ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS IN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Sustainable exploitation of natural resources for Economic Recovery Strategy for Employment and Wealth Creation is a major challenge for the Government as it endeavors to put in place policies to guide the process in all environment and natural resources sub-sectors. That govern the natural resources exploitation, management and conservation.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Water Supply

The Government through the Ministry of Water Resources Management and Development has the responsibility of ensuring that all Kenyans have access to safe drinking water within reasonable walking distance and in achieving the set goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

It is estimated that about 75.0 per cent of the urban population and nearly 50.0 per cent of rural population had access to safe drinking water in 2003.

However, with the increasing population coupled with inadequate resources for expansion and maintenance of water supply programmes, these proportions are deteriorating.

In this regard, the government has put in motion a reform process in the water sector and has embarked on implementing the Water Act 2002.

The new legislation encompasses commercialization of the urban water programme’s and community participation in the rural water supply.

The new policy details Government’s role, including, regulation and supervision of water resources; while welcoming stakeholders and beneficiary communities to participate in the implementation, financing, operation and maintenance of water resources and supply facilities.

The purpose is to attract investment in the water sector and provide adequate water and sanitation services to meet the various sectoral demands.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Fisheries

Fish continues to play an important role not only as a source of food and income for local fishing communities but also for the expo-market.

The Government has directly put in place a task force to develop a comprehensive fisheries policy that will guide the sector towards the MDGs.

It will also take cognizance of all environmental issues and within the framework of the Economic Recovery Strategy paper.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Forestry

The Department of Forestry has continued to experience difficulties in discharging its mandate due to limitations of the current forest policy and legislation.

An emergency tree planting programme is being implemented to address the serious degradation and destruction of the country’s forests.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Mining

The Government through the Department of Mines and Geology in the Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Wildlife has prepared a mining policy and is in the process of enacting a new mining law.

The aim is to develop a comprehensive policy framework for regulating the mining sector and an appropriate legal and fiscal framework, which are in line with the current global mining trends.

The proposed law once enacted will attract guide and encourage private investments into the sector as well as tap the country’s huge mineral potential.

Under the envisaged mining law, a new mining licensing system is to be introduced to provide for among others; a simplified and harmonized licensing of mining operations, considerably curtailed discretion on the part of the Minister in charge of mining and a greater security of tenure for mining investors.

The new law also seeks to harmonize mining with the Environment Management and Co-ordination Act of 1999 and requires restoration and rehabilitation of mined out areas and cushioning of local communities against adverse effects of mining.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Refuse Management

Accumulation of refuse in most urban centers in the country remains serious health and environmental problem.

The emergence of such substances as mobile phone scratch cards, polythene bags and plastic bottles have raised concern about the products’ effects on environment, as they do not decompose.

The situation is more serious in major towns of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kyushu and Nauru where the daily refuse accumulation out-paces the quantity disposed.

This is result of limited resources allocated to most local authorities’ coupled with inefficient waste disposal methods.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Mining

Kenya has well-developed cement processing plants that satisfy the domestic market and exports to the regional market.

Approximately1.2 million tones of cement are consumed locally each year. Opportunities exist in the production of glass, as the country is not self-sufficient.

A few manufacturing units produce ceramic pottery and tiles, however, substantial quantities of ceramic pottery, tiles, sanitary-ware, and insulators are imported.

Investment potential exists in prospecting and mining of other minerals such as gold, precious stones and petroleum.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Fisheries

Kenya’s water resources of the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria provide vast fishing potential.

At present, deep sea fishing, prawn and trout farming are in their infancy but growing rapidly.

Opportunity also exists in fish processing (filleting and fish meal production), as well as fisheries-support infrastructure (refrigerated transport cold storage.

