World Vision International
article • Tuesday, May 3rd 2016

World Vision and the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA)

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(Photo by World Vision)

World Vision now has the status of “Observer” organization with Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA). GACSA is an information sharing, advocacy and networking platform and aspires to be a voluntary and transparent association of members committed to fostering sustainable change in agricultural practices.

Ultimately, GACSA would like to function as a “clearing house” or platform for promoting partnerships, actions and policies, and sharing lessons and knowledge which can support an integrated approach to the triple win of CSA (see below).

The GACSA alliance is made up of a diverse set of members that includes governments, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations (including UN and the African Union Commission), research/extension/education organizations, farmer organizations, financing institutions and the private sector. Key donor organisations engaging with GACSA include the governments of Canada, France, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Becoming an Observer of GACSA will allow WV to become better acquainted with the work of GACSA and facilitate a constructive engagement on our part – ensuring that it prioritizes the resilience of smallholder farmers, particularly women and vulnerable groups, focusing on methods to strengthen livelihoods, reduce inequities and increase the productivity and reliability of agricultural activities.

Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA), as defined in FAO’s CSA Sourcebook, aligns with WV’s evolving priorities in terms of productive, resilient and reliable smallholder agriculture. Many of our programs are in the process of integrating CSA into their Strategic Plans. Key supporters of CSA, from the FAO to the World Bank and to global agricultural research organizations (CG centres) highlight the “triple win” that CSA poses for farmers:

  1. enhanced food security by sustainably increasing the reliability and productivity of agricultural livelihood activities (food security);
  2. increased smallholder resilience and adaptation to the likely effects of climate change (adaptation); and,
  3. where appropriate, and in the interest of smallholder farmers, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and improved carbon sequestration (mitigation).  

It is important to note that, as clearly defined by FAO in the Sourcebook, CSA includes most evidence-based agro-ecological approaches and should not be treated as a form of agriculture totally distinct from agroecology. Rather, the CSA practices that most closely meet the 3 criteria are both agro-ecologically sound and climate smart.

Most of the agroforestry, natural resource management (NRM) and soil and water conservation (SWC) practices supported and implemented by WV, including Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and Conservation Agriculture (CA), would be considered both agro-ecologically sound and climate smart.

Finally, as a founding member of the Africa CSA Alliance, a partnership of organizations working with governments, national civil society and other partners to implement CSA in Africa, WV continues to work towards the transformation of agriculture in many African countries.

For more information, please contact douglas_brown [at] wvi [dot] org (Douglas Brown), Director for Agriculture and Food Security.

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