Ecoagriculture Landscapes to Manage Risks to Land & Ecosystems


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Author: Sara J. Scherr, Ecoagriculture Partners. Presented at the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry, 26 August 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya

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  • The areas where CA is practiced need to be strategically located in the ecosystem, and represent a significant share of the problem. (often, for example, other activities like road-building might be a bigger local source of eroded soil, or deforestation a larger source of carbon emissions). Farmers need to have the land rights and legal rights to receive payments. Not developed for carbon in many countries; often not even for watershed services. Also need tenure security, or else other mechanisms. Payment amounts are not likely to be large per hectare, but can be important as supplemental income, and to smooth out income flows over the years, and particularly to help in the transition to use of CA, so long as buyers are reassured that practices will be continued over the long-term The biggest challenge for PES to smallholder farmers is the cost of setting up and managing the payment and monitoring arrangements. Only farmers hwo are already well-organized should seek out PES opportunities. INDEED, THERE ARE 3 MAIN CHALLENGES TO SCALING UP PES FOR CA.
  • Assessing the scientific foundations of ecoagriculture This is how we define it for ecosystem service land use planning purposes at EP
  • Because landscape measurement is an evolving practice it has no hard boundaries; as such is draws on knowledge and practices from multiple domains. The content of the LMRC is organized to help generate a common language and understanding across sectors and landscapes. Draws from combination of familiar knowledge domains to create an integrated new one.
  • Documents an evolving practice The lmrc describes processes of landscape measurement and presents tools for engaging in the practice of landscape measurement. However, given the evolving nature of the practice, the LMRC is also a component of the process of developing new tools and practices for landscape measurement. This iterative process, of developing new tools, practices and case studies, is one of the functional elements of the learning network. Participation in this learning network implies an active engagement in the practice and a willingness to contribute to the growth and evolution of the practice. [ Open source is a development methodology, [ which offers practical accessibility to a product's source (goods and knowledge]
  • Ecoagriculture Landscapes to Manage Risks to Land & Ecosystems

    1. 1. Ecoagriculture Landscapes to Manage Risks to Land & Ecosystems Sara J. Scherr, Ecoagriculture Partners World Agroforestry Congress, Nairobi, Kenya, August 26, 2009
    2. 2. Carbon sequestration and storage Soil formation and fertility Plant pollination Watershed protection and regulation Air quality Pest & disease control Wild species & habitat protection Decomposition of wastes Landscape beauty Challenges for conserving our “natural infrastructure” in the 21 st century
    3. 3. Impacts of land degradation on agricultural productivity
    4. 4. Build ‘ecoagriculture’ landscapes that restore degraded lands, build resilience, sequester carbon Agricultural landscapes managed to enhance rural livelihoods and sustainable agricultural production (of crops, livestock, fish and forest), while conserving or restoring ecosystem services and biodiversity.
    5. 5. Ecoagricultur Strategies <ul><li>In conservation areas </li></ul><ul><li>Create and manage conservation reserves to benefit local farming communities </li></ul><ul><li>Provide connectivity of native habitat , hydrology thru networks of non-farmed areas </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce or reverse land conversion by increasing farm productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Develop specific species and WS conservation plans </li></ul><ul><li>In production areas </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize agricultural pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Use ecologically-compatible management of soil, water, and vegetation </li></ul><ul><li>Modify farming systems to mimic natural ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain diversity of crop species & varieties </li></ul>Ecoagriculture strategies to meet diverse goals in the landscape
    6. 6. Integrate climate adaptation with emissions reduction/sequestration at landscape scale
    7. 7. <ul><li>Restore degraded croplands: improve </li></ul><ul><li>soil organic matter and structure, vegetative cover, biological health </li></ul>
    8. 8. 2) Integrate perennials (tree, shrubs, palms, grasses) in production systems for diversity, vegetative barriers, sequestration
    9. 9. 3) Restore degraded pastures with managed grazing, temporary fencing, fodder banks, range mgmt, manure mgmt
    10. 10. 4) Restore degraded watersheds, improve water mgmt, expand rainwater harvest
    11. 11. 5) Protect natural forests, grasslands and wetlands and sustainable use systems within working landscape mosaic
    12. 12. Combatting land degradation: Scaling up action <ul><li>International: UN CCD, GEF Land Degradation </li></ul><ul><li>Regional: TerrAfrica </li></ul><ul><li>National: Australia, China, India, South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape: Landcare movement, numerous local land & ecosystem restoration initiatives </li></ul>
    13. 13. Cross-sectoral regional, community & farm planning for investments in land GHG emissions by sector in 2004, Source: IPCC <ul><li>Capacities needed: </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-stakeholder planning & negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape design </li></ul><ul><li>Landscape tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Communications </li></ul>
    14. 14. Framework for measuring landscape performance
    15. 15. Landscape Measures Resource Center ( <ul><li>Contents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glossary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select goals/criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose indicators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish baseline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Track & report change </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Landscape Measures Initiative: Phase 2 – Proof of concept <ul><li>June 2009 consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership group forming </li></ul><ul><li>Applying approach in diverse landscapes </li></ul><ul><li>Link to climate & land use initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to collaborate in WWF-supported landscapes? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Major challenges for reducing and reversing risks of degradation -> Research on least-cost solutions -> Systems for local adaptive research -> Institutional innovation for farmer learning & knowledge-sharing -> Financial innovation for collaborative landscape planning, monitoring -> Link to agricultural investment
    18. 18. Thank you…