Environment and Natural Resources in Kenya: Investment in Forestry

In order to achieve sustained forest management, there will be a need to carry out a well-focused investment in the following areas:

Forest valuation Capacity building in resource assessment, planning and management, impact assessment, geographical information systems, monitoring and evaluation

Research in non-wood tree products to enhance their economic potential Development of credit support to private forest investments improving data and information for management planning through regular surveys

Role of Development Partners In Resource Management

Recently PNG’s development partners and government representatives met in Kavieng and agreed ground rules for more effective cooperation, consistent with the 2006 Paris ‘Declaration on Aid Effectiveness’, which emphasizes local ownership, harmony with national development strategies (notably poverty alleviation), synchronization of donor programmes and recipients’ demands, better programme management and mutual accountability. This INA column has been emphasizing the need for PNG to take full responsibility for its own destiny, notably:- pursuing suitable policies for the country’s long term interest, and not just that of a vested elite; ensuring stable economic conditions, freeing the economy for investment and competition by large and micro enterprises; concentration upon core responsibilities, particularly: maintaining infrastructure, tackling crime and corruption, ensuring effective and widespread education and health services, maintaining standards and applying the law fairly. Households and the community must safeguard public assets, make government accountable, whilst safeguarding their own welfare, developing skills and managing their natural resources for the future, rather than short term consumption.

What’s the role of development partners? In 1999 they played a critical role, led by the World Bank and other “friends of PNG”, in assisting government prevent potential economic collapse, supporting wide ranging economic, institutional and resource management reforms; providing the basis for the current economic recovery. That recovery and improved growth have depended also upon recent improved commodity prices and relative political and economic policy stability, although the faltering commitment to overdue public sector, governance reforms and freeing markets (including SOEs) to competition and private investment jeopardizes the sustainability of growth and widening of benefits.

In the late 1990s/early 2000s, with the Budget barely covering salaries and wages,

Unsaid supported core health and educational provisions, including school materials and medicines, enabling public servants and NGOs to perform basic functions. Similarly EU-Stabex funds during the 1990s provided agricultural price support and subsequently helped sustain many agricultural institutions, when government and other donors showed limited interest in this important sector.

The donor support for basic services was taken for granted by government, but highly appreciated by service deliverers and beneficiary communities, some complaining that government was overlooking them. The donors should not, however, have had to perform such roles, which are core government functions. The situation has eased with increased government funding for basic infrastructure and services in the provinces, but Government has still failed to grasp the scale of these responsibilities, or addressed the need to strengthen management and oversight capacity at the Provincial/district levels to manage increased recurrent and programme expenditure.

The Government and many MPs, remain prone to dreaming up new and often extravagant projects, including for District Grants, whilst provided utterly inadequate funding for essential services, infrastructure restoration and maintenance, training and capacity building for the public sector to manage increased district funding. Many in PNG’s rural areas, seeing little sign of government services in decades, question the legitimacy of the State, arguing that the State has breached the pact under which land was provided for public infrastructure, when the State has subsequently failed to operate the services, maintain roads or provide government charters or vessels.

Some leaders may not appreciate such needed governance support but it has overwhelming public and private sector support, assuming those recruited work with, and not isolated from PNG professionals and the wider community, and recognize their role is building up, not replacing, in-country capacity. The world community, including PNG, faces immense challenges, such as climate change, over the next years, for which we are all ill-prepared. PNG must play an increasing role in contributing to addressing global challenges. It must stand increasingly on its own feet, demonstrating higher standards of governance and commitment to its own future. Development partners can contribute to reinforcing PNG’s capacity and prospects if their funds are well utilized in harmony with PNG’s own efforts.

Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has a challenge during his forthcoming visit.

He needs to progress his effort to improve sticky relations with PNG and the region; listening to the concerns (as expressed by Government and wider community), whilst, together with other development partners, being firm on governance and standards, including over natural resource management. He must offer enough, including demonstrating Australia is progressing from its insular past to becoming a more multicultural society within the Pacific Community, as New Zealand has achieved to a greater degree. There is an immense connection felt by PNG towards Australia, yet there remain many negative impressions and feelings of being slighted.

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN RESORCE UTILIZATION

The policy and legislative actions of any government, at national, state, and local levels, have significant impacts on the management and control of risk in the aquaculture industry. Some of these impacts do not arise through actions directed toward the aquaculture industry itself, but through actions directed toward associated or competing industries, such as agriculture, tourism, or recreation. Unfortunately few governments at the present time consider or coordinate multi-sectoral development.

Government Policy

A national policy toward aquaculture development is important for the industry. This may be no more than including statements about the sector in a five-year economic development plan, or it may be a detailed development plan for aquaculture alone.

