Guam Climate Smart Agriculture

Climate Smart Agriculture
in Guam

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an integrative approach developed by the FAO aimed at helping guide actions to reorient agricultural systems to ensure food security and effectively support sustainable communities and livelihoods in a changing climate. It is not a new technique, it is an approached used to identify food production systems and strategies. CSA is based on three main objectives:
  • Sustaining and increasing agricultural productivity to support equitable increases in food security, farm incomes, and sustainable communities and livelihoods;
  • Adapting and building resilience of agriculture and food security systems to climate change at multiple levels;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture (including crops, livestock and fisheries).
Drought and Beetles post the greatest risks in Guam. Increased sea and air temperatures amplified by ENSO can lead to extreme weather variability in rainfall patterns, which can lead to a greater potential for drought. Increased temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns will cause stress to native Pacific Island plants and animals, and threaten the control of pests, weeds and disease invasions.
Download the Climate Smart Agriculture Fact Sheet!


Drought Challenges:

  • Declining and less consistent yields of rain-fed crops
  • Declining quality of high-value fruit and vegetable crops
  • Drying up of food crops such as taro, breadfruit, banana, and coconut drying up due to lack of ground and surface water
  • High cost of adjusting to irrigated crops

Drought Responses:

  • Use drought-tolerated crop varieties, or plants bred for drier conditions, such as tapioca
  • Increase irrigation capacity and water use efficiency
  • Shift planting, pruning or harvesting dates in response to climate forecasts.
  • Avoid planting during dry periods
  • Use seasonal and multiyear weather and climate forecasting to guide planning

Invasive Pests, Weeds, and Diseases

Pest Challenges:

  • Increasing temperatures in low rainfall areas will lead to longer growing seasons can increase insect generation
  • Warmer weather and increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide can increase weed growth over crop plants
  • Increasing temperatures in Hawaii can cause upward migration of mosquito-borne diseases that are killing native forest birds.

Pest Responses:

  • Improved rapid response plans and regional monitoring efforts for targeted control of new weeds and pests
  • Enhance monitoring and implementation of integrated pest management to help balance pest and weed control and reduce economic, environmental and health related costs of increased chemical application
  • Integrated crop management (cultural and biological control)

Farmer Spotlight: Bernard Watson

Sustainable Agriculture

Local Chamarro farmer, Bernard Watson, uses climate smart agriculture strategies by developing extreme weather resistant banana trees. His dwarf banana variety adapts to high winds and storms that are exacerbated by climate change. His farm also uses recycled paper as mulch to increase moisture retention in the soil. Baskets of local crops are taken from his farm to the market.

On-Going Projects at University of Guam

University of Guam

University of Guam Agricultural Research Stations

Did you know that the University of Guam’s Cooperative Extension and Outreach program is testing out climate-smart agricultural techniques such as growing hydroponic lettuce and organic waste composting at their research station in Yigo and they are sharing this information with local farmers in Guam?
The University of Guam has various research stations that are currently conducting field experiments to ensure food supply and support of natural resources on Guam.
Ija Research Station: horticulture, soil science and plant pathology
Inarajan Research Station: improving tropical agriculture techniques
Yigo Research Station: organic waste composting

Video: Stories from various farmers and scientists

(4:39) In this video, a variety of farmers and scientists talk about challenges due to climate change.

Video: Climate Threats in Guam

(2:44) Dr. Romina King discusses climate change in Guam and the growing threats on Guam's resources.

Video: Challenges for Farmers in Guam

(18:53) In this video, Kristine Camacho-Faron and John Seguerra talk about the challenges farmers and their crops face during increasing extreme climate change such as drought.

Video: Soil Health

(29:42) In this video, Professor Mohammed talks about soil health in Guam and how to improve it.

Talofofo Bay

Video Clip: Talofofo Bay

(0:20) A short clip of Talofofo Bay in Guam, a sea wall built with stones to prevent further erosion from sea level rise (no audio).

Contact Us!

Do you know of an on-going project or anyone in your community who is fighting climate change by incorporating climate smart agriculture into their farm or research? Contact Clay ([email protected]) or Patricia ([email protected]) about it.