Integrating urban agriculture and forestry in the climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of cities.

The RUAF Foundation supports the integration of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry in the UN-HABITAT Cities and Climate Change Initiative, and in local and provincial city climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and programmes in Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), Kesbewa / Western Province (Sri Lanka) and Kathmandu (Nepal).

Duration: 2 years
Funding: UN Habitat and partners

Project partners: RUAF Foundation (coordination, the Netherlands), Ministry of Western Province (Sri Lanka), Janathakshan (Sri Lanka), University of Moratuwa and the University of  Colombo (Sri Lanka), The International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka), Kathmandu Metropolitan City (Nepal), Environment and Public Health Organisation (ENPHO, Nepal), The Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET, Nepal), Municipality of Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), l’Institut d'Application et de Vulgarisation en Science (IAVS, Burkina Faso) and Centro de Estudios Territoriales, National University of Rosario (Argentina).


  • Review and analysis of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture and Forestry (UPAF) existing experiences, land use, policy frameworks, urban food flows and local climate change vulnerability  in 3 cities (Kesbewa, Sri Lanka; Kathmandu, Nepal; Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso)
  • Assessment and design of different replicable models of urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry with high potential climate change adaptation and mitigation impacts 
  • Training of key partners in urban agriculture and climate change, in project planning, research, policy influencing and formulation, project design and impact monitoring
  • Organisation of policy awareness seminars
  • Assistance to the project partners in the 3 cities in the implementation of  demonstration projects that “showcase” replicable UPAF models; facilitation of “learning in/from practice”
  • Support to policy formulation and uptake
  • Systematisation of the experiences gained; publication and dissemination of the project results
  • Design of an impact monitoring framework and assistance to the project partners in monitoring the contributions of UPAF to climate change adaptation and mitigation and developmental co-benefits (see also: Monitoring the impacts of urban agriculture on climate change adaptation and mitigation in cities)

Results obtained:

  • Capacities of the local project partners have been enhanced regarding design, implementation and monitoring of UPAF projects in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes.
  • Urban agriculture pilot models contributing to climate change adaptation have been implemented in three partner cities:
  1. Kesbewa, Sri Lanka (rehabilitation of rice fields and space intensive home-gardening)
  2. Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso (multifunctional agroforestry land use on urban greenways and management of peri-urban forest border zones)
  3. Kathmandu, Nepal (productive rooftop gardening).
  • (Draft) policies have been developed in the three partner cities with views to further integrate, institutionalise and upscale UPAF into city and provincial climate change mitigation and adaptation plans as well as urban development and land use plans. These include:
  1. Kesbewa, Sri Lanka (1) The Western Province has developed a Provincial Climate Change Action Plan 2015-2018, promoting the expansion of urban and peri-urban agriculture and agroforestry; the management of paddy lands as a flood risk reduction strategy and the reduction of food miles; (2) The new UPAF model for low lying flood zones and paddy lands has been taken up in recent circulars under the national Agrarian Policy and (3) The draft Kesbewa Urban Development Plan now seeks to integrate UPAF in its environmental protection zones.
  2. Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso: Three policy texts on the management and use of the greenways have been developed and adopted by the Environmental Commission of the Commune de Bobo Dioulasso
  3. Kathmandu, Nepal: A draft rooftop garden policy has been formulated and put forward to KMC for formal approval; funding for expansion of the programme has been included in the 2014 municipal budget
  • Local, national and international awareness and knowledge on the potential contribution of UPAF to climate change adaptation and mitigation has been enhanced.
  • A wide variety of local and international information and knowledge materials have been developed and disseminated.


Kathmandu, Nepal:

Kesbewa, Sri Lanka

​​Bobo Dioulasso: