Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Tuesday 7 July - 17:00-18:30 UPMC Jussieu - ROOM 103 - Block 24/34

3329 - How Might East African Landscapes Respond to Future Climate Change?

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): P. Lane ( Uppsala Univeristy, Uppsala, Sweden), B. Hazard (CNRS, Paris, France)

17:00

Understanding the past to develop a sustainable future: the value of the East African palaeoecological record

R. Marchant (University of York, York, United Kingdom)

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Understanding the past to develop a sustainable future: the value of the East African palaeoecological record

R. Marchant (1)
(1) University of York, Environment department, York, United Kingdom

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Ecosystems are the primary resource for human well-being and provide key functions essential to the sustainable economic development, especially for African nations whose economies are heavily dependent on agriculture, rangeland pastoralism, forestry management and wildlife tourism. Planning for the long-term sustainable use of Africa’s ecosystem natural resource requires a longer-term historical perspective on human-ecosystem-environment interactions than is currently available. A synthetic overview of the palaeoecological records from East Africa will be presented and used to chart the interactions between people and their use of ecosystem resources during the transition into agriculture.  The time period will draw on the palaeoecological record of the last 6000 years with a focus on the historical past. Zooming in on the past 500 years we will present how this has been used to build a foundation to construct informed climatic and socio-economic scenarios for the future. The presentation will focus on unpicking the temporal, spatial and complexity of interactions and interdependencies in the social-ecological systems in Eastern Africa to understand the interactions between people, their environment, wildlife, livelihoods, and provide a better potential future for the sustainable use of Africa’s ecosystem. The presentation will unpick how societies, landscapes, ecosystems and Protected Areas have responded to climate change, so as to better understand how they may respond to future climate change and societal use.

17:12

Landscape Resilience and Vulnerability in eastern Africa: an archaeological prospectus for the future

P. Lane (Archaeology & Ancient History, Uppsala, Sweden)

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Landscape Resilience and Vulnerability in eastern Africa: an archaeological prospectus for the future

P. Lane (1)
(1) Archaeology & Ancient History, Uppsala, Sweden

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The need to create and sustain resilient societies capable of facing the burgeoning challenges posed by accelerating global climate change has become a dominant mantra of our age. Both sustainability and resilience are inherently temporal concepts, but in planning for the future it is often difficult to identify which practices and systems are likely to enhance resilience and which may make communities and even whole societies more vulnerable to the detrimental effects of climate change. For this reason, examples from ‘the past’, and specifically tangible evidence for long-lasting socially and ecologically enabling practices are increasingly used as a source of information for planning the future. Using archaeological examples from East Africa spanning the last ca. 1000 years, this paper outlines some concrete instances of past strategies aimed at enhancing socio-ecological resilience during periods of extreme climatic pressures and critically discusses whether these can be used as models for the future.

17:24

“Growing water” in Northern Kenya: Resilience of the Gabbra ecology and technology to adverse climate change

B. Hazard (Institut Interdisciplinaire d'anthropologie du contemporain, Paris, France)

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“Growing water” in Northern Kenya: Resilience of the Gabbra ecology and technology to adverse climate change

B. Hazard (1)
(1) Institut Interdisciplinaire d'anthropologie du contemporain, Institut National des Sciences Humaines et Sociales - CNRS, Paris, France

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Northern Kenya is frequently described as one of six areas directly impacted by the global climate change as well as a region having a low resilience to climate change. Yet the temporal and spatial dynamics of northern Kenyan socio-ecological systems have been relatively stable within a longer-term variability during the Holocene period. Driven by the Lower Omo Basin and the Lake Turkana basin, ecological conditions have only changed with the prolonged period of severe drought of the late-18th century and earliest 19th century and therefore started to challenge local incentives of pastoralist societies.  The presentation discuss how severe climate variability and recent socio-ecological change is altering or modifying existing traditional resource governance, adaptation strategies and coping mechanisms in Northern Kenya by focusing on how Disaster Risk Reduction programs implemented to adverse effects of the climate change interact with the Gabbra ecology of the Chalbi desert. For long the local concept of “finn” was used to describe human-landscape interaction and to predict climate events and their relation to ecological conditions and adaptation mechanisms for pastures and water. Based on a complex predictive model, including memory of past climate events, moon calendar and local indicator of ecological condition, this traditional early warning system has probably collapsed with increasing “aid addiction” and the implementation of technological innovation to “grow water” in the desert. From an ethnographic survey done in 2011, the presentation will explore how the lost of local knowledge regarding climate, land and water resource reshape resilient capacities of socio-ecological system. From this situation of environmental acculturation, we expect to discuss how predictive model of climate and more widely the African Union “Policy framework for pastoralism in Africa” may help to build common responses to future climate change

17:36

Adopting landscape approach in enhancing resource governance, adaptation and resilience in arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya

Y. Salah (IUCN, Nairobi, Kenya)

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Adopting landscape approach in enhancing resource governance, adaptation and resilience in arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya

Y. Salah (1)
(1) IUCN, People and landscape programme, Nairobi, Kenya

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Efficient and balanced utilization of natural resources dispersed in spatial and temporal basis in vast landscapes of arid and semi-arid lands is the main survival strategy for pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya and horn of Africa for generations. Natural resource planning and management in pastoral communities is anchored on traditional regulations and institutions that facilitates mobility one of the cornerstone strategies that allows balanced use of the resource and survive harsh climatic conditions and stresses including drought. The traditional institutions plan and manage their resources in integrated manner at landscape level. External factors including formal government institutions and approaches have weakened these institutions and disrupted sustainable resource management hence making pastoral communities vulnerable to climate change.

