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Pastoralism in Africa’s drylands

Reducing risks, addressing vulnerability and enhancing resilience












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    Project
    Emergency Assistance to Restore and Improve Food and Nutrition Security of the Disaster-Affected Households in North, South and West Darfur States - TCP/SUD/3704 2021
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    Protracted displacement in Darfur has disrupted traditional agricultural based livelihood activities and eroded community capacity to withstand shocks Despite relative peace and stability in Darfur in recent years, around 1 6 million displaced people continue to live in camps and rural gatherings, according to data released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Sudan in 2018 In addition, according to the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan ( more than two million people in Darfur are food insecure The capacity of resident communities to host displaced people in the conflict affected areas, whether sedentary rural farmers or nomadic pastoralists, has been undermined In addition, low crop productivity associated with the lack of certified seeds and variable rainfall has forced many farmers to engage in shifting cultivation, encroaching on grazing routes and sites Vulnerable people among internally displaced persons ( returnees and hosting communities are increasingly vulnerable because of their reduced access to agricultural inputs and water, as well as a chronic shortage of basic services The conflict has also impacted pastoral traditional mobility and access to grazing and water resources for livestock, giving rise to resource based competition and tension between farmers and pastoralists.
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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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    Book (stand-alone)
    Twin peaks: the seasonality of acute malnutrition, conflict and environmental factors - Chad, South Sudan and the Sudan
    sep/19
    2019
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    To better understand the resilience and vulnerability of the populations in Chad, the Sudan and South Sudan, the Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University has drawn on available secondary data on nutrition, environmental factors (rainfall, temperature and vegetation), conflict and emergency events, together with primary qualitative findings from eastern Chad and western Sudan, prioritizing community perspectives. The report findings underscore the importance of environmental variability and the persistence of climate, conflict and other shocks in relation to livelihood resilience and transformation over time. The findings also challenge long-standing assumptions about the seasonality of malnutrition and present new findings on livelihoods in countries struggling with or seeking to recover from climate, conflict and other disasters. Many humanitarian programmes have been in continuous operation in eastern Chad, Darfur and Bahr el Ghazal for over two decades. From a community perspective, the past 50 years have been a series of multiple and overlapping hazardous events, many persisting for years, exacerbating their impact and eroding resilience. At the same time, the region is characterized by environmental variability, including rainfall variability (spatially as well as seasonally, and over years) and ecological diversity. Farming and pastoralist livelihood systems characteristic of the region have co-evolved in response to this environmental variability and have adapted to manage delayed rains and drier spells. However, the long history and protracted nature of many shocks, combined with wider trends, have contributed to pivotal changes and to transformations of these livelihoods, although the dryland farming and pastoralist systems remain central to local livelihoods and the economy. The role of seasonality is further reflected in the observed patterns of different types of conflict. Our data reveal that the region has continued to suffer from high rates of acute malnutrition over the past 25 years, with seasonal peaks regularly exceeding the emergency threshold of 15 percent. Furthermore, contrary to the assumption that in a unimodal rainfall system the peak of acute malnutrition occurs at the end of the lean season, when food insecurity is at its peak, our data show that there are two peaks of acute malnutrition. The first and larger peak occurs at the end of the dry season. It is followed by a slight improvement in acute malnutrition and then a secondary but smaller peak after the lean season. Drawing on the qualitative community perspectives, our analysis points to the seasonality of livelihood systems linked with environmental variability as the crucial determinants of the twin peaks, through its effects on food security, care and health. The analysis also provides insights into the seasonality of different types of conflict, part of which is also related to seasonality of livelihood activities. The findings from this study have direct implications for household recovery, resilience and nutrition, and raise specific considerations for data collection, future research, programming and policy.

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