The agriculture and land-based natural resources sectors are intrinsically tied to the climate and economy. While the sector is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, it also accounts for approximately 14 per cent of India’s total GHG emissions. Climate-positive agriculture and land use practices can support India’s transition to a net zero economy while also increasing the resilience of these resources to withstand the impact of changing climatic conditions.
The impacts of climate change are already beginning to be felt in agriculture and land quality. Over time, climate change has contributed to reduced crop yields, lesser nutritional quality of major cereals and lower livestock productivity. Rising temperatures have led to the degradation of forest ecosystems.
Climate change can alter carbon storage in soil, which is the second largest carbon store, or ‘sink’, after the oceans. The increasing climate sensitivity of agriculture could also lead to greater instability for India’s food production, which in turn can have implications for livelihoods and food security.
Over 700 million people in rural India depend on forests and agriculture for subsistence and livelihood. Amongst them, the most marginalised are disproportionately affected by climate change and extreme weather events as they grapple with crop losses, damaged homes, food insecurity, water scarcity and land degradation.
It is critical that swift action is taken to transition the sector towards a low emissions trajectory which will lead to positive outcomes for both the people and the planet. This will require significant changes in how we farm, how we consume food and how we manage our forests and natural carbon sinks.
We seek to enhance zero emissions, people and planet-positive agriculture and land use practices that can strengthen the rural economy, improve the livelihoods of local communities, improve biodiversity, build resilience as well as contribute to India’s global climate goals. We collaborate with policy makers, multilateral institutions, communities and civil society organisations to augment best practices in different agroecological regions and to mainstream climate-oriented and integrated agriculture and-use practices in policy solutions.