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FAO NELWD Bulletin No.1 - 15 Dec, 2013


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FAO NELWD Bulletin No.1, Land and Water Days in Near East & North Africa, 15-18 December 2013, Amman, Jordan

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FAO NELWD Bulletin No.1 - 15 Dec, 2013

  1. 1. Bulletin No. 1 December 15, 2013 Knowledge sharing begins Several knowledge-sharing tools and opportunities of interaction were offered today to some 200 participants coming from 19 countries of the Near East and North Africa. “Collaborative partnerships are key both to address water scarcity and find innovative solutions to better manage land and water resources” Pasquale Steduto, FAO Deputy Regional Representative. Thematic coffees, ad hoc trainings and communication platforms have kept busy the agenda of government officials, practitioners and experts today. Good practices: why do they matter? The very essence of a good practice is its proven capacity of being a success story, with a clear set of objectives and targets achieved. Sustainability criteria should be also included, to ensure the applicability of the practice to other contexts. To be recognized as such, a good practice must be validated by stakeholders, preferably at the community level. A series of guidelines on how to define and promote a good practice were presented to participants in the opening sessions, stressing the need of systematized knowledge sharing. “Participants affirmed that they are actually using some of the tools and templates we are presenting today, this is a positive sign that we are on the right track to document good practices in the region” Ms Sophie Treinen, FAO Information and Knowledge Management Officer. Good practices have been also shared through social media. There was a consensus on the importance of acknowledging the strategic potential of farmers to generate a shift in the way limited water resources are used and managed. Good practices have been also shared through social media. There was a consensus on the importance of acknowledging the strategic potential of farmers to generate a shift in the way limited water resources are used and managed. “We cannot work alone, farmers have an ancestral knowledge that they can transmit to technicians and engineers; this complementarity can ensure that our vision will have more chances of success in the future” Kessida Mohammed, Deputy Director of Irrigation Techniques, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Tunisia. Interviewed experts highlighted the importance of collaborative approaches in the valorization of the water, as well as in the enhancement of water productivity. Farmers can generate knowledge from the field that can feedback research thus creating a virtuous circle of innovative ideas and solutions. “ In the past we used to have a linear module, where ideas where going from laboratories, to the field, to the farmers; whereas now you have a flow of ideas from agricultural sciences to the farmers and a flow of problems from the farmers to agricultural scientists, these two together can reinforce each other to find solutions which are more effective” John Passioura, CSIRO- Chief Research Scientist
  2. 2. Bulletin No. 1 December 15, 2013 Technologies & tools ••• Decision making- policy analysis matrix The policy analysis matrix is an innovative tool to support policy makers in their efforts to calculate the impact of revenues and investments in the field of agriculture. The tool can be used to track the comparative advantages in applying taxes or subsidies, thus supporting decision makers in selecting responsive strategies. The policy analysis matrix can also empower governments in shifting from corporate to social profitability, advancing agricultural policies and practices at country level while integrating national productivities within the global context. Modelling system for agricultural impacts of climate change-MOSAICC Successfully launched in two pilot countries (Philippines and Morocco), the MOSAICC proved to be an comprehensive system to asses climate change impacts on agriculture. The implementation Emerging Messages Technical sessions shed lights on main regional concerns on water and land. Here some of the outcomes of the discussions held: Ground Water management Proper allocations and good mechanisms to monitor the usage of ground water need to be put in place in order to limit the overexploitation of this important resource. More attention should be given to the impact of ground water pollution Practical solutions to preserve ground water resources have been identified, but they are very limited in scale, scope and number. was firstly tested through the introduction of two crop models based on water balance. By taking into consideration the variety of weather conditions, this system is particularly suitable for arid countries. Different utilities were presented during a dedicated session, including for example AURELHY- a topoghraphy-based interpretation method which combined predictions from regression models related to “landscape variabilities”. By transferring the implementation of technical components to institutions and partners, the system can improve the capacities of national stakeholders and ensure sustainability. MOSAICC comprise and interactive online platform with different tools available for participants. Improving Agricultural Water Management and productivity in the MENA Region: Towards a Strategic Action Plan. A new strategic approach for MENA countries to achieve greater farm-and system level- water productivity- while simultaneously enhancing crop productivity, was presented by Ms. Qun Li, World Bank Senior Operations Officer. This multilevel strategic approach caught the attention of participants, as it focused on investing in infrastructures, opening up opportunities to straighten the collaboration among national governments, water agencies and water users. f term o ion in reg l of the otentia pressive. f capacities The p se is im sure ent o i expert r developm sential to en ting e s s Howev nal level is e ation of exi tio lic at na matic app a syste dge. knowle WAtershed Management Watershed manag ement is critical for the preservation of soil an d it also ensures a better reutilization of rain wat er Yemen model of . refereed to as “terrace agriculture” can be an example to recharge of grou enhance the nd water and pr eserve the soil.