excess or changing patterns of rainfall will become
important. There are expected to be increased problems of waterlogging and nutrient
leaching and of soil

erosion (Howden et al, 2007). In coastal areas there will be major
problems associated with increasing salinity as sea
levels rise.


Studies that explicitly explore possible changes in extent and distribution of
agrobiodiversity in the context of agricult
ural production are limited (but see Kotschi,
2006 and Jarvis et al, 2009 for an analysis of effects of climate change on plant
genetic resources). This is particularly the case with respect to agrobiodiversity and
agricultural production in smallholder pr
oduction systems. FAO (2008b) describes
some effects of climate change on agrobiodiversity and some potential uses of
agrobiodiversity as

part of adaptation strategies.


Climate change is expected to increase the rate of loss of traditional crop varieties
although it may not reduce the overall diversity of a crop in a cropping system (e.g.
sorghum and millet in Niger,
Bezançon
,

G. et al.

2009). While many traditional
varie
ties contain significant diversity and may adapt to changed environments, many
do not and, without active breeding of some kind will cease to be adapted to the
changed production conditions. A study of the impact of climate change on crop wild
relatives su
ggested that by 2050 as much as 16
-
22% of wild relatives of peanut,
cowpea and potato will be threatened with extinction and that potential range size will
be reduced for 97% of the species. More than 50% of peanut relatives are expected
to become extinct
under these scenarios.


In the case of tree species and livestock there is very real concern that it will not be
possible to maintain existing varieties and diversity. Rates of evolution are likely to be
exceeded by climate change with resultant loss of di
versity and reduction in
distribution. As discussed above, these identifiable changes are likely to be
accompanied by changes in extent and distribution of below ground diversity, insects
and other pollinators, pests and diseases and other diversity of spe
cies associated
with agricultural production systems (agroforestry and hedgerow species, weeds etc.)


While it is helpful to identify some of the major factors likely to affect different
elements or components of agricultural production, most small
-
scale f
arming involves
integrated management of these different components. Effects in one sphere affect
others and management decisions and response strategies need to take an
integrated approach. Most analyses of the potential effects of climate change on
agric
ulture look only at specific components or explore very broad and general
predictions at a global scale. While these give suggestions for areas or issues to be
aware of they are less relevant to the realities of small
-
scale farmers in particular
regions or

agro
-
ecosystems.


3.5 Mitigation and Adaptation


Responses to climate change usually distinguish between mitigation and adaptation.
Mitigation involves activities designed to reduce CO2, methane and nitrous oxide
emissions from agriculture while adaptatio
n involves activities aimed at maintaining
sustainable production under changing environment conditions. Most discussions of
the use of agrobiodiversity have focused on adaptation activities but it is worth noting
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22

that agrobiodiversity is also relevant to
mitigation. Thus, the most prominent options
for mitigation described by Bellarby et al (2008) are:




Avoiding leaving land bare (catch and cover crops, , increased use of
perennial crops)



Using appropriate amounts of nitrogen fertilizer and reducing using

through
rotation and legume crops.



Avoid burning crop residues



Reduc
ing

tillage through e.g. conservation agriculture
.


All of these involve the appro
priate use of agrobiodiversity.


A more general
approach that reflects current discussions in UNFCCC

has

been
recently prepa
red by Ecoagriculture Partners
(
www.ecoagriculture.org
) who have
issued a report in which they identified
six

principles for action to tap the full potential
of land use mitigation:




Include

the full range of terrestrial emission reduction, storage, and
sequestration options in climate policy and investment;



Incorporate farming and land use investments in cap
-
and
-
trade systems;



Link terrestrial climate mitigation with adaptation, rural develo
pment, and
conservation strategies;



Encourage large, area
-
based programs;



Encourage voluntary markets for greenhouse gas emission offsets from
agriculture and land use;



Mobilize a worldwide, networked movement for climate
-
friendly food, forest,
and other
land
-
based production.


Adaptation responses described in various documents (e.g. FAO, 2008) are often
rather general and can be quite difficult to relate to local realities. However, the most
commonly mentioned are:



The need to develop new crop and livest
ock varieties adapted to changed (and
changing) environmental conditions. This is likely to be an ongoing process and
adaptation needs to include the maintenance of adaptability as a specific
objective whether through multiple varieties or the continuing m
aintenance of
traditional materials.



The effective maintenance and use of agrobiodiversity, both within production
existing systems and through its deployment in different production systems, to
meet the needs of communities facing changed production envir
onments.



Promotion of
agroforestry

integrated farming systems and adapted forest
management practice. As well as providing food, fodder, energy and income
these can contribute to soil moisture retention and improve land quality.



Improved infra
-
structure fo
r small
-
scale water capture storage and use.



