Together We Stand for Sustainable Lifestyles

Building Climate Resilience in Farming Systems in Sloping Lands of South Asia

Widespread land degradation augmented by climate change (CC) has seriously eroded the production capacity of hilly areas across countries leading to food and nutrition insecurity. Though the assessments of such impacts have been done in some parts of South Asia (SA), there are serious deficits in information on the status of hilly areas with respect to the resource utilization and building resilience in farming systems (FS) within SA as the issue has been addressed in isolation, through best farming practices. Information on systematic and holistic approaches to reduce vulnerability of this agro-ecosystem to CC, land degradation and loss of biodiversity are meager thus, hindering the provision of responding to a key policy question on “what best farming practices could be recommended for hilly areas to minimize resource degradation and to ensure environmental sustainability while enhancing food security and climate resilience?”. The project will build on successful farming models reported from other Asian countries, e.g. Conservation Farming Villages (CFVs; Cruz et al. 2014), and address this key policy question and support informed-decision making, by providing the much needed scientifically validated information on resource degradation and environmental sustainability, best practice FS for higher level resilience, and well-being of farming communities in sloping lands, while ensuring food and nutrition security of farm households and at national and regional levels. The main objective of the research project is to assess resilience and characterization of diverse FS in hilly areas of SA based on their adaptation capacities, with special emphasis on food and nutrition security.
(1) To identify, characterize (species and genetic variation of species – crops, livestock, natural and indicator species and their productivity, socio-economic opportunities and limitations, level of integration and nutrient recycling) and document FS and land use patterns in hilly areas of SA in detail,
(2) To assess the technically important strategies and the resource utilization that lead to sustainability and stability of the FS in the study areas,
(3) To map the climate vulnerability, and food and nutrition and health security of different FS at the lowest administrative level, to ascertain the level of present resilience in the study sites, and
(4) To develop a Climate Resilient Index (CRI) to estimate the climate resilience of FS in the study sites, a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), and Adaptation Index (AI) in line with Global Adaptation Index (GAIN) to capture the degree of food, nutrition and health insecurity of Farming households.