Yohannes GebreMichael: Participatory climate-change adaptation building on local innovationPresentation Transcript
Participatory climate-change adaptation building on local innovation Yohannes G/Michael & Ann Waters-Bayer
Facing the reality of climate change
Weather extremes will occur more frequently
Rising temperatures will favour agents of tropical diseases.
Agricultural production could decline by 50% by 2020.
By 2025, about 480 million people in Africa could be living in water-stressed areas.
Many African crop farmers will be shifting to livestock-keeping
Natural phenomenon is non liner and less predictable
Living with climatic variability
Climatic variability is not a new phenomenon in Ethiopia
From 1540 to 1800 AD, 26 major droughts and famines were recorded.
The “great Ethiopian famine” happened in the period 1889–92.
Pastoralist had been the victims and have developed mechanisms to cope with high climate variability.
Thus, they were practising adaptation long before the concept of “climate change” emerged
Pastoralists’ adaptation to climate variability
Pastoralists’ livelihoods primarily based on livestock that graze natural pasture.
Globally, it is assumed that up to 200 million people are pastoralists.
In Africa, it is assumed to be up to 40 million people
In Ethiopia, up to 15 million and using more than 60% of the territory.
Mobility is one of the most successful strategies used by most pastoralists.
Mobility has multiple functions including:
- gaining access to water and pasture
- avoiding pests and diseases
- avoiding conflicts and risks of livestock raiding
- conserving biodiversity
Pastoralists keep different animals in order to:
- reduce risks and improve overall productivity
- obtain food, means of transport and income from marketing
- exploit different ecological niches
Similarly, vegetation in the drylands has many purposes, such as: pasture, bee forage, materials for tools, medicinal plants, materials for rituals, wild fruits, fuelwood and early-warning indicators of impending drought
General attributes of viable pastoral production systems are: flexibility, dynamism, multi-functionality, complementarity and reciprocity in resource use
The paradox: productive and adaptable yet vulnerable pastoralists
Traditional pastoral systems can produce up to ten times more food per unit area than can modern ranching.
In Ethiopia, pastoralists keep about three-quarters of all goats in the country, one quarter of the sheep, 20% of the cattle and all of the camels.
The livestock sector ranks second after coffee in generating foreign exchange for Ethiopia: up to US$ 50 million per annum.
Many policymakers in Ethiopia have a vision to settle the pastoralists, considering them to be backward, primitive and a cause of poverty and land degradation.
Many of the prime areas used by pastoralists for dry-season grazing are allocated for government farms, private investors and national parks.
This increasing marginalisation is making pastoralists more vulnerable to the effects of droughts and climate change.
Moreover, insufficient attention is given to the deep-rooted knowledge and adaptation practices of pastoralists and their customary institutions for dealing with land-management issues.
Determinants of pastoralists’ vulnerability to climate change
Change in responsibility for herd management
Livestock species kept
Strength of customary socio-political institutions
Geographical location of resource exploitation
Particular emphasis by pastoralists on the degree of good governance in customary institutions
Why look at local innovation?
Recognising local innovativeness leads to more equal partnership in R&D
Local innovations are sources of valuable new knowledge based on deep-rooted experience
Stimulates appropriate and pro-poor adaptation
An entry point that increases self-confidence and motivation to adapt
Greater likelihood of sustainability
P ROLINNOVA : P RO moting Local I NNOVA tion in ecologically oriented agriculture and NRM
Global learning network
Functional since 2003
Members include more than 150 organisations of multiple stakeholders (state and non-state)
Currently, 18 countries involved
A world in which women and men farmers play decisive
roles in research and development for sustainable livelihoods
To foster a culture of mutual learning and synergy in local
innovation process in agriculture and NRM
To develop and institutionalise partnerships and methods that
promote processes of local innovation for ecologically sound use of
Approach and concepts in study on local innovation and climate change
P ROLINNOVA initiated an exploratory study with funds made available by the Netherlands (DGIS).
In 2008, some P ROLINNOVA partners in Ethiopia, Nepal and Niger started studies on local innovation in the face of climate change.
This paper is based on results in Ethiopia from s emi-structured interviews and discussions with different stakeholders, both individuals and focus groups in Afar, Somali and S.Omo
Approach and concepts…(2)
Discovery of new and better ways of doing things
Not something inherited but could be building on existing technology / practice
Could also involve modification of introduced technologies
Every pastoralist has to be an innovator to some degree.
Approach and concepts…(3)
A continuous learning process
A response to actual or expected risks
Integrates mitigation in its process
Can be spontaneous or planned
Can involve technological or institutional/ management change or process
Can arise from a challenge or an opportunity
Challenges in understanding local innovation
Difficulties in separating climate-change impacts from other pressures on pastoral systems
Distinguishing between indigenous practices and local innovation
Recognising small but possibly important changes
Keeping a longer-term perspective
Keeping pace with fast change
Some of the pastoralists contacted
Pastoralists’ emerging responses to climate change
Developing their own cut and carry feeding system
Settlement around water points
Purchasing with credit
Changing herd composition
Settlement on islands in dryland lakes
Diversification of livelihood sources
Use of motor vehicles to transport water, fodder and/or animals
Use of Traditional early warning systems
Empowerment of traditional institutions
Major features of the local innovations
Wide range of different types of innovation
Multi-functionality of innovations
Diversification of livelihoods
Traditional early warning systems
Cut and carry feed from national parks
Increased rearing of small animals
Multipurpose use of trucks (water / livestock )
Prolonged flooding leads to more weeds: used as fodder followed by zero tillage
Lessons learned and the way forward
Recognising local innovativeness by pastoralists provides an entry point for a bottom-up approach to supporting climate-change adaptation, starting with local capacities and ideas.
Local innovation in adaptation to climate change needs to be assessed together with other environmental, socio-economic and policy changes .
Documentation of adaptation needed as a continuous process for a better understanding of community competence to adapt and of need for joint experimentation and policy reorientation.
The focus should be not so much on specific innovations, but rather on documenting local innovation as a process .
Recognition of pastoralist innovation could lead to more equal partnership in formal research and development activities.
Results of such joint innovation processes would have a higher likelihood of sustainability than would starting interaction with external interventions that are foreign to the pastoralists.