New publication: Toolkit for the indicators of resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes

Toolkit for Indicators of Resilience

Toolkit for the Indicators of Resilience

This toolkit, available on the Bioversity International website provides practical guidance for making use of the “Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS)” in the field. The indicators are a tool for engaging local communities in adaptive management of the landscapes and seascapes in which they live. By using the tested methods presented in this toolkit, communities can increase their capacity to respond to social, economic, and environmental pressures and shocks, to improve their environmental and economic conditions, thus increasing the social and ecological resilience of their landscapes and seascapes, and ultimately make progress towards realizing a society in harmony with nature.

The approach presented here is centred on holding participatory “assessment workshops”. These involve discussion and a scoring process for the set of twenty indicators designed to capture communities’ perceptions of factors affecting the resilience of their landscapes and seascapes. The participants in these workshops are members of the local community and stakeholders in the local area. Their participation allows them to evaluate current conditions across the landscape and identify and reach agreement on priority actions, contributing to enhanced communication among stakeholders and empowered local communities. Workshops may be planned and implemented by people from within or outside the community. The guidance provided in this toolkit is primarily intended for organizers and facilitators of resilience assessment workshops.

Read our previous post on the co-management of pastoral lands in Mongolia.  Mongolia was one of the case study countries in which the toolkit was tested and refined. This work was coordinated by Dr H. Ykhanbai and Ronnie Vernooy..

Supporting international efforts to pool and conserve crop genetic resources in times of radical legal change

Intellectual Property Rights - Legal and Economic challenges for Development. Oxford University Press

Intellectual Property Rights – Legal and Economic Challenges for Development

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and the editors of Intellectual Property Rights – Legal and Economic Challenges for Development, published by Oxford University Press, said that it is urgent that the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is fully implemented. They endorse the analysis of Michael Halewood in his chapter ‘International efforts to pool and conserve crop genetic resources in times of radical legal change.  Read more on the Bioversity website.

New publication: Climate-smart technologies in Rakai Uganda

The role of networks in diffusion and uptake of climate-smart technologies in Rakai, Uganda. Report of project initiation workshops, 5-9 May 2014.

The role of networks in diffusion and uptake of climate-smart technologies in Rakai, Uganda. Report of project initiation workshops, 5-9 May 2014.

The role of networks in diffusion and uptake of climate-smart technologies in Rakai, Uganda. Report of project initiation workshops, 5-9 May 2014.

This report summarizes the first steps of a project to analyze the role of networks in the diffusion and uptake of climate-smart technologies in Rakai, Uganda. The activity is part of the Policy Action for Climate Change Adaptation (PACCA) project funded by Climate Change for Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). We held two workshops. The first was a participatory assessment with farmers in Rakai to understand their perceptions of climate change and resilience of their landscapes, using “indicators of resilience in socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs)”. The second was a workshop to develop the project work plan and tools, including a forthcoming smallholder farmers survey on networks, technologies and practices to better understand how farmers in Rakai communicate and exchange knowledge about farming practices.

The publication is now available from Bioversity International.  Presentations made at the planning meeting are available here: Caroline Mwongera Trade Off Analysis; Edidah Ampaire CCAFS PACCA_Policy Initiative; Eliezer Moses CCAFS in Tanzanzia; Michael Halewood PACCA Policy Network Survey; Geoffrey Lubinga State of the environment in Rakai district

Positioning genetic resources for food and agriculture in the climate change agenda

 

by Linda Collette, Secretary, Commission on Genetic Resources for  Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)

Genetic resources for food and agriculture play a crucial role in food security, nutrition and livelihoods and in the provision of environmental services. They are key components of sustainability, resilience and adaptability in production systems. They underpin the ability of crops, livestock, aquatic organisms and forest trees to withstand a range of harsh conditions. Thanks to their genetic diversity plants, animals and micro-organisms adapt and survive when their environments change. Climate change poses new challenges to the management of the world’s genetic resources for food and agriculture, but it also underlines their importance.

Given the importance of the issues, FAO prepared, at the request of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, thematic studies on the interactions between climate change and plant, animal, forest, aquatic, invertebrate and micro-organism genetic resources (available at www.fao.org/nr/cgrfa/cross-sectorial/climate-change/en/). The results of these studies are summarized in the forthcoming book entitled: “Coping with climate change – the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture”. The book will be launched in January and available at www.fao.org/nr/cgrfa.

After a brief overview of the main international processes relevant to climate change, the book presents six sections dealing with the various sectors of genetic resources for food and agriculture. Each section addresses two key questions: 1) What are the possible effects of climate change on genetic resources for food and agriculture and how does it influence their management? 2) What are the specific roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture in coping with climate change? The book ends with a discussion of conclusions and opportunities identified.

This book aims to raise awareness of the important roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture in coping with climate change and to contribute to the mainstreaming of genetic resources for food and agriculture into climate change adaptation and mitigation planning at national and international levels.

For more information please contact, Linda Collette, Secretary of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)  at cgrfa@fao.org

Community seed banks and the International Year of Family Farming 2014

2014 is the International Year of Family Farming. Around the world, events are organized to celebrate this special year. In a recent blog, Pitambar Shrestha, Programme Officer of LI-BIRD based in Nawalparasi, described how one such event,  “Planet Nepal 3,” was recently held in Kathmandu, Nepal. Among the many things to visit -art exhibition, acrobatic show, concert, films, farmers’ market-, LI-BIRD put up a community seed bank stall.The stall exhibited 365 local varieties, including 162 of rice, among which the famous Jumli Marshi rice from Jumla. Read the full story at: http://www.libird.org/app/news/view.aspx?record_id=18

New article about community seed banks

Pitambar Shrestha, Gea Galluzzi, Bhuwon Sthapit and Ronnie Vernooy recently published an article about the multiple functions and services of community seed banks, based on a study of community seed banks around the world. You can download the article freely from the journal Resources.

