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Increasing resilience through integrated research

Coordination and Change Enabling Project (G5)
Project leader
Nowsher Ali Sarder
1 May 2011
31 Mar 2014

Fish culture in rice plot integrated with vegetable cultivation
The Ganges river basin system originates in the Himalayas and discharges to the Bay of Bengal through one of the most extensive and highly populated river deltas in the world. The Basin spreads over India (52%), Pakistan (22%), Nepal (17%) and Bangladesh (9%) with an area of 225 million ha and a population of 747 million people. Although the whole region is subject to many pressures, the coastal delta, encompassing south west Bangladesh and eastern India, is of particular concern. The brackish water coastal zone is home to some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, who are exposed to hardships and challenges resulting from a number of factors not least of which are extreme weather events.
The results of some of these events, such as saline intrusion, can cause widespread crop damage, and contaminate groundwater supplies for both drinking and agricultural use. Combined with the frequent floods and cyclones, this has served to reduce both food and livelihood security within the basin.
People living in the coastal areas of the Ganges river face large challenges in increasing food production and improving livelihoods in the face of climate change, yet farmers are showing that much can be accomplished in spite of the apparently hostile living and farming conditions.

The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food

The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) works to increase the productivity of water for food and livelihoods. Phase II of the Program works in six river basins (Mekong, Ganges, Limpopo, Volta, Nile, and the Andean Basin Systems). Program research in each region is designed to contribute to solving an important and pressing basin development challenge.  Each basin development challenge is made up of four to five projects.
The CPWF research program for the Ganges River basin seeks to increase the resilience of agriculture and aquaculture systems in the coastal areas of the delta, with the goal of improving the livelihoods of farmers living in the region.

Interdependent projects

The CPWF research program in the Ganges comprises five interdependent projects. Project G1 will establish a geo-referenced database for the brackish water coastal zone of Bangladesh, facilitate the dissemination of technologies to defined regions and draw up land use plans. Project G2 will introduce resilient agriculture/aquaculture production systems into the coastal zone. Project G3 will improve water governance and community-based management, and Project G4 will assess the impact of anticipated external drivers of change on water resources of the coastal zone.

Project G5: Coordination and Enabling Change

Project G5, which is led by the WorldFish Center, will maintain the coherence, integration and focus of the other four basin projects and help them conduct quality, problem-oriented research aimed at finding solutions to the pressing issues in the Ganges basin.
As such, the success of Project G5 depends not only on the WorldFish project team but also on excellent cooperation with the other projects in the Ganges project; the various CGIAR Research Programs, and other people, initiatives and organizations also addressing development challenges in the Ganges basin. Project G5 also acts as an ‘interface’ between the Ganges basin project and a variety of existing and potential stakeholders, ranging from farmers, local and national government, local and national institutes and a range of policy makers. Communication both within and outside the project is fundamental to project success. 
The Ganges Basin Development Challenge project aims to effect changes such as reduced poverty, improved food security and strengthened livelihood resilience for people throughout the Ganges basin in coastal Bangladesh and India.