Asia

Sustainable Agriscapes for the Future project

Ahar and pyne have traditionally played important role being source of different ecosystem services are today at risk of encouragement and sedimentation. Photo: © Aditya Petwal

Project title: Sustainable Agriscapes for the Future project

Location: Munger, Bihar India

Duration: March 2016 to March 2019

Project Background: In 2012, the IUCN World Conservation Congress delivered a ‘Call to Action for Agriculture and Conservation to Work Together,’ highlighting the need for conservation and agriculture sectors to collaborate to find long-term sustainable solutions to food security and preservation of biodiversity. After this call Biodiversity International, the International Fund for Agriculture Development and IUCN have been working together with thought-leaders in agriculture, conservation, public entities and industry to support a new paradigm in agriculture and sustainable development.

The work of Agriscape methodology development is inspired by the learning of IUCN’s work done in Lao PDR where agriculture biodiversity has been a focus in explaining the farmscape, finding that rural communities and agriculture derive vital ecosystem services from biodiverse areas surrounding farmscapes. The developed biodiversity guidebook suggests that the presence of varied ecosystems around farmscapes is important for agriculture, but that the modern intensive agriculture practices have fragmented the mosaic, destroying or degrading the ecological factors which were otherwise working in favour of agriculture. This work studies different key ecosystems around farmlands to understand their biodiversity value and their interplay with agriculture and livelihoods.

To progress this agenda, IUCN India country office is initiating a project with ITC Ltd. on  ‘Sustainable Agriscapes for the Future’, which incorporates ‘ecological and biodiversity concerns and supports livelihood improvements’, through the development of an Agriscape plan which will support implementation on the ground and enable its replication in other landscapes. The learning from this project will be developed in the form of a decision support toolbox which can be used to enhance the sustainability of agriculture in various parts of the country. This entails studying the agro-ecosystems and surrounding ecosystems, from a large landscape perspective, to analyse their biodiversity, as well as trends of ecosystem services, enabling the programme to design suitable ecosystem-based interventions to promote crop productivity, while ensuring the sustainability of various ecosystems.

Objectives of the project: 

  1. To establish the linkages between the services provided by surrounding ecosystems and natural resource management based local livelihoods and analyse the status and trends of priority ecosystem services that need to be revived, managed and conserved.
  2. To achieve gains in ecosystem health through the revival of ecosystem services which benefit agriculture and allied livelihoods to reduce the dependence of agriculture on expensive and ecologically unsustainable inputs.
  3. To build the capacity of all stakeholders and community members so as to enable them to promote ecologically-, socially- and economically-resilient livelihoods for a sustainable agriscape.
  4. To showcase the Agriscapes Tool to state governments and other stakeholders for up-scaling.

Expected Outputs: 

There will be several tangible outputs at the end of each phase.  

Phase I: 

  • Baseline report.
  • Virtual Agriscape showing different layers of information collected during the socio economic and ecological surveys. 

Phase II:

  • Report on the status of local ecosystems with recommendations for restoration and revival of ecosystem services.
  • Agriscape Plan for piloting.
  • Training modules and training output reports.
  • Monitoring frame and report on pilots.

Phase III: 

  • Workshop proceedings and standardised Agriscapes tool. 

The outcome of  this partnership will enable ITC to create a ‘sustainable agriculture landscape’ in Munger that will help achieve its objective of improving the agriculture-based economy in a sustainable manner. 

Donor: ITC Ltd. 

Contact: 

Mr. Aditya Petwal
IUCN India Country Office 
Address: C4/25, Safdarjung Development Area 
New Delhi - 110016, India 
Tel: +91 11 4605 2583
Fax: +91 11 2652 7742

 

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