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Key territories of the Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Program (MAP): concepts and selection


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The Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Program (MAP) is a regional development programme that incorporates a lot of applied research. In this presentation, experiences with MAP that are relevant to planning for CRP6 Sentinel Landscapes are outlined.

This presentation formed part of the CRP6 Sentinel Landscape planning workshop held on 30 September – 1 October 2011 at CIFOR’s headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia. Further information on CRP6 and Sentinel Landscapes can be accessed from and respectively.

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Key territories of the Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Program (MAP): concepts and selection

  1. 1. Key territories of the MesoamericanAgroenvironmental Program (MAP): concepts and selection Sentinel landscapes workshop CIFOR October 2011
  2. 2. Justifications for this presentationRequests in messages from Robert:“…presentations by resource people managing similar type of long termmulti-location experiments…; …including site selection criteria…;…model(s)” for a sentinel landscape network…; …present your ownexperience in multipurpose, multi-location, long-term experiments….”My reply:• I propose to present the experience with MAP, a regional development programme that incorporates a lot of applied research.• The procedure (criteria etc) for the selection of MAP’s “Key Territories” (equivalent to Sentinel Landscapes) were different to what might be considered for a research only focus.• When pathways to impact and scaling-out of research results become major goals (CRPs), MAP is a valuable contrast (different setting and experience) to other presentations respect long term multi-location experiments.
  3. 3. Since 1987, research ondynamics of tropical rainforests, sustainable forestmanagement and globalchange impacts: >100permanent plots (0.2 -2.0ha) replicated alonggradients (150 – 2800masl) in Costa RicaNow part of Neoselvasnetwork (Central Amazon,Chiapas and Costa Rica);extension to proposedregional network(Guatemala, Belize,Honduras, Nicaragua andCosta Rica)
  4. 4. Relevance of CATIE’s experience with “Key Territories” for CRP 6• The concept of Key Territories (KT) was developed in CATIE in 2008, with Norway, Sweden and Finland, for a regional development initiative called the Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Programme (the “MAP”)• Criteria and procedures for choosing and subsequently working in Sentinel Landscapes (equivalent of Key Territories) should not be based only on experience with regional / global research programmes• The MAP includes a substantial amount of research for development, the goal of the CRPs, and hence is a model that could provide valuable lessons• Integration of different R&D teams in MAP’s Key Territories is only beginning to be achieved after two years; the establishment of the Sentinel Landscapes of CRP 6 is going to face some of the same challenges• MAP’s M+E strategy (especially of impact) also has taken over two years to develop; it could offer valuable input for the M+E of the Sentinel Landscapes
  5. 5. CATIE´s Scientific Programs and MAP
  6. 6. Q: Problems we are addressing in MAP Key Territories• Deforestation• Anthropogenic degradation of natural resources (water, soils, biodiversity, pesticide toxicity, scenic beauty, climate change,…)• Vulnerability (need for diversification)• Socio-economic changes (internal, national, international)• Need for systemic approaches• Exclusion (equity - gender, indigenous)
  7. 7. Q: Problems we are addressing in MAP Key Territories• Quality of products, certification, requirements (EU, etc.): competitiveness is increasingly affected by these issues• Weak social organization and community structure, inter- racial conflict, badly organized Cooperatives and Associations, lack of “institutionality” (national / local),…• Poor regional integration (of countries) slows progress• Exogenous factors (both opportunities and problems): e.g., changes in markets, geo-political shifts, infrastructure..• Financial limitations (credit, insurance)• Education is deficient at all levels
  8. 8. CATIE’s R&D approach in MAP Key TerritoriesTest participatory methods, principally using the livelihoods andcapitals framework, for integrating sectorial approaches (e.g.,value chains) with territorial approaches (e.g., watershedmanagement) that can be used to develop holistic (systemic)and specific answers to the combined economic, environmentand social challenges in each target region.
