Ideas for addressing... Ecosystems Management
Ecosystems management is an approach to maintaining or restoring the composition, structure, function, and delivery of services of natural and modified ecosystems for the goal of achieving sustainability. It is based on an adaptive, collaboratively developed vision of desired future conditions that integrates ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional perspectives, applied within a geographic framework, and defined primarily by natural ecological boundaries (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board, 2005).
Here you can browse ideas on ecosystems management, submitted by the AfriAlliance community.
We could reduce knowledge & capacity gaps by offering more trainings in local communities to various stakeholders - in the knowledge development and in the sustainability of each specific theme & dimension - by the promotion of capacity building of decision makers, farmers, users of water-energy-food nexus, farmers, fishermen, technical professionals and the population as a whole.
The solution largely relates to building expertise and knowledge on the functioning of ecosystems and their vulnerability to climate change and inputs from human activity (e.g. pollution of water). A good starting point would be to identify the specific areas/countries where knowledge is lacking and expertise needs to be strengthened.
Preserve available resources with more governance and a better coordination of infrastructure investments.
Human and institutional capacity needs to be strengthened as foundation to address all other existing knowledge gaps. Capacity building should be done in close consultation with affected parties and preferentially on location or in neighbouring African countries and not necessarily at educational institutions overseas. Local needs should be carefully evaluated in consultation with local individuals. Try to avoid "top-down" approaches, but rather foster partnerships an alliances to increase acceptance of capacity building. Gender issues need to be addressed.
The African curriculum are theoretical base with no practical, take for example an agricultural officer who study from the city right from primary up to university has never seen the process through which a plant go through up to the time of harvest, this is an officer who can not differentiate between a plant and weed.
Outcomes of climate change risk and vulnerability assessments need to be mainstreamed into key implementing institutions. These assessments should be the departure point for capacity building excises owned by local institutions.
Accompany stengthening of institutions, accountability of public servants. A stronger governance at a political level is the first step for effective international cooperation. Perception of corruption also disencourages entrepredurism and trust in communities.
Improving information flow within existing water governance structures such as Uganda Parliamentary Forum on WASH, water user committees, farmer groups and other decison-making platforms, so as to foster better and informed public participation in decision-making.
There are still huge gaps in water technology development, research and innovations in Africa. There is need to invest in young people as potential innovators and entrepreneurs capable of creating solutions to water and climate change challenges.
Increase awareness, skills and access to the available technologies through multi-level and multi-stakeholders "sharing platform".
Multi-level and integrated approach to issues related to sustainable management of water/natural resources.
Technologies for themes is readily available however the current old school thinking legislative framework makes it difficult to purchase such outbound and inbound tech. This leads to reluctance to implement new technologies and you find people reverting to default mode. Investigations on to the opportunities and misalignment of innovation, regulation and legislation.
Africa is engaged in the UNCCD Land Degradation Neutrality approach. Nigeria has signed that neutrality convention. By restoring tree and savannah cover, runoff will reduce and infiltration increase. With optimal tree cover, as much as 5,000 m3 / hectare of clean water can be captured by the forest and surrounding agroforestry systems and safely stored underground.
Lack of capacity and knowledge in climate smart technologies.
Governance structures methodologies hardly impact as expected as little is known on what to is needed, when and where, thus misplaced priorities.
The above themes have not been highlighted as important courses in the higher institutions. I believe they should be included as courses in the curriculum of higher institutions. Research institutes can also provide this courses as certified short courses. With adequate publicity on their availability and importance.
Use of citizen science to raise understanding and to create change.
In Africa particularly and developing countries in general, there is a need to put together the users and providers of water so that durable solutions can be proposed. There is a problem on institutions and their capacities when it comes to managing natural resources and related issues such as climate change, ecosystem degradation, soil erosion and so forth.
Include water management training including demonstrations as part of the curricula at all education levels from primary level.
