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Monthly Newsletter
October 2020

Welcome to the Resilient Food Systems (RFS) Newsletter.

In this issue of the newsletter, watch Lord Zac Goldsmith, UK Minister of State for Pacific and Environment, highlight the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund as a best practice example of ecosystem-based adaptation during this year’s World Water Week. Learn more about how country projects are integrating Outcome Mapping within project-level monitoring and evaluation to catalyse behaviour change. Read how RFS is empowering women in Nigeria through beekeeping and how IFAD’s Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) is being used in Tanzania to provide a clearer understanding of rural poverty.
  

Useful resources and links


Each month, the Regional Hub gathers and shares useful resources under the broad themes of sustainable agriculture, resilience-building, land degradation and climate change.
  • FAO recently launched a report on nature-based solutions for building the resilience of the food and agriculture sector to climate change, highlighting best practices showcased during the ecosystem-based adaptation in the agriculture webinar series. 
  • On the 30th of September, the UN held a Biodiversity Summit, aligned with this year’s UN General Assembly, to provide political direction and momentum to the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
  • In the lead up to the Biodiversity Summit, the Convention on Biological Diversity launched the 2020 Global Biodiversity Outlook, which provides a summary of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
  • SIWI’s annual World Water Week was held virtually this year. Learn about the contributions of the GEF International Waters programme to the event.
  • IFAD is helping farmers in Nigeria access high quality inputs and training to improve rice production through its Value Chain Development programme.
  • “Food systems have the potential to nurture human health and support environmental sustainability; however, they are currently threatening both.”: Read the new EAT-Lancet report on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems.
 Kenya  Knowledge & Learning  Sustainable Land Management 

RFS Kenya project singled out by UK minister as best practice example during SIWI World Water Week 2020

World Water Week is an annual event held by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). This year, the conference provided a virtual platform for the world’s leading experts form scientific, business, government and civic communities to exchange views, experiences and shape joint solutions under the theme “Water for society – including all”.
 
During the opening session, keynote speaker Lord Zac Goldsmith, UK Minister of State for Pacific and Environment, underscored the need to scale up nature-based solutions that address the water crisis in a more holistic way, one that reflects the relationship between water, health, biodiversity, pollution, food and energy production. Highlighting several standout examples of projects around the world that work to conserve natural systems while delivering tangible results for people, Lord Goldsmith praised the work of the RFS Kenya project:
 
The Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund estimates that a USD 10 million investment in watershed conservation delivers a return of around USD 21.5 million including savings from water treatment, increased power generation and increased agricultural yield.
As public and private actors make new investments in energy, transport, water and cities, Lord Goldsmith called for more countries to follow the example set by the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund and align these investments with ecosystems.
View Lord Goldsmith's full speech  →
Women in Benue State learn to construct beehives using locally available materials.
Nigeria Gender  Rural Extension & Capacity Development

For women in Benue State, beekeeping offers an avenue for income and independence

When the RFS Nigeria project initiated a beekeeping training programme for women across ten communities in Benue State, their first task was to convince the women that beekeeping was not exclusively the domain of men. Traditional beekeeping practices were thought of as dangerous and labour-intensive, creating a fear of handling bees within the community. Through the training, the women’s cooperative groups were shown that, with modern beehives and handling techniques, there was little to fear, and much to gain.
 
In addition to teaching the women how to build, colonise and manage hives, trainers shared information about honey and beeswax markets and prices, while connecting participants with end markets. The sessions equipped the women with the tools and know-how necessary to generate an alternative stream of income for themselves and their families. 
 
By introducing communities to good production practices and directly linking producers with end markets, the RFS project is hoping to expand the sustainable honey and beeswax value chain within the region, creating further opportunities for the growth of female income generating activities that contribute to food security and financial independence.
Read more about RFS Nigeria's beekeeping initiative  →
All RFS  Monitoring & Evaluation 

ICRAF, in partnership with Bangor University and IFAD, organises Outcome Mapping workshops for country project teams

Led by the Regional Hub through ICRAF, in partnership with Bangor University and IFAD, the RFS programme has been supporting country project teams in utilising the Outcome Mapping methodology to assess project contributions to institutional and behaviour change and development.
 
At the 2019 RFS Annual Workshop in Bolgatanga, Ghana, the Outcome Mapping team, led by Dr. Eefke Molle of Bangor University, introduced RFS country projects and partners to major concepts associated with Outcome Mapping. In order to further strengthen Outcome Mapping capacity development and tailor training to different country project needs, from July to September 2020, the Regional Hub held a series of virtual training sessions for four country projects – Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, and Niger. The objective of the training series was to help RFS country project teams build the skills necessary to integrate Outcoming Mapping into their monitoring and evaluation plans and activities.
Learn how Outcome Mapping is being applied within the RFS programme  →
Tanzania  Monitoring & Evaluation 

MPAT survey reveals opportunities for scaling up climate-smart agriculture in Central Tanzania

The Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) was developed by an international initiative led by IFAD and has been used in multiple RFS country projects to provide a clearer understanding of rural poverty. In central Tanzania, a region where agricultural expansion and unsustainable land use practices have resulted in significant degradation of natural resources, the RFS project conducted an MPAT survey in 28 villages in the Nzega, Magu, Mkalama, Kondoa and Micheweni districts to gain insight into how these drivers are impacting poverty at the household level.
 
Through the survey, 850 households were interviewed to collect data on a broad range of focus areas including food and nutrition security, education, farming practices, occupations, access to clean water, and farm and non-farm assets. Within the project area, over three quarters of households are involved in farming and livestock rearing; however yields remain low – less than 400 kg of beans, groundnuts, and cassava and maize are produced annually per acre. Only 6 percent of the households have adopted climate-smart agriculture practices and the majority still depend on rain-fed agriculture.
 
The survey provides a strong baseline to measure the impact of the Tanzania project and underscores the importance of the work the country project is doing to improve the health of the ecosystem to support a more sustainable, productive agricultural system for smallholder farmers.
 
Read more about how RFS Tanzania is using the MPAT to build an evidence base for decision-making  →
 

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Resilient Food Systems, also known as the Integrated Approach Program on Food Security (IAP-FS), is primarily funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

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