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Proceedings of the virtual event Geospatial for sustainable agriculture and urban development

15/sep/22









FAO. 2022. Proceedings of the virtual event Geospatial for sustainable agriculture and urban development. 15 September 2022. Rome.




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    Booklet
    A framework for monitoring geospatial indicators of the Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture project 2024
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    The Gambia, home to 2.5 million people, is grappling with challenges such as food insecurity, migration, and a significant poverty rate of 62 percent. Despite the heavy reliance on agriculture for employment, its modest contribution to the GDP does not significantly alleviate poverty. To address these issues, the Gambia's government, with IFAD's support, launched the ROOTS project, aiming to enhance agricultural productivity through strategic investments and collaborative efforts.This publication delves into the synergy between agricultural advancement and the ROOTS initiative, focusing on its pioneering use of spatial monitoring. It showcases the development of a geospatial platform that plays a pivotal role in gathering and analyzing critical data like land use, soil quality, and weather patterns. This tool offers vital real-time, location-specific information that is essential for informed decision-making, efficient use of resources, and strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers. The platform encompasses six key elements: rice production, vegetable gardening, mangroves, forestry, agroforestry, and infrastructure development.Furthermore, the publication underscores the involvement of the FAO, which has been instrumental in enhancing technical capabilities in geospatial technology. The FAO's contributions include generating key indicators for the project components, beginning with an updated land cover map for The Gambia. This map is part of a newly developed National Land Cover Reference System (NLCRS), which provides a standardized method for classifying land cover in accordance with international norms. The NLCRS offers local stakeholders valuable, sustainable tools for effective land monitoring, planning, and management.
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    Booklet
    Climate-Smart Agriculture in Seychelles 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. Seychelles is a small island state in the western Indian Ocean, which has developed a high-income economy and eliminated extreme poverty. Agriculture contributes about 2.2% of the country’s gross domestic product with tourism and the fisheries and seafood industries serving as the main pillars of the economy. Agricultural land occupies about 3.4% of the total land area of the country. A large portion of the land area (88.4%) is covered by forest mainly natural and established plantations for commercial purposes. Seychelles is divided into two large agro-climatic zones based on biophysical characteristics- mountainous/forest zone high ground and coastal plateau. In terms of agriculture, two agroecological zones can be distinguished mainly based on soil: upland and sandy soil. Main cropping systems includes food crop-based systems and perennial crop-based systems. Livestock production include goat, pig and chicken. Most crop production is under rainfed or irrigation system. Most farms are under 2 ha with backyard farming done to supplement household food or income. The main crops and products include coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, sweet potato, cassava, banana and tuna. Seychelles has the highest rate of overweight and obesity in Africa due to the shift from predominantly unprocessed traditional foods to a more westernised dietary intake consisting mainly of refined and processed foods. most greenhouse gas (GHG) emission come from the energy sector, followed by waste and agriculture which contributes 0.79% of the total. Seychelles has outlined in its nationally determined contributions mitigation actions in the forestry, energy and transport, and waste sectors. In agriculture, actions to mitigate climate change include: promotion of agricultural practises such as agroforestry which would involve mainstreaming strategies to limit deforestation and increase the sink capacity of forests. Challenges for the agricultural sector include (i) deforestation and unsuccessful intensification, (ii) uncontrolled urbanisation, land clearing, bush fires and population pressure, and (iii) high reliance on food imports. Agriculture in Seychelles is limited by a lack of arable land and extreme rainfall patterns and meteorological events like tropical storms, floods and droughts. Climate change poses serious challenges to the country such as uncontrolled economic and social consequences of floods, land degradation, sea-level rise, coastal erosion, declining agricultural yields, health vulnerability, and increased occurrence of drought. 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: crop production under shade houses, inter cropping, use of organic manure and mulch, use of weather information, water control through irrigation, anti-erosion arrangement, windbreak and shelter, and use of climate-adapted seeds. Seychelles has several key institutions and policies aimed at supporting and increasing agriculture productivity and advancing CSA practises. These include government ministries and agency structures of ministries, firms operating in the agricultural sector, academic institutions, specialised laboratories and agricultural research institutes and training centres. