Discourse on Climate-Smart Agriculture for REDD+ Strategy in the Congo Basin

Ernest L. Molua


Sustainable agriculture is central to the development challenges of the Central African sub-region. It is the nexus for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The Congo basin in the central African sub-region stores a vast amount of carbon. However, deforestation and degradation from agricultural practices compromise the forest carbon stocks at the expense of sustainable forest management. This paper contends that in the advent of climate change, agriculture must be one that meets the triple challenge of ensuring food security, adapting to climate stressors and contributing to climate change mitigation. The goal of this discourse is to unveil the potentials for climate-smart agriculture in contributing to a better REDD+ strategy for countries in the Congo Basin. The paper reveals that agriculture based on agroforestry systems and conservation practices will be required to conserve forests and ensure food production, and also contribute to meeting the objectives of REDD+. The paper demonstrates that sustainable land management and climate-smart actions that form the panoply of agroforestry actions could help increase carbon sequestration, increase overall productivity and ensure systems cope with the adverse effects of climate change. Harnessing these opportunities requires that the prescribed strategies strengthen the link between forestry and agriculture, and agrarian efforts maximize synergies and minimize trade-offs in addressing agricultural production, food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v5n10p77

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