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Measuring and enhancing effective adaption in Rwanda

Posted by Ricci Symons Monday, May 4, 2015 0 comments

By Marie Chanoine

I have just returned from attending the 9th International Conference on Community- Based Adaptation (CBA9). It was attended by a broad range of stakeholders besides IFAD, such as; meteorological services, national natural resources management agencies, bilateral donors, international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector. It was a perfect opportunity to meet a diverse group of people all of whom are interested in adaptation initiatives.

IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is supporting the Climate Resilient Post-Harvest and Agribusiness Support (PASP) project in Rwanda . The CBA9 conference was a great prospect for PASP to be involved in, allowing us to learn more on effective adaptation initiatives that can be replicated in Rwanda. Throughout the sessions, researchers and development practitioners stressed the importance of capacity building, mainstreaming adaptation measures into national policies, involving the private sector and understanding the local context (challenges and opportunities) for tailoring a project that responds to communities’ needs.

However, I was quite surprised to see that most of the presented CBA’s initiatives focused on crop productivity and livestock while little attention is given to post-harvest losses.  Therefore, the presentation of our poster on Post-harvest and agribusiness in the PASP project was extremely appropriate to the CBA 9 theme “Measuring and Enhancing effective adaptation”.  Indeed, PASP is an ‘avant-garde’ project that enhances local capacity by supporting five main commodities, from harvest to markets. It is enabling smallholder access to financial resources for investing in post-harvest climate–resilient technologies (e.g. solar dryers or cooling systems). PASP also corresponds to the existing national policy and sectorial strategies and supports national climate change adaptation priorities. Post-harvest loss causes are not limited to pests, pathogens, spoilage and damages but also by a lack of suitable storage structure and an absence of management technologies and practices. Moreover, these losses are exacerbated by climate variability and climate change effects. That is the reason why there is a tremendous need to develop and strengthen adaptation opportunities for smallholder farmers.

How M&E is so critical for enhancing adaptation?

In the case of the PASP project in Rwanda, ASAP funds will facilitate a better understanding of how current and future agro-meteorological conditions influences harvest and post-harvest activities and estimate current losses and critical stages of the value chain. As a result, these activities will thus ensure that rural infrastructures and related investments are resilient to the changing climatic patterns.

PASP have only just begun to tackle these issues, however the determination of the project staff will ensure their success.

By Mamadou Mohamed TOURE
Responsable Suivi-Evaluation PAPAM/ASAP Mali

How to use MPAT - infographic from IFAD.
Au Kenya du 25 au 30 avril 2015, j’ai participé à la neuvième Conférence Internationale des Communautés Basée sur l’Adaptation aux Changement Climatique (CBA9). C’est une conférence qui rassemble  habituellement différentes organisations locales, nationales et internationales, ONG, des universités,  des centres de recherche et la société civile, pour partage d’expériences et t perspectives sur l’Adaptation des Communautés aux Changement Climatique (CBA). La Conference de cette année a été organisée par entre autres par l’International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) et le Gouvernement du Kenya et a eu lieu à Nairobi.

Le Thème de cette année est le Suivi et Evaluation  de l’Adaptation Efficace, qui touche aux thèmes suivants :

Suivi et apprentissage sur l'efficacité de l'adaptation à différentes échelles: des communautés aux niveaux sous-national, national et global ;
Question de genre et groupes vulnérables ;
Exploitation de la variabilité  climatique pour faciliter l'adaptation dans les zones arides ;

Principes et options radicales d'adaptation - des questions pour en évaluer l'efficacité ;
Suivi et mise à l'échelle des pratiques de l'agriculture intelligente face au climat visant à améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et l'adaptation ;

Evaluation basée sur les écosystèmes pour l'adaptation efficace ;
Evaluation des pertes et dommages ;
Outils et techniques de mesure efficace pour l'adaptation et la résilience ;
Les connaissances autochtones sur l’adaptation ,

La conférence s’est déroulée à travers  des présentations des expériences en plénière et des  travaux de groupe. Le système de suivi-évaluation des gouvernements dans le processus de CBA a été largement discuté et les conclusions tirées sont axées sur l’importance de la bonne gouvernance, le renforcement des capacités et surtout la coordination des actions CBA dans les pays.

Des bailleurs de fonds comme la  Banque Africaine de développement ont réitéré leur entière disponibilité d’appui financier en faveur de l’Adaptation aux Changement Climatique.
Mr. Mamadou Mohamed Touré - Responsable Suivi-Evaluation
PAPAM/ASAP Mali presenting MPAT at CBA 9
©IFAD/E. Morras Dimas

Pendant cette conférence, Marie Chanoine du FIDA Rwanda et moi-même avons fait des exposés sur certaines initiatives du FIDA visant à mieux mesurer l'adaptation aux changements climatiques.

