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Food Security and Conservation in Africa

Overview

The Dar Vision for the Future of Biodiversity in Africa seeks to, in part, “Mainstream biodiversity in human well-being and development agendas.” Towards this end, the Dar Vision supports work that “Harness[es] biodiversity and ecosystem services for improved agriculture (including increasing productivity and yields and improving food security; and adopting conservation agriculture or ‘ecoagriculture’ approaches.”

ABCG has been working on issues related to food security for some time. ABCG co-hosted a meeting with the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force in 2004 on “Food Security and Conservation in Africa: Addressing Hunger and Farming Issues to Conserve Wildlife”. Since that time,we have continued to link to issues and policies affecting food security in a conservation context.

Activities & Achievements

FY2014 Activities & Achievements

This thematic task did not include any continuing activities for FY2014 as plans called for its conclusion after two years.


FY2013 Activities & Achievements

During FY 2013, AWF produced case study documentation on the institutional and material needs to successfully operate a goat production value chain run by a community based organization, and a similar for aquaculture for local community development to address food and nutritional needs, and the conservation of natural fisheries through reduced fishing pressure.

This was accomplished through the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) engaging a consulting firm that carried out site visits to the Siavonga goat production group in Simamba Chiefdom and the Chiawa community fish farming group in Lower Zambezi. A final detailed report covering operations of the two community livelihood strategies was completed by the end of FY13 and provides recommendations for follow up work to make such interventions effective to serve both livelihood improvement and conservation leverage: AWF Case Studies on Food Security and Conservation: The Impacts of Improved Goat Husbandry and Aquaculture on Local Food Security and Conservation in Siavonga District, Zambia

A second paper, titled Potential contributions to food security from scaling up agroforestry and improved soil and water management practices in Burkina Faso documents the evidence of the effects of improved land and water management practices implemented by local farmers in the Central Plateau of Burkina Faso to cope with land degradation. It highlights key barriers to scaling up such practices and recommends ways to overcome the most important ones. It also identifies opportunities to scale up their adoption to boost crop yields and contribute to increased food security.


FY2012 Activities & Achievements

The objective of this task is to develop an integrated set of activities that will begin to allow enhanced understanding of the conditions necessary for sustainable agriculture intensification to improve food security, and improved on-farm uptake of biodiversity-sensitive intensification practices. Participating organizations include AWF, CI and WCS.

Through this ABCG collaborative work, we have built knowledge on diversification of food security strategies, the role of agricultural landscapes in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the linkages to conservation in African landscapes. This work has followed the findings and lessons learned from the experiences in AWF’s Zambezi Heartland, WCS’s Ituri landscape and CI’s spatial analysis work, with a view to scale up the review and analysis in Africa to feed into a formal review of the integrated agricultural landscape initiatives (ecoagriculture) in Africa and a review of the utilization of integrated landscape management to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation.

These reviews are a component of an Initiative led by a group of global partners implementing the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature (LPFN) Initiative . LPFN is a three-year collaborative Initiative to foster cross-sectoral dialogue, learning and action to support the widespread practice of integrated agricultural landscape approaches. In doing so, the Initiative is advancing viable pathways for sustainable development in places where food production, ecosystem health, and human well-being must be achieved simultaneously. One of the Initiatives major objectives is to define and advocate policy and action agendas that support innovators in all relevant sectors in developing ecoagriculture landscapes on a scale that would make a significant global contribution toward improving food security, reducing rural poverty, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services.

We have built on some of the major findings of the food security work done to date, that will allow us to scale up the use of improved input packages and participatory land use planning that provides for diversification of food security strategies to building improved farming systems as a tool that contributes to achieving conservation objectives. Unfortunately, due to funding restrictions, WCS was unable to carry out its planned activities for FY2012. In FY2013, those funds will be used to augment WCSs activities in the F.1 Climate Change Adaptation task.

Activities and accomplishments in 2012 included:


FY2011 Activities & Achievements

Currently, ABCG is working to develop an enhanced understanding of the conditions necessary for sustainable agriculture intensification to improve food security, and improved on-farm uptake of biodiversity-sensitive intensification practices. With the support of USAID’s Biodiversity Analysis and Technical Support (BATS) program, ABCG is developing and testing a foodshed baseline assessment methodology as a part of conservation spatial planning-based projects and is also preparing case studies that will begin to allow enhanced understanding of the conditions necessary for sustainable agriculture intensification to improve food security, and improved on-farm uptake of biodiversity-sensitive intensification practices. ABCG members African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, and Wildlife Conservation Society are playing critical roles in these efforts at sites in Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2011, ABCG produced a report titled “Finding Optimal Trade-offs Between Food Security and Conservation in Africa: A Review of Tools and Presentation of Case Studies from Zambezi and Ituri Landscapes” that was co-authored by experts from AWF, CI and WCS. A 2-page summary of the report is also available.


Previous Events

  • 22 September 22 2011: ABCG held a brown bag at Conservation Internationalon Food Security & Conservation in DRC and Zambia featuring speakers representing the ABCG Food Security Working Group:

Linking Food Security and Biodiversity: Zambezi Heartland Case
Jimmiel Mandima, Africa Wildlife Foundation

Food Security and Conservation in the African Context
Bemmy Granados, Conservation International

Participatory Land Use Planning and Food Security in the Iruti Forest Conservation Landscape, DRC
Michael Painter, Wildlife Conservation Society

Click here to read a summary of the presentations and discussion themes.

Event presenters: Paul Weisenfeld, USAID; Eduard Niesten, Conservation International; Philip DeCosse, International Resources Group (IRG); Mara Russell, Land O’ Lakes

Event presenters: Julie Kunen, USAID Bureau of Policy, Programming, and Learning; Kevin Kamp, CARE USA; Michael Painter, Wildlife Conservation Society

  • 29 October 2004: A meeting entitled, “Food Security and Conservation in Africa: Addressing Hunger and Farming Issues to Conserve Wildlife” was organized by the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group and the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force.

The purpose of the meeting was to:

  1. discuss the linkages between food security and biodiversity conservation;
  2. learn about successful efforts to prevent poaching by addressing the hunger situation and farming practices of local communities; and
  3. identify areas for possible field level collaboration between the conservation community, agricultural and food security sectors and other stake holders in Africa.

Talks focused on:

  • The Linkages between Ecoagriculture and Food Security bySara Scherr, Forest Trends/EcoAgriculture Partners
  • Snares Versus Hoes: Why Food Security is Fundamental to Wildlife Conservation by Dale Lewis, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)- Zambia
  • Food Security Challenges and the Bushmeat Crisis by Liz Bennett, WCS/ Bushmeat Crisis Task Force
  • Current Initiatives to End Hunger and Improve Agricultural Extension in Africa by Charles Riemenschneider, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • A roundtable discussion was held and next steps were identified on how the conservation and food security sectors can collaborate more at the field level in Africa.Please see the following meeting notes, background materials and presentations.
  • Food Security andWildlife Conservation Notes