The human and institutional capacity dimension has the potential to positively impact the other dimensions...i.e., technology, governance structures, interaction process users and solution providers, and business opportunties among others.
There should be combination of themes and disciplines to reduce the knowledge gaps.
Thresholds for early warning for climate-related disasters.
Each specific theme & dimension is interrelated to other. Therefore, we could use an inclusive down to top community based approach with the participation of Indigenous Peoples, teachers, women, traditional - cultural - social - religious leaders and all the marginalized in local communities.
and also not paying attention to public health problems thus being in shambles whenever there is an epidemic.
Data, information and analyses is key in providing options for operational partners in changing contexts, along with capacity building surrounding collecting this information and providing analyses.
Together with capacity building, both institutional and human, supporting governance structures need to set up to ensure sustainability of approaches to reduce knowledge gaps in all sectors. Address issues of balanced PPP's as alliances and not biased to uncontrolled influence of multi-nationals.
Climate change needs to be embedded and mainstreamed in higher level governance structures such as the presidency (i.e. in Kenya) or more cross-cutting areas (i.e. not just the ministry of the environment). The scientific evidence-base should be determined from a spatial risk and vulnerability assessment that is integrated across sectors and industries.
There is need to strengthen policy implementation and reform of obsolete policies that no longer meet up with international best practices. There is need for more investment in evidence-based research in order to strengthen water policies and implementation.
Increase partecipation to specific networks among stakeholders (not only process users and solution providers but also researchers, institutions and SMEs).
A smart guideline for interaction of all themes is required. It is difficult to relate and participate in solution based ideas with one service provider because of the PPP and the fact that everything should be transparent and fair even if you are dealing with IP related solutions. This also makes users reluctant to participate in such engagements dampening the spirit of solution engagements. Create a framework or guideline for user supplier interaction without breaking the rules of engagement covering all scenarios.
build scientific councils for each international basin structure.
The integration of local communities in all aspects affecting them is the key to narrow the gaps related to the above themes.Subsidies on tech products for local communities to harness alternative energy (solar and thermal) and a deep understanding of their adaptive capacity could shine a light on improvement.
Technology is the bedrock for development. Promotion of these themes at engineering and technical schools are important. Government funding in terms of laboratory equipment is also necessary. Technology hubs can also be created with a focus of creating local/adaptable technologies in this areas. Publicity of breakthroughs and achievements from universities and other research bodies is necessary in creating awareness and developing the interest of the next generation.
There is a need to support developing countries in science and technology related to water protection and assist them finically in water treatment.
Strengthening and activation of waste resource at city level (both solid and liquid/faecal waste) to harness the energy in the ecosystem, at the same time prevent health and climate related impact of poorly managed waste. By creating business opportunities around waste, it encourages a sustainable way of getting the ecosystem within the city to manage waste effectively without need for ad-hoc processes or donor funded short term interventions.
control the production of greenhouse gases from wastewater treatment processes.
the issue of governance structures has little room of capacitating policy makers.
Due to my experience working with enterprise associations and directly with government environment institutions I realize there were several obstacles in the legislations that were producing missfall waste water treatment plants. But I saw it was not necessary to change the legislation but using citizen participation became a key to guaranee long term treatment plants and thought working together public and private sectores could make a huge difference. Treatment and sanitation plants could become recycling, reuse or recharge water systems (SARx in spanish), by using state of the art technologies instead of conventional technologies. This is a way to lower the operation costs, low sludge producing and more efficient pollution removal as well as high treated water quality. This can make this system the center of a local economy by giving not only environmental improvements but aslo economical and social aspects will be fundamental to make them much more atractive to the municipality and benefitial society as well. This systems could maybe more expensive but with the possibility of having a pay back in time. Could be financed, build, operate and transfer with a more favorable monthly payment and good operated interess due to the low operation and maintainance costs and aslo the whole society interess with benefits that can a 24 hours 365 days per year that treated water will be available and give to the agriculture or industries and others. This can be of course an integral way of doing projects and seeing also advantages in warm climates countries due to biological treatment chances.
