Strengthening capacities for research in development in aquatic agricultural systems

The research-in-development (RinD) approach to agricultural research focuses on working closely with communities through multistakeholder engagement to strengthen capacities to design, plan, implement and adapt research in order to improve the lives and livelihoods of the resource-poor living in complex social-ecological systems. The approach requires researchers and implementing partners to learn new skills and build new capacities as they work in multistakeholder teams.

Selective breeding in fish and conservation of genetic resources for aquaculture

To satisfy increasing demands for fish as food, progress must occur towards greater aquaculture productivity whilst retaining the wild and farmed genetic resources that underpin global fish production. We review the main selection methods that have been developed for genetic improvement in aquaculture, and discuss their virtues and shortcomings. Examples of the application of mass, cohort, within family, and combined between-family and within-family selection are given.

Participatory action research: Guide for facilitators

This guide is a resource document for the training and capacity building of facilitators who conduct participatory action research (PAR) in the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS). AAS aims to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people reliant on aquatic and agricultural systems for their livelihoods, through collaborative, inclusive PAR with communities and other stakeholders.

Innovations to strengthen aquatic resource governance on Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake

Cambodia’s recent freshwater fishery sector reform, instigated at the top level of government, is one of the country’s most significant contemporary policy developments addressing natural resources management and rural development. Implemented in two main waves, the reforms culminated in the complete removal of inland commercial fishing lots. Yet serious problems still need to be addressed, including reportedly widespread illegal fishing, difficulties in protecting critical habitats, and competition among state agencies over resource management authority.

Gender capacity development and organizational culture change in the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems: A conceptual framework

The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) supports resource-poor women and men to overcome poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity by bringing science to bear on these challenges. Social and gender issues, which restrict women and men, adversely impact development in the aquatic agricultural systems. AAS has embraced gender-transformative approaches (GTA) to achieve its goals. Broad buy-in is needed to effectively integrate GTA into research programming and organizational processes and practices.

From conflict to collaboration in natural resource management: A handbook and toolkit for practitioners working in aquatic resource systems

Natural resource management is closely linked to conflict management, prevention and resolution. Managing natural resources involves reconciling diverging interests that often lead to conflict, which can undermine management institutions and lead to exploitation, environmental destruction and deteriorating livelihoods. If conflicts turn violent, they can rip apart the entire fabric of society. Thus, managing conflicts in a peaceful manner is decisive not only for successful and sustainable resource management but for societal stability in general.

Collaborating for Resilience: A practitioner’s guide

In many countries, resource conflict is a leading risk to livelihoods. For some communities, it is a matter of survival. Yet, many development interventions aiming to address these challenges fail or fall far short of their potential. Common reasons include conflicting agendas, power and politics; poor local commitment and leadership; lack of coordination; plus high costs and low sustainability, as programs often unravel when development finance ends.

Supporting gender-inclusive dialogue over natural resource management

Rural households who fail to gain a voice in decisions over the management of shared forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries face heightened risks to their livelihoods, particularly as competition increases between existing and new user groups. Exclusion from decision-making increases vulnerability of rural households, making it more difficult for them to move out of poverty and thwarting broader efforts to achieve sustainable resource management. Poor rural women in particular often face institutionalized barriers to effective participation in resource management.

Strengthening collective action to address resource conflict in Lake Kariba, Zambia

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.

Investing in collaboration to manage environmental resource conflict

Conflict over environmental resources endangers rural people’s livelihoods and can increase the risk of broader social conflict. Yet action to sustain shared resources can also be a potent source of community building. Investing in capacities for conflict management can help launch innovations that build resilient rural livelihoods and strengthen institutions for equitable environmental governance. Governments and development agencies should invest in such capacity and integrate collaborative dialogue about environmental resources into program and policy implementation.

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