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Business‐as‐usual scenarios of population growth and food consumption patterns indicate that agricultural production will need to increase by 70 percent to meet demands by 2050. Climate change impacts will increasingly reduce the agricultural sectors (crops and livestock, fisheries and forestry) productivity and production stability in areas of the world that already have high levels of food insecurity, environmental degradation and limited ways of coping with adverse weather.

The agriculture sectors are not only among the most vulnerable sectors to the impacts of climate change; they are also directly responsible for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and constitute a key driver of deforestation and land degradation which account for an additional 17 percent. Agricultural sectors can also be an important part of the solution to climate change by capturing synergies from improved food and natural resource systems. Sustainable utilization of natural resources will require management and governance based on ecosystem approaches that also involve multi‐stakeholder and multi‐sectoral coordination and cooperation.

This is crucial for effective agricultural development towards a climate‐smart agriculture. Climate‐smart agriculture (CSA) is rooted in sustainable agriculture and rural development objectives which, if implemented, could help achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing hunger and improved environmental management.

More productive and resilient agriculture is built upon better management of natural resources including land, water, soil and biodiversity; through practices such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry, improved livestock and water management, integrated pest management and ecosystem approaches to fisheries and aquaculture.