With the recognition of the aquaculture sector in any development plan, there invariably follows a number of policy instruments for government administrators to manage the sector and control individual private investments. The range and use of these policy instruments are usually in direct relationship to the status and strength of the sector. For example, in countries where investment in the sector is being encouraged, the government will stress incentives, such as grants, loans, and subsidies, and even fiscal incentives, such as exemptions from tax. In countries where the sector is well developed the government will invariably impose duties, taxes, and quotas.

In the formative years of a sector, a government will often provide services. These may include services for marketing, research and development, education, training, extension, and technical information. It will also often provide physical infrastructure for the industry (utilities, transportation, and coastal development), and institutional support (such as state farms, state hatcheries, and market organizations).

In summary, the government policy toward the industry through the use of available policy instruments can be considerable.

The majority of farmers obviously take advantage of a favorable government policy toward the sector. Many, in fact, in the formative years of their enterprise depend on government incentives, such as grants, loans, and subsidies, to be profitable.

The risk to the farmer is the period of transition, when the sector is developing well and reasonably independently, and the government is reducing its direct support to the industry. Incentives are being replaced by taxes and levies on sales, state farms and government hatcheries may be closed down, and institutional support is stopped.

These risks can be managed through a very detailed exchange of information by both parties. It is imperative chat the government has an excellent knowledge of the workings of the industry so that its objectives are appropriately phased. For example, there is no economic sense in closing down government hatcheries (which supplied seed for the farmers to get the industry established) if alternatives are not in place and have demonstrated that they can meet the seed requirements of the industry. Similarly, sudden high taxes on profits, which perhaps were made when national production was low and prices probably high, are not going to be practical if national (and international) production increases and the price drops, as has been the case of marine shrimp and salmon production.

On the other hand, it is also imperative that the farmers have good information about the short and long-term plans of the government toward the industry. With this information their investments can be directed toward the replacement of the government’s previous contributions. For example, the investment in private hatcheries for seed production, the formation of farmers’ associations, and other organizations, for marketing and product promotion, and even private research and development.

Invariably the burden of researching and publishing this information from both sides rests with the industry. Usually the responsibility is taken up by the farmers’ associations, through their newsletters and publications, or by another invaluable component of the national aquaculture sector, the independent publishers of trade papers, magazines, and information bulletins.

Legislation

A government manages and controls the aquaculture sector through legislation. The type and degree of legislation obviously have a direct and significant impact on the sector as a whole, and on the individual enterprise and farmer, and therefore constitute risks to all of them.

Legislation is sub-divided into two areas, namely legislation dealing with resource utilization and resource management, and legislation dealing with farm management.

1. For effective and economic resource utilization and management, the government has to be aware of the needs of the aquaculture sector. The sector’s prime needs are water (inland, coastal, and offshore), land (on-shore, sub-tidal near shore, and sub-tidal offshore), and all rights of access and protection. The government has also to be aware of the needs of other competing sectors (energy, agriculture, tourism, recreation), and for the general public’s need for an acceptable environment (nature reserves, wildlife),

From the point of view of the aquaculture sector there are several approaches to resource utilization and management. These may include long-term leasing of sites, special development zones for aquaculture, and industrial zones for certain water-based industries which can be integrated together.

2. The majority of national, state, and local legislation concerns farm management. This is in the form of regulations and bye-laws directly concerning farm operations and production practices, and then indirectly concerning the manufacturing industries, suppliers, services, and marketing activities.

Typical legislation for the farm operations and production practices deals with such things as site and water access, water quality, negative and positive environmental impacts, labour, introduction and transfer of species, disease control, and product quality. That for the secondary level deals with the safety of human health, such as the use of herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, and carcinogens in equipment and in operations, and environmental health.

For farm management purposes, acceptable solutions for the farmer are an efficient system for permits and licenses at reasonable cost, preferably permit-packaging (one permit for everything). In addition government quarantine stations should be provided if there are stringent regulations with regard to species introduction and transfer. Regulations at the secondary level are sensibly part of more far-reaching national legislation controlling the use of toxic chemicals in the environment.

