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    Challenges and opportunities in climate-resilient agriculture for gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls

    This was the theme at the half day workshop on the commemoration of the International Day of Rural Women (IDRW) in Harare, Zimbabwe on 15 October 2018. The workshop was initiated by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and hosted jointly with the IFAD-funded Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme; Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement (MLAWCRR); and Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MWACSMED).

    Sixty participants represented women and men farmers, government ministries and departments, private sector, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank, media, local and international non-governmental organisations and academia. They discussed issues affecting rural women: food and nutrition security, entrepreneurship and rural women empowerment, climate change, and natural resources management. Participants shared knowledge, experiences and success stories on country programmes, strategies and on-going designs.

    Food and Nutrition Security

    Farai Ndumuyana, WFP presentation on the summary of the challenges faced by rural women

    Gender based inequalities, structural barriers and discriminatory social norms along the food production value chain impede the attainment of food and nutritional security. Although rural women constitute the larger percentage of labour force and contribute to food and nutrition security at the household level, they face a number of challenges.

    WFP improved women’s nutrition impact pathway

    The promotion of production and consumption of diversified foods and the use of Male Nutrition Champions in nutrition education will be important to achieve improved food and nutrition security for rural women and girls.

    Delilah Takawira, FAO, shared success stories providing evidence that the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment can generate significant gains for the agriculture sector and society. If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields by 20 to 30 per cent. 

    The big question is: how to ensure sustainability of food and nutrition security for the rural men and women after the project has ended?

    Rural women, climate change and natural resources
    Presentation by Delilah Takawira, FAO
    Rural women rely on natural resources for firewood, building materials, food and medicines. Rural women and girls have to walk for long distances carrying heavy loads of water and firewood, thereby further constraining the time available to women. This calls for investment in renewable energy.
    Melanie Chiponda, WoMin, highlighted that in Uganda rural women are making briquettes from biomass as an alternative to firewood. Could this be replicated in other countries?
    With regards to access to land, only 10 per cent of the land under the land reform programme, went to women, falling short of the 20 per cent quota stipulated in Zimbabwe’s Constitution. This is mainly due to cultural practices where land is only accessible to woman through a patrilineal line. 

    The question that needs to be answered is: how do we fix the customary practices affecting women’s rights to security of tenure and land ownership?  

    Entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment

    Rural women are limited in achieving their full potential in agriculture due to lack of credit. The Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank could provide the required loans, although the lack of collateral by women will still need to be addressed.

    Other challenges faced by the rural women from Domboshawa include: lack of access markets, business development skills and labour saving technologies. It is not clear whether there is a pathway for enterprises graduation from small to medium and large scale enterprises?

    Roselyn Charehwa, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce highlighted the need for entrepreneurs to find mentors for support. Additional incentives include: support for achievement awards to recognise successful rural women entrepreneurs, provide training for start-ups, and promote value addition and certification of rural women products.

    The presentation by Anesu Truzumbah, a young farmer entrepreneur, showed that the youth face greater challenges as they lack business planning and entrepreneurial skills as well as, access to capital.

    However, the MWACSMED asked critical questions about whether the rural women are really empowered? In addition, Godfrey Chinoera, Zimbabwe Agricultural Development Trust (ZADT), urged participants to present successful projects that could be scaled up to transform the livelihoods for rural women.

    Priority needs for rural women
    • Value addition, post-harvest storage and processing techniques 
    • Diversification of farming systems 
    • Involvement of men and boys  
    • Nutrition education 
    • Equal access to land and tenure security 
    • Access to natural resources including pasture 
    • Increased social and rural infrastructure 
    • Access to finance and financial literacy training 
    • Access to inputs, technology and extension 
    • Links to established markets 
    • Access to business development skills and information 
    • Assistance in forming and strengthening women’s groups

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    By Romy Sato

    In the last five years, significant steps have been taken to put land tenure security as a priority in global policy frameworks, but also in implementation plans. A side event at CFS45, organised by the Global Donor Working Group on Land with other key players, took stock of progress. 

    Since the approval of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) in 2012, several countries have integrated its principles into national law and decision-making processes. Land also gained further traction in 2015, when three land indicators – 1.4.2, 5.a.1, 5.a.2 – were included in the Agenda 2030, signaling that tenure security was inseparable from several of the overarching SDGs. While the vision is clear, questions of how to monitor progress towards these goals and evaluate the impact of related interventions remain unanswered. Responding to this call, a range of monitoring and data generation initiatives and tools has blossomed. But the next challenge became how to coordinate the several initiatives, ensuring land tenure security is in fact improved at the end of the day, and in an inclusive and effective way.

    This topic was discussed at a side event during the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome. The session was organized by the Global Donor Working Group on Land with the International Land Coalition (ILC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Global Land Indicators Initiative (ILC), the Land Portal and other partners from the land development community.

    Speakers and participants exchanged views on the growing ecosystem of data and how to further improve collaboration among actors, make people-centred data and monitoring tools more accessible, and further democratize information surrounding the VGGTs and SDGs.

    Overview of initiatives

    Below is an extract of the talks given by the different speakers and their initiatives:

    GLII - Everlyne Nairesiae talked about the role of the GLII in addressing the call for developing globally comparable indicators on land. 15 GLII indicators, designed in extensive consultations with multiple actors, had been taken up by all of the initiatives present in the side event. Many of these indicators go beyond the datasets found in formal cadaster systems; they cover aspects of the VGGTs, human rights, corruption and others.

    ILC’s Dashboard - Ward Anseeuw referred to ILC's Dashboard as an initiative aimed at democratizing the monitoring of land interventions by including local communities in the definition of indicators and in data collection. ILC identified 270 land initiatives within their membership and organized 12 consultations to agree on a monitoring system, resulting in 30 widely recognized indicators for land tenure security.

    Prindex - This initiative to assess people's perception of land tenure security just launched a report with results from the first 15 countries involved in the measurement exercise. Speaker Anna Locke reported that the average tenure insecurity is 25 per cent, which represents ca. 41 million adults across these 15 countries. In countries such as Zambia, the results demonstrate that even with documentation, people do not feel safe in their lands (33 per cent of interviewees held documents, but only 27 per cent felt safe). Gender gaps were also assessed. Women are more worried about losing tenure in case of spouse death and divorce, and this fear can keep women trapped in an oppressive situation.

    Land Portal - Speaking on behalf of the Land Portal, Laura Meggiolaro argued that the lack of synergy and coordination amongst key stakeholders, such as governments, civil society, academia and donors, means that important providers of information are mostly working within their own sector and keeping valuable data on projects, initiatives unnoticed to other potential beneficiaries. The Land Portal tries to address this gap and catalyse increased access to information, but recognizing that data is only valuable if delivered to the right people in the right context.

    Guidelines for Impact Evaluation - MCC's representative Jennifer Lisher highlighted the importance of impact evaluation (beyond monitoring) and the lack of consistent data to allow for this. She introduced the recently published Guidelines for Impact Evaluation of Land Tenure and Governance Interventions, which is the result of a collaborative work of many land tenure practitioners and specialists. The overall objective of this publication is to inform and strengthen the design and implementation of future land tenure and governance initiatives and achieve related impacts on poverty, food security, gender equality, environmental sustainability and security.

    It's not about data, but who owns it and how it is used

    As with many development challenges, solutions for a more inclusive and effective governance of land tenure do not only lie in the amount of data, but in many other areas. Participants and speakers agreed that:
    • For the democratization of data, it is important to broaden the scope of indicators used in the monitoring of land governance interventions. This means broadening the scope of sources who are deciding on the indicators and providing data to fulfil them. 
    • The diversity of perspectives, of data providers should allow for actors who are only visible at the local level to also be visible at the global level. Good practices towards the democratization of data include creating metadata and standards, but above all be willing to be open with your data. 
    • At the same time, there should be careful reflection about who owns the data and how it should be used/shared. At the grassroots level, for example, there is a risk that data is used to feed sophisticated systems which local communities might not be able to access. Or that data is used to advance a standard, potentially helpful policy, such as land titling, but which might compromise tenure, for example, in the case of collective lands or customary rights. 
    • The SDG reporting creates an opportunity to coordinate with multiple actors and have an initial overview of the state of land tenure security in the world. However, data alone will not solve the problem, and continuous participation and open access to information remain key for the improved governance of land tenure. 
    This blog was first published on the Global Donor Platform

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    Carrying on the tradition of the Pharaohs, who prized biodiversity, Egypt is hosting the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Sharm El-Sheikh.

    At the opening of the High-level Segment (HLS) government ministers, international organisations, NGOs, and other biodiversity champions gathered to discuss the path ahead.

    Continuing tomorrow, the HLS is focusing on how to mainstream biodiversity into the energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and processing, and health sectors, within the broader context of sustainable development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony was H.E. Dr Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of Egypt.

    “This important meeting doesn’t get held often enough, but today we have 196 countries present here, continuing what happened in Cancun, Mexico in 2016,” said Fouad.

    She talked about the critical fields that need to bring biodiversity mainstreaming to the fore, such as the health and energy sectors. But Fouad went beyond that to talk about bio-balancing and the value for ecosystem services.

    “In the African continent, all African countries support Egypt hosting this COP. Egypt shall support all the needs of Africa, through partnership, policy and experience exchange and full cooperation with international organisations,” added Fouad.

    The Governor of the South Sinai Governorate, Khaled Fouda Saddiq Mohammed, also welcomed the gathered dignitaries and stressed the importance for Egypt and the wider world of preserving biodiversity.

    Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment then took centre stage.

    “There can be no better place for biodiversity than Egypt and right here in Sharm el Sheikh. A wonderful green city - at the bay of the magnificent pearl of biodiversity, the Red Sea!”

