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Adaptive management for more
resilient food production systems
Botin Foundation Water Observatory Colloquium
U. Complutens...
2
Re-greening the
Uganda “Cattle Corridor”
Community corralling
of cattle for 2 weeks
permits pasture
establishment
Local ...
Global food crisis:
a poverty “countdown”
3 billion poor below US$2.5/day
2 billion suffer from malnutrition
1 billion suf...
The resilience challenge
Food production communities and ecosystems should be
able to cope with local and global changes (...
What exactly is resilience?
The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and
reorganize while undergoing change, while r...
Addressing the resilience challenge
Increase resilience of social-ecological systems?
Humans can influence
attributes of r...
Thresholds and tipping points
The linear assumption
 The engineer’s dream, but
 rarely the case with social-ecological
s...
8
Questioning resilience of the
Uganda “Cattle Corridor”
Community corralling
of cattle for 2 weeks
permits pasture
establ...
Review of CPWF adaptive and
transformative management cases
Re-greening the Uganda
“Cattle Corridor”
Restoring river flows...
10
Re-greening the
Uganda “Cattle Corridor”
Ecosystem passed a
seemingly irreversible
threshold, unable to
recover
Restora...
Resulting change on water systems
11
Silting and
sedimentation of
the valley tank
water reservoirs
Reduced
sedimentation
a...
Triggers for change between
alternate resilient states
12
S
SWater depletion,
grazing pressure,
loss of soil organic
matte...
Restoring ecosystem services in
the Andes
13
High altitude
wetland (paramo)
degraded by potato
cropping and
overgrazing
Pa...
Resulting changes on
upstream water
14
1 2
Horizon
36
38
40
42
44
46
48
50
52
54
56
58
60
%volumetricwater
Conservation
ag...
Resulting change on downstream
water – the starting point
15
Improved water
quality and
downstream
ecosystem services
from...
Triggers for change between
alternate resilient states
16
S
Annual net income:
2,183/ha
Annual net income:
US$ 1,870/ha
Co...
Restoring the sustainability of the
Mekong Delta agro-ecosystem
17
Farmer adoption of
diverse rice-shrimp-
fish production...
Diversification supporting
economic growth
18
Before After
Growth rate of Bac Lieu province (2004 – 2006) 15.7%/year
Incom...
Impact on farmers’ income
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
96 98 00 01 02 03 06
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
96 98 00 01 02 03...
Triggers for change between
alternate resilient states
20
S
S
Social conflicts
between brackish
(shrimp) and
freshwater (r...
Lessons learnt on food production
social-ecological systems
States defined by recurring (local) variables
 Soil propertie...
Lessons learnt on adaptability and
transformability
Degraded food producting systems are
often locked in resilient (povert...
Unanswered questions…
How can we make research more effective at
finding triggers for change?
Can we reproduce them?
What ...
Thank you
a.vidal@cgiar.org
www.waterandfood.org
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Adaptive management for more resilient food production systems

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Conference given upon invitation of the Botin Foundation at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 19 Nov 2010

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Adaptive management for more resilient food production systems