Improved soil management practices including improving water infiltration and
water retention capacity, maintenance of high levels of soil organic matter.



Adaptation of farming systems, technology, infrastructur
e and market systems to
rapidly changing agroecological conditions



Adaption of aquatic resources management through increased emphasis on
static fishing technologies (fish farming).


As Morton (2007) suggests, smallholder subsistence and pastoral systems


especially those in marginal environments with high variability e.g. in rainfall and high
risk of natural hazard
-

are characterized by livelihood strategies that have evolved
(i) to reduce overall vulnerability (adaptive strategies) and (ii) to cope wi
th shocks and
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23

their impacts (coping strategies). The division between these two is often blurred and
coping strategies in exceptional years may develop into adaptive strategies as
climate changes. Examples of adaptation strategies cited by Morton (2007) in
clude:



Labour management (managing labour to follow unpredictable rainfall, working
land harder or differently)



Making use of agrodiversity in cultivated crops, wild plants and associated
biodiversity



Increased integration of livestock into production syst
ems



Diversifying livelihoods



Crop planting strategies to cope with uncertain rainfall



On
-
farm storage of food and feed


Based on her analysis of the experience and perceptions of Californian farmers,
Jackson (pers. comm.) suggested that the distinction bet
ween mitigation and
adaptation was regarded by farmers as artificial and they adopted an integrated
approach in the development of their responses to climate change.


There is a need for the further development adaptation and mitigation strategies
relevan
t to agriculture. The approaches identified are strongly biased towards
technological perspectives. There has been little discussion or consideration of wider
social and economic aspects which might include the ways in which cultural and
social institution
s might help adaptation to climate change, the policy changes that
will be needed and the importance of more appropriate economic environments. The
importance of social institutions and of knowledge exchange and of effective local
social networks has been
noted in Section 2.


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24

4. Issues for discussion, areas for research and the need for new
perspectives


In the current draft this section is deliberately left undeveloped. What
follows are some relevant comments, ideas and suggestions from
different sources that might be relevant for the Workshop discussions.


The final version of this section will consider

areas of agriculture where
agrobiodiversity is particularly important in climate change adaptation and mitigation
from the perspective of indigenous peoples, rural communities and small
-
scale
farmers. It will identify areas of research are suggested where

collaboration between
indigenous people, rural communities and the research community is likely to make a
significant contribution to the well being of small
-
scale farmers, sustainable
production and the maintenance of agrobiodiversity. The research will
also contribute
evidence of potential contribution that indigenous people can make to improve global
understanding and responses to climate change impacts.


4.1 Agrobiodiversity maintenance and use


In early 2008, the Platform co
-
organized a meeting (with
FAO and Bioversity
International) on “Climate change and biodiversity for food and agriculture”. The
report from this meeting became an input into the FAO High Level Meeting on Food
Security, Climate Change and Bioenergy. The participants at this meeting i
dentified a
number of knowledge gaps and research needs. These included a number of very
general questions:




What is the relationship of climate change to other human
-
induced pressures
on ecosystems


nature, extent and consequences of interactions and how

one might disentangle the different pressures and consequences?



Are there critical thresholds above which things change differently?



What time lags can we expect to see in agro
-
ecosystem responses?



What is the impact of species extinction on agro
-
ecosyste
m maintenance?


Monitoring agrobiodiversity trends and associated risks was identified as one key
area, particularly in relation to differences between different components of the
agricultural landscapes (the different responses of pollinating insects and

long lived
perennials for example). The importance of developing useful indicators at local
levels was noted and of including indicators both of status and of function in agro
-
ecosystems.


Another important area of research was that of understanding and

managing change.
Here, too, the importance of exploring not only production and productivity aspects of
change but also other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting and cultural) was
noted. Also recognized was the difficulty and importance of explorin
g the different
interactions between different components of agrobiodiversity.


Other areas identified included developing a better knowledge of genetic process and
the ways in which social institutions manage them (gene flow, introgression, local
adapta
tion and distribution etc.), improving availability of adapted materials (crops
and livestock), maintaining adaptability and local trait integrity, and identification of
the most sensitive agro
-
ecosystems. Given the variability in effect of and response to

climate change, the last issue and the identification of so
-
called “hotspots of
vulnerability” seems particularly important.


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25



From these discussions, and those at a later meeting organized jointly by the MS
Swaminathan Research Foundation and FAO, the
following areas of wo
rk seem
particularly important:


1.

Identification of
peoples, communities,
areas and agricultural biodiversity of
greatest threat or vulnerability from climate change.

2.