  9. 9. Value added of working in a Key Territory• Potential to develop systemic interventions that take into account interactions and the complexity of rural development• Improvements in the impacts (target groups) thanks to concentrated and longer term of efforts, working with partners and allies in an integrated institutional framework• Improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of international cooperation and CATIE, assuming that the additional costs of coordination (donors, programmes; projects, etc) is less than the operational and logistical benefits• Unified institutional image that results from working in an integrated manner• Improved quality of CATIE’s products
  10. 10. Q: Criteria to choose Key Territories*• Located within priority areas identified in regional or national strategies; e.g., Mesoamerican Biological Corridor [CBM]•• Key stakeholders, with proven leadership and social capital, expressed interest•• Potential to internalize the costs of the provision of ecosystem services through different financial mechanisms• Correspond to CATIE´s expertise and in areas offering potential for synergies within CATIE and/or with partners*p.27. Implementation Proposal for the MAP; also mentions that Trans-frontier territories willbe favoured when possible.•
  11. 11. What was initially considered when choosing a Key Territory (KT) for MAP?WhereNational and CATIE priority according to physical, biological and socio-economic characteristics – Water – Poverty, environmental concerns and inequity (gender) – Biological connectivity
  12. 12. What was initially considered when choosing a Key Territory (KT) for MAP?SizeGeographical area of variable size (large >100.000 ha) containing muchsmaller potential sites for direct intervention where the actions of variousinitiatives (projects etc) could be integrated
  13. 13. What was initially considered when choosing a Key Territory (KT) for MAP?Who• At least two CATIE R+D programmes agreeing that the Key Territory is central to their agenda• Existence of an good institutional base where other actors and service providers are active and with whom CATIE can work in order to achieve “institutional anchorage”, scaling out and hence wide scale impact
  14. 14. Additional criteria used to select potential Key Territories•What• Potential of MAP thematic areas to contribute to livelihoods in the zone• More than one principal land use (e.g. livestock, forests and coffee)
  15. 15. Additional criteria used to select potential Key TerritoriesHow• Logistical feasibility, infrastructure, accessibility, security• Representative of other areas / potential for scaling-out
  16. 16. Actual Key Territories of MAP• Trifinio (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador): water is a central theme (Climate Change and Watersheds programme) but actions of CATIE Programmes focused on coffee, horticultural crops, forestry, livestock and value chains are needed to achieve impact• Bosawás (Centre- North Nicaragua)*: changing land use is a central theme (Livestock and Environmental Management Programme) but actions of CATIE Programmes focused on coffee, cacao, forestry, CC-Watersheds and value chains are needed to achieve impact *CRP 3.7 (Livestock) has identified the same area of Nicaragua as well as part of Southern Honduras as a target zone
  17. 17. Final list of characteristics used to justify Key Territories selected for MAP Characteristics of MAP Key Territories Trifinio BosawasREQUIREMENTSInter-institutional governance platform in the territory X XAt least two CATIE programmes active X XPilot area of at least two MAP projects X XLand use diversity X XPotential to develop MAP thematic areas X XNational and/or regional priority area X XDESIRABLETrans-frontier territories XCultural diversity (includes indigenous groups) X XPoverty and dependency on natural resources X XVulnerability to climate change X XEnvironmental relevance (Mesoamerican Biological Corridor; Water) X XScale-out resources available (in the territory) X XRepresentativeness (possibilities for extrapolation) XInfrastructure and basic services X (x)
  18. 18. Reasons for choosing Bosawas as a Key Territory1. High value for biodiversity conservation (buffer zone for the BOSAWAS biosphere reserve; also Musun y Quiragua reserves; Mesoamerican Biological Corridor)2. Water quantity and quality is a central problem in this territory, principally due to unsustainable management and use of soils; focus on water facilitates the establishment of co-management initiatives3. Predicted (extreme) effects of climate change and variability; includes dry, transition and wet forest life zones (contrasting effects of CCV)4. Dominance (and overlap) of coffee, pastures and cacao in adjoining parts of the Key Territory facilitates the interaction of programmes5. Presence of Coffee Innovations, Watersheds, Mesoterra and Central American Cacao projects
  19. 19. Reasons for choosing Bosawas as a Key Territory6. Organization of farmers: e.g., coffee cooperatives and NGOs7. High poverty index in rural areas (Poverty MAP Nicaragua 2005)8. FDL (“Local Development Fund”) and other micro credit mechanisms like Fondeagro (project) supporting the implementation of best practices9. Interest (and confidence) of local decision makers; presence of Government and other strategic partners who have, are or wish to work with CATIE10. Possibility of replication in much larger areas11. Continuity/ credibility of CATIE actions in this region
  20. 20. Q: Lessons learnt from MAP Key Territories• “Integration” is the key word• The shared testing of research and development methodologies (e.g., multi-theme Farmer Field School) lead to integration of disciplines, projects and programmes• Few Key Territories: don’t choose too many• Importance of previous presence, continuity and confidence• Risk analysis: probability of long term favourable conditions?• Selection: top-down together with bottom-up process• Anchoring: key consideration when selecting partners
  21. 21. Lessons learnt from MAP Key Territories• Differing needs / histories / commitments of research + development groups: takes time to achieve the necessary integration (e.g., CATIE programmes or CRP components)• To achieve significant impact we need to support work in a larger area than our pilot zones: we need criteria to select research + development sites within the Key Territory (these differ between components/ projects of MAP)• Donor inconsistency• Monitoring and Evaluation (M+E) contributes to integration• Livelihoods and capitals approach: framework that permits integration (e.g., socio- economic with ecological; value chain with territorial; …)
  22. 22. Lessons for CRP 6 Sentinel Landscapes from MAP’s experience with Key Territories• Linking existing initiatives of different research groups, even if they operate in the same zone, will not create a KT (SL); it will only show that a conglomerate of different initiatives exists• In order to implement systemic approaches for rural R+D, such as CRP 6 proposes, a new approach is required where each research group has to be prepared to commit research resources rather than results to a mutually agreed plan of work; i.e., share decision making respect research planning and priorities and be prepared to integrate into a team
  23. 23. Lessons for CRP 6 Sentinel Landscapes from MAP’s experience with Key Territories• The vision of the role of partners in “Research for Development” requires a change of attitude by researchers; e.g., institutional “anchoring” becomes an important goal requiring true participation of the local and national partners in all stages (participatory R+D) rather than treating the partners as a conduit for the dissemination of results• Rigid definitions of the borders of a KT (SL) can not be made• Researchers have to be prepared to participate in development activities (e.g. publications in English for international journals are not enough) but for efficiency scaling-out is the role of local and national partners• ?R&D (resources) based on territorial projects rather than disciplinary projects?
