Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are diverse production and livelihood systems where families cultivate a range of crops, raise livestock, farm or catch fish, gather fruits and other tree crops, and harness natural resources such as timber, reeds, and wildlife. Aquatic agricultural systems occur along freshwater floodplains, coastal deltas, and inshore marine waters, and are characterized by dependence on seasonal changes in productivity, driven by seasonal variation in rainfall, river flow, and/or coastal and marine processes.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is pursuing a Research in Development approach that emphasizes the importance of embedding research in the development context. Reflecting this emphasis the six elements of this approach are a commitment to people and place, participatory action research, gender transformative research, learning and networking, partnerships, and capacity building. It is through the careful pursuit of these six elements that we believe that the program will achieve the development outcomes we aspire to, and do so at scale.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) began operations in July 2011, and a summary report on progress in the first eight months was produced in February 2012. Since that time the program has moved ahead with roll-out in focal countries, pursuing areas of science where particular innovation is needed, developing key partnerships, and establishing governance and management arrangements for the program. The present report on progress summarizes the main highlights from this work.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) aims over the next six years, to improve the lives of 15 million poor and vulnerable people who depend upon diverse livelihood strategies in aquatic agricultural systems Taking a Research in Development (RinD) approach, this program represents a break from “business as usual” for the CGIAR. The program aims to build capacity to innovate and to foster more resilient communities and aquatic agricultural systems.
This year's report contains the Director General's and Chairman's statements. Also highlighted in the reports, are stories of projects with different partners: 1) CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) in Zambia. 2) Wetland Alliance project in the Mekong delta. 3) Projects with CARE, the humanitarian organisation in Egypt. 4) Tilapia breeding program with Water Research Institute (WRI) in Ghana. 5) Partnerships with the private sector on sustainable aquaculture enterprise in developing countries.
The diversity of social, ecological and economic characteristics of smallscale fisheries in developing countries means that context-specific assessments are required to understand and address shortcomings in their governance. This article contrasts three perspectives on governance reform focused alternately on wealth, rights and resilience, and argues that – far from being incompatible – these perspectives serve as useful counterweights to one another, and together can serve to guide policy responses.
The CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework sets out four system level outcomes (SLOs), namely: reducing rural poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health and sustainable management of natural resources. In pursuit of these objectives the CGIAR has developed a set of sixteen CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), each of which is expected to make specific contributions to a range of intermediate development outcomes (IDOs) linked to the SLOs.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) is increasingly using the language of transformation to describe its aims and approach to achieving lasting impact at scale. Clarity on what AAS means by “transformation” is important to ensure that use of the term is intentional and meaningful. AAS wants to avoid the risk befalling a number of terms used in the development field-i.e., empowerment and participation-which are applied by such a wide range of actors with divergent intent and ideology that the terms lose meaning.
Where natural resources are a key component of the rural economy, the ability of the poor to realize their visions for the future depends significantly on institutional structures that govern resource access and management. This case study reports on an initiative on the shores of Lake Kariba in Zambia, where lakeshore residents face competition over fishing, tourism, and commercial aquaculture.
Aquatic agricultural systems (AAS) are places where farming and fishing in freshwater and/or coastal ecosystems contribute significantly to household income and food security. Globally, the livelihoods of many poor and vulnerable people are dependent on these systems. In recognition of the importance of AAS, the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) is undertaking a new generation of global agricultural research programs on key issues affecting global food security and rural development.