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Agriculture and Climate Change: Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

Increasing the Resilience of ECA Agriculture to Climate Change

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Increasing the Resilience of ECA Agriculture to Climate Change

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Agriculture continues to be critical for rural poverty reduction, employment, economic growth and food security in ECA. Despite a perception that ECA is an urbanized region, roughly one third to one half of people still live in rural areas, with the figure approaching two thirds in Central Asia. Agricultural production, processing, and related services remain an important source of income in many ECA countries (approaching 30% of GDP in Central Asia). However, the agricultural sector is highly climate sensitive and potential adverse changes in temperature, precipitation and the frequency of extreme events (for example, droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires) as a result of climate change are likely to increase the vulnerability of poor rural communities. This will place a strain on institutions, food supply and rural growth. This risk is further exacerbated by the relatively low productivity associated with a lack of capacity to adapt to the present climate in many ECA countries, resulting in an adaptation deficit. In addition, even for farmers in countries that have the potential to benefit from climate change in the future, many are poorly positioned to take full advantage of such opportunities, unless investments and policy changes are implemented. The World Bank’s ECA Region is working with client countries to meet these challenges through an innovative regional, multi-year program of analytical and advisory activities (AAA) on Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in ECA Agricultural Systems.

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