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Life and Nature

Strengthening the adaptive capacity and resilience of rural communities using micro-watershed approaches to climate change and variability to attain sustainable food security in Cambodia








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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Water for Life and Sustainability Water Fund Cauca Valley, Southwestern Colombia
    Case studies on Remuneration of Positive Externalities (RPE)/ Payments for Environmental Services (PES) Prepared for the Multi-stakeholder dialogue 12-13 September 2013 FAO, Rome
    2014
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    Cauca Valley is Colombia’s largest sugarcane-producing region. Irrigation demands, combined with the needs of a growing population, of around 1.2 million living in five cities, have led to increased water scarcity in the region. As in many other Andean regions, use of the upper watersheds for cattle grazing and small-plot farming has led to altered water supplies, increased erosion and landslides, diminishing water quality and created new challenges for irrigation. TNC's innovative Water Fun d aims to secure freshwater supply by compensating upstream farmers to conserve or restore watershed headwaters.
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    Negotiated territorial development in a multi-stakeholders participatory Resource Planning approach: an initial sustainable framework for the Near east Region 2016
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    Throughout the Near East, land and water shortages, land degradation, out of date land tenure systems and food insecurity are compounded by asymmetries in gender roles and power, by severe imbalances in the political-military structures within and between countries, by flagrant deficiencies in land and water management and control systems, and by the incessant increases in demand driven by high rates of population growth and urbanization. This interplay of forces and dynamics form a complex hydr o socio-political web that governs the allocation land and water and who benefits from their availability and their ultimate sustainability. The current allocation arrangements of the region's three major river basins - the Nile, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Jordan - are nascent sources of tension, and potential sources of conflict and violence. Political instability that characterizes the Near East continues to intensify scarcity, suppresses growth and engenders poverty and is being increasingl y exacerbated by the impending consequences of climate change. The Middle East is one of the most water poor and water stressed regions of the globe. While the region is home to 5.1% of the people of the world, it has about only 1% of the world renewable fresh water. Today's annual per capita availability of fresh water in the region is only one seventh of its 1960 level, falling from 3,300 cubic metres per person in 1960 to less than 500 cubic metres in 2015. This is the lowest per capita wat er availability in the world. The current land tenure systems are failing to address long-standing problems that include smallholder farmers, landless households and most marginalized groups such as women continue to compete for shrinking natural recourses, while pastoralists are losing control of their traditional grazing areas. Use, management and access to land and water are becoming extremely sensitive matters as the number of users grows. Governments and local actors have often perceived these major issues differently. This requires effort to be made to ensure a participatory approach to decision-making that effectively involves all the local actors concerned in an equitable and balanced manner. About 90% of the land area in this Region is subject to land degradation in different forms and over 45% of land suitable to farming is exposed to various types of land degradation which include soil nutrient depletion, salinity and wind and water erosion. Per capita arable land availa bility in the region is among the lowest in the world where many countries in the region show levels that are exceptionally low (on average less than 0.123 hectares per person) and the range varies between 0.01 hectares per person (Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Kuwait and Bahrain) to 0.34 hectares in the Sudan in 2015. Arable land as a percentage of land area in the region is very low ranging between 0.1% in Oman to 18.4% in Tunisia in 2013. Most of the countries in the region show shares below 10%. O nly Morocco, Tunisia, and Iraq sow percentages above 10%. Irrigated land areas in the region also represent a small share of total arable land areas. In many of the countries in the region these shares are way below the world average. Only Iran (17.4%) and the UAE (12.5%) show high relative shares in the period 2011-2015. The Region’s critical shortage of water and cultivable land, including the increasing pressure on these resources and their degradation makes their efficient management a pa ramount task. It will be necessary in this regard to promote the engagement of all concerned stakeholders in planning and managing land, water and agrobiodiversity. Actual physical scarcity of land and water, even in the Middle East region, is not the only key issue. Conditions of economic scarcity seem to be equally pressing; there is perhaps enough land and water to meet society's need, but there are few incentives for wise, efficient and egalitarian use of these critical resources. Climate change will impinge on this region’s fragile water balances, suitable land for cultivation, grazing land and food production capacities and will exacerbate the problems and issues of food security. Measures, policies, strategies and institutional capacities to mitigate the impending catastrophic consequences of climate change and to improve the societies’ resilience and adaptation to its consequences are needed now. The sooner the regulatory and institutional setups are put in place the easier the task to deal with climate and other risks. It is necessary and vital to rise up to this challenge by enlisting the stakeholders in the initiatives to promote sustainability and efficiency of land and water use and the management of food security issues. An active engagement of concerned stakeholders in planning and managing water, land and agrobiodiversity necessitates first and foremost the engagement of and participation of particularly women and girls and marginalized groups in all wate r and food aspects as they constitute the main agricultural labour force and the most deprived segments of society. Gender and the water and land nexus in the Arab region is an area where there is still relative little information. There is little systematic knowledge about the many means by which women and men manage water and land in the region. Evidence shows that while women in Egypt have a significant role to play in water use in the process of food production by controlling and managi ng