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  • Perspective
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Climate-smart agriculture for food security


A Corrigendum to this article was published on 25 March 2015

This article has been updated


Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems to support food security under the new realities of climate change. Widespread changes in rainfall and temperature patterns threaten agricultural production and increase the vulnerability of people dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, which includes most of the world's poor. Climate change disrupts food markets, posing population-wide risks to food supply. Threats can be reduced by increasing the adaptive capacity of farmers as well as increasing resilience and resource use efficiency in agricultural production systems. CSA promotes coordinated actions by farmers, researchers, private sector, civil society and policymakers towards climate-resilient pathways through four main action areas: (1) building evidence; (2) increasing local institutional effectiveness; (3) fostering coherence between climate and agricultural policies; and (4) linking climate and agricultural financing. CSA differs from 'business-as-usual' approaches by emphasizing the capacity to implement flexible, context-specific solutions, supported by innovative policy and financing actions.

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Figure 1: Climate-resilient transformation pathways for agriculture.

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  • 13 March 2015

    In the version of this Perspective originally published, the list of authors and affiliations should have read as below. These errors have been corrected in the online versions of the Perspective. Leslie Lipper1*, Philip Thornton2,3, Bruce M. Campbell3,4, Tobias Baedeker5, Ademola Braimoh5, Martin Bwalya6, Patrick Caron7, Andrea Cattaneo1, Dennis Garrity8, Kevin Henry9, Ryan Hottle10, Louise Jackson11, Andrew Jarvis3,4, Fred Kossam12, Wendy Mann1, Nancy McCarthy13, Alexandre Meybeck1, Henry Neufeldt8, Tom Remington14, Pham Thi Sen15, Reuben Sessa1, Reynolds Shula16, Austin Tibu17 and Emmanuel F. Torquebiau7 1Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy. 2International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), PO Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya. 3Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS), University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958, Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark. 4International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Km 17, Recta Cali-Palmira, Apartado Aéreo 6713, Cali, Colombia. 5World Bank, Agriculture Global Practice, 1818 H Street NW, Washington DC 20433, USA. 6New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), International Business Gateway New Road and 6th Road, Midridge Office Park c/o Challenger and Columbia Avenue, Block B Midrand Johannesburg 1685, South Africa. 7French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), TA 179/04, Avenue Agropolis, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France. 8World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 30677-00100 Nairobi, Kenya. 9Colorado State University, School of Global Environmental Sustainability, 108 Johnson Hall, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA. 10Ohio State University (OSU) International Programs in Agriculture and School of Environment and Natural Resources Office of International Programs in Agriculture, 113 Agricultural Administration Building, The Ohio State University, 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA. 11University of California, Davis, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, 3144 PES Building, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, USA. 12Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management, Malawi, Department of Climate Change and Met Services, PO Box 1808 Blantyre, Malawi. 13Law, Economics and Agriculture for Development (LEAD) Analytics, 5136 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington DC, USA. 14International Potato Center (CIP), PO Box 31600, Lilongwe 3, Malawi. 15Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute, Viet Nam (NOMAFSI), Phu Ho Commun, Phu Tho District, Phu Tho Province, Viet Nam. 16Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Zambia, Department of Agriculture, Mulungushi House, PO Box 50291, Lusaka, Zambia. 17Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Malawi, Land Resources Conservation Department, PO Box 30291, Lilongwe, Malawi. *e-mail:


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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of FAO.

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Correspondence to Leslie Lipper.

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Lipper, L., Thornton, P., Campbell, B. et al. Climate-smart agriculture for food security. Nature Clim Change 4, 1068–1072 (2014).

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