    Solheim went on to detail some of the great progress and stories that the international community have managed to achieve in recent years.
    • China has continued the ban of rhino horns. 
    • Indonesia has set up a peatland centre to share their experience with the world of protecting peatlands. 
    • China panda numbers are rapidly increasing. 
    • In Russia, India and Bangladesh the number of tigers is increasing. These are one of the hardest animals to protect due to their solitary nature. 
    • Snow leopards have been removed from the list of the most endangered animals. 
    • Brazil reduced deforestation – by 70.8 per cent- no other country has achieved this. 
    • Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover. 
    • UAE is protecting the beauty of its desert. 
    • The EU have a plastic strategy meaning birds, turtles and other sea life will now be protected. 
    “Lots and lots of good news,” continued Solheim. “The problem is that all this doesn’t add up to sufficient protection for Mother Earth.”

    Solheim then went on to detail how the reefs are still dying, there is still deforestation – and how humans are still totally dominating earth to the jeopardy of all other species.

    Offering a solution to this problem, Solheim presented his three Cs.

    Conservation. Co-existence. Communication.


    If we do conservation better, we can create income from tourism and other sources, which in turn allow us to conserve better, win - win - win.

    There was an enormous opportunity for a win-win in Botswana. In the Botswana Okavango Delta there is a fantastic protection of nature occurring whilst increasing tourism revenue. Conservation and economic success, that creates jobs, win – win - win.

    In Rwanda there is currently a US$1500 cost per person per hour to see the gorillas. Whilst this may seem unfair it has created a fantastic economy – drivers, waiters, hotels, security, nurses!

    Through this success we have to include indigenous and local people and have them benefit from conservation to make it a success.


    At the end of the day most of the planet will not be conserved. Humans and nature need to live together. Singapore is now one of the richest cities on the planet. It is also one of the greenest cities in the world. From the early days they incorporated nature.

    People need income and to feed themselves, but its all about doing this in a way that doesn’t destroy mother earth.


    Unless we can communicate beyond the green group on environment we will fail. We need to reach those who aren’t interested. We need to be engaging, not boring. We cannot act in the typical UN fashion. No acronyms. We need to systematically set this out as a crucial issue – exactly like we did with plastics.

    Has anyone met anyone who doesn’t like nature? Dog, cat, cow or camel? Everyone loves something to do with nature!

    It is our failure (the broader environment community) that we haven’t taken this enthusiasm and used it to convince the world of its importance. We need to awaken curiosity in the fantastic mysteries of nature. We need to together form a citizen’s movement for nature.

    With the 3Cs we can create a new deal for nature. If we don’t, we will destroy our world.

    “We are here discussing the most vital issue – preservation of all life on this planet, including our own species. We are not in a position where we can simply thank ourselves for the very real progress we have made,” said Dr Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary, the Convention on Biological Diversity.

    Finishing her address Palmer went on to say “We are failing to arrest the destruction of biodiversity. We are failing to convince people why this is important. Humanity is rapidly destroying nature. Our shared vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050 will not be achieved if we carry on as business as usual.”

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    Senate of Spain, Madrid, 29-30 October 2018

    The Global Summit which was jointly organized by FAO, the Senate of Spain, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and the Latin American and Caribbean Parliamentary Front Against Hunger, took place on 29-30 October. In total, 202 parliamentarians gathered in Madrid including representatives from the three Rome-based agencies, to advance political will to achieve SDG2, highlight the role legislative bodies can to achieve a hunger-free world by 2030, identify and share political experiences and build a network of parliamentary alliances. Parliamentarians underlined the importance of smallholder farming to ending hunger and malnutrition, including obesity, the need to ensure social security for smallholders, and of the need for specific policy actions that target rural development.

    The Rome-based agencies prepared a panel session (represented high-level staff from FAO, IFAD and WFP) centered around the role of the agencies in reducing hunger and malnutrition.

    Read the Declaration of the Summit

    Find more information on the Summit website

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    Identifying ways to secure indigenous peoples and communities' land rights in the context of IFAD supported projects has been a focus for exchanges between IFAD's Indigenous Peoples and Land Tenure Teams. In the context of the Committee on World Food Security, which attracts experts from all over the world every year, the two teams organised a joint event to explore ways to secure communal lands using participatory approaches in development projects. Building on the knowledge and experience of panellists from different backgrounds, the session explored issues affecting communal land tenure and rights for communities. The discussion centred on how to embrace development approaches that build trust relationships among communities and governments, creating a favourable environment for local and international investment and improving the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. The session was moderated by Mattia Prayer Galletti (IFAD), and included interventions from Sabine Pallas (International Land Coalition – ILC), Million Belay (MELCA, Ethiopia), Everlyne Nairesiae (UN-Habitat/GLTN) and Harold Liversage (IFAD).

    Global call for action campaign to secure indigenous peoples and communities land rights

    Sabine presented the Land Rights Now international alliance campaign, which mobilizes and engages citizens, media, communities and organizations worldwide to promote and secure the land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. The main goal of the campaign is to secure land rights, by doubling the global area of land legally recognized as owned by indigenous peoples and local communities by 2020. Protecting rights is instrumental for achieving sustainable development and ensuring land rights gives the means to protect and sustain both food systems and landscapes of indigenous peoples. Sabine highlighted the important role played by grassroots organizations, bringing the example of community-run forests leading to lower levels of deforestation (download the full report). Despite having customary ownership to half the world’s lands, indigenous peoples and local communities only have legal ownership over 10 per cent of it. This leaves community lands susceptible to expropriation for large-scale agriculture, mining, or infrastructure, which typically benefit fewer people and are more environmentally destructive than land use by local communities. What to change? – It is important to advocate for the effective implementation of existing national laws; development of new policies that sustain communities; gender and youth empowerment; sustainable consumption; meaningful data which can contribute to the economy and accountability – monitoring, transparency. Finally, Sabine presented a video on Land Rights Now Campaign for the World Food Day mobilization, highlighting that up to 2.5 billion people, including 370 million indigenous people, depend on land and natural resources that are held, used or managed collectively. They protect over half the world’s land surface, but have formally recognized ownership over just 10 per cent. This leaves a third of the world’s population vulnerable to dispossession by more powerful actors (the full campaign report can be downloaded here).

    Local communities and governments linked by trust relationships

    Million's contribution focused on one of MELCA's projects, located in the Bale Mountains in the south-eastern part of the country, which developed a process of community-led participatory mapping. In this context, while existing laws are favourable to community rights, community law enforcement and government administrative organs are not always aware of the laws or choose to ignore or misinterpret them. In order to address these challenges, participatory mapping was introduced after a series of meetings and community dynamics led to the recognition of the territory in an intergenerational dialogue. A contextual profiling was realized in order to identify the concerns and issues of local communities. Million illustrated how local communities have a special relationship with their Sacred Natural Sites. These sites are constitute a source of life, water and livelihood, as well as cultural and spiritual values, tradition, identity, wisdom and community cohesion. Recognizing the Sacred Natural Sites was an important element in the participatory mapping process as it played an important role for the cohesion of local communities. The mapping process helped to "externalize" the issues surrounding land demarcation, helping to reduce conflicts as the people would not confront each other but engage with the map as a neutral object. The process was carried out for both past and present, improving the community's awareness about their own situation and preserving their unity. MELCA also organized legal trainings for the local community, to teach them about their constitutional rights, while government officials learnt from communities through dialogues and visits. At the end, the government provided legal certificates to communities, improving the recognition of the rights through dialogue. The process for the recognition and protection of Sacred Natural Sites was finally strengthened with meetings at the national level which gathered people from local communities, the Minister of Culture, the media, and others.

    Linking land to the SDGs

    In her discussion, Everlyne underscored the global importance given to land in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Targets under the SDGs are supported by a total of 12 key indicators measuring progress on land governance issues, including tenure rights from legal documentation and perception of tenure security. The SDGs have the potential to bridge land data gaps through production of regular, authentic data, disaggregated by sex and all types of tenure. This will include the collection of information by governments on group/common land rights through national statistical organisations, with support from other actors including civil society organizations and the private sectors. Data will not only help us monitor progress but also examine where we need to put more efforts in ensuring responsible land governance in line with the aspiration of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests. A Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) case study from Zambia demonstrates how traditional authority in charge of land governance can work with local communities in securing tenure rights to all, including women – an effort that promote conducive environment for soil and environmental protection including reducing land degradation, increasing agriculture production and other investment by women and local communities. Currently, the lack of land data frequently challenges the ability to engage with policy makers. An area of particular concern is that of gender: with most approaches looking universally at communal tenure issues, the dimension of women’s tenure rights is not well underscored and generally lacks data. In conclusion, Everlyne emphasized the importance of considering land rights as human rights, as well as the relevance of land in deriving community livelihoods including food security and empowering women.

    The need for legal structures that support communities

    One of the emerging concerns of the session was how to build relationships where there is no trust between institutions and government, which is responsible of execution. The type of mapping that Million illustrated requires between three and five days, the time necessary for the members of the community to engage and express themselves. Another issue is making sure that progressive laws are implemented, and that indigenous peoples and local communities have access to funding. Implementation requires domestication of international level legislation, but also a change in societies' view on indigenous peoples and local communities' culture and diversity. The promotion of national level campaigns is essential for spreading awareness around tenure security. Data generation – including gender-disaggregated information on communal land rights - are also needed to enable effective monitoring and engagement with governments and other policy makers from an evidence point of view. Realizing this whole process on a large-scale is fundamental. Legal structures that keep communities cohesive and defend them from external resources are fundamental. In some contexts, establishing boundaries that are recognised by the authority is extremely valuable. Mattia concluded the session pointing out that Free Prior and Informed Consent is a relevant tool to build ownership around land-related issues. Elite capture should be addressed in order to target direct funding to indigenous peoples' support, to include them in the design and to take into consideration distribution aspects. In this regard, IFAD's Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility represents an innovative tool that indigenous peoples can access to finance small projects supporting self-driven development.

