The cgiar research program on water, land and ecosystems (wle)


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by: Dr. Andrew Nobel
Presented at the GBDC Reflection Workshop,November 2013

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • Ten WLE target basins and regions are: the Andes, Limpopo, Zambezi, Volta, Niger, Nile, Indus and Ganges, Mekong, Amu Darya and Syr Darya, and Tigris and Euphrates. These regions were selected based on specific criteria: clear opportunity in the policy space, strength and interest of partners, outcomes that have the potential to be transferred and scaled. As the map above shows, current WLE investments are in some of the poorest regions of the world where there are pressing water-related problems. For instance, it works in sub-Saharan Africa where there are high levels of food insecurity and rainfall variability. To demonstrate in detail how WLE will contribute to SLOs and IDOs, this presentation will walk through the process for developing impact pathways in the Volta Niger region to prioritize WLEs research agenda for the region.
  • ‘Information systems’ will provide an umbrella for the research and assist to prioritize intervention decisions that are most likely to reduce risk, increase security, and improve lives under projected trends in population pressure, climate and land use change, and water and land resource degradation in the region. It will also identify geographically well-defined high potential impact areas for interventions and identify indicators and information systems to assess and monitor agro-ecosystem health for improving development decisions, and develop capacity in their deployment, in support of the other research portfolios.
  • The ‘Rainfed’ program will analyse current and future land degradation and its impact on household food security and livelihoods and suggest low-cost interventions e.g. for improved green water management and soil fertility restoration with high probability of adoption based on lessons learnt from previous research. The program will also assess the viability of suggested interventions in view of in- and output markets and the financial and economic implications of proposed interventions compared to scenarios such as business-as-usual and establish investment options.
  • The Rainfed program will be supported by the research portfolio on Resource Recovery & Reuse (RRR) which will evaluate a range of business models for bringing nutrients lost with the harvested crops back into the production system through resource recovery from organic domestic and agro-industrial waste sources. RRR will also support the other SRPs with economic analysis of social and environmental benefits.
  • The ‘Irrigation’ program will support the rainfed program by identifying economically viable management opportunities for increasing land and (blue) water productivity and income, and provide year-round food supply to demographic hotspots. Furthermore, it will analyse pillars for an enabling environment to promote small holder irrigation, and carry out evaluation of a range of private, public, and private-public sector partnership models to sustain irrigation infrastructure within the basins. The Resource Recovery & Reuse program will work closely with ‘Irrigation’ to address safety concerns where polluted (grey) water sources are used for irrigation.
  • The WLE research portfolio on Basins will have a key responsibility in modelling the temporal and spatial variability in water availability to ameliorate impacts of too high or too low rainfall and stream flow on agricultural and domestic water needs by the growing population. The program will consider future scenarios of water needs from key sectors and the environment under different demographic and climate dynamics and suggest and evaluate options for buffering supply challenges to minimize risks.
  • To support the sustainability of these interventions, the WLE Working Group on Gender, Poverty & Institutions will analyse capacity needs of institutions, possible incentives for behavioural changes and required policy support to create the enabling environment for forthcoming recommendations across the target areas. The program will also work closely with the other research teams to take care that proposed interventions align with current cultural customs and do not disadvantage women or children, for example in terms of additional work load.
  • The research work by these six programs will be harmonized by the research portfolio on Ecosystem Services which is applying a system perspective and ecosystem service based management practices in the menu of intervention options. The ESS&R considers the Volta as a coupled socio-ecological system and will work closely with regional multistakeholder platforms to identity where and how ecosystem services can contribute to sustainable and resilience landscape transformation for improving the lives of the poor. Working with international research partners such as the Natural Capital Project, Ecoagriculture Partners and the Stockholm Resilience Center amongst others the ESSR will develop and refine methodology for measuring ecosystem service status and delivery within the focal region
  • The cgiar research program on water, land and ecosystems (wle)

    1. 1. The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) Led by IWMI
    2. 2. Water Land and Ecosystem 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
    3. 3. 3. Addressing degradation 2. Business models 4. Variability management 1. Eastern Gangetic Plains
    4. 4. Through targeted impact pathways in four priority focal regions and at the global level
    5. 5. WLE Strategic Research Portfolio: Information Systems Provides an umbrella for WLE research by: • Systematically supporting prioritization of intervention decisions that are most likely to reduce risks and improve lives and productivity • Designing and implementing measurement and information systems to assess and monitor agro-ecosystem health and build stakeholder capacity in their deployment Photo: Tom Van Cakenberghe/IWMI
    6. 6. WLE Strategic Research Portfolio: Rainfed Farming Systems Provides solutions to: Photo :Akica Bahri/IWMI • Reduce land degradation in rainfed landscapes • Sustain productive landscapes by increasing biodiversity • Reduce risk and tackle productivity / environment challenges in farming landscapes
    7. 7. WLE Strategic Research Portfolio: Resource Recovery and Reuse Provides solutions to bring nutrients back into production systems through: Photo: Andrea Silverman/IWMI • Business opportunities for resource recovery and reuse • Safe wastewater and excreta reuse • Efficient water and land management in peri-urban areas • Addressing safety concerns where polluted water is used for irrigation
    8. 8. WLE Strategic Research Portfolio: Irrigated Farming Systems Jointly with rainfed and RRR portfolios: Photo: Tom Van Cakenberghe/IWMI • Identify economically viable management opportunities to increase land and (blue) water productivity for increased incomes and food security • Analyze pillars for an enabling environment to promote smallholder irrigation • Evaluate private, public, and PPP models to sustain irrigation infrastructure
    9. 9. WLE Strategic Research Portfolio: Basins Integrates future scenarios of water needs of key sector and the environment to improve water security through: • Managing water resources’ variability and re-thinking storage in basins • Resource allocation and benefit sharing • Water and energy for food • Water data and accounting in basins
    10. 10. WLE Cross-Cutting Theme: Gender, Poverty and Institutions Equity in gender, poverty, and institutions integrated into all WLE SRPs to support: • More equitable access to water, land and ecosystems services • Improved decision making and enabling environment (institutional, policy, capacity) for change • Investable options for women
    11. 11. WLE Cross-Cutting Theme: Ecosystem Services and Resilience Applies a systems perspective to: • Develop ecosystem service-based management options • Develop and refine a methodology for measuring ecosystem service status and delivery
    12. 12. How can you engage? • Defining the development challenges for the four focal regions - Indus/Ganges is one of the four. • An anticipated $7 million will be available for investments in the four focal regions in 2014 to be programmed. • Gender and innovation funds for 2014 $1 million and $2 million respectively. • This will be an open call with strict criteria that will be funded for at least 2 years (2014 – 2015). • There is on going discussion on creating a specific partnership fund for 2014.
    13. 13.