The Fuquene Lake collects the water of the Rio Ubate, about 150 km North of Bogota, capital of Colombia.. Communities managing a range of high altitude Andean production systems including multiple cropping and livestock (from about 2000 to 3500 masl) affect the water quality by producing high levels of sediments along with Nitrates and Phosphates that are deposited in the lake. This has deteriorated extensively the lake accelerating its eutrophication and therefore, reducing the surface covered by water. The downstream municipalities, whose aqueducts depend partially or totally on waters from the Suarez River, which begins at the outlet of the lake, and navigators are concerned about the future of the lake..
Agriculture and cattle raising have degraded the ecosystem specially the paramo (the high Andean alpine-like ecological zone, composed of high altitude wetlands) because of the expansion of the agricultural frontier. Changing from traditional agriculture methods to conservation agriculture, especially for potato production, was selected as a mechanism to decrease the sediment and nutrient flows.Research findings showed that conservation agriculture practices have contributed to restore paramos soils, especially those characteristics that determined the original capacity ofbuffering and filtering water in the upstream part of the basin. Moreover, these practices were found to be an extraordinary way to increase the soil carbon stock and to reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions produced by the conventional crop-livestock system.
A new local revolving fund, financed so far by donations from organizations interested on financing activities delivering ecosystem services, has invested in conservation agriculture by upland farmers. Revolving fund is managed directly by farmer ’ s organizations and the technical assistance (to ensure practices are correctly implemented) is provided by the CAR-the environmental authority. Conservation tillage result in an increase in social benefits, but the expected gains will be modest. In the same sense a 17% of increase in net revenues in Fuquene farms could be not enough to overcome the possible aversion to risk of farmers (or other adoption barriers) and to encourage them to make an additional investment to cover initial extra costs of conservation agriculture (ie. cultivation of oat as cover crop). This fact may explain why this practice is not widely adopted in the Fuquene watershed (Currently there are about 1800 ha implementing these practices of 16933 ha under potato production in the watershed. JW mentions that even when interest rates are low most traditional farmers need at least 15- 20% or more advantage to make a change worthwhile (Byerlee et al.) Therefore the revolving fund provides credits to farmers willing to implement conservation tillage in their potato-based production systems, and since 2005 it has incorporated about 180 small farmers every year and now uses the capital of the fund at its maximum capacity.
Nariño, Colombia. Alliance with Colacteors is working to help small milk producers transition their main source of animal feed from soybean meal to alfalfa. The project promotes intensified water use in the parcels, resulting in increased biomass production, improved protein levels in livestock feed and increased employment The more attractive benefit for producers, processors and impoverished communities in the highlands is increased water use and altered land use that leads to improved productivity, reduced production costs and increased demand for labor. 1 ha of alfalfa grown in the specific conditions of Nariño can produce 21 tons of dry matter per year with a water use efficiency of 1.5 kg. per dry matter/m3, which greatly reduces the number of highland areas where water is a limiting factor to alfalfa production. The private returns are estimated at 250%, and 150% when the free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States is fully implemented
The approach developed by WWF, CPWF ’ s partner start from citizens rights, specifically their right to information and to participate in decision making, especially for decisions that concern them and their communities directly. WWF uses this rights based approach to enable all stakeholders ’ access to the same type of information. This allows marginalized groups, those far from the decision centers, to enter into equitable dialogue. It assumes that, providing all stakeholders with the same level of information will ‘ level the playing field ’ - what AN3 calls hydro-literacy of a variety of stakeholders . In this context, hydro-literacy facilitates conversations, brings them to a higher level and most important of all brings more equity between the parties. Examples from CPWF research are Rio Santa (Peru) and La Paz/El Alto (Bolivia), the most active one being Rio Coello (Colombia), where a conversatorio was launched last week to promote a right-based BSM emphasizing the right to access to information for all as key to the success of the BSM.
Long-standing project in Zimbabwe. In Gwanda district, a diverse and active innovation platform has created a strong local market for goats , helping raise the value of one goat from US$10 to $60. The increased value serves as an incentive for farmers to invest in the survival of their goats, by growing their own stock feed, purchasing commercial stock feed and improving rangeland management. The innovation platform has engendered a virtuous cycle, in which farmers ’ self-esteem and confidence has improved and a more biodiverse and productive farming system has emerged. And the system is more resilient than before; the rainwater that falls on the improved production systems is now adding value to the system and water is also saved by the sharp reduction in goat mortality.
IWMI Board CPWF Director's Report Dec '12
CPWF Science ReportMay – November 2012 Alain Vidal, CPWF Director
Sustainable intensification andecosystem services in the Andes
Downstream – where the concernfor ecosystem services emerged High altitude wetland (paramo) degraded by potato cropping and overgrazing Eutrophication andshrinking of Fuquene Lake (downstream)
Restoring upstream and downstream ecosystem services Water quality and downstream ecosystem Paramo restored services from Fuquenethrough conservation Lake improvedtillage and oat/potato rotation 6
Lessons learnt from CPWF Phase 1 Annual net income: Conservation 2,183/ha agriculture and paramo restoration Revolving fund credit: Farmers‘ supported by +180 farmers /year insufficient gain and risk revolving fund aversion Potato cropping, S grazing pressure, degradation of paramo Annual net income: US$ 1,870/ha
Need for an economic engineIrrigation and dairy farming in Nariño Irrigation and alfalfa production supporting dairy Return on intensification investment: Alliance with a 150% dairy and milk Cooperative S Grazing pressure, degradation of paramo
Empowerment: hydro-literacy to supportlocal rights to partake in decision making Conversatorios promoting dialogue, Emerging inclusive facilitated by benefit-sharing stakeholders’ mechanisms “hydro-literacy” S Conflicts on water and land resources
Sea-level rise: an opportunity for the poor of the Ganges Delta ?
Among world’s poorest Poverty, food insecurity, vulnerability 75% of households (HH) with 0.2-0.6 ha HH income US$700/year 80% of population below national poverty line Too much water in rainy season Salinity and lack of fresh water in dry season BBS / WorldBank / WFP (2009)
Untapped potential but growingpressure from salinity Huge potential to improve food security and livelihoods Salinity not a constraint everywhere – even Soil salinity an opportunity None Very slight Slight Strong Very strong
Sustainable intensification of polders:technical and institutional challenges Daily water salinity Lower threshold limit of salinity - Shrimp Upper threshold limit of salinity - Rice Water salinity (ppt) Rice ShrimpLots of viablecropping systemspossible with cropdiversification,fish and shrimp DateNeed for political changes at national and local levels Canal maintenance and management Shifting from rice monoculture
What makes our R4D successful?What are the right combinations? Understanding and enhancing ecosystem services can unlock intensification Combined technical and institutional innovations Virtuous circles need economic engines Access to markets Access to credit Empowerment is key to equitable solutions Enhanced people’s rights and institutional governance