Plus spécifiquement, j’ai présenté The Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool – MPAT , littéralement traduit en français comme l’outil d’évaluation multidimensionnelle de la pauvreté. MPAT est une initiative qui a été mise au point par le personnel du FIDA afin de simplifier le défi complexe qui consiste à mesurer la pauvreté et l’impact des interventions visant à la réduire  au niveau des ménages et du village.

MPAT a été aussi adapté pour mesurer les progrès accomplis sur la résilience  climatique dans des projets qui intègrent le financement climat. Avec cet objectif,, une  composante supplémentaire sur les changements climatiques et l'adaptation a été ajoutée à l'outil MPAT et a été  testée dans le premier trimestre de 2015 dans le cadre du  projet PAPAM / ASAP  au Mali.

La mise en œuvre de l’enquête MPAT dans la zone d’intervention du volet ASAP du PAPAM s’est déroulée dans la période  début février à début Avril 2015. L’approche méthodologique a concerné  les étapes suivantes :

  • formation des formateurs au sein du PAPAM et celle des agents chargés  de la saisie des données ;
  • la formation des enquêteurs et des superviseurs d’enquêteurs ;
  • Le test des questionnaires sur terrain ;
  • l’échantillonnage ;
  • la collecte des données sur le terrain ;
  • la saisie des données ;
  • l’analyse des résultats et la production du rapport.

Cette enquête s’est déroulée dans deux régions du Mali (Kayes et Sikasso), six cercles (Bougouni, Sikasso, Yanfoîla, Kita, Keniébaet Bafoulabé) et 17 communes.
Sur la base des   résultats de l’application de MPAT au Mali, il est prévu de l’utiliser  dans d’autres  projets financés par le FIDA

Des nombreux acteurs ont manifesté leur intérêt vers l’outil MPAT  et ont demandé le résumé des thèmes exposés, les posters du FIDA et le rapport final du MPAT Mali pour pouvoir le reproduire dans leurs pays respectifs, notamment au Rwanda et au Vietnam.

Mon impression, est que cette Conférence Internationale ait réellement permis aux différents acteurs gouvernementaux et non gouvernementaux de partager leurs expériences en matière d’évaluation et l’amélioration efficace de l’Adaptation. La conférence a été une grande opportunité pour le FIDA de faire connaître d’avantage ses expertises et expériences en matière d’évaluation et d’amélioration de l’Adaptation aux Changement climatique.

La prochaine conférence est prévue pour 2016 au Bangladesh et on imagine le FIDA y jouer encore une fois un  rôle important

By Clare Bishop-Sambrook, Lead Technical Specialist - Gender and Social Inclusion, PTA


Women's poultry project
Women swept the board at the awards ceremony for government staff participating in the IFAD-World Bank supported Smallholder Agriculture Development Project in Lesotho. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to attend this event during a recent joint IFAD-World Bank supervision mission.
No less would be expected in Lesotho. The country has fully closed its gender gap in several areas and tops the global rankings on educational attainment, women’s employment as legislators, senior officials and managers, and as professional and technical workers (see World Economic Forum’s 2014 Global Gender Gap Report).  
The event – the first of its kind in Lesotho – was organized by the project management unit to recognize outstanding contributions to the implementation of the Agricultural Investment Plans (AIPs). The plans represent a crucial entry point to reach the rural poor and women. Activities include the preparation and implementation of community natural resource management plans, capacity building and group-based investments in agricultural enterprises. 

To date, 47 AIPs have been prepared, representing a total investment of USD 3,424,000, benefiting about 7000 households with 21,000 participants. During the mission we visited several AIP initiatives including women’s groups running poultry and greenhouse projects, and mixed groups planting trees, constructing livestock watering points and protecting wetlands.

 
The project’s field officers are based in four districts and oversee the development and implementation of the AIPs. They work closely with a range of government staff who form the AIP team and service providers, including crops and livestock, irrigation, natural resources, marketing, extension, procurement and accounts.

Lehlohonolo Mpholle, the component head, explained the idea behind introducing the awards: “After some initial teething troubles with this component, it is important to recognise the good work that is now being done at the farm level.” Accounting for just over half of the 44 nominees, women scooped 64 percent of the awards. And staff appreciated the awards as a recognition of their commitment and professional dedication.
 
Award winners with project staff and mission members
 

On April 20th IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division (ECD) hosted its third Climate Cinema.

