Existing research confirms a need to provide empirical evidence on strategies that link mitigation and adaptation goals for managing future risks and building resilience to climate change. Despite the seemingly abundant literature on both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, there is surprisingly little systematic scholarly investigation of the interaction between these two discourses, with most studies approached in isolation from each other. There are even fewer tools and methodologies to assess the inter-relationships between the two responses to climate change.

The broad aim of this research is to identify how climate-smart agriculture within community-based programs is contributing to the integration of mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change. The research will examine how climate-smart practices contribute to the synergies, conflicts and co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation actions in the agriculture sector of the Australian Aid funded community-based climate change programs in Philippines and Timor-Leste. The broad methodology will draw upon the overarching theories of engaged scholarship and ethnography employing participatory ‘iterative-inductive’ approaches. Three distinct frameworks to analyse the program interventions across three broad categories: synergistic relationship (adaptation and mitigation), governance (institutional adaptation) and sectorial resilience (agriculture and food security).

The research will further examine the institutional and governance dimension of community-based climate change practices in the agriculture sector that has strong interactions with adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. Not only do community-based adaptation interventions in the agriculture sector have potential benefits in reducing greenhouse emissions but also facilitate planning and implementation of resilience through complementary actions. Hence the research will develop a framework matrix useful in assessing measures that have a synergistic value between land/agriculture, natural resources and water adaptation measures and their corresponding greenhouse gas mitigation potential - increased soil/atmospheric carbon sequestration, reduced emissions, soil nitrification and reduced use of fertilisers. The Southeast Asia case studies will provide useful insight to the Australian Aid and NGO stakeholders into the inter-relationships between mitigation and adaptation strategies within development programs. To the broader development community, the research experiences emerging from the case study could promote greater coherence, coordination and integration among sectors and stakeholder settings on mitigation and adaptation efforts in the agriculture sector.

Funding: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
Advisors: Dr Paul DarguschDr Karen McNamara

Project members

Alvin Chandra

Alvin Chandra

PhD candidate