The risks to the farmer from national legislation, particularly the regulations and bye-laws dealing with farm management and production, are many and varied. All have a direct or indirect affect on profitability. The most direct implication is the cost of permits and licenses to own and operate a farm, and the indirect costs associated with making applications to many different government agencies. In many developed countries, for example, the permits and licenses required to operate certain farms number over 20. Collectively, they may take over two years to obtain, and add up to a considerable cost. In extreme cases, such as a permit to use the heated effluent water from a nuclear electrical generating station, the permit process may take three years and involve lawyers.

The highest risk to the farmer centers on regulations regarding diseases and stock introduction. This is an area of considerable importance to the industry at the present time. There are a number of instances of government legislation which have exacerbated the problem; for example, one government issued permits but with restrictions on the water volume for each farm. The volume was in fact less than a calculated basic economic unit. This compelled the farmers to overcrowd their stock, exposing them to the risks of diseases. Yet another government, with the objective of protecting its industry from exotic diseases, regulated for the use of an indigenous but totally unsuitable local species incapable of acclimating to the marine environment where it was supposed to prosper. This effectively killed the industry, as few farmers were foolish enough to take such a risk.

Few if any governments have enacted legislation requiring total slaughter of all stock infected by certain diseases. Although this is primarily because they are unwilling to pay compensation to the producers it is useful in that few diseases justify this extreme action. None the less, some farmers disregard laws and regulations when it comes to the movement and handling of stocks, diseased or otherwise, thus endangering themselves, the industry, and the environment as a whole.

It is obviously the interest of both government and industry to have constructive legislation. However, constructive legislation can only be produced by both sides being well informed about the objectives and operational needs of the other. Well informed parties can accept even extreme legislative action, such as the compulsory slaughter of stock infected with a highly contagious and dangerous disease, or stock which are potentially a hazard to human health. These are acceptable risks to any industry. However, considerable information is required so that sensible regulations and bye-laws can be enacted which will allow, for example, the safe introduction of non-indigenous species, temporary quarantine of diseased stock, acceptable treatment of disease which will not impact subsequent product quality, the use of growth stimulants in feed, etc. Much of the information on which the right legislation can be made is still lacking.

Production of Information

All governments accept the responsibility of providing information services to the sector, particularly national statistics and data relevant to economic and development planning. For the development of a new sector, such as aquaculture, many governments accept the responsibility for additional information services, such as the adoption of international and national standards and codes of practice, and also biotechnical and non-biotechnical research.

1. Standards and codes of practice

Standards and codes of practice for the industry are invaluable, not only to the economic strength of the industry as a whole, but also to the farmers and their suppliers to reduce their individual risks (see Section 4.2). For example, the international Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products recently (May 1988) decided to elaborate a code governing the quality and safety of aquaculture products. Typical aspects of the code will be product safety and quality, water quality, off-flavours, residues of veterinary drugs, and the public health significance of diseases and parasites. Where the code is adopted, the farmers have the opportunity to meet the standards required. Meeting strict standards will probably require increased investments, such as modern and hygienic processing plants, and this will reduce their profitability. On the other hand, meeting the standards will eliminate most of the risks currently associated with the “grey” areas of quality control, where the products are rejected because there is no clean division between acceptability and unacceptability.

The only other code of practice indirectly relevant to aquaculture which can be adopted by certain countries at the present time is that dealing with the introduction and transfer of species. The prime reason for the code is conservation, but it has both positive and negative implications for the aquaculture industry.

No country, or group of countries, has yet established any standards specifically for the aquaculture industry. Invariably each country has its own standards and codes for construction of infrastructure and buildings which are used automatically by designers and contractors of large farms; but these are invariably ignored by the small farmers in the interests of saving investment capital. Unfortunately, as such standards have been developed without any reference to the aquaculture industry at all, the risks to the operations at both large and small farms remain. The large farm is probably over-engineered and highly mechanical, and the small farm is a hazard to the health and safety of the employees.

2. Research information

Most governments support industrial-related research, either at government research centres or through contract research to the private sector. Although the topics of research clearly have some relevance to the industry, most governments do not specify research programmes within their policy which directly support the core of the industry, namely the producers. The majority of support is for scientists and technologists at universities and research centres who identify their own research objectives.