Speaking about the films on show was Fabio Eboli, from the Euro Mediterranean Center on Climate Change and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM). And from IFAD's ECD division there was Stephen Twomlow, Regional Climate and Environment Specialist for East and Southern Africa

The first film shown was ''Well Beyond Water'' by Andy Ross, shot in Australia in 2014. This was a personal documentary filmed by English composer and musician Andy Ross who finds himself immersed in the unlikely world of Australian sheep farmers who are dealing with a prolonged and difficult drought. Contrary to his expectations he discovers an inspiring farmer who is finding ways to adapt to the challenging climate. The farmer raises questions about the meaning of drought and points to a need for cultural change and adaptive strategies.

Next up was Shamba Shape Up. In 2014 IFAD was one of a number of partners in Kenya's most watched agriculture TV show. Airing on Citizen TV on weekends, it’s watched by over 13 million people in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Most viewers are farmers. This makeover-style programme aims to give farmers the tools they need to improve their productivity and income. The Shape-Up team visit a different farm each week, along with experts from partner organizations who specialize in the topics to be covered in the episode. In this episode, the Shamba Shape Up team build a ''flexi biogas'' unit on a farm.


Lastly there was ''Modern Nature'', a film by Craig D Leon from Brazil. By the year 2050, 10 billion people may populate Earth. Do we need a genetic revolution to feed the world? Modern Nature takes the viewer on a non-narrated odyssey where viewers explore the challenges that mankind faces and whether organic or GMO is the answer. Filmed in Brazil, Ecuador, the US, St. Kitts and Nevis, Modern Nature is an award-winning documentary which includes perspectives from 5 continents, including MIT philosopher Noam Chomsky, Delhi-based environmentalist Vandana Shiva, and Los Angeles street farmer Ron Finley.

New photo-film: mapping soil diversity in Tanzania

Posted by Ricci Symons Friday, April 24, 2015 0 comments


The second ''photo-film'' of a  two-part series, "The Ground Beneath Your Feet," launched this week during Global Soil Week, where the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development's (IFAD) is highlighting the importance of soil, whilst debating the latest science and technology as well as methods for preserving this vital natural resource. 

In Lushoto, Tanzania, a cluster of ''climate-smart villages'' supported by  Climate Change and Food Security's (CCAFS) nestle in the stunning Eastern Arc Mountains, stretching between Tanzania and Kenya. The richly diverse landscape is a biodiversity hotspot with its sloping hillsides supporting a wide range of agricultural produce - from vegetables, beans, sugarcane and cassava to agroforestry.

But this diversity of crops takes a toll on the soils in which they are grown. Sloping land is becoming exposed to increasing rainfall, which is washing precious top soil away. Without replacing nutrients in the soil, or better management of the  soils on the steep slopes, Lushoto’s diversity will likely disappear.

Soil health is measured through indicators such as organic carbon. In Lushoto, carbon per kilogram of soil can vary massively between 15 and 150 grams within 10 kilometers. Designed originally by the 
World Agroforestry Centre, the Land Degradation Surveillance Framework has been updated and implemented globally by CIAT and regional partners, such as IFAD's Adaption for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), to map the landscape and show variability in dynamic soil properties.
Using this framework, a biophysical baseline of key soil and land health information across the landscape can be mapped. It can show what crops can grow, where, and how well. By pinpointing what soil type farmers have on their farms, researchers can then advise farmers on inputs and management strategies to improve soil health and overall agricultural productivity.

Scientists are now linking soil health data with household survey data on cropping diversity, perceptions of climate change, and gender. Together with socio-economic data, it allows them to better understand and address farming system constraints. Lab tests help further identify soil nutrient quantities such as nitrogen content, building up a rich map of the soil. 



Ilaria Firmian Interview on Djibouti project PRAREV

Posted by Ricci Symons Thursday, April 23, 2015 0 comments

Climate change is increasingly effecting agricultural and fishing communities in Djibouti. The Programme to Reduce Vulnerability to Climate Change and Poverty of Coastal Rural Communities (PRAREV), supported by IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is working within the fishing industry of Djibouti, helping rural fisherman combat the effects of climate change, and adapt to a changing environment.

IFAD’s Ilaria Firmian recently returned from a work trip to Djibouti. She has worked for seven years in IFAD as an Environment and Climate Knowledge Officer and previously  as a Technical Adviser on Environment and Natural Resources Management, supporting the mainstreaming of environmental and social issues at policy, programme and project levels.

©IFAD/Ilaria Firmian
You've just returned from Djibouti, what was it you went there for?