What is needed most is to increase populations’ awareness on all types of water mismanagements; be it potable water, water for irrigation or for industry or just water in water authorities’ facilities. How to address each case should be at increasing levels from community to local up to regional international level. In each level key of stakeholders should be closely involved for finding adequate solution that will enrich a web-based knowledge platform.
I think it’s vital that countries come up with consistent legislature with regards to preservation of water bodies. I have noted in my country it has become normal that people are now staying in areas which have no services such as water and sewer reticulation.This will negatively impact impact on the water quality as well as it’s availability.
We develop for NSIA a project In Ogun State (North of Lagos) where a zone of 108,000 ha will be reforested via: 1/3 of natural reforestation 1/3 of agro-forestry small farmers development 1/3 of agro-forestry tree crops plantations (Palm oil, cocoa, rubber and cashew). Via this environmental, social and economic Land Use innovation, forest cover will come back from the current 7% to more than 80% by 2025. By restoring tree and savannah cover, runoff will reduce and infiltration increase. With optimal tree cover, as much as 5,000 m3 / hectare of clean water can be captured by the forest and surrounding agroforestry systems and safely stored underground.
Lack of integrated approach in ecosystem management. Explore capacity building on climate screening of projects at design stage.
Understanding of ecosystems in totality and identify interactions, impacts and trade offs in climate change adaptations and mitigation.
According to the United Nations population division (UN, 2017 ) Africa is the fastest growing continent. It is estimated that more than half of the global population growth leading up to 2050 will occur in sub-Saharan Africa. This anticipated population growth will only lead to a greater demand on ecosystems and the services they provide. Every effort should be made to instil the need for the conservation and wise use of critical ecosystems. The Global Wetland Outlook
(Ramsar, 2018 ) highlights the importance of conservation and wise use of wetlands for human livelihoods. The ecosystem services provided by wetlands places these critical water resources at the heart of sustainable development. The value of the benefits of wetlands to nature and humankind are however, often underestimated. Understanding these values through continued research and promoting best practice for the management of wetlands is crucial for ensuring their conservation and wise use. The need to instil conservation and wise use of wetlands sparked the idea of developing a wetland networking and capacity development programme in Africa. Support in the form of a programme where members benefit from the network and through regular capacity development events across participating countries. Events where participants get to learn from either in-country and/or regional specialists and/or academics. Where topics are tailored for the participants from the host country. Where the focus is on spending time gaining practical experience from working with specialists, learning from each other, and also addressing key challenges for implementing wetland conservation and wise use initiatives. The goal of the proposed African Wetland Network and Capacity Development Programme will be to develop a coordinated wetland networking and capacity development programme that focuses on the capacity development and networking needs of wetland practitioners throughout Africa. Representatives from the following organisations have expressed interest in supporting the proposed initiative of developing an African Wetland Network and Capacity Development Programme: â€¢ SWS â€“ Society of Wetland Scientists â€¢ UNESCO-IHE - IHE Delft Institute for Water Education â€¢ EWT / ICF - Endangered Wildlife Trust Partnership / International Crane Foundation â€¢ SAWS â€“ South African Wetland Society â€¢ Wetlands International Africa â€¢ IWMI - International Water Management Institute.
Strengthens public institutions to be independence from individual influences (ie. rogue politicians). Implementation is very poor on these areas and there is a poor monitoring and evaluation procedures on the fields of actions. Actual applications of policies on the field ought to be a empirical reality not theoretical on documents by experts.
Bringing about enabling environments for fieldwork by experts would further facilitates reaching-out-to the-people who are the real target. Empower field experts to bring about changes and application of their various research findings for the benefit of the African peoples.
Good governance policies on Water Resources Management for the benefits of mankind and the Ecosystems ought to be regulated and implemented for the good of all.