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Results of field testing the indicators for resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs)

Results of field testing the indicators for resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs)



Presentation by Nadia Bergamini from Bioversity International. ...

Presentation by Nadia Bergamini from Bioversity International.

This was presented during a seminar hosted at Bioversity International on 'The Indicators of Resilience in Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS)' in January 2014.

Find out more: http://www.bioversityinternational.org/research-portfolio/agricultural-ecosystems/landscapes/



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  • JASIL: Environment and Development Association
  • Focusgroupsare structured small group interviews used to obtain detailed information about a particular topic. It is particularly useful forexploring attitudes and feelings and to draw out precise issues that may be unknown to the researcher. Participants hear andinteract with each other and the facilitator, which yields different information than if people were interviewed individually.The purpose of focus groups is to develop a broad and deep understanding rather than a quantitative summary. The emphasisis on insights, responses and opinions.How to explain and define resilience? – The resilience can be explained by referring to therecovery after adverse events (e.g. droughts). Based on our experience in Kenya, I suggest thefollowing.• Make a timeline with major events and changes in relation to climate andenvironment (e.g. recent droughts) on a big sheet of paper.• Explain resilience (e.g. recovering after stress), and then let participants explain it intheir own words.• Explain adaptation, for example, ask them how do they cope with drought, flood,and diseases
  • However, ecosystem protection scored higher in Museve than in Kyanika, 3.3 and 2.2 respectively. This could be attributed to the difference in geographical location of the villages including distance from the Kitui town. Museve is further away from the town, in more humid highlands. In both Museve and Kyanika a concern was expressed in relation to environmental degradation and the loss of agrobiodiversity and traditional knowledge. Soil erosion, water shortage and deforestation have been identified as major problems
  • Three agroecological zones, which support diverse farming systems. The lowland area, the midlands and the highlands. In the lowlands density population is lower and cattle rearing is more common than in the highlands.Property of multiple farms usually in different micro agroecological zones. This helps enhance food security through diversification of crops grown by a single household
  • Ecosystemprotection: In Balcón, forest patches are shrinking, there are no protected areas, community lands or sacred sites; and external agricultural inputs are increasingly used. Potato expansion has resulted in the displacement of other landraces, forest patches and productive systems (livestock).In Escalón, since 2010, the inhabitants are planting introduced timber species as an attempt to “improve” the ecological situation of their community.Decrease in livestock: In Balcón, livestock breeding has been reduced because the communitarian rangelands have been privatized and used for crop production. In Escalón, there are collective lands for grazing, some of which are shared with other communities, although, as the respondents explained they do not have a significant number of cattle heads because agriculture is prioritized over livestock.Agrobiodiversity: traditional crop varieties (Andean tubers: potato, oca, papalisa and isano), Faba bean, oats, tarwi and barley, local fodder species and medicinal plants are commonly usedTK and innovation: agrobiodiversity documentation systems are lacking with respect to traditional knowledge and innovation.both communities are testing organic amendments for soil, pest and disease management and to deal