A framework for priority-setting in climate smart agriculture research

Philip K. Thornton*, Anthony Whitbread, Tobias Baedeker, Jill Cairns, Lieven Claessens, Walter Baethgen, Christian Bunn, Michael Friedmann, Ken E. Giller, Mario Herrero, Mark Howden, Kevin Kilcline, Vinay Nangia, Julian Ramirez-Villegas, Shalander Kumar, Paul C. West, Brian Keating

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is widely promoted as an approach for reorienting agricultural development under the realities of climate change. Prioritising research-for-development activities is crucial, given the need to utilise scarce resources as effectively as possible. However, no framework exists for assessing and comparing different CSA research investments. Several aspects make it challenging to prioritise CSA research, including its multi-dimensional nature (productivity, adaptation and mitigation), the uncertainty surrounding many climate impacts, and the scale and temporal dependencies that may affect the benefits and costs of CSA adoption. Here we propose a framework for prioritising agricultural research investments across scales and review different approaches to setting priorities among agricultural research projects. Many priority-setting case studies address the short- to medium-term and at relatively local scales. We suggest that a mix of actions that span spatial and temporal time scales is needed to be adaptive to a changing climate, address immediate problems and create enabling conditions for enduring change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-175
JournalAgricultural Systems
Volume167
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Mitigation
  • Research

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    Thornton, P. K., Whitbread, A., Baedeker, T., Cairns, J., Claessens, L., Baethgen, W., Bunn, C., Friedmann, M., Giller, K. E., Herrero, M., Howden, M., Kilcline, K., Nangia, V., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Kumar, S., West, P. C., & Keating, B. (2018). A framework for priority-setting in climate smart agriculture research. Agricultural Systems, 167, 161-175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2018.09.009