NEW Guidance material for FAO climate risk screening

Agriculture is one of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events, so managing climate risks across agricultural investment projects is fundamental.

The new guidance document, Climate resilient practices: typology and guiding material for climate risk screening, is a reference manual to support FAO’s climate risk screening process. The manual includes a compendium of practices and measures organized by agricultural sectors and related areas of action: cropping, livestock, forest systems and fisheries, aquaculture and international waters; biodiversity; food value chains and governance.

FAO’s climate risk screening system evaluates projects early on in the design phase to ensure risks are effectively identified, and evidence-based measures are incorporated into project design as soon as possible.

Risk is calculated by considering the hazards, level of exposure, vulnerability and adaptive capacity associated with specific investments. Depending on the level of risk, recommendations and climate resilient practices tailored to the project are identified and further evaluated during the implementation of the project.

The publication is intended as a first reference point to guide potential climate resilient interventions. The practices listed for specific agricultural systems and across each step of the food value chain are not exclusive of other existing practices and can be applied in complementary ways. Beyond these practices, the manual highlights specific governance mechanisms to mainstream climate resilient practices and nature-based solutions into decision-making.

For example, there are 10 practices highlighted for drought management in cropping systems. Mulching or covering the soil with residues in combination with no-tillage is a drought management practice, reducing the exposure of crops to heat-stress conditions. By increasing surface temperature, mulching can also protect against cold, frost and hail on small farms, in gardens when other protection methods are unavailable. These practices can then be further evaluated once the project is underway.