with hail that appears to be one of the major weather related stresses. Farmers in Escalón show greater willingness to try new farming practices. Traditions related to agro-biodiversity in terms of rituals, festivities and bio-indicators are getting lost. In Escalón women´s traditional agro-ecological knowledge is becoming more valued and respected. In Balcón where there are no sacred spaces, communal lands nor agro-ecological festivities. While in Escalón there is communal land, a sacred site and people still give offers to the pacha mama (mother earth in Quechua language). In the upper areas in Escalón, there still exist collective lands for grazing, some of which are shared with other communities, as well as a sacred site called "San Fermino". Social equity and infrastructure:While Balcón has roads, a school, a bridge, light and some families have drinking water tube connections, Escalón only has roads. The respondents from Balcón identify more health risks associated with the pollution of water sources with agro-chemicals, solid waste and cattle dung
  • Traditionally, the seeds are moved between different altitudes (and different communities) as a part of pests and diseases management. Sowing is anticipated to June-July instead of September-OctoberThe fallow period has been reduced Simplification of crop rotation systemFarmers increasingly rely on agricultural inputs (pesticides and fertilizers). At the same time, there is a growing awareness of the benefits of organic agricultural practicesDriven by the market forces, the production of potato has increased displacing other cropsAlthough varietal richness has been decreasing, the number of traditional varieties is dynamic, showing significant variations from one year to the other
  • Ecosystem protection:The forest resources are managed well by community forest user groups with locally enforced restrictions on cutting trees and extracting rocks and mud from the forests as well as restriction on illegal poaching and hunting of wild animals. Both groups expressed that some forest fragmentation still persists. The groups were more concerned about the deteriorating condition of the lakes due to sedimentation from unplanned road construction and lamented the decline of indigenous fish populations.ABD: The status of agrobiodiversity was perceived to be in a good state. Although the Begnas group gave a higher score than Rupa,5 and 4 respectively, the discussions did not reveal great differences between the two groups. So the difference in rating stems from the Begnas group considering the current level of diversity, while the Rupa group considering whether the current agrobiodiversity management interventions are sufficient to safeguard it.
  • There are more than 200 farmers groups.Image of the pond constructed by Rupa Cooperative for indigenous fish close to breeding streams in order to improve breeding conditions and increase the fish population in the lake.Initiatives for in situ conservation of crop genetic resources that focus only on the promotion of specific crops or varieties tend to overlook the spatial and temporal dynamics of agrobiodiversity management in agricultural landscapes. Land use mosaics as well as genetic and species diversity continuously change. In order to conserve agrobiodiversity in the context of current environmental and social change, these dynamics need to be taken into consideration and harnessed in a way that strengthens adaptability and resilience. As shown in the Begnas case study, this can be achieved by strengthening and building local institutions for the sustainable management of agrobiodiversity and ecosystems.
  • The indicators should be a tool for communities to monitor changes, strengthen the sense of ownership over their resources and support community institutions
  • Experience with many fish stocks over the decades has shown that open-access management of fishery resources does not work once the fishing capacity of the fleet approaches or exceeds the ability of the stock to sustain it

