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New insights on managing drylands

Eighth international workshop, Alexandria (Egypt), 6-9 November 2010

Titre : New insights on managing drylands

Eighth international workshop, Alexandria (Egypt), 6-9 November 2010

Publisher  : UNESCO
Date de parution : 2012
Pages : 125

The project’s goal was to develop knowledge and practices, especially related to the use of deficit irrigation strategies, to build resilient livelihoods in remote rural communities, where producers of quinoa in the Bolivian Altiplano are vulnerable to changes in climate and markets. In order to evaluate the limitations in the application of Deficit Irrigation, we studied the dynamics of current agro-ecosystems to identify knowledge, practices and strategies that might help reduce vulnerability and improve the effectiveness of irrigation of quinoa, thus helping to build natural and human capital in terms of farming systems in quinoa production. To achieve this objective, it was critical to understand the diverse impacts at multiple scales on the Altiplano ecosystems, including : the climatic characteristics of the area ; the impacts of climatic trends ; the use and maintenance of traditional knowledge of climatic indicators ; soil fertility limitations affecting the efficiency of the deficit irrigation of quinoa ; and market trends affecting decision-making. Understanding these factors will contribute towards the development of information in terms of adaptive practices and strategies pursued in agronomic and market research programmes as well as climate policy. The project was carried out in one community (Santiago de Callapa) and in the experimental stations of Patacamaya and Choquenaira – all located in the Central Altiplano by the Universidad Mayor de San Andres (UMSA). The information collected in this second year of the project demonstrated the importance of obtaining singular climate characteristics that define the high probability of dry spells during the rainy season and the importance of climatic trends, particularly related to the shortening and intensity of the rainy season. Additionally, it was found that deficit irrigation was effective only if additional soil amendments are made – this interaction would be even more crucial under projected climate change scenarios. The integration of quinoa producers in the market was also investigated and revealed weak links. Recommendations for decision-makers were drawn and presented in public events and publications, which will be further improved during the course of the project in the years to come.

Mots Clés : arid zones ; sustainable development ; environmental management ; land use ; soil degradation ; water resources management ; agriculture ; research projects ; MAB Programme ; SUMAMAD : Project on Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands ; Mare aux Hippopotames (Burkina Faso) ; Hunshandake Sandland (China) ; Omayed Biosphere Reserve (Egypt) ; Dana Biosphere Reserve (Jordan) ; Lal Sohanra Biosphere Reserve (Pakistan) ; Zeuss-Koutine Watershed (Tunisia) ; Djebel Bou-Hedma (Tunisia)

Présentation (UNESCO)

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