Participants of Lessons and success stories from a pilot project on climate change adaptation interventions in Kabe watershed workshop (Credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet)

Participants of Lessons and success stories from a pilot project on climate change adaptation interventions in Kabe watershed workshop (Credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet)

The project ‘Enhancing communities’ adaptive capacity to climate change in drought-prone hotspots of the Blue Nile Basin in Ethiopia‘ hosted a final workshop on 11 and 12 February 2013 in Addis Ababa. The project, which was launched in late November 2011, had about one year to “develop a learning site to help enhance the adaptive capacities of local communities to climate-change induced water scarcity” and to “provide evidence to governments to consider climate change and ecosystems in land use planning and natural resource management”. The site chosen was the Kabe watershed around Wollo.

The end of project workshop discussed lessons from the project and identified success stories that could be scaled up to similar areas. Over the two days, the 4o or so participants actively engaged with three major areas of the project:

  • Watershed exploration (socio economic circumstances, community perceptions on climate change in the watershed, climate scenarios);
  • Climate change adaptation interventions (crop and home garden interventions, livestock interventions, water/soil & water conservation and agro-forestry interventions);
  • Cross-cutting issues (watershed mapping, capacity building, collective action).

On the second day, they identified what interventions could be scaled up, how they could be scaled up (building on the approaches tried out in the project) and what a next phase of this project might look like.

Throughout the workshop, the digital stories that were developed as part of this project were shown to illustration some of the project’s findings.

The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) which funded this project is interested in a more ambitious second phase of this project. Some of the lessons learned through the project and summarized in the workshop will hopefully see other useful applications soon.

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See some presentations from this meeting

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In October, a companion project to the Nile Basin Development Challenge began. Entitled ‘enhancing communities’ adaptive capacity to climate change in drought-prone hotspots of the Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia’, the project is funded by the United Nations Environment Program.

The project will develop a learning site to help enhance the adaptive capacities of local communities to climate-change induced water scarcity. It will also provide evidence to governments to consider climate change and ecosystems in land use planning and natural resource management.

On 24 and 25 November, the project was launched with a stakeholder experience-sharing workshop at Wollo University.

After formal welcomes and technical presentations by Tilahun Amede (ILRI/IWMI) and Polly Ericksen (ILRI), the first day focused on sharing experience in integrated watershed management and collective action from within the region. It was also about identifying key interventions and lessons that could be integrated in planning and implementation of emerging watershed and climate-related projects in the region. The second day introduced the project to the partners, integrated their ideas into the planning and design and explored broader partnership.

Major challenges emerging from the presentations of five watersheds included:

  •   Negotiations and convincing the farmers could be time taking and sometimes painful;
  •   Some Initiative died after the completions of projects; question of sustainability, ownerships
  •   Poor exit strategy by donor supported projects;
  •   Duplication of management and institutions (Watershed development committee vs. Gov’t Committee)
  •   The conflict between social planning unit of the gov’t vs. Watershed planning unit
  •   Lack of landscape scale planning; delineation commonly based on project objectives and available budgets

 

On the final day, participants agreed to:

  1. Organize community meetings and local consultation at watershed scales for initiating the project
  2. Use the watershed as a joint learning site between Wollo University, ARARI, ILRI and UNEP
  3. The local administration has taken the responsibility to facilitate the implementation of the project
  4. ARARI has agreed to consider the watershed as a satellite research site in the watershed through its SIRINKA research centre
  5. There is also understanding to send MSC and PhD students from various disciplines to work on integrated approaches

For more information, contact Dr. Tilahun Amede at ILRI.