  24. 24. MAP an ambitious intersectorial platform designed to achieve sustainable land use that improves human wellbeing in rural areas of Mesoamerica
  25. 25. Criteria for selecting Sentinel Landscapes*• Comparable sites (= geographical [site] differences)• Where we can study trends (= temporal differences)• Research for Development (= where impact can be obtained)• Strong partners wish to collaborate• Many initiatives (especially other CRP) find appropriate conditions• Suitable conditions for long-term Research + Development (security, political support, priority [for donors + countries] ,…)*Possible criteria to select Sentinel Landscapes – summary ofinformation taken from Annex 4 of the CRP 6 proposal
  26. 26. Criteria for selecting Sentinel Landscapes*• Interdisciplinary research + development (especially socio- economic with ecological) is facilitated• Local people and organizations wish to participate• A forest transition exists, is dynamic and could be influenced• Relevant work/ information) is already underway/ available (= don’t start from zero)• Impact (livelihoods + environment) can be measured• It is feasible to apply standardized methods*Possible criteria to select Sentinel Landscapes – summary ofinformation taken from Annex 4 of the CRP 6 proposal
  27. 27. Who participated in the choice of MAP Key Territories?Internally: workshops, meetings and exchanges involvingproject personnel, programme leaders and national technicaloffice representatives; more bottom-up than top-downExternally: local and national government, civil society,Universities, representatives of regional organizations (e.g.,IUCN) and of international cooperation respect both the topicsand location of MAP interventions (demand and relevance); bothbottom-up and top-down
  28. 28. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system• The integration of pre-existing regional projects and other R+D mechanisms was a major challenge when developing MAP’s M&E system• MAP indicators and targets, and procedures for defining these, have evolved continuously during the first two years of the programme• Final version based on XX products (outputs), YY capitals, direct (programme objective) and indirect (development objective) ZZ impact as well as UU performance indicators : the poverty alleviation focus, through MAP’s Sustainable Land Management focus, goes far beyond financial capital
  29. 29. Sustainable Land Management (SLM); AFS, Social and ecological resilience (CC); Environmental Services NATURAL CAPITAL Diversification and L development of value chains i FINANCIAL CAPITAL v e l Improvement of productive iinfrastructure and equipment h for families BUILT CAPITAL o Strengthening of grass roots o organizations d SOCIAL AND POLITICAL s CAPITAL Wisdom and dialogue HUMAN AND CULTURAL CAPITAL Capacity development and reinforcement HUMAN CAPITAL
  30. 30. Final proposal for MAP’s Logical Framework Development objectiveIndicators (indirect impact indicators developed for each dimension) Programme objectiveIndicators (direct impact indicators developed for each dimension) Result / component / Result / component / Result / component / Result / component / Result / component / dimension 1 dimension 2 dimension 3 dimension 4 dimension 5 (farm/ family) (local) (national) (regional) (CATIE) Products R1 Products R2 Products R3 Products R4 Products R5Capitals: human, natural, Capitals: human, natural, Capitals: human, natural, Capitals: human, natural, Capitals: human, natural,financial, social, political and financial, social, political financial, social, political financial, social, political financial, social, political andphysical physicalPerformance Impact Performance Impact Performance Impact Performance Impact Performance Impactindicator indicators(dir indicator indicators(dir indicator indicators(dir indicator indicators(dir indicator indicators(dir ect / indirect) ect / indirect) ect / indirect) ect / indirect) ect / indirect)
  31. 31. Definitions of the limits of a MAP Key Territory• The geographical extent of a key territory can not be fixed with precision as it can for a watershed; it has to be flexible according to the needs of the different R+D lines (themes). For example, the limits are different for a municipality, interested in a town’s water supply, to those considered by a coffee cooperative interested in capturing coffee production in the same zone.• A landscape is a social construction whose geographical expression is related with the interests of the human population located in and interdependent with that territory.