in 2009, CPWF redefined its objective “to increase the resilience of social and ecological systems through better water management for food production.” Why did it matter at that time, and why does it still matter today for water, food and ecosystems?
As the CPWF comes to an end, it is appropriate to take stock and reflect on its ten-year legacy. For me, it is also a time to reflect on the personal transformation that I have undergone in my perceptions and views of CPWF since becoming familiar with the program and its activities.
In the Mekong River Basin, hydropower has great potential to bring economic prosperity and electrification to many rural communities while meeting the growing power demands of urban centers. Which measures can we implement to prevent any one part of society from carrying the brunt of the costs, be they monetary, social, or environmental?
Wetlands and agriculture: for many this may seem a strange juxtaposition because wetlands and agriculture are often perceived to be conflicting. Today, a widespread perception is that agriculture simply destroys wetlands, undermining biodiversity and degrading all the beneficial ecosystem services that they provide.
More wetlands have been drained in the name of extending and improving agriculture than for any other reason. Yet real farmers often object, especially smallholders dependent on wetlands for parts of their livelihoods.
If you drink a glass of water in Mexico City, you should know that its journey probably began in the watershed of the Amanalco Valle Bravo Basin. Sixty percent of the land that supports this water supply is owned by communities and cooperatives of family farmers. Sustainable land management is critical to protect this vital water supply.
In India, millions of the poorest and vulnerable people make their living on common land. But nearly one-third of land in India is degraded and common lands face many pressures including: loss of ground cover, falling water tables and declining soil fertility.
At the landscape scale, governance, ownership and ecology are inseparable. But, even with the best will in the world, making that compatible with the investment strategies of rich people in faraway places looks hard.
A couple of years ago, Oxfam claimed that an area of agricultural land in developing countries almost the size of Western Europe had in recent years been taken over the foreign investors. A new report says a majority of the biggest “land grabs” never got beyond the planning stage. Is the great land rush over?