The early win project ‘Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative‘ recently gained visibility and garnered useful feedback during a workshop hosted by a related network.
The national platform on land and water management is a multi-stakeholder learning and sharing forum for all Ethiopian actors concerned with the interrelations between land, water and overall natural resource management issues. It was instigated by some members of the Nile Basin Development Challenge project in April 2011. The platform held its third meeting on 23-24 July 2012 at the campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa. About 70 participants attended this event and represented Governmental agencies and regional bureaus, research institutes and universities, non-governmental organizations and donor agencies.
The Africa RISING early win project – led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) – sponsored this event, which aimed to inform all actors about recent activities of the national platform (in particular the recent foundation of four thematic working groups) and discuss the general research agenda of the tree-crop livestock intensification project, which ties in with the broad agenda of the national platform.
The part of the meeting dedicated to the early win project went through different phases – after a couple of introductory presentations about the Africa RISING program and about the status of forestry development in Ethiopia:
- It really started with various specific thematic presentations: ‘Importance of biodiversity for agricultural intensification and climate change adaptation in Ethiopia’, ‘contribution of traditional agro-forestry to agricultural intensification and climate change adaptation’, ‘forest policies and strategies in Ethiopia’, ‘genesis of climate resilience highland transformation in Ethiopia’, ‘information needs for adaptation and mitigation of climate variability and change’, ‘sustainable agricultural intensification in the Ethiopian highlands’;
- It continued with group work around four issues of importance: Seed and seedling system, incentives for integrating trees into crop and livestock systems, interventions/post-plantation management/niches and finally open grazing and collective action/by-laws;
- It culminated with a panel discussion which discussed some challenges faced in Ethiopia: Weak coordination and integration, climate change, and (insufficiently?) participatory approaches to policy-making. One of the panelists and some platform members advocated a holistic approach that integrates crops, livestock and agroforestry.
The workshop ended with a couple of sessions focusing on the four thematic working groups of the platform. The organizers invited all participants to join one of these groups, depending on their interest, which quite a few participants did. Linkages across related projects and platforms are crucial to pool precious resources, ideas and skills. The tree-crop-livestock early win project and Africa RISING as a whole are thus well advised to establish these liaisons across projects. A number of participants from the national water and land management platform could be interested in subsequent Africa RISING activities around trees, crops and livestock interactions.
As the ‘early win’ period is coming to an end, there is all the more value to think about longer term relationships and potential partnerships.
The Africa RISING program comprises three linked research-for-development projects, funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative, and aiming to sustainably intensify mixed farming systems in West Africa (Southern Mali and Northern Ghana), the Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa (Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi).
To produce some short-term outputs and to support the longer term objectives of the projects, in 2012 Africa RISING funded several small, short-term projects in each of the regions. More information.