Climate readiness in smallholder agricultural systems: lessons learned from REDD+

The debate around the role that agriculture should play in mitigating climate change and sequestering greenhouse gases is politically complex and technically complicated. In many countries, and particularly in developing countries with a large smallholder population, the agricultural sector faces competing priorities, such as national food security goals, poverty alleviation, addressing natural resource degradation and adapting to the already visible effects of climate change. Many of these goals are closer to the immediate, short-term priorities of national decision-makers, relegating climate change mitigation to a secondary priority. It is therefore essential to implement mitigation strategies in concert with strategies that increase the resilience and increase the productivity of agricultural systems. Despite differences in the forestry and the agricultural sectors, experiences from the REDD+ process, and particularly its readiness phase, can offer useful lessons for an agricultural readiness process. The REDD+ readiness process created an overall coherent structure, framework and process of guiding countries towards developing the technical and institutional ability to integrate mitigation activities into their forestry sectors. An overview of the lessons learned from REDD+ Readiness, organized by objectives, governance, process, scope and finance, is provided in this working paper.