I was there for the launch of the IFAD programme PRAREV providing support to the technical session on climate change, as the project has a large co-financing from ASAPIt's in fact a blending of loan and climate funds, which has been instrumental to really tackle the problems of the Country and therefore provide services to the clients. Many partners were involved including the Red Cross Climate Centre that facilitated the use of climate games . The games were a very useful tool to show how decision making in relation to climate change is quite a difficult task and how this pays out in the fisheries sector, which is the main focus of the project.

Were there any other agencies working with IFAD on this project?

This project has many partnerships. With WFP (World FoodProgramme)-to deliver ‘food for work’ for local communities engaged in the rehabilitation of mangroves. With the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Djiboutien (CERD) – which is a National Research Centre. Also with Direction de l’Aménagement du Territoire et de l’Environnement (DATE) within the Ministry of Environment. Finally we are also working with FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) - for the national fisheries plan.


What are the main problems people are facing, and how is IFAD combatting them?

There are a lot of climate change related problems in Djibouti, with drought issues being prevalent. There have been increases in storms and floods, yet drought is still the main problem. Drought affects the traditional Djibouti livelihood, pastoralism, which is becoming less viable as climate change worsens. The project looks at improving  and making fisheries more climate-resilient, which represents an alternative livelihood. Promoting this existing but relatively small and undeveloped sector is important as it is less susceptible to drought.
©IFAD/Ilaria Firmian

How did IFAD decide where needed its help the most?

During design, in order to target the most vulnerable areas, IFAD used the ''Coastal Hazard Wheel Methodology'' which identified large stretches of the coastline facing ecosystem disruption and others exposed to gradual inundation, salt water intrusion and erosion of the coast. Based on these results, the project is mainly taking actions to restore ecosystems e.g. coral reefs and mangrove areas. Mangroves are very important as they provide protection from storms and floods and, just like coral reefs,  they are also vital for fish stocks.

What sort of work is IFAD engaging in to combat these issues?

The project is working to build climate-resilient infrastructures and provide renewable energy equipment, ice plants, coolers/insulated containers etc. to the fishing communities.

PRAREV looks at the entire fisheries value chain; from the production (protection of ecosystems that are breeding grounds for fish) through to credit provision for boats and other equipment.- The project is also partnering and strengthening the capacity of existing micro finance in Djibouti (CPEC Caisse d’épargne et de crédit) to better serve the target group and help establish a national viable and sustainable microfinance system in the long term.

The project also plans to build  small infrastructure at harbours, this would include landing piers/jetties, cold rooms and market halls, which would help the fishermen with docking and transport of goods. Djibouti's main fish market is in Djibouti town but the project will also intervene in smaller villages along the coast, to improve local markets. The programme will also fund an ice factory and tricycles for fish distribution within the peri-urban areas to strengthen women retailers’ associations.

A project component is related to capacity building, both at the community and government level. The idea is that through this project IFAD will influence the national policies and strategies, basically forcing more attention to the potential of fisheries in terms of  adaptation to climate change and exploring other avenues of income generation.

Could you please tell us more about these other avenues?

Some alternative industries such as algae production will be piloted as well. There are species of indigenous algae that can be used for livestock feeding or cosmetics. With fisheries  not being a traditional sector in Djibouti, the fishing industry is still very under-developed. For instance, they are not used to drying and salting fish, a classical way of fish preservation. So there will be actions to see if there is a market for such things as salted fish.
  
What's next for the project in Djibouti?

The project is very interesting  but also very new to the country. It is just starting up and so the next step is just to take the design and make it work, taking into account new challenges such as the flow of refugees from Yemen that unfortunately, goes beyond the PRAREV's control and may negatively impact on the project performance.

Written by Francesco Farnè

Si sente parlare in maniera sempre più crescente di cibo, anche grazie alla grandissima copertura mediatica che questo argomento ha trovato in tutto il mondo. Basta pensare ai numerosi programmi di cucina che hanno contribuito a rendere gli chef, una volta relegati nel buio delle cucine, vere e proprie star. Per non parlare di vocaboli come “foodie” o “gourmet” che sono entrati prepotentemente nel nostro vocabolario.

Quello di cui si sente parlare di meno, soprattutto in Italia, nonostante l’incombenza di Expo 2015, è il cambiamento climatico, che, per quanto sia in apparenza un concetto astratto e che tendiamo a collegare a catastrofi che avvengono in luoghi remoti, ci riguarda in realtà più di quanto crediamo.
Vi starete forse chiedendo come questo si colleghi al cibo e agli chef. La risposta si può trovare risalendo la catena del cibo dalle nostre tavole fino ai piccoli agricoltori che producono circa due terzi del cibo che consumiamo a livello globale. Essi vivono principalmente nei paesi in via di sviluppo e il cambiamento climatico è una seria minaccia per loro.

