Building Climate-Resilient Agricultural and Food Systems: How the CRISP Tool Empowers You to Climate-Proof Your Project

10 Jun 2024

1. The challenge of transforming agricultural and food systems under climate change

Climate change poses a significant threat to the sustainability of agricultural and food systems, to the availability of natural resources and to the livelihoods of people and communities. In many rural areas around the world, the effects are particularly severe. Smallholder farmers often struggle with the lack of resources and infrastructure to sufficiently respond to the changing environment and climatic conditions. In this challenging reality, adaptation action is more necessary than ever. And yet, we are falling short on taking the actions needed. The COP28 UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action made it crystal clear that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement has to include agricultural and food systems. They have to be reconfigured in response to the imperatives of climate change.

2. CRISP: How to mainstream climate action across policies & project portfolios?

To contribute to these efforts of promoting resilient agricultural and food systems, a new tool has been developed: The Climate Risk Planning & Managing Tool for Development Programmes in Agri-Food Systems CRISP is a free, web-based tool designed to mainstream climate risk considerations and science-based adaptation options into agricultural and food systems policies, programmes and projects.

The tool equips project managers, policymakers, funders, researchers, and the private sector with the knowledge and resources needed to build resilience and ensure food and nutrition security in the face of climate change. CRISP is quick and simple to use: You can step-by-step learn about hazards, impacts and vulnerabilities in your region and identify relevant adaptation solutions. It has been developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in collaboration with the Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT (ABC), and Eurac Research.

According to Osana Bonilla-Findji (ABC), one of the members of CRISP team, the goal of the tool is to entrench climate action in all agricultural and food systems interventions. It provides ways to enable practitioners and policy makers to develop science-based adaptation hypothesis and effectively promote context-specific adaptation options.

“We designed CRISP to ‘climate-proof’ traditional agricultural and food systems projects. We wanted to provide practitioners with a practical tool to easily mainstream climate risk considerations in their projects – from the planning & designing phase to implementation. This way, they can operationalize much needed evidence-based adaptation action”, says Osana.

The CRISP tool provides a robust framework for a climate risk assessment, including the identification of the drivers and their cause-effect-relationships. By pulling together information from a vast number of publications that have analysed climatic data, crop suitability models, and socio-economic factors, CRISP enables you to identify the specific climate hazards that pose the greatest risk to your projects or regions. It reveals the impacts on the agricultural and food sector and assesses the vulnerability of these systems, considering exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity.

Once you have identified relevant hazards, impacts and vulnerabilities, CRISP then guides you through the review of potential adaptation strategies. The tool offers a repository of evidence-based adaptation options, ranging from crop diversification and water management techniques to climate-resilient infrastructure and early warning systems. These options are carefully curated to address specific climate impacts and vulnerabilities, ensuring that adaptation efforts are targeted and effective.

3. CRISP in use

To make it as easy for you as possible, the website offers different features like interactive impact chains in a graph and table view, which can be downloaded as a report. It also provides a user guide, tutorial videos and additional resources.

To receive hands-on guidance on using CRISP, tune in to the tune in to the webinar “The use of the CRISP Tool – Knowledge Sharing and Practical Guidance” on June 18th at 15h CEST. It is directed to practitioners and experts in development programmes from the agricultural, land use and food system arena that are interested in using CRISP in project design and implementation. After an introduction to the functionalities of the tool, the GIZ project PRORESILIENTE from Bolivia will share their experiences of successfully applying the tool.

The PRORESILIENTE programme is supporting the shift from traditional conventional agriculture to a climate-resilient agroecological system in Bolivia. Before the start of the project, the CRISP tool was used during a planning mission in May 2023 to rapidly assess climate risks at regional scale. The aim was to strengthen the knowledge base regarding climate change and to better mainstream climate action across the outputs and activities of the project. Using CRISP helped create a strong climate rationale for PRORESILIENTE. Carlos Saavedra from the project team says: “Applying CRISP was a real success. It was also a useful first step in supporting the integration of climate risk in national agricultural programmes and in supporting the implementation of the goals of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the agricultural and food sector.”

By mainstreaming climate risk into project planning and implementation, CRISP empowers you to make informed decisions, build resilience, and ensure food and nutrition security in the face of climate change. Thus, the tool contributes to transforming agricultural and food systems and helps adapting to a changing climate.

Resources and acknowledgement

Click here to access the CRISP tool and its functionalities

Click to download the factsheet “Applying the CRISP tool in Bolivia and Zambia: Identifying climate risks and adaptation options in agricultural and food system projects

 The CRISP tool was developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in collaboration with the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and Eurac Research.



Share your thoughts with us