    Panellists and contributors:

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    Today saw the official opening of the UN's Conference on Biodiversity (COP14), the Cartagena Protocol (COPMOP9) and the Nagoya Protocol (COPMOP3).

    In a fun-filled event which saw Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi give an opening address the fourteenth conference of parties on Biodiversity was officially opened. It will be two weeks of debate, decision making, and hopefully conclude with a firm strategy to tackle the degradation and loss of the world’s natural resources.

    José Octavio Tripp Villanueva, Ambassador of Mexico to Egypt, and representing the presidency of COP13 highlighted the successes coming from the previous COP, but he tempered his message, saying there is still much to be done.

    “We need to set a path for a strategic plan for post-2020 – to be adopted in China in two years. Together we can achieve Agenda 20030 and the Aichi targets. Now it is Egypt’s turn – we wish them every success,” said Villanueva.

    The sentiments of the previous days High-Level Segments were by and large repeated at the opening ceremony.

    The President of COP 14, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment for Egypt went on to say that ”Diversity and culture are the foundation of humanity, stability and lasting peace."

    "Now we need to link diversity with development. Nature and humanity are indivisible and always will be.”

    Fouad then listed some of the great achievements Egypt has had recently with biodiversity protection such as protecting the Nile river from pollution.

    “Taking care of nature is taking care of ourselves and our identity,” said Dr Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary at the Convention on Biological Diversity. “We are turning the Earth from a carbon sink to a carbon emitter.

    "We need to choose a path of restoration and regeneration. It is a monumental challenge to embark on – success is not assured – yet I remain optimistic, and I hope you find it contagious.”

    “All stakeholders need to take action now,” said Egypt's President el-Sisi. “Natural resources are at the heart of our progress."

    "The Religious texts we have found set out rules for Pharaohs on protecting biodiversity. We need to emulate them on our pathway to social justice and sustainable development.”

    President el-Sisi went on to say that despite progress since 1992, we have still not mobilised the global community and this convention has not achieved its goals of natural resource management. As such this is a timely conference to highlight all the opportunities that now lay before us.”

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    "IFAD is promoting best practices in cross-sectoral collaboration - strengthening gender equality in national biodiversity programming," said IFAD's Climate and Environment Specialist, Paxina Chileshe.

    Paxina was speaking at the UN's Biodiversity Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, at an event focusing on gender and capacity building. 

    "This event highlights best practice examples from different countries demonstrating cross-sectoral collaboration and programming focused on strengthening gender equality and women's empowerment in implementation of national biodiversity plans," explained Chileshe.  

    "In IFAD we are mainstreaming gender in 100 per cent of our projects and programmes," said Chilese. "To do this we run gender analysis in all of our projects and this in turn guides our investments to make sure we promote gender equality."

    For IFAD's target audience, which is smallholder farmers in the developing world, most of the labour comes from women. 

    "IFAD hopes to support women claiming their rightful position as custodians of biodiversity, it is a key element for us to include gender equality in all our programmes as we also know the important role women play in preserving biodiversity."

    "Regarding capacity building we reach smallholders through farmer organization and existing associations. Our Gender Action Learning System is included in our projects and through this we improve awareness and provide the skills and knowledge to achieve gender equality."

    Cross-sectoral planning and work is an important part of the achievement of sustainable development objectives, as reflected in the integrated approach to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.  

    Yet it often remains a challenging process in practice, limited by available resources, organizational structures and established ways of working.  

    There are repeated calls for capacity building to support country and relevant actors to better address gender considerations in biodiversity policy, planning and programming efforts, yet there are insufficient resources to address the full scope of such needs.  

    "One lower-cost solution is to tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise in national gender institutions, to strengthen knowledge and understanding of counterparts working on biodiversity-related issues, to support more equitable and inclusive biodiversity outcomes."  

    Women have to take up their role and supporting women’s groups, in all projects we have gender data which gives us the information we need.

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    Fortalecer las capacidades en el campo de la nutrición de expertos en desarrollo rural que operan en América Latina y el Caribe, fue el objetivo del taller “Fortalecimiento de Capacidades: Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural Sensibles a la Nutrición" organizado por la División de América Latina y el Equipo de Nutrición del FIDA a comienzos del mes de noviembre en la Ciudad de Panamá.

    La organización del evento parte del hecho de que el FIDA está incluyendo el enfoque nutricional como una de sus prioridades estratégicas, debido al convencimiento de que la nutrición es una cuestión esencial para la transformación rural inclusiva y sostenible, que guarda relación con multitud de problemas sociales. Como lo resumió Juan Diego Ruiz, jefe de la recién abierta oficina subregional del FIDA para Mesoamérica y el Caribe, con sede en Panamá: "En el FIDA tenemos el convencimiento de que mejorar la nutrición puede contribuir decisivamente a cambiar la sociedad".

    Ruiz añadió que la apertura de la oficina FIDA en Panamá, es parte de una estrategia global de descentralización. Sobre el taller comentó: "En esta ocasión la temática es compartir experiencias vinculadas con la agricultura, la nutrición y el desarrollo rural. Esta es una de las prioridades que tiene FIDA en el actual ciclo de trabajo que pretende reforzar para el próximo período (2019-2021): aplicar un enfoque integrado de nutrición en todas nuestras estrategias de país, y en, al menos, la mitad de nuestros proyectos”.

    El taller contó con la activa participación de 46 representantes de proyectos cofinanciados por el FIDA, instituciones públicas, organismos regionales e internacionales así como especialistas en nutrición, provenientes de México, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brasil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay e Italia.

    El taller incluyó diversos espacios de aprendizaje e intercambio de experiencias: paneles de especialistas, trabajo grupal y dinámicas que buscaban integrar la gestión del conocimiento y conceptos claves de nutrición en proyectos de agricultura y desarrollo rural.

    La nutrición es una de los compromisos del FIDA con la agenda 2030, específicamente con el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 2: Hambre Cero. Asimismo, es un tema clave para garantizar la sostenibilidad de la mejora de ingresos y mitigar los efectos económicos y humanos de la malnutrición en la población rural.

    Según el reciente informe sobre el Estado Global de la Seguridad Alimentaria y la Nutrición presentado en septiembre por las agencias de Naciones Unidas FIDA, FAO, PMA, OMS y UNICEF; se estima que 821 millones de personas a nivel mundial pasan hambre. Esto equivale a una de cada nueve personas en el mundo. En América Latina y el Caribe, a pesar de los esfuerzos y avances realizados por reducir la desnutrición infantil, 5,1 millones de niños menores de cinco años siguen sufriendo desnutrición crónica. Además, el 58% de la población (360 millones de personas) tiene sobrepeso y el 23%, obesidad (140 millones de personas). Una dieta saludable es clave para abordar problemas tanto de desnutrición como de sobrepeso y obesidad, y por ello constituye uno de los objetivos nutricionales clave a los que el FIDA contribuye con sus inversiones.

    “Se requieren más esfuerzos para incorporar un enfoque de nutrición en los proyectos de desarrollo rural, pues es en las áreas rurales donde las familias sufren los mayores indicadores de pobreza y malnutrición en América Latina, África y Asia", agregó Ruíz.

    “El FIDA busca una transformación rural inclusiva y sostenible. Para alcanzarla, es necesario adoptar un enfoque integrado que considere la relación entre agricultura y nutrición, tomando en cuenta también cuestiones de género, juventud, Pueblos Indígenas, medioambiente y cambio climático”, expresó Joyce Njoro, responsable del Equipo de Nutrición del FIDA

    Antonella Cordone, especialista en nutrición del FIDA, dijo: "Si tomamos en cuenta las necesidades nutricionales podemos dedicar el potencial agrícola de los países a producir alimentos resistentes al aumento de la temperatura global que proporcionen los nutrientes necesarios para una vida sana y garanticen la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional de las poblaciones"

    Arnoud Hameleers, gerente de Programas para Bolivia y Honduras del FIDA, reflexionó: “Este taller es una oportunidad para trabajar junto a nuestros socios estratégicos, para que en el futuro podamos generar proyectos sensibles a la nutrición”.

    Al finalizar el taller, los grupos de trabajo presentaron sus proyectos de desarrollo rural sensibles a la nutrición y reflexionaron sobre los nuevos desafíos en este tema para América Latina y el Caribe, y en particular para cada uno de los proyectos de los países participantes.

    Gustavo Pereira, director ejecutivo de PRODENORTE, en Guatemala, aseguró: “En esta actividad se logró una buena integración con el grupo, hablamos sobre las características que deben tener los indicadores sobre nutrición. Hubo bastante discusión en las mesas de trabajo y eso enriqueció mucho nuestros conocimientos”

    Elsy Tejada, coordinadora del componente de asociatividad territorial del Programa Amanecer Rural, en El Salvador, expresó: “Este taller ha sido una experiencia muy importante, porque el FIDA nos ha dado herramientas y metodologías necesarias para trabajar la cuestión de la nutrición con las organizaciones y comunidades que atendemos en los territorios rurales”.

    Guillermo Martínez, gerente del Proyecto NICAVIDA, en Nicaragua, afirmó: “Participamos en el taller y tratamos de absorber toda la información, porque es importante saber cómo están trabajando los proyectos FIDA en otros países en el tema de nutrición. Nos llevamos lecciones aprendidas a nuestro país”.

