Adaptive governance of mountain ecosystem services for poverty alleviation enabled by environmental virtual observatories

A project funded by the UK ESPA programme (grant number NE-K010239-1).

World Water Development Report

We contributed to a couple of chapters of the UN’s World Water Development Report of 2016, which focuses on water and jobs. Innovation and new technologies are of course a key element of job creation, and are also an important focus of the Mountain-EVO project. To highlight that link, I wrote a little piece for the ESPA blog:

The World Water Development Report (WWDR) released every year is the United Nation’s flagship report on water, providing a comprehensive review of the state of the world’s freshwater resources and aims to provide decision-makers with the tools to implement sustainable use of water. The UN’s World Water Development Report of 2016 focuses on “Water and Jobs”. Dr. Wouter Buytaert, Lead Principal Investigator of the ESPA funded Mountain-EVO project gives his reflections on the report.

Why Is Development Impact So Elusive?

In a recent blog, Dr Karpouzoglou from Wageningen University reflects on some of the issues posed by impact in development contexts, drawing insights from his participation at the ESPA Building Impact and Partnerships in South Asia workshop which took place in New Delhi on the 9-10 March 2016. The link to the blog can be found here: http://www.espa.ac.uk/news-events/espa-blog/why-development-impact-so-el...

New paper on adaptive governance by researchers in the Mountain EVO team

In the recently published paper in Environmental Science & Policy journal by Mountain EVO researchers, Timothy Karpouzoglou, Art Dewulf and Julian Clark explore adaptive governance as a theory of environmental governance. In particular, using systematic literature review methods they seek to evaluate how adaptive governance as a theoretical lens is applied to real-world problems and explore the potential value of theoretical multiplicity in progressing new understandings of adaptive governance.

Newly published: Critical review of EVOs from human-environmental resilience perspective

Timothy Karpouzoglou, Zed Zulkafli, Sam Grainger, Art Dewulf, Wouter Buytaert, David M Hannah (2016), Environmental Virtual Observatories (EVOs): prospects for knowledge co-creation and resilience in the Information Age , Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 18, February 2016, Pages 40-48.

News piece: Mountain communities working with Imperial scientists to monitor water resources

A citizen science project in poor mountain regions is helping communities take control of their environmental resources. Read more.

Blueprint paper published

The project's first scientific baby was born. It is a review paper that we'll use as a blueprint for the further implementation of the project. Check it out:

Buytaert, W., Zulkafli, Z., Grainger, S., Acosta, L., Alemie, T.C., Bastiaensen, J., De Bièvre, B., Bhusal, J., Clark, J. Dewulf, A., Foggin, M., Hannah, D. M., Hergarten, C., Isaeva, A., Karpouzoglou, T., Pandeya, B., Paudel, D., Sharma, K., Steenhuis, T. S. Tilahun, S., Van Hecken, G., Zhumanova, M. (2014). Citizen science in hydrology and water resources: opportunities for knowledge generation, ecosystem service management, and sustainable development. Frontiers in Earth Science 2:26

Mountain-EVO meeting and field visit to the pairwise catchment in Huamantanga, Peru (22-26 September 2014)

CONDESAN hosted a 1-week consortium-level meeting to evaluate the current progress of the project and establish concrete outcomes. On the 3rd day, a local stakeholders meeting was conducted with representation from the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment and local NGOs. The researchers spent the last 2 days visiting the village of Huamantanga, where pair-wise participatory monitoring activities was recently initiated as part of the IMHEA initiative to understand the impact of land use changes on the drinking and irrigation water supply of the community. Site photos.

Social synthesis workshop 1 (8 - 20 September 2014)

Case study researchers from Peru, Nepal, Ethiopia, and Kyrgysztan gathered at the Public Administration and Policy Group, Wageningen University, over the course of two days to present and discuss methods and findings from the baseline study conducted so far with project partners from Wageningen University, Imperial College, the University of Birmingham and the University of Antwerp. Cross-cutting themes were identified, for example, that water for crop production and communal land for livestock grazing were the main ecosystem services in all case studies.

Field visit to Debre Mawi experimental watershed in the Blue Nile basin (28 June - 2 July 2014)

Imperial college researchers joined the team at Bahir Dar University to perform a transect walk of the Debre Mawi experimental catchment, where there is an ongoing participatory monitoring program conducted with the local farmers to generate rainfall and streamflow data. The data are used to understand how human intervention of the landscape has impacted the stability of farming lands and contributed to the formation of gullies. The visit also included a meeting with the Abbay basin authority who presented the framework of a centralized data collection, processing and dissemination of weather and river flow data that is currently under development. The visit ended with a meeting with the Director of International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to develop links between the project and others under their purview. Site photos.

Field visit to the Mustang District, 1 - 8 June 2014

The first field visit to the Mustang District, Nepal took place on 1-8th June 2014. A team consisting of researchers from the Imperial College London, Wageningen University, the Society of Hydrology and Meteorology of Nepal (SOHAM), the national Department and Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) and Tribhuvan University Kathmandu, sat together with members of the Mustang District Development Committees (DDC) in Jomsom to understand the framework for the governance of and exisiting pressures on local ecosystem services. A follow-up programme involved interactions with members of the village of Lo Manthang in Upper Mustang. Water security for agriculture under climate change was perceived to be a main concern by the villagers as well as the administration, in addition to a decreasing workforce for agriculture as the younger generation seeks tourism-based employment outside their villages. Poverty, however, is partly-alleviated by tourism-based income and a high level of remittance. The visit marked the start of a detailed baseline study to be conducted throughout the year to identify opportunities for participatory knowledge generation to improve water resources governance in the district. Site photos.

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