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Novel strategies for using crop diversity in climate change adaptation


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Presentation given at the session on 'Seeds of Resilience - Novel strategies for using crop diversity in climate change adaptation' at Tropentag 2016, September 21st, Vienna, by Bioversity International scientist Ronnie Vernooy.

Future impacts of climate change are expected to become more pronounced in many parts of the world, forcing farmers to change their practices and causing them to find crops and varieties better adapted to new weather dynamics. Providing farmers with better access to crop and varietal diversity can strengthen their capacity to adapt to climate change. Under supportive policy and socioeconomic conditions, such strengthened capacity could contribute to greater food availability throughout the year, the production of more nutritious and healthy crops, and income generation. This is easier said than done.

How do we design and implement a comprehensive strategy that will allow farmers to access and use plant genetic diversity more effectively in the context of climate change adaptation? This session responded to this question through an interactive introduction to the challenge of enabling farmers to use climate-adapted germplasm (led by Bioversity International), a practical example from the field to bring new diversity to farmers fields (a case study from Uganda), and a “this is how we support crop diversification for climate change adaptation” exchange among a number of experts from government (development cooperation), private sector and civil society.

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Novel strategies for using crop diversity in climate change adaptation

  1. 1. Novel strategies for using crop diversity in climate change adaptation Ronnie Vernooy, Genetic resources policy specialist 21 September 2016
  2. 2. The challenge A changing climate Less predictable weather More extreme weather events “Strange things are happening with our grassland.” Mongolian herder in 2002 Strange things are happening with crops too… Bioversity InternationalR. Vernooy (South Africa)
  3. 3. Impact on agriculture, predicted by 2050 Source: Adapted from Mathur 2014.
  4. 4. Crop diversity as a response to uncertainty Supporting countries to design and implementing a comprehensive strategy to access and use plant genetic resources more effectively in the context of climate change adaptation Bioversity InternationalR. Vernooy (South Africa)
  5. 5. Which and whose diversity and how to find it? Bioversity InternationalR.Vernooy (China)
  6. 6. Eight step methodology 1. Situational analysis and planning 2. Data preparation and selection of software 3. Climate change analysis and identification of appropriate germplasm 4. Germplasm acquisition 5. Field experimentation 6. Germplasm conservation 7. Participatory evaluation 8. Knowledge sharing and communication
  7. 7. Combining: • GIS tools + • Crop modeling + • Multiple sources of germplasm + • Crowdsourcing + • Community-based biodiversity management practices Novel elements
  8. 8. Climate analogues, for Paro, Bhutan Source: Adapted from National Biodiversity Centre of Bhutan (2015) The greener the higher the similarity The redder the higher the dissimilarity Paro
  9. 9. Possible gaps in collection Mapping of pearl millet against collecting sites and growing area in India (1993) Source: adapted from Mathur 2015
  10. 10. Crowdsourcing trials in India Source: van Etten 2016
  11. 11. • • library/publications/detail/resource-box-for-resilient-seed- systems-handbook/ Resources: website and handbook
  12. 12. Module 2: Data preparation and software selection Introduction Learning objectives What do you know already? 1. Data sources: i) climate, ii) biodiversity 2. Preparing data for importing into selected software 3. Importing data into DIVA-GIS and MaxEnt Testing your knowledge quiz Applying your new knowledge Bioversity InternationalR.Vernooy (Nepal)
  13. 13. Module 3: Climate change analysis and identification of germplasm Introduction Learning objectives What do you know already? 1. Classification of germplasm collections based on climate 2. Climate change analysis 3. Identification of potential germplasm for testing Testing your knowledge quiz Applying your new knowledge BioversityR.Vernooy (Burkina Faso)
  14. 14. Module 6: Germplasm conservation Introduction Learning objectives What do you know already? 1. Ex situ and in situ conservation: two complementary strategies 2. Custodian farmers 3. Community seed banks Testing your knowledge quiz Applying your new knowledge UBINIG (Bangladesh)
  15. 15. Quiz: Situational analysis and planning (module 1) 1. A situational analysis in the context of resilient seed systems and adaptation to climate change encompasses different steps. Which step(s) is (are) missing in the following list: a) Community identification and profiling b) Analyzing with farmers their perceptions on climate change, variability and adaptation c) The assessment of a community’s crop diversity and its vulnerability to climate change d) Participatory adaptation planning. a) Transect walk b) Participatory vulnerability assessment c) Participatory ranking of varieties d) Village resource mapping e) Seasonal calendar f) Stakeholder analysis
  16. 16. Quiz: Data preparation and software selection (module 2) 3. Which of these software tools can be used for data analysis? a) Ecocrop b) ModEco c) OpenModeller d) DIVA-GIS e) MaxEnt f) Google Earth g) The Climate analogue tool
  17. 17. Quiz: Climate change analysis and identification of germplasm (module 3) 3. How can we identify locally adapted adaptation measures to climate change? a) Develop climate models that simulate future conditions and provide a glimpse of a set of possibilities both spatially and temporally. b) Use General Circulation Models (GCMs), which provide the current and future scenarios (under different probable conditions) to gauge the vulnerability of a site to changing climate. c) Develop improved genotypes that are resilient to any number of stresses like extreme temperatures, flooding or drought.
  18. 18. Quiz: Germplasm acquisition (module 4) 1. In many cases, germplasm acquisition must follow formal rules and regulations. What do these rules cover? a) The scientific aspects of seed production b) The phytosanitary aspects of seed production c) The protection of traditional knowledge d) Access to germplasm e) The phytosanitary aspects of seed distribution f) Benefit sharing of germplasm g) The protection of biodiversity
  19. 19. Quiz: Field-testing (module 5) 4. What is the crowdsourcing field trials approach? a) An approach used to collect data by large numbers of specialized researchers and breeders. b) An approach used by scientists and companies worldwide to collect data by large numbers of volunteers. c) An approach enabling farmers to carry out large trials. d) An approach that usually focus on many crops at the same time.
  20. 20. Quiz: Germplasm conservation (module 6) 3. Which farmers can be characterized as custodian farmers? a) Farmers in an area where there is a community seed bank. b) Farmers who have special knowledge and skills to practice seed conservation and are recognized by the community for this special trait. c) Members of community seed savers groups. d) Farmers who breed new varieties on their farms.
  21. 21. Quiz: Participatory evaluation (module 7) 2. Important reasons for using participatory evaluation are: a) To increase the relevance and effectiveness of the research to stakeholders b) To contribute to empowerment and social transformation c) To create a clearer picture of what has happened according to the perspectives of women, men, and various age, class and ethnic groups in the community
  22. 22. Quiz: Knowledge-sharing and Communication (module 8) 1. What is the most important factor in communicating research results effectively? a) Simplifying and presenting the content in a clear and structured way b) Identifying what is expected from the audience and preparing the content in different ways for different groups, with their inputs. c) Selecting an interesting communication media that will spark interest from the audience. d) Doing an evaluation after the presentation of the research results.
  23. 23. An example from the field: Uganda Bioversity InternationalG.Otieno (Uganda)
  24. 24. Thank you @BioversityInt Ronnie Vernooy