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The Role of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge in Adaptation to Climate Change, Krystyna Swiderska, IIED


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The Role of Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge in Adaptation to Climate Change, Krystyna Swiderska, IIED

  1. 1. DOCUMENT TITLE 1 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 Author name Date Krystyna Swiderska 13 June 2014 Asociacion ANDES & the Potato Park (Peru), Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (China), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Kenya), Lok Chetna Manch (India) The role of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and innovation systems in climate adaptation
  2. 2. DOCUMENT TITLE 2 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 IPCC 5th Report • Impacts from recent climate related extremes eg. heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones and wildfires reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems. • Over 100 million people will die by 2030 and 90% of these will be in developing countries. • Since 1980 c. 2.8 mil people in LDCs have died due to climate-related disasters. People in LDCs were 5 times more likely to die. • Likely to increase pests & diseases and drought. • Increased impacts in risk prone environments (eg. drylands, mountains).
  3. 3. DOCUMENT TITLE 3 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 How to respond to CC in marginal areas? Intensify production: High tech seed + chemical inputs + water Diversify production: Local seeds + TK + agroecology High yields in short term, declining in 3-10 years with NR degradation Lower yields but higher nutrition & multi-functionality (eg. fodder) Monoculture - vulnerable to pests & diseases and biodiversity loss Crop diversity - reduced vulnerability to pests & diseases Market returns decline over time Income diversification /organic Health risks can be serious No health risks High tech seeds not suited to marginal areas Local seeds are well adapted & resilient Dependence on external seed supply & costly inputs Self-reliance in seeds & low cost inputs Labour saving Labour & knowledge intensive GHG emissions Mitigation (less inorganic inputs)
  4. 4. DOCUMENT TITLE 4 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 Diversification through Participatory Plant Breeding • The conventional one-size-fits-all package of new varieties and external inputs has been successful in more favourable areas, but has often failed to benefit small- scale farmers in marginal areas. • PPB should be part of every breeding programme targeting small-scale farmers in difficult, high-risk environments (Ceccarelli et al 2009) • Crop breeders don’t interact with farmers. PPB & PVS link breeders and farmers to ensure that crop research is relevant to farmers’ needs. • PPB involves close collaboration between scientific researchers and farmers throughout the R&D cycle: identifying breeding objectives, selecting parent lines, breeding experimental materials, and evaluating these materials (= participatory variety selection).
  5. 5. DOCUMENT TITLE 5 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 PPB increases Resilience to Climate Change 1. Tailors crops to diverse local climates by testing on-farm. Avoids risk of useful lines being rejected due to poor performance on station (favourable conditions). 2. Includes farmers’ own selection criteria - can increase yields where previous plant breeding has not (eg. barley in N.Africa & M.East; rice in Nepal closed the yield gap) 3. Enables use of local landraces – highly resilient to drought, pests etc. (eg. maize landraces survived big spring drought, SW China; DNA tests show far more genetically diverse). 4. Provides larger gene pool (in situ & ex situ) 5. Enhances crop diversity, local knowledge, seed & innovation systems – for resilience to climate variability. 6. Empowers of farmers, esp. women, due to recognition of their knowledge & improved organisation. 7. Improves cost-effectiveness due to high adoption rates
  6. 6. DOCUMENT TITLE 6 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014
  7. 7. DOCUMENT TITLE 7 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 Maize PPB in Guangxi, SW China (CCAP) • PhD on impact of CIMMYT’s maize technology devt on poor farmers found separate & conflicting formal & farmer systems (Song, 1998) • In 2000, PPB started in harsh karst mountains – drought prone, poverty, food insecurity, declining maize diversity. Results: Adaptation + Mitigation:  Bred 8 “climate-smart” maize varieties with 15-30% higher yields and increased drought and pest resistance.  Conserved 200 resilient landraces & improved 30 landraces.  Increased incomes by 30% due to higher yield, benefit- sharing & niche markets (provincial organic restaurant).  Revitalised traditional practices (duck-in-rice), reducing inorganic inputs & GHGs.  Scaled up through extension services, provincial budget, GMRI, improved farmers’ rights (also in Vietnam & Nepal).
  8. 8. DOCUMENT TITLE 8 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014
  9. 9. DOCUMENT TITLE 9 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 Diversification through Repatriation: The Andean Potato Park, Peru • 6 Quechua communities pooled their land and conserve 1460 native potato varieties; 410 came from the International Potato Centre. • With rising temperatures and pests, potato cultivation has reached the top of the planting line - farmers are testing potatoes in different parts of the landscape. • Growing revenue from economic collectives (tourism, crafts, gastronomy, potato, herbal products etc).10% of revenues go to a fund for biocultural heritage. • Benefit-sharing and collective governance based on customary laws. • The communities are proud of their park, thanks to the highly participatory research approach of ANDES.
  10. 10. DOCUMENT TITLE 10 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014
  11. 11. DOCUMENT TITLE 11 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 Conclusions • Climate resilience depends on ex situ & in situ conservation; science & TK of local contexts. IPCC recognised the value of TK & its exclusion from adaptation planning. • Intensive/top down CSA undermines adaptability & self-reliance. • Strengthening local innovation capacity, knowledge & seed systems/networks is key. • Seed laws must protect farmers’ rights & local seed systems. • 75% of crop diversity has been lost, largely due to the use of only a few commercial crop varieties (FAO) • Agriculture policies must be rethought & PPB scaled up to protect remaining GRs & TK.
  12. 12. DOCUMENT TITLE 12 Krystyna Swiderska 13th June 2014 IIED is addressing these challenges through: A 5 year action-research project with indigenous communities in Peru, China, India and Kenya: “Smallholder Innovation for Resilience: Strengthening biocultural innovation systems for food security in the face of climate change” (SIFOR). See: