Empowering rural stewardship to conserve biodiversity and enhance ecosystem services

Agricultural communities, the world over, are coping with change - in climate, governance, markets and costs. To adapt, many farmers (particularly smallholders) rely on natural resources and ecosystem services to help maintain their food production systems and livelihoods. Deriving key ecosystem services from native biodiversity, such as pest control, pollination, water retention, and soil improvement, farmers are better prepared to adapt to the changes they face while promoting biodiversity conservation. Enhanced diversity of biota and ecosystem services are key attributes of improved resilience in the face of a wide array of disturbances and environmental challenges farmers and other land managers face. But what other factors help farmers remain productive and secure?

This workshop will explore a series of agro-ecosystems selected to reflect diversity in approach and varying social, environmental, cultural and geographic contexts. By studying how they function, how they came to be the way they are, and how farmers have adapted to changes, participants will learn what makes these landscapes more or less resilient to disturbances ranging from pest attacks to climate change; how increased biodiversity conservation helps farmers; and how farmers can directly promote greater resilience in their agro-ecosystems.

Through facilitated discussions participants will explore how to: Disseminate the lessons learned; promote interventions that enhance resiliency; encourage actions that conserve biodiversity and sustain ecosystem services; and, convey the broad policy implications of the presentations and what guidance should be forwarded to IUCN and its partners in relation to working in agricultural landscapes.

Programme

Welcome – Approach, Purpose and Outcomes - Steve Edwards, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management

Intro to Resilience - Mike Jones, Stockholm Resilience Centre

Managing for resilience in natural landscapes
> Adaptation of agricultural systems in mountain landscapes to sustain a water supply for Bogota, Colombia - Angela Andrade, Conservation International
> Resilience in the Socio-Ecological components of the Shinyanga Forest, Tanzania - Ed Barrow, IUCN

Smallholder farmers and climate change
> Farming practices to cope with climatic risks (speaker to be announced)
> The role of natural ecosystems in farmer risk management in Madagascar - Celia Harvey, Conservation International

Conserving Biodiversity to sustain ecosystem services
> Providing incentives to enhance ecosystem services from biodiversity and promote conservation in the agricultural matrix - Mark Chandler, Earthwatch Institute
> Farmer involvement in landscape management: The Life+ Biodivine project to develop local incentives through stakeholder engagement that encourage biodiversity and ecosystem services in European viticulture - Maarten van Helden, Univerité de Bordeaux

Facilitated discussion
Topics: Resilience, stakeholder involvement, change
> Emerging themes - Mike Jones, Stockholm Resilience Centre

Conclusions and recommended “next steps” - Steve Edwards, IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management

Geographical scope:

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