Agriculture, Landscape and Food Value Chain Transformation as Key Engines in Climate Change Mitigation: A Review of Some Low-Carbon Policy Options and Implementation Mechanisms

  • Louis BockelEmail author
  • Laure Sophie Schiettecatte


One of the most promising ways to mitigate climate change is through “agriculture and landscape climate solutions”: the conservation, restoration and improved management of agriculture and natural land in order to increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in landscapes worldwide. In this perspective, the agriculture sector is facing a wide rethinking on the way to better integrate environment and climate change issues into agriculture policies.

Schools of thinking towards sustainable agriculture and agroecology are competing with new concepts such as sustainable land management, climate-smart agriculture and low-carbon agriculture. On the other hand, policymakers and donors face the issue of integration of mitigation and adaptation in agriculture policies and investment programmes. New performance indicators such as carbon footprint and carbon balance are used to select value and promote high-performing options. Similarly, food markets progressively provide products with reduced carbon footprint.

Implementing such new and marketing mechanisms slowly induce a progressive transformation of the food value chains, agriculture policies and incentives. However, high inertia does remain in the agricultural sector, slowing down the switch towards real low-carbon agriculture options. This chapter does analyse a series of shortcuts used by countries and donors to stimulate such structural change, considering appropriate appraising tools, new incentive mechanisms, new modalities of funding and acting with scaling-up perspectives. Agroforestry value chains upgrading scenarios such as cocoa or shea parkland restoration are provided as examples of upscaling paths with high-carbon-fixing performances. The issues covered in this chapter include “environmental policy”, “sustainable agriculture”, “climate-smart agriculture”, “climate mitigation and adaptation”, “global food policy” and “low-carbon agriculture”.


Agriculture policy Value chains Carbon footprint Low-carbon agriculture Sustainable development goals EX-ACT tool 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FAO Economist, Policy Officer in Regional Office for AfricaAccraGhana
  2. 2.FAO EX-ACT expert, ESA DivisionFAO HQRomeItaly

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