water flows in the fields and supervising workers during irrigation, they rarely own the land they cultivate. Rural women in Yemen spend huge amounts of time collecting and transporting water, often up and down steep slopes and coordinate water allocation and distribution for the various needs of the family and the household but they are rarely involved in decision making and management councils that govern land and water uses. Women everywhere in the Middle East evaluate water quantity and q uality and prioritize water for drinking and health and sanitation purposes but they rarely share equally in the benefits of their labor or in the ownership of the land and water resources. This is why an integrated water and land management system anchored on a genuine participation of stakeholders will be crucial in determining whether the Arab world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity. Water and land are the c ommon currency which links nearly every SDG, and it will be a critical determinant of success. Abundant water supplies and cultivable land are vital for the production of food and will be essential to attaining SDG 2 on food security; clean and safe drinking water and sanitation systems are necessary for health as called for in SDGs 3 and 6; and water is needed for powering industries and creating the new jobs identified in SDGs 7 and 8. None of this is achievable without adequate and safe water and sufficient suitable land to nourish the planet’s life-sustaining ecosystem services identified in SDGs 13, 14 and 15.
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    Booklet
    Climate-Smart Agriculture in Guinea-Bissau 2019
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    The climate smart agriculture (CSA) concept reflects an ambition to improve the integration of agriculture development and climate responsiveness. It aims to achieve food security and broader development goals under a changing climate and increasing food demand. CSA initiatives sustainably increase productivity, enhance resilience, and reduce/remove greenhouse gases (GHGs), and require planning to address trade-offs and synergies between three pillars: productivity, adaptation and mitigation. The priorities of different countries and stakeholders are reflected to achieve more efficient, effective, and equitable food systems that address challenges in environment, social, and economic dimensions across productive landscapes. The country profile provides a snapshot of a developing baseline created to initiate discussion, both within countries and globally, about entry points for investing in CSA at scale. The agricultural sector is the main stay of the economy of Guinea-Bissau. In the absence of other resources, the sector despite being underdeveloped plays a leading role in supporting food security and job creation. Presently it contributes about 46% of national gross domestic product (GDP) with 84% of the population actively employed in primary production agriculture largely dominated by women. The majority of these farmer are small scale farmers farming on less than two hectare (2 ha). More than half (58%) of the total land in Guinea-Bissau is used for agriculture with area under forest heavily degraded by rapid exploitation. However, there are huge potentials for agricultural and forestry land including arable land estimated at about 1.5 million hectares. Farmers engage in the production of diverse crops and livestock such as cashew, rice (country’s staple food), sorghum, maize, etc largely cultivated by subsistence farmers. Women usually take up horticulture in the urban areas. Livestock production concentrated mainly in the north and east of the country is one of the main economic activities supporting food security and thousands of livelihoods. The country is divided into three agroecological zones based on ecological, climatic and demographic characteristics. Agriculture is mainly rainfed with very limited irrigated farming practised. About 82% of water withdrawn is used for agricultural purposes impelling a necessity for huge investments in irrigation to support agriculture production. The projected population growth and food demand is expected to have serious implications on food security with a potential to affect the agricultural sector. Despite the agro-forestry-pastoral potential and fisheries resources of Guinea-Bissau, many studies have shown that, the current food situation in the country is very precarious with poverty identified as the underlining cause. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from the agricultural sector has been identified as very high with the country indicating reforestation as the major action for mitigating GHG emissions in its nationally determined contribution (NDC). Some challenges for the agricultural sector identified include (i) growth in population and food demand, (ii) land use change and natural resource depletion, (iii) limited marketing opportunities of agricultural commodities, and (iv) climate change and variability. Guinea-Bissau has a typical hot, humid monsoon-like tropical climate with two well-defined seasons. Agriculture is exposed to the effects of climate change with the country vulnerable to droughts, floods and sea level rise. The projected changes in temperature and rainfall are expected to have substantial impact on water resources which are already limited in their capacity to provide sufficient water for the agriculture sector. CSA technologies and practises present opportunities for addressing climate change challenges as well as for economic growth and development of the agriculture sector. Identified CSA practises in use in the country include (i) use of organic manure, (ii) use of weather information, (iii) water supply through drip irrigation, (iv) anti-erosion arrangement, (v) forage/fodder production, (vi) crop rotation, and (vii) rainwater harvesting through the Zai technique. There are a number of institutions and policies aimed at supporting and increasing agriculture productivity and advancing CSA practises in Guinea-Bissau. These include government, private sector, the national institute for agrarian research and general directorate of rural engineering with each most of the institutions profiles having CSA-related activities that deliver on all three pillars of CSA. The Ministry of environment which serves as the country’s UNFCCC focal point and Nationally Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation fund, Climate Investment Fund and Global Environment Facility is responsible for the country’s climate change plans and policies. The food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations, the United Nations development programme and the international union for conservation of nature play instrumental roles in the promotion of sustainable agriculture and environmental sustainability. Most of the climate change and CSA-related funding have come from international sources with the UNDP being of great support through its signature programmes.

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