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Water, Land and Ecosystems in the Ganges

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By Michael Victor, Martin van Brakel, Craig Meisner and Benoy Barman. At Ganges Regional Research Workshop of the Challenge Program on Water and Food/Water Land and Ecosystems (CPWF/WLE), May 2014

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Water, Land and Ecosystems in the Ganges

  1. 1. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Water, Land and Ecosystems in the Ganges May2014
  2. 2. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Overview • Overview of WLE – what we are? - Michael • Focus on ESS/R – martin and Benoy • Focus on WLE’s R4D Approach - Michael • Ganges Focal Region - Craig • Take home messages – Michael
  3. 3. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction CPWF External Review on Ganges “Collectively, the evidence-based science within local livelihood practices conducted by CPWF has built up essential political and institutional capital…..” “it is the assessment of this review that the CPWF partners have demonstrably brought scientific- based evidence, and the accompanying engagement process into tangible advances in opportunities for food security within the distinctive characteristics of the Ganges polders.
  4. 4. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Shifting how we think of food production and research Productivity enhancement while reducing environmental impacts Management of healthy ecosystems are an entry point for sustainable intensification. Governance & equity are a pre- requisite Development challenge approach Outcome based R4D Problem and client driven Engage in development and establish alliances
  5. 5. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction CGIAR Research Program on Water Land and Ecosystem (WLE) Vision: A world in which agriculture thrives within vibrant ecosystems, where communities have higher incomes, improved food security and the ability to continuously improve their lives
  6. 6. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE Theory of Change • In order to sustain food production we need to manage our natural ecosystem. • Complement technolgy and system approach by influencing how decisions are made in relation to food production and its impact on ecosystems. • Shift in thinking is about changing behaviour/changing decision making patterns – need to work with broad alliances • Need to work at multiple scales – farm to basin • Key targets: • Communities • local governments • Investors (donors, private sector) • Policy makers (influence national policies, investments, plans) • NGOs, Development/implementing agencies
  7. 7. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Partner driven program Looking for wider range of partners who can support working with those engage and can reach different end targets
  8. 8. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE Areas of Research
  9. 9. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Gender Three over-arching strategies: • Research on on women as stewards of natural resources • Gender responsive research – strengthening gender within WLE projects • Gender in Focal regions – gender profiling
  10. 10. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE Approach to work in Focal Regions • Goal is to stimulate well-targeted investments in agriculture taking full account of possible costs and benefits associated with ecosystem services and resilience that ensure sustainability. • Objectives: • Better define and geographically target through appropriate landscape and water resources analysis and planning sustainable agricultural investments • Value and better manage ecosystem services to deliver improved and sustainable land use under increasing demands on water, food and energy
  11. 11. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE Focal Regions WLE challenge is to bring a sustainability agenda to existing and evolving processes and investments to achieve green, resilient and equitable growth to the countries of the Ganges Basin.
  12. 12. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE research outputs WLE research outcomes WLE Intermediate Development Outcomes Opportunity identification Client analysis Decision analysis Partner engagement Levers and incentives WLE uptake strategy: significant focus on the research client System Level Outcomes
  13. 13. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Risk analysis: major decisions affecting agro-ecosystems that support large numbers of people Opportunity analysis: research needed to provide alternatives that improve ecosystem services for human development Client analysis: decision makers demand research Niche analysis: limited research available WLE opportunity space In each focal region, WLE is identifying the “opportunity space” for research to support client decision making WLE integrated portfolio of research is designed to capitalize on this opportunity
  14. 14. Example of client focus: WLE resource recovery and reuse Issue: Urban areas are growing and consuming more resources. How do we recover nutrients and water at scale? Technical knowledge is available, but few projects go to scale. WLE seeks to change this by analyzing business models and returns on investment. Clear client focus: the private sector, public private partnerships, and business schools  The research portfolio is designed for the client: analyze successes and test promising business models for replication at scale  Multi-disciplinary research team includes economists, business developers, and environmental scientists Faecal sludge Nutrients for agricultural production
  15. 15. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE research outputs WLE research outcomes WLE Intermediate Development Outcomes Opportunity identification Client analysis Decision analysis Partner engagement Levers and incentives Supporting research client decision making through decision analysis System Level Outcomes
  16. 16. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Example: the decision analysis process Northeast Kenya: Tap the Merti aquifer to pump water > 100 km to town of Waiir? Identify risks and uncertainties in decision of interest Engage decision makers Make probabilistic cost/benefit impacts on different stakeholder groups of likely outcomes of decision Compute value of additional information (uncertain variables with high information value = priorities for measurement) Probabilistic outcomes (benefits/negative impacts) for different stakeholder groupsApplied Information Economics D. Hubbard, “How to Measure Anything”, 2010
  17. 17. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction WLE research outputs WLE research outcomes WLE Intermediate Development Outcomes Opportunity identification Client analysis Decision analysis Partner engagement Levers and incentives Focused partner engagement, levers and incentives System Level Outcomes
  18. 18. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Banking on Groundwater: How policies can lever change in India • Agricultural growth in West Bengal had slumped by more than half. • Research identified a major block to agricultural productivity was getting access to groundwater • Policies recommended by IWMI were adopted to improve groundwater access for smallholder farmers. • Estimated rise in irrigated area from 3 to 4.8 mill ha & additional 4.6 mill tons of paddy per year.
  19. 19. Take Home Messages • There are no magic bullets or quick fixes to the challenges we face. • It will require greater perseverance, hard decisions and political will. • We can achieve this together.
  20. 20. Uniting agriculture and nature for poverty reduction Thank You wle.cgiar.org wle.cgiar.org/blogs

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