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.

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.

Engaging the private sector to address conflict in natural resource management

International investments in agroindustry present a growing source of tension for local populations who rely on land, forests, water and fisheries for their livelihoods, particularly where local tenure security is put at risk. For governments, civil society organizations and the communities directly affected, engaging the private sector early is critical in order to avoid an escalation of conflict and to build collaboration that can yield dividends for all. Yet care must be taken to address power differences among actors and to avoid manipulation by individuals or interest groups.

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.

AAS 2013 Annual report

The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) takes an innovative approach to improving the lives of poor and vulnerable rural households. It aims to directly benefit some 6 million people (in Asia’s mega deltas, the island systems of the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and Africa’s inland waters), and through scaling with partners to reach 15 million more. By sharing its learning, the program aims to extend the benefits of its approaches to many more people living in other complex systems.

Strengthening community roles in aquatic resource governance in Uganda

Lake Victoria fisheries face severe environmental stresses. Stocks are declining in a context of increasing population and growing demand for the lake’s resources. Rising competition between users is putting conservation goals and rural livelihoods at risk. While Uganda’s co-management policy framework is well-developed, key resources for implementation are lacking, enforcement is poor, and the relations between stakeholders are unequal. Poor rural resource users face significant challenges to effectively participate in fisheries decision-making.

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.

Dialogue to address the roots of resource competition: Lessons for policy and practice

Conflict management is an intrinsic element of natural resource management, and becomes increasingly important amid growing pressure on natural resources from local uses, as well as from external drivers such as climate change and international investment. If policymakers and practitioners aim to truly improve livelihood resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of poor rural households, issues of resource competition and conflict management cannot be ignored.

Commodity and product identification for value chain analysis

This commodity and product identification research was undertaken in the context of the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS). AAS seeks to reduce poverty and improve food security for the millions of small-scale fishers and farmers who depend on the world’s floodplains, deltas and coasts. The objective of this research is to strengthen the capacity of AAS to undertake value chain studies with high potential impact on smallholders.

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