    Principales aprendizajes destacados por las personas participantes del taller:

    *La relevancia de incluir nutrición en proyectos de agricultura y desarrollo rural como un enfoque nuevo y transversal;
    *Los objetivos y compromisos del FIDA de incluir la nutrición en los proyectos y estrategias de país,
    *La necesidad de fortalecer las acciones de seguridad alimentaria y nutricional;
    *La importancia de identificar posibles "puertas de entrada" para el tema dentro de los proyectos apoyados por FIDA.

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    Following the lifting of the suspension of the IFAD portfolio in DRC in September 2018, IFAD has come back full force and results are already emerging.

    In order to strengthen the partnership between IFAD, the DRC and Congo-Brazzaville, an immersion workshop took place in Kinshasa from 29 November to 1 December. This workshop brought together the authorities, project, partners and civil society from both DRC and Congo-Brazza as well as experts from IFAD HQ, The Central Africa Hub and Kinshasa Country Office. There were approximately 150 participants.

    First, the last born in the DRC family, PASA-NK was finally launched in Kinshasa and a tailored workshop  will be held in Goma from 3 to 7 December 2018 in order to familiarise the newly recruited staff with the project documents, IFAD policies and procedures in order to facilitate implementation.

    The objective of this workshop was twofold: officially launch PASA-NK and to work with all stakeholders to inform them about changes in IFAD and to equip them with innovative tools to achieve the ambitious objectives that have been set for the next 18 months.

    One of the these tools in the 100 day challenge – technique conceived and shared by the NGO Rapid Results. The objective of this challenge is to achieve impact in 100 days. Each project, PIRAM, PAPAKIN, PASA-NK, PADEF and PD-PAC received training and the tools necessary to develop a 100 day plan and to take up the challenge to make the impossible possible. Sneak preview of the impossible is coming in 2019!

    A myriad of interesting sessions were  held on central themes such as financial management, monitoring and evaluation, managing for results, procurement. Crosscutting themes such as targeting, women, youth, knowledge management and leadership were also discussed.

    After three days of intense discussions, the IFAD Country Director, Abdelhaq Hanafi, shared some thoughts and renewed his and his team's commitment to this partnership in delivering results. He also confirmed that all the necessary support from IFAD would be given to project teams to achieve their 100 day challenges. Setting the scene for the impossible – that's what's coming!

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    Farmers in the villages in Thua Duc commune face challenges from a lack of water for their crops, salinity intrusion and soil erosion. These are exacerbated in the dry season, which now lasts longer than usual due to climate change. The Thus Duc commune consists of 2,660 households, of which 440 are in poverty. Nguyen Van Dang lives here and cultivates peanuts and other vegetables, such as Chinese kale, to earn a living. He participated in climate change awareness and training workshops supported by the IFAD supported Adaptation in the Mekong Delta (AMD) project.

    New farming models
    The initial training workshops were given by commune officers, who introduced different farming models designed to increase resilience to specific climate related challenges faced by the commune.

    The drip irrigation system and peanut farming was one such model, and was taken up by Dang and other farmers in his village. The farmers formed a collaborative group consisting of 13 members, of which eight members and their households were in poverty.

    The farmers also received financial support from the project in order to install irrigation systems in their farms. Each member in the group contributed towards the cost of obtaining seedlings for crops.

    "Before the workshop I did not have any idea of this kind of model, and I decided to pick this one because the irrigation system can be used not only for peanut farming but for other crops as well. It will allow me to diversify."

    Although the irrigation system has only recently been installed, Dang has already begun to  experience the benefits. He explained that the old method of watering crops was time and labour intensive. It required two people and a lot of time. The new irrigation system has reduced the number of people and work hours required to water the crops and it also saves water. In addition, watering the crops with the irrigation system does not damage crops like the old method did.

    "The irrigation system provides equal amounts of water for the crops, in the old system the pressure of watering would cause peanuts to fall off the plants."

    How it works 
    Dang and the other farmers have constructed the irrigation system that draws water from a well up to four metres deep. The well collects rainwater and is kept shallow to prevent saline intrusion.

    Reducing the amount of water wasted prepares the farmers to be better prepared for the impacts longer dry seasons. The farmers have also come up with innovative methods to help their crops in the dry season, including using the residue of the peanut crop on the soil beds to maintain moisture. Using a drip irrigation system also allows the farmers to diversify their crops and implement seasonal crop rotation. This reduces reliance on one crop for income, thereby increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability.

    Members of the collaborative group continue to support one another and they are planning other ways to improve practices in the future. The members contribute to a revolving fund which is used for the operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems and for the assistance of any member who is disadvantaged. As the group becomes more financially stable they hope to help other poor farmers in the village with the same model. The group meets regularly to share information on farming techniques and new ideas, where for instance one farmer has invested in a goat and uses damaged crops as feed, while another has an idea to reuse crop residues as bio fertiliser to save money on buying fertiliser.

    Investing in irrigation systems that will save water in areas that are prone to longer dry seasons not only has a direct positive impact on the farmers' income, but also has many  positive knock on effects for the entire village.

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    Integrated farming is a whole farm management system which delivers more sustainable agriculture, that integrates livestock and crop production.

    Nguyen Van Them lives in Thanh Thoi Commune, and is one of many rural farmers who rely on cattle farming and coconut cultivation for their sources of income. However, due to longer drier seasons and fluctuating market prices, the livelihoods did not prove to be stable.

    Them went into frog and shrimp farming to take advantage of his strategic location near a river. He constructed canals to ensure the fresh flow of water for the frogs.

    To feed his frogs he started farming worms as well. The result was an increase in frog numbers and size. Neighbouring households saw that his innovative idea of an integrated farming model was successful and soon a collaborative group on frog farming was formed. Farmers from other communes have met to share technical knowledge and practices.

    Them continues to raise cattle and uses cattle dung along with compost made from worm faeces (vermicompost) for his fruit trees, thereby further adding to the integrated farming model.

    More households are interested in joining the collaborative group as they have observed the success of the worm-frog farming model. Although Them and the other farmers currently sell their produce to the local market, there is potential to expand production to nearby cities.

    Drip irrigation
    In the Nguyet Truong village farmers relied on rice cultivation as their main source of income. However, due to the higher elevation of the land and low water availability, the yield from rice cultivation was not sufficient. As a result many switched to vegetable farming.

    There are different approaches To climate change impacts and the different potential adaptation models suitable in different locations.

    One such model involved growing green onions and using a drip irrigation system to water the crops. They all grow Green Onion as their main crop along with other crops like dragon fruit and Chinese Chive.

    After two months of growing green onion, Be was able to make a profit of over 1 million VND (around US$ 42) per 1000m2 cultivated. This is double the income he received from growing rice.

    Be also notes a 30 per cent increase in production since using the new irrigation system.

    "In the past I watered the crops by hand and this took a lot of time and effort, now with this irrigation system it is easier to water the crops, less labour intensive and the crop yield is better than before."

    According to the commune officer, the collaborative group included four near-poor households and two households in poverty, all of whom were able to overcome their situations with the Green onion and irrigation system model. Because of its success, the project and the commune officers hope to replicate this model in other villages in the commune.

    To expand production and plan for the future, each member in the collaborative group contributes 100,000 VND every three months to a revolving fund. This fund is used for the operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems, for a disadvantaged group member and future planning. The farmers meet regularly in order to share information and updates on crop production, and commune officers have created platforms and host workshops in order for the farmers of different villages to share their technical expertise.

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     A la suite de la levée de la suspension du portefeuille FIDA en RDC en septembre 2018, le FIDA a repris en grand la collaboration avec le gouvernement et avec des objectifs bien clairs et des résultats qui se voient déjà.

    En premier lieu, le dernier né de la famille RDC, le PASA-NK a finalement été lancé et un atelier intensif pour les équipes du PASA-NK nouvellement recrutées se tiendra à Goma dans les jours À venir. 

    Afin de solidifier le partenariat entre le FIDA, la RDC et le Congo-Brazza, un Atelier d'immersion s'est tenu à Kinshasa du 29 novembre au 2 décembre. Cet atelier a rassemblé les autorités des deux pays, les équipes FIDA du pays, de la sous-région et du siège, les projets des deux pays les partenaires et la société civile.

    L'objectif de l'atelier était dans un premier temps lancer officiellement le PASA-NK et ensuite travailler avec toutes les parties prenantes afin de les informer des nouveautés  au niveau du FIDA et de leur donner des outils novateurs afin d'atteindre les objectifs et jalons ambitieux que les projets doivent atteindre dans le prochains 18 mois.

    Un de ces outils novateurs est le 'Défi des 100 jours'– technique conçue et partagée par l'ONG Rapid Results qui consiste à atteindre un impact dans des délais de 100 jours. Chaque projet a reçu les outils nécessaire pour mettre sur pied ce type de défi afin de rendre l'impossible possible. L'impossible est donc attendu à la fin du premier trimestre 2019.

    Ensuite, différentes sessions sur des thématiques fondamentales comme la gestion financière, le suivi évaluation et la gestion des résultats et la passation des marchés. De plus, des séances sur des questions transversales comme le ciblage, l'autonomisation des femmes, les jeunes et les autochtones, les partenariats, la gestion des savoirs et le leadership ont fait objet d'échanges intenses.

    Après 3 jours de d'information et de discussion, le Directeur Pays du FIDA, Abdelhaq Hanafi, a partagé quelques réflexions et a marqué son engagement et celle de son équipe pour assurer une excellente collaboration avec les pays et les projets. Il a aussi assuré tout l'appui nécessaire pour relever  les 'Défis des 100 jours' et pour atteindre les impacts et  les différents jalons fixés lors de la reprise de la collaboration. Rendre l'impossible possible – voilà la prochaine étape.

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    Thanh Hoa village in Thanh Phong, Vietnam is in the midst of paddy and shrimp farms. A perfect location for Luong Thi Chung and her husband Vo Ngoc Be and their aquaculture processing business.

    Chung and her family used to farm shrimp, which brought a modest income. However, in 2016, they broadened their aquaculture to include fish farming and established the processing unit. This began on a small scale with three to four workers and no proper link to the market.

    In 2017, Chung and Be heard about the Adaptation in the Mekong Delta Project (AMD) and attended the workshop held by the district officers. The workshop involved training on adaptive farming models, climate change awareness and how to manage a business. This provided the couple with a boost to expand and establish their business.

    After the workshop, 20 farmers in the commune including Chung, formed a collaborative group for aquaculture. The group received financial support from the project to build a cold storage room to expand aquaculture processing.

    With the addition to the processing unit, production expanded from 3.5 tonnes per year to 9 tonnes. The average income for Chung and her family also increased.

    They obtained a three year contract with a company based in HCMC to sell their product, establishing a steady market. According to Be, the company is pleased that he feeds and cares for the fish himself and that the processing and storage unit is on site of the farm.

    Chung and Be now employ several people from the village in the aquaculture processing centre. The model has been a success and the number of poor households has reduced from 16 households in 2016 to 10 in 2018.

    Proudly opening the cold storage room and showing us the finished product ready for shipping, Be acknowledges the support of the project:

    "I am happy that we were able to expand and become this successful. It's not only for us, but has had a knock on impact on others in the village too."

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    Thach Thi Hong Tuoi is a young woman farmer of Khmer ethnicity living in Kinh Xang Village, Hoa Loi Commune. The Khmer community living in the Mekong Delta is the largest minority ethnic group in Viet Nam and they face many issues including no proper access to clean water and basic healthcare.

    Tuoi used to cultivate rice and vegetables on 3000m2 of land in order to provide for her family of three. Due to a drastic salinity intrusion in 2016, half of her crops (mainly rice) were completely destroyed.

    "Although the area is a freshwater region, we were badly impacted by salinity intrusion."

    As a result, she and her husband decided to continue vegetable cultivation, but on a crop rotation basis, with four or five different kinds of vegetables at a time. This provided the main source of income for the family. Her husband also worked as a labourer and sold fish caught from the nearby canal.

    One of the main challenges Tuoi and her husband face is the time and effort taken to water the crops.

    "Before we got electricity, I used to water the plants with a bucket. After we got electricity I asked my brother for his help to buy a pump to get water from the canal".

    In addition to the support from her brother, Tuoi received funding from the Women's Development Fund and the Adaptation in the Mekong Delta project. With around US$ 800 she bought a sprinkler system, seeds and fertiliser in order to improve the productivity of her crops.

    The project also provided technical training on the irrigation system and on cultivating different types of crops. The sprinkler system currently covers one third of her land but she has already started noticing the benefits.

    "I can save time and labour and the yield of my crops has increased".

    Tuoi plans to expand her cultivation by another 1000m2 and intends on getting sprinkler systems for the remaining land. She and her husband are part of a collaborative group on vegetable farming, who regularly meet to share information and obtain advice and support from the commune officers. Although the past few years have been difficult, Tuoi is happy with the progress of her farming and is optimistic about the future.

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    The road to Vung Tau Village in Long Vinh Commune is a long and winding path that traverses fields, canals, and even houses and it is only accessible via foot or motorbike. Nguyen Thi Ut and her family live in a house at the corner of the village by the river. 

    Until a couple of years ago, Ut and her family relied on fish and crab caught from the river. She explained that this was never a stable source of income and it was barely enough to cover the daily needs of the family. In 2016, she heard about the Adaptation in the Mekong Delta (AMD) Project from local authorities, attended the trainings and workshops and decided to adopt the goat raising model with support from the project.

    Her reasoning behind adopting this farming model came from the positive feedback from nearby goat farmers. The naturally abundant feed for the goats was also a factor in her decision. Ut received funding from the project for baby goats and supplies for pen structures.

    Ut's herd grew from four goats in 2016 to eleven, after selling some goats in the last two years. Her annual income has also increased.

    The reasons behind the success of the goat raising model according to Ut are the low costs and the absence of major challenges. She feeds the goats once a day and then they are free to roam in the area where there is plenty of natural feed. Very rarely do the goats get diseases and if they do she has access to veterinary medicine.

    "Goat raising has improved my income and situation a lot and I will continue to do this."

    Ut is happy to share information about goat raising with other farmers in the area whenever the opportunity presents itself, although this is somewhat rare as the households are in remote areas.

    One of the commune agricultural officers mentioned that goat raising is the more successful models as it does not involve much cost and therefore is more suitable for poor and near poor households.

    The project officer added that due to the success of the model they have plans to replicate it across other villages in the commune. Since the commune lies in a saline region, it is difficult to grow crops and so goat raising offers a more stable source of income. Establishing links with the trader has further stabilised this livelihood and there is potential to further develop this model by composting and selling goat dung to neighbouring communes.

    Ut continues to catch fish and crabs from the river to supplement the household income but she is happy with the outcome of goat raising and plans to expand her goat herd in the future.

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    Driving through the Than Loc Village in Thanh Phone Commune, the number of farm gardens filled with young mango trees already bearing fruit is easily observable. 

    Trien is a mango farmer who owns 0.6 hectares of land for his 480 mango trees. These four year old trees are of a special variety which bears fruit throughout the year - providing a steady source of income.

    It wasn't always a stable situation for Trien. Before growing mangoes, he and his family cultivated water melon, peanuts and Mexican turnip. This required hard labour and the crop would be susceptible to weather related factors. He decided to change to mango farming after observing the success of his neighbour’s harvest.

    Growing mango came with its own challenges. Trien used to water his plants by hand and this was a two person job which took around two days. He could not afford a sprinkler system and so had to water the mangoes manually.

    In 2017, the farmers heard about IFAD's Adaptation in the Mekong Delta (AMD) project and were able to obtain support for a sprinkler system. The project financed the cost of a pump, pipes and water tank for ten mango farmers who couldn’t afford sprinkler systems on their own.

    This has greatly reduced the number of work hours for Trien and the sprinkler system helps to save water. The production of mangoes has increased by nearly 17 per cent.

    Trien is a member of the Than Phong Agriculture Service Cooperative which was started with the support from the project and now has over 145 members. There are now 100 members who plant mango and have a contract with the cooperative who then sells their crop to a large supermarket chain.

    The cooperative plans to expand their market by exporting to other countries and intends to build a storage facility to increase production. A company has been hired to certify the product and the AMD project provided support for certification and packaging. The cooperative also intends to support farmers who cannot afford sprinkler systems after completion of the project.

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    ©IFAD/Radhika Chalasani

    Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices have the potential to simultaneously boost yields, build resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly for communities whose livelihoods are already under threat from climate change.

    A new study published by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture and funded by IFAD attempted to ascertain the factors that influence the limited adaptation practices across sites in Uganda, Vietnam and Nicaragua. The researchers conducted household surveys at the sites of ASAP projects in the countries, tabulated levels of CSA adoption, created a cost-benefit analysis for widespread CSA implementation and projected potential adoption levels at each site.

    Despite finding that the selected CSA practices had high potential adoption and return rates, uptake at most of the research sites was low. Obstacles include reluctance to abandon habitual farming techniques, labour constraints and a lack of access to finance.

    "Engaging multiple stakeholders, including the private sector, is crucial in ensuring the widespread and sustained implementation of climate-resilient strategies," said Margarita Astralaga, the Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division at IFAD.

    The main findings of the study revealed great variations in terms of profitability among the range of CSA interventions across scales. Depending on the context (e.g. household composition, crop typologies, markets, access to inputs), the profitability of similar practices can vary greatly. Socioeconomic factors in conjunction with the costs and benefits of practices greatly influence adoption rates. High return rates at the farm level may not necessarily apply at larger scales, for example at the community level.

    Le Lan, a researcher at the University of Western Australia and the study’s lead author, said successful CSA interventions by governments and development agencies need to seek “the greatest aggregated benefit to the community” and not just potential gain for individual farmers. “In addition, if the area suffers from extreme climate events, targeted assistance must consider the socioeconomic and cultural realities of farmer groups if the practices are to be widely adopted.”

    To find out more, you can find the report here.

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    How do we reach the Paris Long Term Goal through equity, rights and systems change in the land sector and beyond without relying on geoengineering and negative emissions technologies?

    Kevin Anderson, from Manchester and Uppsala Universities set the scene. He gave a brief overview of the history of the conversation on climate change and his opinion on where we are and where we need to go.

    Where we are?
    “We are currently in our 28th year of failure”. The first IPCC report was released in 1990, and we are now in 2018 with no sign of significant change on the horizon.

    “Equity is at the heart of this," continued Anderson. "From a recent Oxfam report, it is clear that CO2 emissions are dominated by the few. Fifty per cent of global CO2 is from just 10 per cent of the population. Seventy per cent by only 20 per cent. These are the people we need to tailor action to.

    "The issue is that they are the ones sitting in the negotiation rooms and they are untouchable. Take this room here at COP24. We are burning coal to keep the lights on in this room when it is sunny outside – we invented windows years ago…”

    Anderson went on to say that we need a World War Two level of industrial renovation but not for tanks, for wind turbines and other green technologies.

    Winning slowly is the same as losing outright – Alex Steffen 2017

    There was a complaint voiced that the current UNFCCC COP24 negotiations are not discussing driving emissions away from the high emitters – as the negotiation rooms are full of the high emitters and they have no interest in that.

