Climate change is already making life harder on farmers, especially in developing nations. New sources of funding can help alleviate the burden but resources are limited. So where should governments, philanthropists and development agencies prioritize investment?
Using a combination of the latest crop models and local expertise from farmers and others–and applying them to our current trajectory of high greenhouse gas emissions–scientists built a tool to assess climate risk vulnerability to help pinpoint communities most in need of support for adaptation and mitigation.
The study was carried out in Vietnam, Uganda and Nicaragua–developing countries that embody many of the climate shocks in store for the coming decades, including propensity for droughts, floods and high-temperature extremes–by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The findings were published March 27 in PLOS ONE.
The crop models in this study simulate the climate suitability of specific crops, including rice, maize, beans, coffee and cacao, under current and future climate conditions.
Vulnerability assessments already exist but the Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) is novel in its focus on integrating a wide range of natural hazards, crops, and factors indicating social vulnerability into a standardized score. The fine resolution of outputs, which allows users to pinpoint hotspots as small as a district in Vietnam, for instance, will be useful for national policymakers and others who must decide which areas of a country to prioritize for support. CRVA is designed to be robust, replicable, and flexible enough to accommodate limitations in data-scarce countries, drawing on national datasets where possible.