AAS practice brief: Evaluating natural resource management programs

Natural resource management research (NRMR) has a key role in improving food security and reducing poverty and malnutrition in environmentally sustainable ways, especially in rural communities in the developing world. Demonstrating this through impact evaluation poses distinct challenges. This Practice Brief discusses ways in which these challenges can be addressed.

Program proposal

The overall goal of the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems is to improve the well-being of aquatic agricultural system-dependent peoples. The Program will focus initially on three aquatic agricultural systems: (i) Asia‘s mega deltas, targeting Bangladesh and Cambodia; (ii) Asia-Pacific islands, targeting the Philippines and Solomons; and (iii) African freshwater systems, targeting first Zambia, then Uganda and Mali.

Zamaiso ye Zwezipili ya Litapi mwa Libala la Bulozi – Pizo ya ku eza sesiñwi ka putako

Batu ba ba pilela fa lika ze fumanwa mwa Libala la Bulozi, ba ba fumana sico ni buiketo bwa mubili ni moya, ba akalezwa ku fita fa palo ya bo lule ba mashumi a ketalizoho ka amabeli (70 000). Kono ki zamaiso ye maswe, ku yamba kwa swalelele ni ku itusisa lisebeliso za businyi ze fukulize litapi ka bubebe bo bu komokisa , mwa nako ye kuswani.

Transformative change in the CGIAR research program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems

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.

Strengthening governance across scales in aquatic agricultural systems

Aquatic agricultural systems in developing countries face increasing competition from multiple stakeholders operating from local to national and regional scales over rights to access and use natural resources—land, water, wetlands, and fisheries—essential to rural livelihoods. A key implication is the need to strengthen governance to enable equitable decision-making amidst such competition, building capacities for resilience and transformations that reduce poverty.

Solomon Islands: Essential aspects of governance for Aquatic Agricultural Systems in Malaita Hub

In late 2012, a governance assessment was carried out as part of the diagnosis phase of rollout of the CGIAR Aquatic Agricultural Systems Program in Malaita Hub in Solomon Islands. The purpose of the assessment was to identify and provide a basic understanding of essential aspects of governance related to Aquatic Agricultural Systems in general, and more specifically as a case study in natural resource management.

Resilient livelihoods and food security in coastal aquatic agricultural systems: Investing in transformational change

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.

Polyculture of carps and mola in ponds and ponds connected to rice fields

Throughout Bangladesh, there are more than 4.2 million household ponds. Regardless of their size and seasonality, whether they are isolated or connected to rice fields, each of these ponds has the potential to enhance its production with the addition of carps and mola. Mola is a micronutrient-rich small fish that is very popular, and grows well along with carps in ponds and rice fields. Carps are one of the most commonly farmed fish by small-scale farmers in Bangladesh. Carps grow to a large size and are profitable when sold at the market.

Making a Difference

Early program achievements: In 2012 improved technologies enhanced productivity of Bangladesh fish ponds and generated: 2) $92m increase in combined annual income 3) $300 per household income from homestead ponds 3) $6000 more income per hectare from commercial fish ponds 4) $2000 more income per hectare from commercial shrimp ponds


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