IIASA- Accelerating Transition Towards Resilient Water Resources Management
The proposed project aims to contribute to improving the resilience of land and water resources and in turn the health of ecosystems and human wellbeing in the Lake Victoria Basin and East African Community. All of these are threatened, if not adequately managed, by population growth, economic development and the effects of climate change projected for the coming decades.
The expected outcome of the project work is to have an improved understanding of the potential benefits derived from the up-scaling of promising local and regional land and water management practices for sustainable intensification of rainfed and irrigated agriculture.
Policy makers will benefit from the research outcomes through a broad range of quantitative and qualitative data sets, policy briefs, interactive workshops, and webinars which will enable them to make evidence-based decisions in their respective field of influence. About 200 scientists and practitioners working in the EAC in academic, governmental, business or civil society organisations will benefit through engaging in research activities or through participating in capacity development events. These will be organised through a Community of Practice which will be established through this project.
The group of indirect beneficiaries is much larger, as changes in water resources management affect much of the population of the East African community and in particular the 45 million people residing within the Lake Victoria basin.
The work will be undertaken as a partnership between the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) together with a local regional implementation partner Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC). Together they will be joined by the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) as an international research partner.
? OP 1 Identification and scoping of pilot initiatives: Promising pilot initiatives for resilient local and regional land and water management are identified and scoped in detail for up-scaling potential in selected agro-ecological zones.
? OP 2 Multi-dimensional up-scaling simulations: A bio-physical and economic model for up-scaling sustainable intensification of rainfed and irrigated agriculture produced/adapted and tested in 2 agro-ecological settings will be established.
? OP 3 Political economy analysis and stakeholder engagement: Political economy aspects, social and gender dimensions relevant to the up-scaling of selected pilot initiatives in selected agro-ecological settings will be analysed and level of understanding will be documented to provide guidance on how to incorporate these issues to increase impact and success.
? OP 4 Capacity development and project management: Capacities of practitioners and researchers from regional and local institutions from academia, government, NGOs and business will be advanced in the scope of the research project.
The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis - IIASA’s Water Futures and Solutions Initiative formed an East Africa node which works in partnership with the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) together with EAC Partner States, government organisations, academia, civil society and private sectors. Research and consultations undertaken in this East Africa node highlight solution pathways to address future supply and demand gaps of water resources and sustaining and improving water quality. Part of this project demonstrated, that many successful pilot projects and practices on agricultural water and land resources management exist and work at the local scale with largely unknown impact if brought to larger scale. A central component of the work in East Africa is to enhance and develop capacity both within regional bodies (such as LVBC) and also within government ministries and tertiary education organisations. These research and capacity development activities are expected to further advance knowledge on such up-scaling simulations and contribute to policies and practice for resilience of future water and land resources, ecosystems and wellbeing of the population living in the wider Lake Victoria Basin.