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Biocultural heritage innovations for adaptation to climate change: Mijikenda Community, Kenya

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This is a presentation by Chemuku Wekesa, researcher at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute for a side event at the 15th meeting of the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, on 22 January 2015.

The event was organised by IIED, Asociacion ANDES (Peru), Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policy (China), Lok Chetna Manch (India) and Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI).

Wekesa’s presentation provides findings from the baseline study on innovation conducted as part of the SIFOR project (Smallholder Innovation for Resilience).

More details: www.bioculturalheritage.org.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Biocultural heritage innovations for adaptation to climate change: Mijikenda Community, Kenya

  1. 1. BIOCULTURAL INNOVATIONS FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: MIJIKENDA COMMUNITY, KENYA COAST CGRFA-15 Side Event, Rome, Italy 22nd January 2015 C. Wekesa, Coordinator, SIFOR-Kenya
  2. 2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION • 5 indigenous coastal communities in Kwale & Kilifi counties. • Giriama, Digo, Rabai, Duruma & Chonyi (control) • 31 villages – low lying 12- 319 m.a.s.l. • Impacts of climate change heavy - due low altitude. • Communities - small scale farmers but climate change is threat to sustainable livelihoods.
  3. 3. IS THE CLIMATE CHANGING? 0 20 40 60 80 Rainfall Temperature (Summer/winter) Wind strengh Sun shine River water flow Drought Flood Insects/Pests Diseases (Animal & crop) Extreme whether Response (%) Weatherevents % of HHs observing changes
  4. 4. TRENDS IN GROWING OF LANDRACES 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% Cassava Maize Peanut Potatoes Pulses Vegetables Wheat Cassava Maize Potatoes Pulses Rice Spices Vegetables Cassava Maize Potatoes Pulses Rice Vegetables 2003 2008 2012 Response Crop/year Chonyi Digo Duruma Giriama Rabai
  5. 5. DRIVERS FOR CHANGE IN TRENDS, LANDRACES Driver for change Frequency Response (%) Risk reduction 22 7.7 Food security 192 66.9 Ease access 2 0.7 To avoid traditional variety 1 0.3 Diversification 32 11.1 To avoid purchasing food from the market 12 4.2 Culture 5 1.7 Depends on the others 2 0.7 Increase production 15 5.2 Little rainfall 2 0.7 Self-consumption 2 0.7 Total 287 100.0
  6. 6. ROLE OF TRADITIONAL CROP VARIETIES IN ADAPTATION/RESILIENCE Site Crop Response (%) Drought and pests resistant Short time to mature Tolerates low rainfall Higher production Seeds easily stored and available Rabai Cassava 25.0 20.0 - 64.8 - Cowpeas 41.7 20.0 - 97.0 - Maize 33.3 46.7 - 33.7 - Sweet potatoes 0.0 0.0 - 2.2 - Digo Maize 33.3 50.0 50.0 34.3 57.5 Cassava 48.1 50.0 0.0 5.7 12.5 Cowpeas 14.8 0.0 25.0 57.1 25.0 Green grams 0.0 0.0 25.0 0.0 0.0 Pumpkin 3.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5 Sweet potatoes 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.9 0.0 Chonyi Cassava 51.0 20.0 0.0 100.0 - Cowpeas 16.3 10.0 100.0 2.7 - Green grams 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 - Maize 28.6 70.0 0.0 81.1 - Giriama Cassava 6.7 37.0 0.0 13.3 - Cowpeas 13.3 37.0 100.0 13.4 - Maize 80.0 14.8 0.0 53.3 - Duruma Cassava 0.0 - - 18.2 - Cowpeas 7.4 - - 0.0 -
  7. 7. ROLE OF LIVESTOCK IN ADAPTATION & RESILIENCE • Increased reliance on livestock products for food – frequent crop failure. • Communities keep indigenous/local breeds – tolerant to drought and diseases. • Cattle most popular, provides multiple products and services. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Chonyi Digo Duruma Giriama Rabai Selfconsumptionoflivestock(%) Site 2003 2008 2012 0 100 200 300 400 500 Chicken Cow Duck Goat Pig Sheep Averageannualincome(USD) Livestock Chonyi Digo Duruma Giriama Rabai
  8. 8. ROLE OF FOREST GENETIC RESOURCES IN ADAPTATION/RESILIENCE • Seeds of only10% of the world’s wild plants/trees are conserved in seed banks. • Some of these plants/trees are used for NTFPs e.g. food and herbal medicine. • CC triggers increased incidences of pests and diseases for crops, livestock and humans. • Communities use combinations of extracts of various plants to control/treat these diseases. • Food from plants/trees have nutritive value to prevent diseases/strengthen immunity. Community nursery, Rabai Herbal grove, Giriama
  9. 9. ROLE OF TK IN ADAPTATION/RESILIENCE Adaptation strategy Response (%) Rabai Digo Chonyi Giriama Duruma Traditional prayers and sacrifices 88.2 2.9 0.0 8.8 0.0 Treating animals with combination of herbs and keeping less animals 36.7 1.7 43.3 0.8 17.5 Use of traditional bio-pesticides to control crop pests 23.7 8.8 29.4 4.6 33.5 Domestication of wild food plants 0.7 21.1 2.0 35.4 40.8 Proper timing of rains 4.9 0.0 19.5 0.0 75.6 Planting early maturing and drought resistant crop varieties 0.0 0.0 92.6 0.0 7.4 Traditional huts thatched with Makuti 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 0.0 Cultivating big portions of land to reduce risk 0.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 0.0 Adoption of tree farming in farms 20.0 0.0 60.0 0.0 20.0 Engaging in business as alternative to farming (value addition of TK based products) 55.0 5.0 15.0 15.0 10.0 Water pan excavation 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0
  10. 10. HOW ARE COMMUNITIES CONSERVING AGROBIODIVERSITY? Conservation strategy Site Mean number of farmers that have adopted it Free seed exchanges Digo 17.2 Giriama 3.0 Irrigation of crops Digo 16.0 Giriama 1.0 Protection of crops in seed banks or preservation areas Rabai 1.0 Domestication of wild food plants Digo 10.0 Use of modified traditional farming tools Rabai 15.3 Digo 4.0 Re-introduction of traditional crops Digo 15.6 Re-introduction of traditional farming methods Giriama 4.0 Digo 10.2 Improved/more resilient crop varieties Rabai 8.8
  11. 11. RABAI CULTURAL VILLAGE • Established February 2013 to conserve Rabai culture & Kaya forests. • Traditional ceremonies. • Traditional products/artifacts. • Conservation of Kaya forest (Kaya elders’ regulate resource use through rules and regulations – weekly court to arbitrate environmental conflicts, taboos, beliefs, norms). • Traditional farming practices (seed bank for local varieties). • Ecotourism (Dr. Krapf Memorial Museum, fauna & flora) Sweet potatoes Basketry
  12. 12. NETWORKING • Information sharing. • Exchange of planting materials. • Influence policy makers (county and national government level). Local MP
  13. 13. THANK YOU!

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