Tavola rotonda dell'IFAD durante l'intervento di Jacopo Monzini
©IFAD/Francesco Farnè
Sabato scorso ho avuto l’opportunità di recarmi a Perugia con il team del Fondo Internazionale per lo Sviluppo Agricolo (IFAD) delle Nazioni Unite in occasione del Festival Internazionale del Giornalismo. L’IFAD ha organizzato “Ricette per il cambiamento: storie inedite di cibo e cambiamenti climatici”, una tavola rotonda che ha affrontato l’argomento. L’incontro ha riunito un esponente del mondo del giornalismo scientifico come Marco Cattaneo, National Geographic Italia, lo chef Lars Charas dell’Associazione Mondiale Cuochi, e Jacopo Monzini, Specialista Senior, Clima e Ambiente dell’IFAD. Mauro Buonocore del Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) ha moderato l’evento.

Gli speaker sono stati capaci fin da subito di sviluppare un dialogo coinvolgente, in grado di valorizzare e congiungere esperienze tanto diverse. Questo sottolinea quanto i loro campi professionali siano strettamente interconnessi. E come tutto questo abbia un impatto sulla nostra vita di tutti i giorni – dopotutto consumiamo tre pasti al giorno.

Mauro Buonocore (destra) e Jacopo Monzini (sinistra)
  ascoltano le domande dal pubbico
©IFAD/Francesco Farnè
Sotto questa luce è molto facile evidenziare responsabilità dirette per ognuno di noi. Come ha sottolineato Jacopo Monzini, non possiamo considerare il cambiamento climatico come un’entità esterna, che gli scienziati devono risolvere. Questo è piuttosto la conseguenza diretta delle nostre piccole azioni quotidiane. Siamo responsabili quando scegliamo i prodotti alimentari che acquistiamo per le nostre diete, quando sprechiamo energia, quando lasciamo le finestre aperte col riscaldamento accesso. Le risorse naturali sono come un conto in banca, non possiamo permetterci di trascurarle.

Qui entrano in gioco i giornalisti, ma anche gli chef, in quanto opinion leader in grado di influenzare le scelte dei consumatori e le loro diete, così connettendoli al mondo della produzione di cibo e quindi ai piccoli produttori. Un esempio molto pratico lo ha fornito Lars Charas, che ha condiviso la sua esperienza in Corea, dove a causa dell’abbondanza di meduse, conseguenza della pesca intensiva dei loro predatori naturali, ha spinto gli chef a introdurle nelle loro cucine, con ottimi risultati sulla sostenibilità e adattamento delle diete.

Il compito dei giornalisti, come ha ampiamente evidenziato Marco Cattaneo durante il suo intervento, è quello di informare per rendere consapevoli i consumatori. Per far questo è necessario, soprattutto in Italia, andare verso una specializzazione dei giornalisti che si occupano di tematiche scientifiche come il cambiamento climatico, attraverso un alta formazione tecnica, ma anche deontologica. È necessario, inoltre, superare le divisioni politiche che caratterizzano il dibattito pubblico nel nostro paese così da potersi concentrare maggiormente sui contenuti.

Pubblico durante il dibattito
©IFAD/Francesco Farnè
Infine resta da affrontare la questione di come raccontare al grande pubblico questa tematica. La foto di un orso polare rimasto bloccato su una lastra di ghiaccio, come hanno concordato gli speaker, è stata utile per veicolare il messaggio, ma ha d’altra parte contribuito a far sentire il pubblico “dispiaciuto, ma non responsabile”. Si sente quindi il bisogno di nuove storie.

In questo senso un’organizzazione come l’IFAD, attraverso la sua missione globale e la sua esperienza con i piccoli agricoltori, può contribuire positivamente alla diffusione di questo messaggio, dando anche un volto umano alle conseguenze del cambiamento climatico.

Come ha concluso Monzini, c’è un collegamento anche fra i piccoli agricoltori e una delle tematiche più dibattute in Italia, la migrazione. Bisogna considerare che molti dei migranti che si trovano a dover lasciare le loro terre sono spesso piccoli agricoltori colpiti anche dal cambiamento climatico. Questo è solo uno dei tanti spunti e stimoli che sono emersi durante l’incontro che senza dubbio ha contribuito a portare alla luce ed aprire un dibattito pubblico su tematiche troppo spesso trascurate, ma che in tantissimi modi hanno impatti su ognuno noi.