FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the launch of the new Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) in New York
Central African Forest Initiative launched
Countries join efforts to tackle deforestation in the region
FAO welcomed today the launch of a new Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) aimed at supporting the implementation of essential reforms and enhance investments to effectively address the drivers of deforestation in Central Africa.
Launched on the margins of the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York, the initiative is a partnership of six Central African countries, donors and international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and FAO.
The participating Central African countries are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo.
Under the initiative, they will develop investment frameworks to support the sustainable use and conservation of their forest resources which play a vital role in climate change mitigation and poverty alleviation in the region.
In August, the 3N (Nigeriens Nourish Nigeriens) facilitated a formulation workshop of a climate-smart agriculture project in Niger. The CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) West Africa programme was among the attendees of the workshop, which was led by the 3N High Commission in partnership with the World Bank.
About the World Bank-funded CSA project in Niger
Led by the 3N High Commission of Niger, it is a seven year-long project (from 2016 to 2023) with a total budget of USD 111 million. The objective is to increase agricultural productivity and enhance drought resilience of agro-pastoral systems in 60 targeted communes in Niger.
Although the project is primarily focused on building resilience, it will attempt to deliver on the triple win of climate-smart agriculture (CSA): improving productivity, building resilience, and reducing emission in selected locations in Niger. This is why the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and CCAFS were invited to participate in the formulation workshop of the Niger CSA project.
A real opportunity to scale up the Climate-Smart Village model across the country
With the Participatory Action Research (PAR) team of INRAN, CCAFS organized a field visit to the Kampa Zarma site to show a concrete CSV to a team of representatives of the World Bank, the HC3N and the project consultancy bureau. This was the first time a delegation of this importance visited a CSV in Niger. During the field visit, participants had discussions with people from Kampa Zampa village and visited various CSA options that are implemented in the individual fields of famers including Farmer Assisted Natural Tree Regeneration, zaï (or tassa) and improved varieties of millet.
Testing climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices in Southeast Asia: a manual for priority setting
The project Integrated agricultural technologies for enhanced adaptive capacity and resilient livelihoods in climate-smart villages (CSVs) of Southeast Asia aims to provide climate-smart agriculture options to enhance adaptive capacity among CSV farmers and stakeholders, and contribute to more climate-resilient livelihoods, in selected sites in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. In order to facilitate a participatory process leading to the selection of the most effective technologies and practices, a team of CCAFS researchers worked on the development of a prioritysetting manual. This manual includes a number of principles and a sequence of six steps which were developed based on a critical review of past and ongoing participatory climate-smart technology selection experiences carried out as part of CCAFS in Africa and Asia, the experiences of the research team with similar processes and activities and were complemented by insights from the literature. A draft of the manual was put to test by the CIAT-Asia coordinated project research team in Ma village in the north of Vietnam in July 2015.
Seedlings in farmer Omar’s tree nursery grow nicely in his backyard, waiting to be planted once the rains come. A new data analysis shows which climate-smart interventions are right for which farms in West Africa. Photo: Trees for the Future (view original)
Which types of households are more likely to be food secure?
by Sabine Douxchamps (ILRI) et Patti Kristjanson (ICRAF)
Data analysis reveals that adoption of agriculture adaptation strategies is spreading in West Africa but the benefits from ‘climate-smart’ farm practices vary.
The team examined and assessed the food security impact of adaptation strategies such as crop diversification, soil and water conservation, the use of improved crop varieties and of fertilizers, as well as the practice of keeping trees and small ruminants on farms.
The research team also looked at the various farm household characteristics and their productivity by asking questions about who is practising what and what the characteristics of the households engaging in various climate-smart practices are.
The findings reveal that although ‘climate-smart’ farming practices do have positive impacts and are starting to spread in West Africa, their benefits are also dependent on land productivity and land size.
Researchers from the University of Georgia have developed water-saving protocols for farmers looking to supply their pecan orchards with the ample amounts of water they require during their kernel-filling stage, which generally falls between August or September. Georgia is considered the largest pecan-producing state in the U.S. However, the state only receives an average rainfall of about 127 cm annually.
Even given the rain shortfall, Dr. Lenny Wells, author of the recent study from the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, says current irrigation schedules are extremely outdated. In fact, he’s noted that procedures used today are based on a 1985 study related to plant water stress, evapotranspiration and soil water depletion generated in more arid climates.
Large trees — key climate influencers — die first in drought
First systematic review of patterns, 38 worldwide forests studied
Source:DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Summary:In forests worldwide, drought consistently has had a more detrimental impact on the growth and survival of larger trees, new research shows. In addition, while the death of small trees may affect the dominance of trees in a landscape, the death of large trees has a far worse impact on the ecosystem and climate’s health, especially due to the important role that trees play in the carbon cycle.
In forests worldwide, drought consistently has had a more detrimental impact on the growth and survival of larger trees, new research shows. In addition, while the death of small trees may affect the dominance of trees in a landscape, the death of large trees has a far worse impact on the ecosystem and climate’s health, especially due to the important role that trees play in the carbon cycle.
“Previous studies at a few sites had shown that large trees suffer more than small trees during and after droughts, and our theory suggested this should be a globally consistent pattern, but this project was the first to test this hypothesis globally.” said Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Nate McDowell, a renowned forest ecologist and plant physiologist who coauthored a paper in the journal Nature Plants highlighting this research.
This article was written by Helen Mountfort, Consortium Co-ordinator for Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE)
Building economic resilience in semi-arid regions: what role for the sustainable development goals?
As the world adopts the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to help drive the implementation of sustainable development, it is imperative that these must do more to consider how economic resilience can be built in semi-arid regions.
Semi-arid regions are among the areas that have been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as being particularly exposed and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Home to over 2.5billion people, highly variable arid and semi-arid systems are already affected by climate change, and will increasingly struggle to support the people who depend on them unless we can find ways to harness the resilience that is inherent to many of these systems.
The SDGs must consider several major challenges, for inclusive consideration of sustainable development