Reviving and strengthening the landscape level approaches in resource management and governance that involve all the relevant stakeholders in participatory manner is paramount in facilitating resilience building and adaptation in pastoral areas of northern Kenya and horn of Africa. Towards entrenching and enhancing landscape level resource management and governance IUCN in collaboration with diverse stakeholders initiated natural resource governance projects in northern Kenya. This paper highlights the outcomes of the initiatives, opportunities and challenges that exist in adopting landscape level natural resource management interventions under the devolved system of governance in Kenya to enhance resilience and adaptation to climate change.

Integrated natural resource management anchored on participatory planning and management hold enormous potential in overcoming drought and climate extremes in pastoral areas of northern Kenya. One of the key approaches implemented to facilitate integration is adapted sub-catchment management planning approach. The approach is based on integration of the rangeland management and sub-catchment management plans to best serve the need of the pastoral communities. Landscape level planning and management was enhanced through this approach by bridging the gap between the formal and traditional resource management institutions that derive legitimacy from the national policies and local level governance structures. The formation of hybrid institution tasked with multiple resource planning and management operations were strengthened through formulation of integrated natural resource management bylaws anchored on traditional systems of resource planning and management which is formalized by county government through the devolved functions hence creating ownership and local control over resources. The bylaws formulation is informed by participatory resource mapping exercise which jointly facilitates tenure rights for resources at landscape level. The devolution process also offers inter-county collaboration on resource use and coordination which is critical aspect in implementation of landscape level interventions.

The key challenges in effective implementation of landscape level interventions in the northern Kenya are mainly related to low understanding of the value of the landscape approach in resources management which is intertwined with less appreciation of the pastoral livelihood among some government official. Although there are some challenges there are policies and laws that promote landscape approach at national level and opportunity exists for formulation of the further policies and laws at the County level.  

17:48

The Rusizi plain,an area proneto the challenges of climate change and subject to political contraints

A. Cazenave- Piarrot (Université de Pau et des pays de l'Adour, Pau, France), C. Thibon (Université de Pau et pays de l'Adour, Pau, France), G. Joseph (Kigali Institute of Education, Kigali, Rwanda), G. Rwanyiziri (National University of Rwanda, Butare, Rwanda), S. Ndayirukiye (UNIVERSITE DU BURUNDI, BUJUMBURA, France)

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The Rusizi plain,an area proneto the challenges of climate change and subject to political contraints

A. Cazenave- Piarrot (1) ; C. Thibon (2) ; G. Joseph (3) ; G. Rwanyiziri (4) ; S. Ndayirukiye (5)
(1) Université de Pau et des pays de l'Adour, Géographie, Pau, France; (2) Université de Pau et pays de l'Adour, Histoire, Pau, France; (3) Kigali Institute of Education, Histoire, Kigali, Rwanda; (4) National University of Rwanda, Sciences-géographie, Butare, Rwanda; (5) UNIVERSITE DU BURUNDI, GEOGRAPHIE, BUJUMBURA, France

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Statement of the problem: Is it possible to have a political ecology in a natural and human environment which is both subject to the global change and geopolitical tensions?

1. The starting point: The alarm was raised by the increase of natural physical challenges: frequent floods, erosion, fragile biodiversity, soil degradation, epidemics, etc. which reveal a serious ecological crisis which, nonetheless, is not the first one in the region.

- This crisis goes back into the past from the demographic pressure on the environment and its resources. It takes various aspects: settlement front in the plain, rapid urbanization, overpopulation, degradation of watersheds which undermine, beyond hill level, the upper slopes and the forests.

-This gap has been maintained by political instability over the last 30 years of civil wars accompanied by forced migrations, depopulation of one area and resettlement in another, the intensification of land disputes between herdsmen and farmers, which have been exacerbated by contrasting political styles of governance in different countries and, even more, by the effects of climate change (rainfalls, intensity of natural disasters-this needs to be better identified).

2. Short and mid-term projections :In the mid-term, the projections confirm this pattern and even exaggerate it: the Rusizi plain is a breathing space for the Great Lakes population, due to area development and agriculture projects. It is becoming an attractive economic frontier due to emerging economies, asymmetric national economies and their new sources of revenue (trade, tourism, etc.), an area for farming activities (rice- growing and processing project and  cattle farms, etc.), an area with high demographic growth, both natural and due to migrations (refugee resettlement, long-term settlement in camps).

