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Integrating the unusual (livestock and ???)

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Invited presentation prepared by Don Peden for the first CPWF International Forum on Water and Food, Vientiane, Laos, November 8-15, 2006.

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Integrating the unusual (livestock and ???)

  1. 1. Integrating the unusual<br />Don Peden<br />Invited presentation to<br />The first CPWF International Forum on Water and Food<br />Vientiane, Laos <br />[8-15 November, 2006]<br />
  2. 2. INTEGRATING THE UNUSUAL:(Livestock and ???)Session 10: Thinking out of the pool, a trans-disciplinary approach<br />Perception differ: <br />What do you see?<br />Artist unknown<br />
  3. 3. Purpose<br />Explore new perspectives and ways of working.<br />Capture novel ideas based on CPWF and related experiences.<br />Identify practical applications of these ideas to advance the CPWF process.<br />Consider important development opportunities (policies, technologies, behaviours, etc.) and research gaps.<br />But first, some examples…..<br />
  4. 4. Did you know?<br /> Pastoralists in Sudan practice water harvesting by growing water melons for livestock feed and drink.<br />Photos: Ahmed El-Wakeel<br />
  5. 5. Did you know?<br /><ul><li>Cryptosporidium in domestic water may hasten the onset of AIDS in HIV infected people?</li></ul>Source: livestock with access to domestic water.<br />Vegetative buffer zone & drinking troughs decrease risk to people.<br />
  6. 6. Did you know?<br /> Pastoralists in Sudan use Baobab trees to store water for use in the dry season.<br />
  7. 7. Do you know…<br />… if water lilies enhance or reduce evaporation from ponds?<br /><ul><li>A question from livestock keepers in Uganda</li></li></ul><li>Transdisciplinarity<br />The Blind Men and the Elephant<br />A Hindu fable by John Godfrey Saxe from Elephants ancient and modern by FC Sillar and RM Meyler. <br />Note: ``The Blind Men and the Elephant'' occurs in the Udana, a Canonical Hindu Scripture. <br />It was six men of IndostanTo learning much inclined,Who went to see the Elephant(Though all of them were blind),That each by observationMight satisfy his mind. <br />
  8. 8. The Blind Men and the Elephant (cont’d)<br />The First approached the Elephant,And happening to fallAgainst his broad and sturdy side,At once began to bawl:`God bless me! but the ElephantIs very like a wall!'<br />The Second, feeling of the tusk,Cried, `Ho! what have we hereSo very round and smooth and sharp?To me 'tis mighty clearThis wonder of an ElephantIs very like a spear!' <br />
  9. 9. The Blind Men and the Elephant (cont’d)<br />The Third approached the animal,And happening to takeThe squirming trunk within his hands,Thus boldly up and spake:`I see,' quoth he, `the ElephantIs very like a snake.‘<br />The Fourth reached out his eager hand,And felt about the knee.`What most this wondrous beast is likeIs mighty plain,' quoth he;`'Tis clear enough the ElephantIs very like a tree!' <br />
  10. 10. The Blind Men and the Elephant (cont’d)<br />The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,Said: `E'en the blindest manCan tell what this resembles most:Deny the fact who can,This marvel of an ElephantIs very like a fan!' <br />The Sixth no sooner had begunAbout the beast to grope,Than, seizing on the swinging tailThat fell within his scope,`I see,' quoth he, `the ElephantIs very like a rope!' <br />
  11. 11. The Blind Men and the Elephant (cont’d)<br />And so these men of IndostanDisputed loud and long,Each in his own opinionExceeding stiff and strong,Though each was partly in the right,And all were in the wrong! <br />So, oft in theologic wars,The disputants, I ween,Rail on in utter ignoranceOf what each other mean,And prate about an ElephantNot one of them has seen!<br />
  12. 12. The Blind Men and the Elephant (cont’d)<br />O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim <br />For preacher and cleric the honored name!<br />For quarreling, each to his view they cling.<br />Such folk see only one side of a thing.<br />
  13. 13. Toward Transdisciplinarity<br />We have moved beyond mono-disciplinarity: <br />One research discipline working in isolation. <br />We have almost moved beyond multi-disciplinarity: <br />Several disciplines collaborate in 1 research program.<br />Concepts, methods & synthesis not integrated. <br />We now need to reach beyond inter-disciplinarity:<br />Several disciplines collaborate in 1 research program.<br />Concepts, methods & synthesis explicitly integrated.<br />Mutual enrichment. <br />
  14. 14. Transdisciplinarity: A new way of thinking<br />Evolved from inter-disciplinarity.<br />Responds to increasing societal demand for relevance and applicability of academic research.<br />Transcends component disciplines.<br />Integrates bio-physical & socio-economic sciences AND non-scientific sources of knowledge.<br />Partners identify both problems and find solutions.<br />Mutual participatory learning.<br />Expect counter-intuitive and non-linear systems behaviour.<br />This forum is an experiment in transdisciplinarity.<br />
  15. 15. Nakasongola, Uganda:An agro-ecosystem trapped in degradation<br />Termites:<br /> Destroy vegetation.<br /> More run-off, flooding &<br /> evaporation.<br /> Less transpiration.<br />
  16. 16. Nakasongola, Uganda:An agro-ecosystem trapped in degradation<br />Without vegetation:<br /> Bare clay soils expand with onset of rains.<br /> Sealing soil surface & preventing infiltration.<br /> Causing down-slope flooding & sedimentation.<br /> Reducing water productivity.<br /> Preventing ecosystem<br /> recovery.<br /> Needs transdisciplinary &/or<br /> systems solution.<br />
  17. 17. A key CA message:[An example of the unusual]<br /> Integrating livestock into investments in agricultural water management can increase sustainability and returns on that investment.<br />
  18. 18. Your turn! From diversity to trans-disciplinarity<br />You are the key to identifying problems & solutions to them!<br />Let’s explore novel options and issues!<br />

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