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The way forward: An agroecological perspective for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Saj S., Torquebiau E., Hainzelin E., Pagès J., Maraux F.. 2017. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 250 : p. 20-24.

DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2017.09.003

The concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) has consistently been positioned between science and policy. CSA has given rise to a lively debate in both the scientific community and civil society although it addresses the pressing need for an efficient strategy to manage agriculture and food systems facing climate change (CC). CSA formally targets the simultaneous fulfilment of three criteria: (i) CC mitigation, (ii) adaptation to CC and (iii) food security. Yet, the review of scientific literature on CSA displays a clear discrepancy between these three objectives, underlining the fact that CSA is regularly perceived as addressing only adaptation, and not mitigation and food security. On the other hand, research on agroecology (AE) reveals an extensive knowledge about food security and adaptation, often at scales which can be considered complementary to those of CSA. A better use by CSA of AE research results may help CSA focus on two currently overlooked dimensions, i.e. (i) mitigation and (ii) trade-offs and synergies between the three criteria. CSA does not have a specific blueprint for climate-smart practices and has rather a strong focus on policies, institutions and financing. Hence AE actually responds to the needs of CSA in terms of site-specificity and potential for adoption by farmers because it is strongly based on local practices. We argue that an eco- and socio-logical approach to CSA represents a sine qua non condition if CSA is to promote inclusive development and participate to collective efforts to manage agriculture and food systems under climate change.

Mots-clés : agroécologie

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