The ‘happy strategies’ game: Matching land and water interventions with landscape needs
The ‘Happy Strategies’ Game:Matching Land and Water Interventions with Landscape Needs Alan Duncan, Beth Cullen, Catherine Pfeifer and Peter Ballantyne International Forum on Water and Food, Johannesburg, South Africa 14-16 Nov 2011 http://www.nbdc.org
Origins of the Game Nile Project 3: Aims to identify ‘best bet’ practices and technologies to scale out
Objectives of the Game Match what we know to a specific landscape Combine practices and interventions into a strategy to address specific issues/problems of a landscape Test an interactive ‘game’ approach to matching supply and demand
Process• Groups form, each with a facilitator, set of game cards• Landscape introduction – contours, issues, actors …• Groups formulate initial strategy ideas / review package of ‘practices’ in its hand• Combine practices into a strategy – Exchange wanted / unwanted practices with other groups (with the helpdesk) – Identify essential ‘interventions’ to deliver the strategy – Develop innovations – practices – that you need but are not already in the game. Obtain these from the helpdesk• Share your strategy with the wider group – Document your strategy, how you came to it, major choices, any trade-offs you made
Intended result by group An ‘objective’ tailored to the landscape [in the presentation] A strategy to achieve this objective, comprising: Package of practices Essential interventions Needed Innovations
Site description – JegeridaThis fictional landscape is derived from real sites of the NBDC
Elevation Wide variation in elevation from Highland to Lowland
Slope Some very steep terrain especially in mid-altitude areas.
Rainfall Moderate rainfall of 900 to 1800 mm per year. Poorly distributed – most falls in an intense rainy season
Soils Deep volcanic soils Susceptible to erosion Prone to waterlogging Low organic matter content
Access to markets and water One major urban centre but poor infrastructural development Many water courses for irrigation
Erosion potential Slope and soils mean high erosion potential, particularly in Highland and mid- altitudinal areas.
Elevation Zone 1 highland Zone 2 midlands Zone 3 lowlands
Jegerida innovation platform First meeting held recently Actors: Many government line departments, Local Agricultural Research Center, Grassroots Development NGO Key land and water management constraints identified Population increase leading to cultivation of steep slopes and land deforestation, soil erosion etc. Very short land use planning horizon by farmers. Limited use of improved land and water management technologies Erosion – loss of soil fertility Flooding in lowland areas Poor crop yields
Baseline diagnosis Looked at planning, implementation, innovation and livelihoods issues
System failures Top-down implementation and lack of farmer/community participation seem to be major historical factors in deteriorating NRM practices. Community based institutions may have been weakened due to strong government intervention during a previous regime Although current approaches are said to be participatory, this is debatable which has implications for long-term sustainability.
Collective action not working Planning and implementation Most successful NRM activities are on farm and initiated and carried out by farmers Those requiring collective action are not working due to previous efforts in which farmers have been co-opted and ownership has been lacking.
Farmer awareness Many govt respondents stated that “farmer awareness” was a major stumbling block to progress – such attitudes are not conducive to building farmer engagement.
CampaignsImplementation Quotas Land and water management interventions
Farmers often destroy the results oftheir work under collectiveschemes which is perhapsindicative of their feelings towardsthese activities.
Summary Overlying issues Poor food security High poverty levels Key land and water management constraints identified Population increase leading to cultivation of steep slopes and land deforestation, soil erosion etc. Very short land use planning horizon by farmers. Limited use of improved land and water management technologies Erosion – loss of soil fertility Flooding in lowland areas Poor crop yields System constraints Top down implementation Weak local institutions Market access limited