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Restoration of Overgrazed Páramo Grasslands for Hydrological Benefits

Quito, Ecuador (00°30′ S, 78°10′ W)








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    The Kyrgyz Republic is a mountainous country located in Central Asia. Mountaintops are covered with snow and glaciers which play a crucial role in the streamflow regimes of the main river systems of the region. Climate change is affecting glaciation and runoff, with direct implications on freshwater supply, irrigation and hydropower potential. High altitude pastures and grasslands cover most of the country and their health is crucial for people’s lives and livelihoods. Kyrgyz mountains are also home to the largest wild walnut forests in the world, considered the centre of origin of the walnut. Unsustainable agricultural and forestry practices and climate change are the key drivers of land degradation in Kyrgyzstan.
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    Restoring degraded grassland: Orchards enrich school yards for prosperity 2024
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    The case study outlines the successful implementation of an orchard in Lomanda II Sector, Angola, as part of the ZAEC project. The initiative aimed to restore a degraded grassland, promote environmental education, and address local challenges. The orchard, covering 0.7 hectares, involved students and teachers in its establishment, featuring a drip irrigation system using recycled PET bottles. The project trained 390 students (172 female) and 10 teachers, transforming the school into a hands-on learning space. The orchard not only contributes to environmental conservation but also provides educational and economic benefits to the community, showcasing the power of collective actions in restoring ecosystems and finding sustainable solutions. Students and the school director express their appreciation for the positive impact of the project on education, environmental awareness, and community empowerment.
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    In Bhutan, mountainous terrain limits agricultural land to just over three percent of the country, of which paddy cultivated area comprises 23 000 hectares, and is farmed by 28 000 households. There are three distinct rice ecosystems in the country, which are defined by three altitudes: low, mid and high. Rice yield is dependent on altitude, with the highest yields being produced in the high-altitude areas. However, as the altitude grows steeper, the terrain gets rougher; and most paddy fields are on narrowly terraced slopes. This limits farm mechanization, and the construction of irrigation infrastructures is costly. There is potential for increasing yield in low altitudes, with a more stable irrigation system and drought-tolerant rainfed rice varieties. Against this background, the project aimed to support development in the different agro-ecological zones (AEZs), to contribute to the Government's goal of achieving a higher level of rice self-sufficiency, through increased rice productivity and production.

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