  1. 1. Adaptive management for more resilient food production systems Botin Foundation Water Observatory Colloquium U. Complutense, Madrid 19 November 2010 A. Vidal, D. Mpairwe, D. Peden, M. Quintero, T.P. Tuong CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food
  2. 2. 2 Re-greening the Uganda “Cattle Corridor” Community corralling of cattle for 2 weeks permits pasture establishment Local organizations invest in up-scaling of pasture regeneration Termites destroy any attempt to reseed degraded pasture
  3. 3. Global food crisis: a poverty “countdown” 3 billion poor below US$2.5/day 2 billion suffer from malnutrition 1 billion suffer from hunger  75% of them are rural poor  Alleviating hunger means reducing rural poverty Reducing rural poverty  Increase the income of the rural poor to enable investment  Ensure they can cope with short-term and long- term changes 3
  4. 4. The resilience challenge Food production communities and ecosystems should be able to cope with local and global changes (climate, economy, demography, migrations…), ie become more resilient  Achieved through improved water productivity (more food with less water) together with empowerment, equity, market access, health and ecosystem services  Often neglected is the water quality that supports food-producing communities 4
  5. 5. What exactly is resilience? The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, while retaining essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks (Walker et al. 2004) 4 components:  Latitude  Resistance  Precariousness  Panarchy - cross-scales 5
  6. 6. Addressing the resilience challenge Increase resilience of social-ecological systems? Humans can influence attributes of resilience adaptability They can also create a fundamentally new system transformability  Scenario planning to explore plausible transformations  Example: shifting rangeland activities from livestock to ecotourism 6
  7. 7. Thresholds and tipping points The linear assumption  The engineer’s dream, but  rarely the case with social-ecological systems! Non-linear but reversible change Non-linear and irreversible change 7
  8. 8. 8 Questioning resilience of the Uganda “Cattle Corridor” Community corralling of cattle for 2 weeks permits pasture establishment Local organizations invest in up-scaling of pasture regeneration Termites destroy any attempt to reseed degraded pasture ?
  9. 9. Review of CPWF adaptive and transformative management cases Re-greening the Uganda “Cattle Corridor” Restoring river flows, quality and ecosystem services in the Andes Restoring the sustainability of the Mekong Delta agro-ecosystem 9
  10. 10. 10 Re-greening the Uganda “Cattle Corridor” Ecosystem passed a seemingly irreversible threshold, unable to recover Restoration of vegetative pasture grass cover, more feed availability to animals, carbon sequestration
  11. 11. Resulting change on water systems 11 Silting and sedimentation of the valley tank water reservoirs Reduced sedimentation and evaporative losses (20%)
  12. 12. Triggers for change between alternate resilient states 12 S SWater depletion, grazing pressure, loss of soil organic matter Manure applied through night corralling provides a preferred diet for the termites Wet Season: Dry matter 4.5 T/ha 9 species / m² Wet Season: Dry matter 0 T/ha 0 species / m²
  13. 13. Restoring ecosystem services in the Andes 13 High altitude wetland (paramo) degraded by potato cropping and overgrazing Paramo restored through conservation tillage and oat/potato rotation
  14. 14. Resulting changes on upstream water 14 1 2 Horizon 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 %volumetricwater Conservation agriculture Traditional agriculture %VolumetricWater More water stored, restoring the buffer role of paramo 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 1 2 3 4 Size fraction AOM(g/g) RT-Horizon 1 CT-Horizon 1 RT-Horizon 2 CT-Horizon 2 Conservation agriculture Traditional agriculture AccumulatedOrganic Matter(g/g) Better soil porosity, filtration, increased water and carbon storage
  15. 15. Resulting change on downstream water – the starting point 15 Improved water quality and downstream ecosystem services from LakeEutrophication and shrinking of Fuquene Lake (downstream)
  16. 16. Triggers for change between alternate resilient states 16 S Annual net income: 2,183/ha Annual net income: US$ 1,870/ha Conservation agriculture and paramo restoration supported by revolving fund Farmers‘ insufficient gain and risk aversion: only 11% converted Revolving fund credit: +180 farmers /year Potato cropping, grazing pressure, degradation of paramo
  17. 17. Restoring the sustainability of the Mekong Delta agro-ecosystem 17 Farmer adoption of diverse rice-shrimp- fish production systems Zonal sluice gate management allows brackish or fresh water at different times of year Provincial government recognized brackish water as a resource; promoted new systems
  18. 18. Diversification supporting economic growth 18 Before After Growth rate of Bac Lieu province (2004 – 2006) 15.7%/year Income of rice-shrimp system: ca. US$ 2,150/ha/year
  19. 19. Impact on farmers’ income 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 96 98 00 01 02 03 06 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 96 98 00 01 02 03 06 Average Poor Ninh Thanh Loi Ninh Hoa 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 96 98 00 01 02 03 06 Average 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 96 98 00 01 02 03 06 Very poor Minh Dieu 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 96 98 00 01 02 03 06 Average 0 50 100 150 200 96 98 00 01 02 03 06 Poor
  20. 20. Triggers for change between alternate resilient states 20 S S Social conflicts between brackish (shrimp) and freshwater (rice) environments Higher income US$2,150 /ha 8700 farmers adopted innovation Reduced pollution? Low income < US$ 1,500/ha Polluted aquatic environment Improved locally- responsive zoning together with sluice gate management Adaptation or Transformation?
  21. 21. Lessons learnt on food production social-ecological systems States defined by recurring (local) variables  Soil properties (eg organic matter, carbon)  Water quantity and quality  Animal density (livestock, fish)  Household income  Community organisation Generally resistant but precarious Non-linear changes, most often reversible 21
  22. 22. Lessons learnt on adaptability and transformability Degraded food producting systems are often locked in resilient (poverty) traps Institutional and technical innovations mostly enable adaptation (transformation seems to require more time and dramatic changes) Long-term efforts required to strengthen the resilience of desired states  Negative feedbacks (innovation adoption vs. risk-aversion)  Precariousness 22
  23. 23. Unanswered questions… How can we make research more effective at finding triggers for change? Can we reproduce them? What are the interactions with other scales and their role in changes observed?  River basin  Field level 23
  24. 24. Thank you a.vidal@cgiar.org www.waterandfood.org

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