There has been little or no research organized to build up the information base on which standards and codes of practice are set. For example, government research support has been given to individuals to design production units, complete with heat exchangers, filters, and innumerable controls, but few if any research funds have been given to chemical engineers to specify the leaching rates and toxicity of plasticizers in water of varying salinities from all the plastic materials which are used or available to the manufacturers. If this were done, then the industry would have the factual evidence that specific plastic materials were safe at these salinities, and others were not. The risks of death or deformity to the stock from these highly toxic petro-chemicals would be removed.

There are many other cases which may be cited. For example, there is a need for the basic data of on-site conditions (wave amplitude, water exchange rates, etc.) for offshore cages Co match the design criteria. This not only includes the physical data (strengths, stresses, and strains) of materials, but also the same parameters for individual cages and complexes of cages under different conditions of sea state. There is a considerable need for information about the safe treatment of diseases, not only the efficacy of the treatment, but also the periodicity for the residues of the drugs.

In summary, the guidance for government-supported research should come from the farmers, who could indicate where they are most exposed to the risks of losing their stocks, and hence their profitabilities and livelihoods.

Role of development partners in resource management ( a case in Uganda)

Economic growth is private sector driven with governments and development partners playing a facilitating role through the development of infrastructure, including legal policy reforms. In recognition of the importance of the roles played by development partners, the private sector, academia and civil society, the President of Uganda, at the launching of the NDP, invited them to joins hands with government to realize the National Vision.

In Uganda the development partners (DPs), comprising of bilateral, multilateral and UN agencies, have instituted the Development Partner Group (DPG) to coordinate and harmonize their efforts to support the government.  The chairmanship of the group rotates among them.  The DPG interfaces with sectoral groups by participating in sectoral meetings according to their specific area of support.   The DPs in Uganda organized a retreat in April 2010 to discuss coordination of climate change activities and agreed that existing institutions namely the Climate Change Unit (CCU) in the Ministry of Water and Environment, the sectoral working groups and DPG should continue to be used.

Development partners play an important role in the socio-economic development of many developing countries.  This may be through budgetary support, projects/programmes and technical assistance.  Some DPs are directly supporting climate change related activities of civil society organizations in their area of responsibility.  Some have gone an extra yard by instituting mechanisms to stimulate private sector development, particularly micro enterprises, including micro finance to fund small scale enterprises. Increasingly DPs are playing an important role in supporting implementation of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions (promoting sustainable development) and adaptation to adverse impacts of climate change.

In Uganda, United Nations agencies, led by the World Food Programme, have developed the UN Joint Action Framework on Climate Change for Uganda.  The Framework focuses on disaster reduction and risk management, sectoral adaptation and planning, enhancing economic and social resilience, mitigation and enabling measures (capacity building, financing and technology).  Each of the UN agencies plays its role within its area of expertise.  Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and land use management are areas of special focus because of their dual roles (mitigation and adaptation).

Bilateral DPs have also initiated climate change programmes, with adaptation and capacity building as integral components.  The most notable of these programmes is the Royal Danish Government Support, which established the Climate Change Unit (CCU) in the Ministry of Water and Environment as well as supporting implementation of the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) and development of a climate change policy for Uganda.  The CCU coordinates Uganda’s response to the climate change challenge and also liaises with other institutions outside Uganda, particularly UN agencies and intergovernmental institutions.  While the support to governments can be coordinated at national and local government levels it is more difficult and challenging to harmonize at community level. A coordination dialogue, including well established civil society organizations working at community level could provide one solution. 

 There are several activities that have been initiated by DPs with other organizations, particularly civil society organizations which are not known to the CCU.  Some DPs are also directly giving support to civil society organizations in their area of responsibility.  Some have gone an extra yard by instituting mechanisms to stimulate the development of private sector, particularly micro enterprises, including micro finance.

While the DPs do not directly participate in the development of NDPs or sectoral policies and plans, they are consulted.  Also their direct collaboration with civil society organization provides an additional avenue to directly influence local and community level planning.  Implementation of development activities by civil society organizations has an added advantage of reduced bureaucracy and overheads thus increasing benefits per unit of investment.  This is an important factor when considering minimizing the vulnerability of communities, natural resources and ecosystems.

Development and adaptation decision making:

Access to power/electricity is a basic social and economic development need.  Power generation and its distribution is a pre-requisite for social and economic development in any country.  Yet power generation from fuels emits greenhouse gases, which cause climate change; in other words, the quest for development has fuelled global warming.