Vernooy, R.; Sthapit, B.; Galluzzi, G.; Shrestha, P. 2014. The multiple functions and services of community seed banks. Resources. Resources 3, 636-656. Available from: http://www.mdpi.com/2079-9276/3/4/636

New book – Indigenous Peoples, Customary Law and Human Rights – Why Living Law Matters

This highly original work by Brendan Tobin (Law School, Griffith University, Australia) demonstrates the fundamental role of customary law for the realization of Indigenous peoples’ human rights and for sound national and international legal governance. The book reviews the legal status of customary law and its relationship with positive and natural law from the time of Plato up to the present. It examines its growing recognition in constitutional and international law and its dependence on and at times strained relationship with human rights law.  Published August 2014 by Routledge as part of Series: Routledge Studies in Law and Sustainable Development

Read more on the Routledge site.

CISDL study on access and benefit sharing measures

The Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) has published the Third Edition of Overview of National and Regional Measures on ABS: Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing the Nagoya Protocol.  It provides a near comprehensive overview of ABS measures around the globe prior to the entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol, as well as an assessment of forthcoming challenges.

Crop diversification strategies for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Presenting group work during workshop in Lao. Credit: Bioversity International/RVernooy

Presenting group work during workshop in Lao. Credit: Bioversity International/RVernooy

Ronnie Vernooy, Bioversity International and Vongvilay Vongkhamsao, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute of Laos write about crop diversification strategies for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, following a workshop held in Vientiane, Lao PDR, 2-3 October 2014.

The governments of Cambodia and Lao PDR have made strong commitments to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation into their national and sectorial development policies and action plans. Vietnam has also started to address climate change adaptation at national and sub-national levels.

Governments in all three countries have identified a series of agriculture-based interventions as priorities to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers, most notably, crop diversification. How to practically implement effective policy measures that benefit smallholder farmers, however, remains a challenge. Research could help develop a number of pilot experiences at sub-national scale to test and assess promising measures.

Continue reading on the Bioversity website.

 

Côte d’Ivoire : les avances d’un avant-projet de loi

LES REGLES D’ACCES AUX RESSOURCES GENETIQUES ET DROITS DES COMMUNAUTES LOCALES EN VUE DE LA MISE EN PLACE DU CADRE JURIDIQUE ET INSTITUTIONNEL RELATIF AU SYSTEME MULTILATERAL

par Edmond Koffi et Ronnie Vernooy

Du 25 au 26 septembre 2014 s’est tenu, à l’Etoile du Sud, à Grand-Bassam (République de Côte d’Ivoire), un atelier sur la validation de l’avant-projet de loi relatif aux règles d’accès aux ressources génétiques et droits des communautés locales en vue de la mise en place du cadre juridique et institutionnel relatif au système multilatéral, dans le cadre du projet de renforcement des capacités nationales pour la mise en œuvre du traité international sur les ressources génétiques pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture et de son système multilatéral d’accès et de partage des bénéfices. L’atelier a réuni 34 participants représentants des Départements ministériels, de Bioversity International, de la Commission Recherche, Science, Technologie et Environnement de l’Assemblée Nationale, du Secrétariat Général du Gouvernement, d’autorités administratives et coutumières locales, des Centres de recherche, des Universités et des Organisations professionnelles agricoles.

Les participants. Photo:  Mr ADOU Kadio Jean Louis

Les participants. Photo: Mr ADOU Kadio Jean Louis

L’objectif de l’atelier était, d’une part, de permettre aux décideurs représentant les différentes parties prenantes institutionnelles et techniques concernées par la question des ressources génétiques, de s’approprier et de valider l’avant projet de loi portant sur les règles d’accès aux ressources génétiques et droits des communautés locales, et, d’autre part, de doter la Côte d’Ivoire d’une loi unique qui prend à la fois en compte les exigences du Protocole de Nagoya et celles du Système Multilatéral du TIRPAA. Continue reading

Co-management: overcoming the tragedy of the commons

Co-management meeting in Mongolia. Credit: Bioversity International/R.Vernooy

Co-management meeting in Mongolia. Credit: Bioversity International/R.Vernooy

Ronnie Vernooy writes about the co-management of pastoral lands in Mongolia, as a guest author on the Agriculture and Ecosystems Blog of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems.

Mongolian herders are maintaining the centuries old practice of moving from season to season to find new grasslands for their livestock, the primary source of their nomadic livelihood. Right now it is time to move to their winter camps and enter the most critical period of the year – the months of extremely cold weather.

The challenges of managing the risks that Mongolian nomadic pastoralists face are numerous and complex. Their livelihoods depend on a combination of individually owned livestock and collectively managed grasslands and other natural resources (water, wildlife and forest resources in particular) which remain State owned. Co-management, practiced in Mongolia for about 15 years, is a novel approach to deal with these challenges. Insights gained from the Mongolian co-management experience might be useful for other regions facing similar conditions.

Continue reading on the Agriculture and Ecosystems blog