-Demographic policies, initiated in the three countries, although in an unequal manner, have had little or no effect in the short and mid-term, due to the inertia of the population movement.

-In addition to the above, you also have political, geopolitical, sub regional and bilateral challenges amid instability in some sub-regions of the Rusizi , conflicts between asymmetric political systems (strong/weak/failed state: Rwandan, Burundian and Congolese), fueled by outbreaks of rebellionin connection with the politicsin the three countries, and to  which could be added territorial disputes. This situation does not help nascent public policies.

3. The way forward:In response to these challenges, sectoral approaches as well as technical-economic processes are possible, but they lack a comprehensive political framework. The best known are conservation policies for threatened areas (niches, protected areas, parks and nature reserves) ...., with local/ zonal public policies, with technical solutions for each type of soil (land use plan and landscape map). The aim is a sustainable agricultural and agro pastoral development, with a view to improving the population’s living conditions. These require comprehensive policies that would lead to regional and international planning (diagram), with harmonized sectoralpolicies and investments (water, energy, town, mines agriculture, tourism).

- Everything will depend on the role of the states, the international and regional community, the provincial and municipal authorities and their cross-border cooperation, the national and international civil society, the means invested in such a scheme, focusing on the public good across the borders and in the region, with a view of creating ‘peace lands’; hence, the relevance of a political ecology. 

18:00

Adapting to Climate- Bringing Back Traditional Grains to the Dinner table

J. Gatune (African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Accra, Ghana), D. Cohen, (Pardee RAND Graduates School, Santa Monica, United States of America)

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Adapting to Climate- Bringing Back Traditional Grains to the Dinner table

J. Gatune (1) ; D. Cohen, (2)
(1) African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Research, Accra, Ghana; (2) Pardee RAND Graduates School, Santa Monica, United States of America

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Climate change will have significant impact on crops yields. Adaptation to climate change will necessarily call for shifts in diets. This will require diversifying diets to reduce the risk for failure of one crop and shifting diets towards more draught resistant crops. In the Eastern part of Africa huge reliance on maize already make the regional vulnerable to famine as maize is a sensitive to  shortage of water at critical period of growth. This vulnerability is going to be significantly magnified in the wake of climate change that will see reduction in precipitation and also increase in uncertainty on the timing of the rains.

The region can thus benefit greatly from shift towards diets that use traditional grains of millet and sorghum that are more resistant to draught  and more suited to the region’s agro-ecological conditions and importantly more nutritious than maize rice and wheat (the other grains whose consumption is growing fast). However the traditional grains have over the years lost their place in the dinner table, first to maize following introduction by the Portugese and more recently to wheat and rice. The loss to maize can be explained largely by resistance of maize to quelea birds attack and the rise of wheat and rice (which are largely imported) can be largely explained by ease of cooking and convenience offered by these garins, qualities which are important in urban areas where time is limited. The consumption by the more affluent urban dwellers has also conferred to wheat and rice a positive image of food of the successful. Conversely growing and consumption of millet and sorghum has remained confined to the poor and marginal and therefore poor areas, where they are really the only grains that can grow due to their hardiness,  and the consequence is that the grain are now seen as the food for the poor an image that has made them very uncompetitive. They  have  been neglected by research and also food systems and as a results yields remain very low and farming system largely subsistence. The value chains remain highly fragmented  with very low level of product development a factors that has further disadvantaged them in emerging dynamic urban food markets that call for convenience, good packaging and product variety.

Bringing the traditional grains back to the dinner table will therefore be problematic as it will require the upgrading of the value chains to meet the demands of modern food system. RAND and ACET are conducting an intervention to increase consumption of traditional grains. The intervention includes a millet and sorghum cooking competition by top chef to demonstrate the many ways millet can be used to cook nutritious foods and develop a millet and sorghum recipes book as an output of the competition. We are also working with food manufacturers and together with a supermarket chain to use the recipes to develop high value health millet and sorghum products under the supermarket brand. This intervention aims to position traditional grains as healthy foods and catalyse the development of healthy branded premium  sorghum and millet products target at the emerging middle class  while at the same time building a strong supply chain that can link small holder farmers to markets to processors and to the emerging regional supermarket chains. 

The short term objective is to improve the image of the traditional grain by targeting high income consumers whose consumption is an important signal in conferring a positive image. The intervention will also support processors and farmers to tackle the pressing challenges including the quelea bird and mechanization for farmers and the upgrading of equipment and knowhow on product development for SME food processors.

In the medium term the objective is to increase general demand by leverage the improved image and upgraded value chains to target the low income urban poor with low cost and nutritious ready-To-Eat (RTE) sorghum and millet products.  

The overall impact will be greater resilience through increase diversity in diets and also increased consumption of draught resistant grains. Nutrition will also be improved due to increased consumption of more nutritious food products and poverty as millets and sorghum replace imported rice and wheat products. 

18:12

Panel discussion

P. Lane ( Uppsala Univeristy, Uppsala, Sweden), B. Hazard (CNRS, Paris, France)

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Panel discussion
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