    Anderson elaborated on a three-phase strategy to address co2 emissions, budgets and inequality. First off in the immediate and near term we need profound changes in the energy behaviours and practices of high-energy users. Then, in the near to medium term we need very stringent energy efficiency standards in all major end-use equipment. Finally, in the medium to long term Marshall style construction of zero CO2 energy supply and major electrification.“With a guaranteed defeat, we need to start thinking radically”, concluded Andersson. He then highlighted how the future belonged to the youth and those like Greta Thunberg – who at 15 years old – was holding up a mirror to our mitigation failures.

    Biodiversity is important
    Next to speak was Kelsey Perlman from the NGO Fern. Perlman stated that Biodiversity is central to life on earth and the more ecosystems are decreased the more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.

    “We need to decrease emissions from deforestation an forest degradation to limit global warming,” continued Perlman.

    Forests are a key solution to stabilising global temperatures but are increasingly under threat. Whether we stay at 1.5°C or up to 2°C degrees – between 1.5 and 2 there are varying and drastic effects on biodiversity.

    Another way?
    Indigenous and community lands, which tend to be forests, store a massive amount of carbon. Land tenure rights aren’t secured around the globe however and so protecting these people and their land rights from big corporations is one way that will actually help.

    Once these lands are protected, then you can start talking about additional sequestration. Make no mistake over the course of this century we need 8.5 GT of CO2 per year by 2050 to be sequestered.

    Livestock sector – a key component in agricultural emissions
    Finally, Shefali Sharma from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) Europe talked about the livestock sector.

    We know we need to drastically reduce emissions across all sectors. However, if all sectors but agriculture reduced as much as they need to instantly, by 2050 the agriculture sector would be using 81 per cent of our global carbon budget. As a sector, it clearly isn't going the right way.

    “The top 20 meat and dairy companies emit more CO2 than Germany. We cannot hide behind nutrition and food security – I know there are hungry people who need food but that isn’t a justification for the damage being caused.”

    Climate justice
    “You look around this conference – there are side events focusing on cutting Kenyan cattle emissions – on the rationale that they have low producing cows so they are inefficient. This is appalling!” said Sharma. The emissions from Kenyan cattle are a proverbial drop in the ocean compared to industrial livestock.

    Sharma also discussed the issue of accountability and how the accountability of the sector has a long way to go. External calculations can be up to 2000 per cent higher than the emissions that the companies report. Clearly there is work to be done there.

    Climate change will not be linear in agriculture. Smallholder communities will be devastated by climate change and it will hit them first. There is no genetic diversity in industrial agriculture, and because of this, it is extremely vulnerable. It is a myth that industrial agriculture will feed the world in the future, it may not survive the present.

    Climate change, poverty, hunger, collapse of biodiversity – all man made
    Francois Delvaux from CIDSE then said, “We cannot address climate change in silos. The good news is that transformative alternatives exist. These alternatives are backed by science and communities. The bad news is that they are transformative. They threaten the status quo, and such a massive shift goes against powerful interests [energy, industrial agriculture]and goes against a locked in mindset.”

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    Photo credit: Sarisaina Wilco

    Clare Bishop, Gender and rural livelihoods specialist

    The opportunities for promoting gender transformative approaches (GTAs) received a major boost last week. The gender teams of the three Rome-based agencies, FAO, IFAD and WFP, signed a €5 million grant agreement with the European Union. They will share, field test and disseminate various GTAs to contribute to deeper and more sustainable development outcomes under SDG2 on ending hunger.

    For IFAD, this presents an opportunity to broaden the ongoing work on household methodologies (HHM) as a mechanism for identifying and addressing the underlying causes of gender inequalities at the household level. IFAD has built up a decade of experience of working on HHM and, in preparation for the grant, conducted a stock-take exercise of HHM activities in the loan portfolio. In the context of IFAD’s work, HHM refers to two approaches: the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) and household mentoring for social inclusion.

    Results from the stocktaking: scale and attractions of HHM
    Almost one quarter of the current loan portfolio (51 out of 211) is, or has a commitment to, integrating HHM into project activities. They cover 26 countries, with over half being based in East and Southern Africa. Five hotspots were identified where HHM are well-established (classified as HHM-competent: Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda).

    IFAD practitioners, such as CPMs and project staff, cite five main reasons why HHM are attractive:
    • the methodology is flexible and adaptable to examining inequalities and identifying practical solutions in many different contexts, from natural resource management and agriculture to agribusiness, enterprise development and rural finance; 
    • IFAD works with groups which act as natural entry points to introduce GALS, for example, farmer field schools, farmer organizations, savings and credit groups, water users’ associations, fishers groups, adult literacy classes, youth groups, labour construction groups and forest associations. Not only do these groups provide an entry point to train members in the GALS methodology but, through that process, it also improves the performance of the groups themselves; 
    • HHM are inclusive, engaging with poorer households (especially through household mentoring), men and the youth, as well as women; 
    • they generate positive changes in mindsets and behaviours in intra-household dynamics in a short space of time because all household members are on the same journey, they are in control of the process and the outcomes are ‘win-win’ for all; and 
    • they make project benefits not only more profound (both in terms of productivity gains and well-being) but also more sustainable by developing mechanisms of motivation and self-reliance. 

    Why does an intra-household approach resonate with IFAD’s work?
    IFAD has described its vision for the post-2015 rural world, in terms of poverty reduction, people and communities building prosperous and sustainable livelihoods, families achieving food and nutrition security, families living in dignity and the aspirations of youth for a better life. However, in order to deliver on this vision it is necessary to dig deeper into what happens inside the household.

    For example, whilst it may be possible to eliminate poverty or food and nutrition insecurity at the household level, is that vision achieved if members within those households still remain poor or malnourished? In many contexts, women have little voice over how the household income is spent, including their own earnings, and women and children often eat less nutritious foods than men and eat last. Similarly, how can rural poor people and young people be empowered to build their own livelihoods if they don’t have a voice in the fora in which their livelihood options are determined? And finally, can every family member live in dignity when discriminatory norms, such as gender-based violence, are commonplace?

    Consequently, intra-household dynamics are crucial to the achievement of IFAD’s post-2015 vision. Many who have witnessed first-hand the impacts of HHM on the lives of individuals and their families appreciate the relevance of addressing gender inequalities within the household for the achievement of broader development objectives.

    EU grant
    The grant will support the activities of the Rome-based agencies to embed GTA in policy dialogue, programmes, institutional culture and working modalities, including improved synergies and effectiveness of interventions, over the period 2018 to 2022.

    In addition to activities directly related to GTAs, the grant will strengthen the capacity of employees and partners to mainstream GTA into policy engagement and programme/project design, implementation and monitoring; and stimulate an evidence-based dialogue with senior management to increase understanding about, and appreciation for, the relevance and benefits of GTA for the achievement of SDG2. 

    GTA process is underway
    IFAD is looking forward to this opportunity to share experiences with FAO and WFP and, together, develop and promote a more innovative gender transformative agenda to deliver on SDG2. The process is already underway. On 25 November, for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD’s President, cited HHM as a mechanism for reducing gender-based violence at the household level. IFAD has introduced HHM to the Joint Programme ‘Economic Empowerment of Rural Women’ (with FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN Women) in Kyrgyzstan. And IFAD’s new grant with Oxfam Novib and Hivos will establish regional hubs and a global network of practitioners in order to support the implementation of HHM in the field.

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    The role of cooks in advocating for the second Sustainable Development Goal – to wipe out world hunger – was highlighted at Development and Climate Days yesterday in a ‘Recipes for Change’ cooking challenge.

    Teams of D&C Days participants representing Bolivia, Cambodia, Mexico, Rwanda, Senegal and Tonga each prepared a meal using the same vegetable ingredients from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

    The foods were typical of those cultivated by smallholder farmers facing similar climatic and nutritional issues.

    Celebrity chef Ska Moteane from Lesotho presided.

    The challenge, won by the group representing Tonga, was organized by D&C Days partner IFAD (the International Fund for Agricultural Development) and the Kitchen Connection online community of cooks and chefs working to end hunger through ‘gastrodiplomacy’.

    ‘Rural women’

    It dealt “squarely with the fact that one in three people worldwide depends on smallholder farms for their food security, and that smallholders are often located on marginal lands where the impacts of climate change are most strongly felt, reducing crop yields and incomes.”

    There are more than 800 million hungry people in the world today, the groups said in an introduction, a significant increase from more than 700 million in 2015.

    “The biggest factors that contribute to this increase are certainly provoked by conflict and weak governance…compounded by natural disasters and climate change…

    “Rural women, who make up 20 per cent of humanity, are most likely to suffer the effects of malnutrition,” working land they do not own.

    IFAD’s #RecipesForChange initiative engages civil society to address hunger through kitchens in people’s homes and beyond in the entire food system.

    The winning creation, representing Tonga, at the D&C Days Recipes for Change cooking challenge at D&C Days in Katowice. All the food for the event was later taken and used by young Polish volunteers assisting with the weekend workshop alongside the COP 24 UN climate Talks.

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    Re-posted from CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

    The debate on agriculture in UN climate change negotiations is shifting from setting the agenda towards building consensus on an action plan. The Agriculture Advantage 2.0 event series at COP24 seeks to inform priorities for action. 

    The theme of agriculture inhabits a growing space within UN climate negotiations, for instance through the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture. Actors involved in the climate negotiations have started to recognize the importance of agriculture in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the necessity of discussing this issue on an international platform.

