Agriculture is one of the most climate-sensitive of all economic sectors. In many countries, such as the four examined in Looking Beyond the Horizon, the risks of climate change are an immediate and fundamental problem because the majority of the rural population depends either directly or indirectly on agriculture for its livelihood.
The risks of climate change to agriculture cannot be eff ectively dealt with-hand the opportunities cannot be eff ectively exploited-without a clear plan for aligning agricultural policies with climate change, developing
the capabilities of key agricultural institutions, and investing in infrastructure, support services, and on-farm improvements. Developing such a plan ideally involves a combination of high-quality quantitative analysis; consultation with key stakeholders, particularly farmers and local agricultural experts; and investments in both human and physical capital. The diverse experiences of Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan, highlighted in this book, show that it is possible to develop a plan to meet these objectives-one that is comprehensive and empirically driven as well as consultative and quick
The approach of this volume is predicated on strong country ownership and participation, and is defi ned by its emphasis on 'win-win' or 'no regrets' solutions to the multiple challenges posed by climate change for the farmers of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The solutions are measures that increase resilience to future climate change, boost current productivity despite the greater climate variability already occurring, and limit greenhouse gas emissions-also known as 'climate-smart agriculture'.
Looking Beyond the Horizon draws on the experiences of applying this approach to these four nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with the goal of helping each country mainstream climate change adaptation into its agricultural policies, programs, and investments. The book also highlights the projected impacts of climate change on agriculture in these countries through forecast variations in temperature and rainfall patterns, which are crucial to farming, and off ers a map for navigating the risks and realizing the opportunities. Finally, a detailed e xplanation of the approach, as well as lessons learned from its implementation, is provided for those who would like to implement similar programs in other countries of Europe, Central Asia, or anywhere else in the world.
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