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) serving as the country’s UNFCCC focal point and nationally designated authority to the Green Climate Fund is responsible for country’s climate change plans and policies. On the agriculture front the ministry of agriculture and fisheries is the key government institution for partnerships for climate-smart agriculture work in the communities as well as for policy and investment related issues through the national agricultural investment plan. A number of csa-related policies and strategies have been developed: National Programme on climate change strategy, national strategy for disaster risk management, national biodiversity strategy and action plan and the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into the country’s strategic plan- a definitive document intended to guide land-use management up to the year 2040. A number of projects that foster the development of knowledge and evidence on the effectiveness of climate smart agriculture in improving food security, mitigating climate change and improving the adaptive capacities of production systems and populations in Seychelles have received support from various donors and financing schemes. In addition, AfDB, COMESA, FAO, EU, IFAD, etc. have invested hugely in several aspects of the climate/agricultural sector of Seychelles which also include the development and promotion of csa innovations. From various sources of climate finance available internationally, Seychelles is currently eligible for only a limited number of these and has not wholly accessed major funding instruments such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund. The county is a small island nation whose prospects rely heavily on external demand, especially tourism. This poses major challenges for diversification and resilience. Its commitment to csa is relatively new with limited institutions and sources of funding.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Sustainable management of Miombo woodlands
    Food security, nutrition and wood energy
    2018
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    The Miombo woodland is a vast African dryland forest ecosystem covering close to 2.7 million km2 across southern Africa (Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The woodlands are characterized by the dominance of Brachystegia species, either alone or in association with Julbernardia and Isoberlinia species. It is estimated that the woodlands – through their numerous goods and services which include various non-wood forest products (NWFPs) (e.g. insects, mushrooms, fruits, tubers, medicine, fodder, honey, seeds) and woodfuels, which, for simplicity, will be referred to as non-timber forest products, or NTFPs, throughout the publication – sustain the livelihoods of more than 100 million rural poor and 50 million urban people. The charcoal sector alone employs vast numbers of rural people and offers additional income to many poor rural families. Communities moreover rely directly on the woodlands for food and nutrition. NWFPs add vital micro- and macronutrients to local diets and contribute to diversified food systems, while woodfuel is essential for cooking and sterilizing, thus ensuring proper nutrient absorption and providing clean water for drinking. Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. Generally speaking, it is now accepted that forests managed for both timber and NTFPs retain more biodiversity and resilience than forests managed solely for one aspect, e.g. timber and exotic timber plantations. However, a growing population in high need of agricultural land and unsustainable use and overharvesting of natural resources in parts of the Miombo woodlands, combined with climate change impacts (e.g. drought, fires), leave insufficient time for many trees and associated species to regenerate naturally, posing a serious threat to the products and services of the woodlands, and to the livelihoods depending on them. Compounding the problem and hindering development of the Miombo ecosystem, are: i) lack of an enabling policy environment; ii) unsustainable management; iii) limited willingness and ability to pay for and access to energy-efficiency technologies; iv) inadequate awareness and information, including technical capacity; v) high poverty levels; and vi) limited access to microcredit facilities. With the Committee on World Food Security’s endorsement of the recommendations presented in the High Level Panel of Experts Report on Sustainable Forestry for Food Security and Nutrition in late 2017 – which include promoting multifunctional landscapes, integrated food-forestry systems, and research on associated linkages, among other things – forests and trees are expected to play a greater role in future land-use decisions and related policies. This paper provides an overview of these linkages in the context of the Miombo woodlands, in the hope that future land use, policy decisions and financial investments are shaped to support the contributions of forests and trees to the health and livelihoods of communities in the ecoregion. The following key messages were formulated: • Forests and trees, if managed sustainably, are an important source of resilience for rural people in the Miombo woodlands, supporting households to absorb and recover from climatic or economic calamities and contributing to resolving the underlying causes of food insecurity, undernutrition and poverty by providing nutritious edible products and woodfuel for cooking in addition to conserving biodiversity and water resources, buffering extreme weather conditions and preventing land degradation and desertification. • Current data bases referring to the value of the Miombo must be analysed and used as evidence to improve policy-making. • Miombo woodlands may be dominant (spatially), but they have not been addressed as a single unit but as part of the region’s forests. They form part of the overall forestry strategies and no specific mention in the conventions does not suggest that their importance is underplayed. • The management of Miombo will require some changes in management structures, especially in providing benefits emerging from trade in forest products to local managers. • Local forest managers should play a greater role in allocating resources for feedstock for charcoal production.

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