    Last year, an alliance of organizations active in the agriculture sector connected with negotiators and national and international organizations through an event series on the potential for adaptation and mitigation in and through agriculture during COP23. In its second iteration, Agriculture Advantage 2.0, the series builds on last year's experiences, emphasizing the need to move from agenda setting to action.

    A system-wide transformation needs to… leverage finance

    ''One of the key ingredients for scaling up CSA is unlocking finance by de-risking agriculture."

    Godefroy Grosjean, Asia Climate Policy Hub Leader & Climate Policy Expert, CIAT

    In order to leverage finance, one way forward is to bring international and national funders together to get a clear idea of what is needed for effective adaptation and mitigation in agriculture. Policy actors need to remove institutional barriers to trigger policy advantages and investment advantages simultaneously. Investments are urgently needed, as an estimated USD 205 billion investment is necessary to achieve adaptation to climate change in the agricultural sector.

    This need, however, does not have to be a burden. By better understanding the advantages of food system finance, system elements such as soil or climate-smart agriculture be an opportunity for economic wealth in additional to ecological and social wealth.

    … be differentiated

    ''This is truly a story where one size fits all is not going to work. We need to think about differentiated pathways for different types of farmers to improve their livelihoods and climate-smartness.''

    Ana Maria Loboguerro, Head of Global Policy Research, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)

    One crucial challenge in transforming the agricultural sector is its context specificity: different contexts and different types of farmers call for different solutions. Ana Maria Loboguerrero suggests understanding these pathways as existing in a three-dimensional space defined by three axes: culture, productivity and the environment. This approach, developed by Lindsay Stringer and colleagues at University of Leeds, allows differences to be explored and addressed appropriately.

    … and tech-forward (but people-focused)

    Technological advantages can help us shift from incremental to transformational change in food systems. But while technology is an essential element of the way forward, it is not a silver bullet, and comes with its own challenges:

    ''Technology on its own does not take us very far; rather it is one piece of the puzzle. When using these new technologies what we need is time, so we are hitting a moving target.”

    Graham Thiele, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB)

    Graham Thiele, Director of RTB, elaborates on the opportunities and challenges of using technology to address climate change in agriculture. Photo: Barbara Ogrodniczak

    Furthermore, it is also important not to forget that ultimately, technologies are used by people and require mindful incorporation, in line with the differentiated pathways that need to be identified for different contexts and types of farmers.

    ''We should not forget that technologies are used by people. The technology does not just spin off. It is people that need to implement the technology.”

    Dean Cooper, Market Development Manager – Energy Sector, SNV

    Thus behaviour change among farmers and consumers is equally important. Communication will be a crucial ingredient for that change:

    ''The world is tired of hearing about the devastating impacts of climate change. We want to focus on the benefits and joy of climate action in agriculture and for smallholder farmers.”

    Brian Thomson, Senior Communications and Advocacy Specialist, Environment, Climate Gender and Social Inclusion Division, IFAD

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    par Abdelhaq Hanafi et Adriane Del Torto
    Le Projet d’Appui au Secteur Agricole Nord Kivu (PASA NK) a finalement été lancé à Goma le 6 décembre 2018 à Goma à l'Hotel Ihusi.

    En présence du gouverneur de la Province du Nord Kivu, Julien Paluku, plusieurs autorités et notabilités provinciales ainsi que des membres des organisations paysannes, le Directeur-pays FIDA, Abdelhaq Hanafi, un atelier de 3 jours s'est tenu pour démarrer les activités sur Goma avec l'équipe nouvellement recrutée.

    Le PASA-NK viendra en appui aux filières agricoles avec un investissement de 53 millions de dollars USD prévu sur 9 ans pour renforcer de manière durable les filières agricoles du riz, du maïs, de la pomme de terre, du café et du thé. Le Projet s'occupera entre autres de désenclaver les zones de production pour un meilleur accès au marché avec une contribution de 9.718 millions de dollars USD du Fonds de Développement des Pays Exportateurs de pétrole(OFID) ;

    Le Directeur-pays FIDA, Abdelhaq Hanafi, a souligné le caractère novateur du montage institutionnel de ce projet dans la mesure où c'est la première fois que le FIDA et le Gouvernement de la RDC ont accepté d'impliquer des organisations paysannes et des ONG dans la gestion directe et la mise en œuvre d'un projet.

    Le PASA NK offrira, à coup sûr, une opportunité exceptionnelle d'investir dans une zone confrontée aux nombreux défis et risques, notamment liés à la situation socio-sécuritaire, mais aussi sanitaire avec la présence du « Virus Ebola » récemment signalé. Pour contourner ces deux défis, le FIDA préconise de cartographier les villages ciblés et d'investir progressivement en fonction du niveau de maîtrise des risques.

    Pour le Gouverneur du Nord Kivu, Julien Paluku, le PASA NK est venu à point nommé dans cette partie du pays ; il le perçoit cet important investissement du FIDA comme un facteur de stabilisation et une contribution à la pacification de sa province meurtrie par plusieurs années de guerre et d’instabilité. Et c'est à cette mission que le FIDA souhaite engager le Gouvernement National, les autorités provinciales, les autorités traditionnelles et administratives locales, les partenaires, bénéficiaires ainsi que le tout nouveau staff du projet.

    Le PASA-NK a bénificié dans ce cadres de'appuis de plusieurs spécialistes du FIDA et internationaux pour les aider à relever les nombreux défis auxquels ils feront face, y inclut leur défi des des 100 jours qu'ils ont initié à Kinshasa quelques jours auparavant.

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    Alumnos MANQ'A en los huertos de AFLOHPA @Manq'a
    La Paz albergó el pasado 4 de diciembre la primera reunión de presentación de resultados del proyecto Back to the roots (Volver a las raíces) impulsado por el Fondo de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA), desde su oficina en Bolivia. El proyecto recupera experiencias exitosas de Perú, Chile y Bolivia que han vinculado al pequeño productor rural con nuevos mercados a través de la gastronomía. La conservación del patrimonio alimentario regional entendido como un fenómeno multidimensional capaz de contribuir al desarrollo de los países es el eje vertebrador de Volver a las raíces.

    “Es importante visualizar la gastronomía como una herramienta para el desarrollo de los pequeños productores rurales. La gastronomía generará innovación y tendencias que podrán poner en la mesa los productos de la agricultura familiar, impulsando las economías locales y contribuyendo así a la erradicación de la pobreza”, señalaba Arnoud Hameleers, representante del FIDA en Bolivia.

    “Este proyecto parte de la premisa que la cocina puede conectar a los pequeños productores con el mercado, siempre y cuando entendamos a la cocina como un hecho social total. En los tres países notamos como experiencias muy distintas entre sí –políticas alimentarias, marcas territoriales, festivales gastronómicos, centros de formación, ferias, restaurantes y cooperativas de productores– lograron la articulación entre el productor campesino y el mercado partiendo de la premisa de que el trabajo de un campesino va mas allá de sembrar y cosechar y de que la cocina no sólo nos nutre sino que sobre todo nos conecta, fortalece las identidades y nos define”, comentaba el gerente del proyecto, el investigador gastronómico peruano Andrés Ugaz.

    Ferias Agropecuarias Perú
    Volver a las raíces promueve un proceso de reflexión a través de la documentación de esas experiencias que usan la gastronomía para establecer la ligazón entre los pequeños productores y los mercados locales y de exportación. El objetivo final es poder influir en políticas públicas, programas y proyectos de desarrollo rural, proponiendo usar la gastronomía como un elemento de innovación para el desarrollo rural sostenible.

    El proyecto sistematizará 11 experiencias que tienen en común ese enfoque de patrimonio alimentario regional e innovación. Entre esas experiencias figuran desde pequeñas asociaciones de productores que exportan papas nativas desde Perú, la vinculación de un importante supermercado que hace un año compra directamente a pequeños productores en Bolivia o  la iniciativa ÑAM en Chile, que a través de un encuentro gastronómico ha logrado vincular a los pequeños productores con mercados urbanos.

    Forografia: Proyecto Maqueo Sabores étnicos

    Volver a las raíces promueve una alianza entre varios actores que por un lado son la base de los movimientos gastronómicos en cada país y por otro son organizaciones de alcance global con reconocida trayectoria en el mundo del desarrollo rural. Como resultado de esa alianza se ha creado un consorcio entre ICCO Cooperación, Movimiento de Integración Gastronómico Boliviano MIGA, Grupo MASA organizadores del Festival Gastronómico ÑAM (Chile), Centro de Innovación y desarrollo emprendedor de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perúe HIVOS. Nuevos socios estratégicos en Chile, Perú y Bolivia se incorporarán gradualmente al consorcio.

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    El  El Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA), junto al Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD) y la Organización de las Naciones Unidaspara la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO), han sido las agencias de Naciones Unidas que ha contribuido a la elaboración del Plan de Acción Nacional de Pueblos Indígenas de El Salvador (PLANPIES). La implementación del plan, que fue presentado en un acto público celebrado con ocasión del Día Internacional de los Derechos Humanos, recaerá sobre el Equipo Nacional de Conducción Indígena (ENACI) en coordinación con el Estado salvadoreño.

    “Este plan es una herramienta imprescindible para valorar, respetar y reconocer el aporte fundamental del patrimonio cultural de la población indígena a la nación. También busca una participación plena y efectiva de los pueblos indígenas en las decisiones y acciones de protección, conservación, uso colectivo y sostenible de tierras, territorios y recursos, así como en la mejora de sus sistemas productivos”, aseguró el presidente salvadoreño Salvador Sánchez Cerén, luego de recibir el PLANPIES.