Climate change is relatively new and therefore not well understood by either governments or development partners.  Climate change will impact negatively on infrastructure, including social infrastructure and natural resources, the basis for production and the livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries, thus frustrating development efforts. DPs for quite a while have categorized climate change as an environment issue.  However, this thinking is now changing and several DPs are integrating climate change into their development portfolios.

Although governmental, social, environmental and legal frameworks and programmes exist in developing countries; re-enforcement mechanisms are generally weak, resulting in policies which are decorating bookshelves and gathering dust.  While generally decision making is not an issue because of the desire of many developing country governments to minimize vulnerability of infrastructure, natural resources, ecosystems and communities, the means required for full and effective implementation of adaptation decisions at national, local government and community level is lacking. There are many competing needs at the time of making the resource allocation decision and also lack of technical and weak institutional capacity. For instance, in the case of reactive adaptation, how can a decision, once made, be quickly and effectively implemented to minimize causalities or losses?   Is the institutional framework, including mobilization and coordination, functional to meet the challenge?  More than often the institutional framework is either weak or non-existent. Institutional frameworks must be an integral part of national or regional adaptation plans.  Hard decisions to support institutional strengthening must be taken.  Such decisions can be equated to an insurance policy.  Therefore there is need for a medium to long-term strategy to invest in institutional development.  This is an area that has received very little attention if any and yet is critically important for implementing adaptation activities, particularly reactive adaptation.  No meaningful adaptation can also be implemented without a functional national early warning system.  Establishing and strengthening early warning system is therefore a necessity.

Climate change response requires the widest participation at all levels thus necessitating establishment of a coordinating institution at the national level.  In Uganda the CCU performs this role.  Such a coordinating institution must bring together public, academia, civil society to debate and contribute to adaptation plans.  Such a forum must also be open to DPs to enable them to understand government plans and programmes and to incorporate these into their own activities.

Innovative adaptation approaches: a role for development partners

Indigenous technologies, including food storage technologies, have played and will continue to play an important role in coping with disasters such as famine.  These technologies are generally localized and therefore their full potential has not been realized.

DPs are increasingly playing a key role in capturing and disseminating indigenous technologies through implementation of development/adaptation activities at community level.  Local communities traditionally have very good knowledge of local climates and seasons.  Until recently, seasons were predictable and dependable, particularly the onset and cessation of rain seasons.  Droughts and delayed onset of rain seasons were infrequent.  However, with increasing climate variability and climate change the knowledge of local climate is less useful, hence the need to access weather and climate information.  Communities are now aware of the increased frequency of extreme weather and climate events and the unpredictable onset of rain seasons.  Coping with these changes is a great challenge to communities.

There are many least cost adaptation technologies which have not been widely exploited such as small scale drip irrigation, runoff water harvesting and organic agriculture.  Peasants in some communities have hung polythene bags filled with water on fruit trees to water them.  Some have extended road drainage channels to their fields and used the water thus harvested to water fruit trees or tomato trees.  The cost of such technologies is negligible and yet when widely applied they can have significant benefits.

Organic agriculture (OA) is a holistic production management system that avoids use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms, minimizes air, soil and water pollution and optimizes the health and productivity of interdependent communities of plants, animals and people. It enhances biodiversity, protects fragile soils, improves the nutritional quality of food, ensures high standards of animal welfare and provides increased employment in rural areas.  It also builds resilient farming systems and therefore is an adaptation technology.  When used it leads to improved food security, increased household income and therefore poverty reduction.

Organic matter also enhances drainage in soils, significantly reducing the risks from water logging and surface flooding.  OA increases the ability of farming systems to continue functioning when faced with the adverse effects of climate change by increasing resilience within an agro-system. It has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers) and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through soil carbon sequestration thus increasing soil fertility and therefore increased agricultural productivity.  It further reduces fossil fuel energy use, cuts nutrient and pesticide pollution and stops potentially harmful pesticide residues entering the food chain.  OA also opens the window of opportunity for farming communities to benefit from the carbon market but much needs to be done in order to tap into this opportunity.  We need to climate proof our farms, infrastructure and our livelihoods, particularly the most vulnerable in order to minimize our vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

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