Results of field testing the indicators for resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) Results of field testing the indicators for resilience of socio-ecological production landscapes (SEPLs) Presentation Transcript

  • Results of field testing the indicators of resilience in SEPLS Nadia Bergamini, Dunja Mijatovic & Pablo Eyzaguirre Rome, 29 January 2014
  • Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS) Mosaic production landscapes that have been shaped through long-term harmonious interactions between humans and nature in a manner that fosters well-being while maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services (Gu & Subramanian 2012) Photo by N. Bergamini
  • Resilience in SEPLS The three characteristics of resilience in SES (Carpenter & Brock 2008) The capacity to: i. absorb shocks and maintain function ii. self-organize and iii. learn and adapt Photo by N. Bergamini 3
  • Indicators of resilience in SEPLS Measuring community’s capacity to adapt to change while maintaining biodiversity Photo by N. Bergamini 4
  • Socio-ecological resilience indicators Bringing together communities, scientists, conservationist and other actors to strengthen communities’ capacity to adapt to change while maintaining biodiversity. Four categories comprising 20 indicators • Ecosystems protection and the maintenance of biodiversity • Agricultural biodiversity • Knowledge, learning and innovation • Social equity and infrastructure Social Ecological Developing strategies for • Conserving biodiversity at various scales (from genetic to landscape level) • Sustaining evolution and adaptation processes that maintain and generate diversity • Empowering local communities and strengthening their role as innovators and custodians of biodiversity (Participatory research tool/approach) 5
  • Socio-ecological resilience indicators Testing sites  In Cuba, Kenya, Bolivia and Nepal Further testing  Several IPSI and non partners expressed interest in testing the indicators • The Potato Park in Peru • Co-management and sustainable herding in Mongolia (JASIL) • Fiji coastal communities (NTF) 6
  • Case study sites in Cuba, Bolivia, Kenya and Nepal Figure by D. Mijatovic 7
  • Cuba case study – Cuchillas del Toa MaB reserve • One of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth • First field testing of the indicators Oct-Nov 2011 Results: • Identified areas of intervention in social infrastructures, access and sharing of information Lessons: • Fine tuning of some of the indicators’ text to improve shared understanding • Need to develop a methodology for testing 8
  • Methodology developed for Kenya, Nepal and Bolivia case studies Focus group method (a group of X participants with good gender and age balance): 1. Introduction (common understanding of “landscape” & “resilience” ) • Landscape (Indigenous map of the landscape, ABD richness and landscape components) • Resilience (Timeline, resilience & adaptation) 2. Questions • Individual answer (score and trend) Group answer (agreement on categories, consensus ) • 9
  • Characteristics of resilience in Kitui landscapes Strategies adopted - Increasing importance of - traditional drought-resistant crops (e.g. sorghum, millets) - wild plants (e.g. wild fruit trees) - introduction of modern varieties by the Min of Ag.(maize, beans, cowpea, sorghum) - the maintenance of landscape diversity (e.g. use of fields and gardens in different micro agro-ecological zones (landscape scale diversity) - Training by NGOs and Gov. in water and soil management especially to women’s groups and cooperatives 11
  • Characteristics of resilience in Candelaria landscapes Strategies adopted ― Vertical integration, intercropping and crop rotations, practices used to cope with climate change risks, to maintain soil fertility and regulate pests and disease are being modified due to expansion and intensification of Agriculture ― High levels of species and traditional varieties of (potato, oca, papalisa and isaño) ― Capacity to learn and adapt to changing temperatures. Expansion of potato to higher elevations in both communities; adjustment of planting dates to avoid pest that affects potato in humid areas (benefits from climate change) Lessons ― Cultivation of traditional crops and varieties, unless combined with farm diversification and ecosystem protection, cannot ensure high resilience Photos by H. Gruberg 13
  • Characteristics of resilience in Begnas landscapes Strategies adopted ― Highest capacity to adsorb stresses due to: restoration and protection of ecosystems, diverse production systems, rich ABD, high level of organization and cohesion at the landscape level ― Capacity to learn and adapt to climate change. Longer growing seasons with multiple crops in one season ― Photo by N. Bergamini Adoption of perennials and diversification of farming systems (goats, bee-keeping and fisheries) Lessons ― A resilient SEPL can be achieved by strengthening and building local institutions for the sustainable management of ABD and ecosystems Photo by N. Bergamini 15
  • Social-ecological resilience to climate change (case study results) 16
  • Lessons • Indicators help to reach a common understanding of threats and solutions, and define resilience-strengthening strategies (improving access to seeds, planting trees, protecting sacred sites, reducing deforestation.) • Accessing new knowledge and practices from other communities, NGOs, research organisations.
  • SEPLS indicators the way forward • Development • Testing to identify gaps • Policy report to explain the considerations that went into creating the list of indicators and outcomes of first testing • Development of a Toolkit to assist in the use and to describe lessons learnt form their application • Testing in a wider range of landscapes and seascapes to include pastures, wetlands and coastal area and revision of the indicators • Dissemination 18
  • Need to test the indicators in a wider range of landscapes and seascapes  Pastoral systems  Wetland and coastal areas Hypothesis: Naturally renewable resources opposed to cultivated crops Need to capture issues like common pool resources governed by common property regimes based on self management by local communities 19
  • Project site in Fiji 20
  • The Bouma National Heritage Park The Park was established to protect the forest but also as a means of generating an income for the four villages whose land is bounded by the park Marine Protected Area Example of community based conservation site The indicators will be tested in the 4 communities 21
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