Protecting agricultural soils for food security: Support for Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring and Evaluation within GIZ-Project ProSoil
Every year, overexploitation and climate change destroy millions of hectares of soil worldwide. This is especially severe, since soil is the second-largest carbon store on earth after the oceans. Both contain more CO2 than all forests and the atmosphere together. While carbon as an organic material is important for the soil´s fertility, in the form of CO2 in the atmosphere, it exacerbates global warming and therefore climate change. Apart from the carbon storage function, this has massive consequences for agriculture. Land and soil degradation already affects over 20 percent of the world´s population. In particular, smallholder farmers in developing countries suffer from the consequences of shrinking usable areas and affected harvests. Agricultural production and farmer´s food security are at a high risk of being strongly affected since the basis for good production is soil health.
Once destroyed, soils only regenerate very slowly. To ensure sustainable food production for a growing global population and farmers’ livelihoods, as well as to contribute to climate change mitigation, adaptation strategies that improve and rehabilitate agricultural soils are urgently needed. Since 2014, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) therefore promotes soil protection and rehabilitation measures in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Madagascar and Tunisia. The ProSoil (Soil protection and rehabilitation for food security) project implements good practices for sustainable land use and supports the political institutionalization of these practices.
Part of the project involves the development and application of a climate monitoring system, which tracks qualitatively and quantitatively the contributions of soil protection and rehabilitation measures to climate change adaptation and GHG reductions.
From December 2020 to November 2022, HFFA Research was commissioned by GIZ to review and refine this climate monitoring system and in particular to assess the adaptation effects of the project.
During the assignment, our team will identify country specific climatic impact drivers and advise and support partners on implementing the adaptation monitoring and analyzing the retrieved data. The assignment is carried out in collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research who are responsible for modelling the climatic impact factors (see publications below).
One important part of the assignment was the engagement of local experts and stakeholders into the monitoring process. By applying participatory appraisal methods such as workshops and focus group discussions, local actors were consulted to assess the suitability and relevance of ProSoil technologies. In order to strengthen local capacities, ProSoil partners were trained to carry out multi-stakeholder consultations themselves. In addition, we developed guidance material on participatory survey methods.
During our assignment, the following publications were created:
Assessments of climatic impact drivers:
Burkina Faso (Francais)