    La construcción de este documento se realizó en cumplimiento del mandato de la Conferencia Mundial sobre los Pueblos Indígenas celebrada en 2014 en la sede de la ONU en Nueva York, que eligió a El Salvador como uno de los seis países que en todo el mundo realizarían planes de acción nacional, una experiencia piloto que debe servir de ejemplo a otros estados en los que existe población indígena.

    Ese mismo año se ratificó la reforma al Artículo 63 de la Constitución salvadoreña que establece la obligación del Estado de crear y ejecutar políticas públicas para fortalecer la identidad étnica y cultural, la cosmovisión, los valores y la espiritualidad de los pueblos indígenas. De este artículo se deriva la necesidad de implementar políticas, programas y servicios con enfoque de desarrollo intercultural.

    El plan recopila y sistematiza aportes de un proceso amplio y participativo de consulta realizado a nivel territorial y nacional entre 2015 y 2016. Esta consulta definió las áreas prioritarias, ejes, líneas y acciones estratégicas recogidas en el PLANPIES que da cumplimiento a los compromisos adquiridos por el Estado salvadoreño ante la ONU.

    “El Plan de Acción Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas está en sintonía con los esfuerzos globales para el reconocimiento y la realización de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, tal y como se recogen en la Declaración sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas suscrita en 2007”, dijo el coordinador residente del Sistema de Naciones Unidas en El Salvador, Christian Salazar.

    Como parte de las agencias del Sistema de Naciones Unidas que participaron en el proceso de formulación del Plan, Juan Diego Ruíz, jefe de la Oficina del FIDA para Mesoamérica y el Caribe, aseguró: “Quiero felicitar y expresar nuestro reconocimiento a los pueblos indígenas de El Salvador por su esfuerzo y dedicación a la construcción de este importante documento de inclusión social, económica, política, legal y cultural. Una herramienta que contribuirá significativamente a la defensa de sus derechos y a su participación activa en las políticas públicas del país. También queremos reconocer el compromiso del Estado salvadoreño para apoyar la implementación del PLANPIES”.

    El FIDA es una agencia especializada de Naciones Unidas dedicada a erradicar la pobreza y el hambre de las zonas rurales de los países en desarrollo. En el Salvador, el Fondo ha invertido un total de USD 156,6 millones en 11 programas y proyectos de desarrollo rural que han beneficiado alrededor de 170.000 familias.

    De conformidad con la Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas y, en particular, su promesa de asegurar de "no dejar a nadie atrás", el FIDA respalda el desarrollo autónomo de los pueblos indígenas por medio de proyectos que refuerzan su cultura, su identidad, sus conocimientos, sus recursos naturales, la propiedad intelectual y los derechos humanos.
    Betty Pérez, representante del Consejo Coordinador Nacional Indígena de El Salvador (CCNIS), valoró el acompañamiento que hubo para la elaboración del Plan: “Quiero agradecer al Gobierno, al Sistema de Naciones Unidas, al Coordinador Residente, al FIDA y la FAO porque han sido pilares fundamentales para que este Plan pudiera elaborarse e iniciarse”.

    El evento contó con la presencia de más de seiscientos representantes de comunidades de pueblos indígenas e invitados especiales, entre ellos el Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y El Caribe (FILAC), representado en esta ocasión por su secretario técnico, Alvaro Pop. La actividad concluyó con la juramentación de la Mesa de Seguimiento del PLANPIES a cargo de la Ministra de Cultura, Silvia Elena Regalado Blanco, que quedó conformada por 10 representantes de instituciones de gobierno y 10 representantes de pueblos indígenas, quienes se comprometieron a buscar los mecanismos necesarios para la implementación del Plan.

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    By Eva Komba, Kenneth Odary (Kajiado County LR participants), Giulia Barbanente (IFAD) and Mia Madsen (IFAD)

    Livestock market: Barbara Massler/PROCASUR/2018

    In October this year staff from the IFAD-funded Butana Integrated Rural Development Project (BIRDP) in Sudan hosted a high-level visit of representatives from the Kajiado County in Kenya. The overall purpose of the peer-to-peer Learning Route was to share good practices in land and natural resource management (NRM) implemented by BIRDP. The participants from Kajiado County were particularly eager to identify new strategies to address potential land conflicts and environmental degradation in their own context, through better land and natural resources management, building community resilience in food security, climate adaption, and disaster risk management. The Learning Route was supported by IFAD, PROCASUR, the Government of Sudan, though the BIRDP project, and by the County Government of Kajiado in Kenya. 

    The idea of organizing a peer-to peer exchange visit between Kenya and Sudan started during the Africa Land Policy conference in Addis Abeba in 2017, when Kenneth Odary and Eva Komba from Kenya were sensitized to the BIRDP project while presenting a research paper highlighting a similar context to that of Butana. Both the Butana and Kajiado regions face similar challenges, with communities who depend on livestock as their key source of livelihood, and semi-arid landscapes. Kajiado County had earlier identified the need to develop effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to secure livelihoods and community development, and got interested in learning more about the BIRDP experience. After several months of discussions and preparations the Learning Route finally materialized 15-24 October 2018, when 10 Kenyan participants embarked on a learning expedition to the Butana region in Sudan.

    The Butana region in Eastern Sudan has seen a rise in conflicts over water, forests and rangelands between settled farmers and pastoralists in recent years. An influx of pastoralists fleeing insecurity in neighboring South Sudan has placed even more pressure on limited natural resources in the area. To address these challenges BIRDP has piloted an innovative grassroots approach to land management. One of the innovative aspects of the BIRDP grassroots approach to NRM is inclusive and participatory involvement of local communities in land governance. Up to date, BIRDP has facilitated the establishment and registration of 12 community-based natural resource management networks in the project area. These networks, operate as legal entities, and have become an important bridge between community development committees and state institutions, helping rural communities address local development issues, reduce tensions between settled farmers and pastoralists and strengthen communities’ resilience to climate change. The networks have enabled settled communities to register communal ranges and forests to secure their customary land rights, and also to respond to natural resource management challenges as one entity.

    Hafir water irrigation: Barbara Massler/PROCASUR/2018

    During the Learning Route the Kajiado team visited the al-Idaid Network, where six communities have established a network to address specific community identified NRM challenges. Their most innovative interventions is securing hafirs - community water sources - by mechanically excavating pits to harvest rain water both for human and animal consumption and supplementary irrigation of women communal farms. The network has created and registered water management committees to manage the water infrastructure. The hafirs have been particularly important in improving access to water, reducing risks associated with long distances to collect water for both humans and animals , and can be considered a sustainable strategy for managing the adverse effects of climate change. 
    Another field visit was undertaken to the Tamboul slaughterhouse and a secondary livestock market within the Rufaa locality. Discussions with producers and butchers revealed that the traditional mode of animal production, in which the owners rely on free range grazing and selling of live animals and skins, has been dominant in the area. Full commercial value of livestock has not been fully exploited yet due to challenges such as harsh terrains, low literacy levels and cultural practices that make communities less receptive to change. However, through BIRDP, communities have been sensitized on benefits that can be accrued from the livestock sector and exposed to critical skills necessary for improving livestock production and marketing. Communities have together created the Tamboul butchers’ cooperative, an innovation brought in from a field visit to the Keekonyoike Cooperative in Kiserian, Kajiado County, Kenya a few years ago. Since then, the Tamboul butchers have constructed a modern slaughterhouse in Butana that can cater for all types of animals. The slaughterhouse design also includes a bio-digester to generate energy and produce organic fertilizer. As part of their future plans the cooperative intends to link meat production to markets and increase the quantity of food at household level to minimize food insecurity and enhance incomes of livestock producers. 

    Lessons learnt
    The Learning Route was an opportunity for Kenyan and Sudanese counterparts to share good practices and forge stronger south-south partnerships. The Kajiado County representatives highlighted several lessons that can be learnt from the BIRDP project. Some of the critical lessons are highlighted below:

    Gender and women empowerment. In the context of BIRDP, many women have taken up leadership roles in different NRM committees, for example, water management networks. The fact that women have been given the opportunity to manage water resources, own and cultivate land was an eye opener to the Kajiado team. At community level in Kajiado County women still remain vulnerable and walk long distances in search of water and pasture. Leadership at all levels remains male dominated. The Kajiado team was impressed by how BIRDP has empowered women at community level. 

    Key highlights also include the promotion of women economic empowerment through village level saving and credit groups. A Community Investment Fund promoted by BIRDP, has proven to be a crucial driver for the success of the project. The initiative has been particularly useful for women and youth who face limited livelihood options. The Kajiado County works with initiatives that seek to encourage women groups to work together and register in to cooperatives to access more opportunities, and would like to strengthen women economic empowerment a community level.

    Integrated approach to development. BIRDP has adopted an integrated approach to development where a common shared goal at community level contributes to the realization of greater development results. By bringing in different stakeholders (men, women, youth) to implement project activities BIRDP has succeeded in creating buy-in from the community as a whole. This is an important lesson to replicate in comparable contexts such as the Kajiado County in Kenya. 

    Community ownership and leadership
    . The high level of ‘ownership’ held by local communities has proven effective in surviving the many challenges they face. This can be seen through community owned development work plans and strategies that include clearly stipulated common goals. In one of the communities visited by the LR participants community representatives mentioned that they have been empowered as a community and now have reached out to the local government to request support for establishing a local livestock market, accessible to women, as well as support to improve roads to facilitate transportation of animals to the market. 

    Food security. The fight against hunger and malnutrition should be preventive rather than curative. The BIRDP interventions have embarked on asset-building, livelihoods recovery/diversification and income generation to address food insecurity. Diversification beyond cattle rearing, including the provision of seeds and new agricultural practices has played a key role in realizing good harvests. Investments in nutrition training for women has reinforced the nutritional status at household levels.