Recommendations on Adaptations

Global surface average temperature and sea level are projected to rise under all IPCC scenarios. At the same time climate variabilility is expected to continue on seasonal to interannual and decadal time scales owing to natural variability induced by such factors as ENSO events and the IPO. These will promote increasingly stronger impacts on agriculture and forestry. The workshop produced a number of recommendations. However, presently agronomic adaptation has been effective in mid-latitude developed countries, but less effective in lower latitude developing countries. With increasing climate change and variability though a wide range of adaptation strategies will be essential, coupled with mitigation options.

8.1. ADAPTATION RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Whether or not there will be significant climate change, inherent climatic variability makes adaptation unavoidable. These are embedded on issues such as sustainability of land productivity, changes in erosion, degradation and environmental quality, which also require due consideration.

2. Improved management strategies are required for coping with increasing climate variability and change. These can be drawn from both traditional and new technologies.

3. Standardization of crop models for widespread agrometeorological application are needed, with more modelling on the rainfall distribution and commencement for the rainy season in tropical and subtropical regions.

4. Changes in agronomic practices, such as earlier planting dates or cultivar substitution, and methods of microclimatic modification, for example, to cool animal environments as the climate warms.

5. Development of physiological based animal models with well developed climate components are needed urgently to cover gaps in knowledge and for future projections.

6. Improvement of carbon sequestration is required from agriculture and forestry by adopting permanent land cover, utilizing conservation tillage, reducing fallow land in summer, incorporating rotations of forage and improving nutrient management with fertilizers.

8.2. ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION IN TROPICAL REGIONS

1. Monitoring of crop development and growth together with appropriate climate information will improve management.

2. Development of water conservation strategies, both from traditional and modern practices is recommended for more efficient usage.

3. Increase the planting of shelterbelts or the use of scattered trees amongst crops for the reduction of erosion and wind damage and conservation of moisture.

4. Implementation of sustainable agriculture and forestry practices will both conserve land and improve yields over the long-term.

5. Development of innovative new technologies (e.g, climate forecasting) alongside traditional methods (e.g, intercropping, mulching) will be needed for yield improvement.

6. Development of adaptation strategies such as response farming at the local community level will engage active participation of the land users.

8.3. ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION IN TEMPERATE REGIONS

1. Earlier planting and sowing of crops as temperatures increase are recommended. This will utilize the higher temperatures earlier in the growing season and result in conserving soil moisture.

2. Earlier planting with the use of long season varieties to increase crop yields is a recommended adaption strategy in cooler climate regions where soil moisture is adequate and the risk of heat stress is low.

3. In hotter regions, the introduction of shorter season varieties will provide a measure to avoid or reduce summer heat and water stress.

4. Introduce changed land allocation for the stabilization of production and conservation of soil moisture.

5. Plan the use of shorter crop rotations and routine crop thinning in areas that experience higher precipitation.

6. Reduce the impacts of drought and erosion by utilizing larger spacing in forestry plantation planting and later thinning.

7. Increase the application of integrated pest management techniques.

8.4. MITIGATION OPTIONS

1. Prevention of overgrazing of grasslands will produce a moderate improvement in soil carbon levels.

2. Allocation of summer fallow areas is recommended for pasture and rangeland agriculture so as to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide.

3. Introduction of reduced tillage intensity and summer fallow areas, improved manure management and feed rations with improved drainage and irrigation will all contribute to less emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

4. Introduction of forage cropping into rangeland and pasture rotations can be applied for increasing the carbon sequestration.

5. Improved nutrient management with suitable fertilizers will aid the sequestration of carbon.

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