Ensuring the continuing availability and accessibility of adapted
materials
varieties, crops, livestock breeds etc.) both traditional materials continually
adapted through participatory breeding and selection and new materials
introduced to meet substantially changed production conditions

3.

Monitoring and managing change a
t local levels by rural communities

4.

Enhancing adaptability and resilience of production systems through support for
appropriate agricultural practices, social institutions, livelihood options etc.

5.

Strengthening international and national recognition of th
e importance of
agrobiodiversity in meeting the challenges of climate change


Morton (2007) suggests need for a conceptual framework to understand impact of
climate change on smallholder agriculture. He suggests that such a framework
should:


1.

recognize com
plexity and location
-
specificity of these production systems

2.

incorporate non
-
climate stressors and their contribution to vulnerability

3.

study 3 different categories of climate change impact:



biological processes affecting crops and animals



environmental pro
cesses



impacts of climate change on human health and non
-
agricultural
livelihoods.


This seems a useful start but may be in need of some further development to provide
a more developed framework to guide the investigative or study element. Thus it
would be

helpful to review the biological and environmental perspectives within an
ecosystem framework and to consider the ways in which the changes expected are
likely to affect different ecosystem services and ecosystem function.


4.2 Wider perspectives


Three
types of climate hazard have been identified, each of which requires a rather
different response. The continuous change from increasing temperature of increasing
or declining rainfall is most commonly discussed and underpins many adaptation
strategies iden
tified. The increased variability in climate patterns has also been
widely discussed. This can take two forms


the increasing ranges of hotter, cooler,
drier, wetter seasons and the more frequent occurrence of extreme events


storms,
hurricanes or drough
ts. A third climate hazard that has been noted is a shift in
climate regime due, for example, to changes in ocean circulation. This would result in
the “new climates” discussed above which could include significant changes in
seasonality of rainfall or of
the inter
-
relation of particular rainfall and temperature
combinations. The adaptation strategies required have note been explored to any
great extent for this situation.


Generally, adaptation strategies involve increasing adaptability or resilience or
en
abling transformation.


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26

Increasing adaptability involves ensuring that the communities and agro
-
ecosystems
are able to respond to changing conditions without too great a lost in livelihood,
productivity or ecosystem function. There are various ways in wh
ich agrobiodiversity
can underpin adaptability. It can be achieved through the use of traditional varieties
which maintain sufficient diversity to respond to variable production environments.
Some crops are recognized by farmers as being both more adapta
ble and more
resilient such as sorghum, millet and fonio. Adaptability is often commonly described
as a property of many neglected or underutilized crop species or of livestock and
crop species that are used in marginal production environments. Adaptabilit
y also
reflects the capacity of a system crop, or
variety

to evolve and change as conditions
change.


According to Resalliance (
www.resalliance.org
) resilience is the ability to absorb
disturbances, to be changed
and then to re
-
organise and still have the same identity
(retain the same basic structure and ways of functioning). It includes the ability to
learn from the disturbance. A resilient system is forgiving of external shocks. As
resilience declines the magnit
ude of a shock from which it cannot recover gets
smaller and smaller. Resilience shifts attention from purely growth and efficiency to
needed recovery and flexibility. Growth and efficiency alone can often lead ecological
systems, businesses and societies
into fragile rigidities, exposing them to turbulent
transformation. Learning, recovery and flexibility open eyes to novelty and new
worlds of opportunity.


Agrobiodiversity contributes significantly both to adaptability and resilience. However,
even with s
ubstantially improved adaptability and resilience, some agro
-
ecoystems
will change, or be transformed. Managing transformation will be an important


4.3 Alliances and approaches to research


Exploring the research dimension


the nature and content of rese
arch needed
-

the
Symposium on Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change (held at the Environmental
Change Institute, Oxford, 2008) noted the importance of transdisciplinary bridges,
linking quantitative and qualitative methods, using participatory methods and

integrating indigenous peoples into all stages of research. They called for conjoined
research and action with indigenous peoples and identified coordinated and
concerted efforts that could be undertaken including:




Self representation of indigenous peopl
e on climate change fora to build and
support social capital and document traditional knowledge

and insights on
climate change



Ethno
-
ecological research covering the collection of baseline data,
ethnometeorology and ethnoclimatology, perceptions, effects a
nd adaptations
to climate change



Joint actions in developing networks of researchers and indigenous peoples,
participatory agenda setting, and exploring carbon offset strategies


This need to adopt different approaches to research is also reflected in IAAS
TD and
in the recent material provided by Pimbert (2009).
The importance of changing the
way we do research needs to be reflected in identifying areas of research where
collaboration between indigenous people, rural communities and the research
community i
s likely to make a significant contribution to the well being of small
-
scale
farmers, sustainable production and the maintenance of agrobiodiversity.

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27

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