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FAO Reports Results of Pilot Adaptation Projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania

FAOJune 2013: Successful adaptation to climate change requires a range of approaches, from addressing drivers of vulnerability to directly contending with climate change impacts, according to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The report presents initial results from FAO projects initiated in Eastern Africa two years ago, highlighting an increase in farmers' resilience to climate variability, as well as enhanced food security.

The report, titled 'Adapting to Climate Change through Land and Water Management in Eastern Africa: Results of Pilot Projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania,' stems from an FAO project focused on helping countries adopt sustainable land and water management. The project tests resource-efficient and productive land-use management techniques, with a view to understanding the potential impact of a comprehensive set of sustainable agriculture and food security adaptation practices adopted at the community level.

The FAO project focused on four pillars: increasing soil health; water conservation; livelihood diversification; and strengthening local institutions among 15,000 households in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Part I of the report gives an overview of the lessons learned under each of these pillars, with special attention to specific country results. Scaling investment will be necessary to "ensure enhanced, more sustainable and more resilient management of an already declining resource base," according to the report, which underscores that policy and capacity development must place greater emphasis on land and water management for successful climate change adaptation.

Part I also identifies priorities for scaling up adoption of sustainable water and land management practices. These priorities include, inter alia: persuading farmers of the long-term benefits of soil and water conservation; integrating scientific and traditional knowledge; maintaining soil vegetative cover on cropland; building farmers' capacity to efficiently use fish pond water for irrigation; promoting sweet potato, sorghum, millet, early maturing cassava, banana and fish farming; catalyzing knowledge and experience sharing among farmers; and improving access to credit.

Part II of the report contains country case studies, with papers covering unique elements in each country, namely: water harvesting and flood resilience in Ethiopia; diversification of farmers' livelihoods in Kenya; and rice intensification, soil and water conservation, energy-saving stoves, participatory management and changing mindsets in Tanzania. [FAO Project Webpage] [Publication: Adapting to Climate Change through Land and Water Management in Eastern Africa: Results of Pilot Projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania]