Workshop on Climate Smart Village

Introduction

The Council for RNR research of Bhutan Secretariat (CoRRB-S), MoAF, Thimphu conducted a five days’ [16th to 20th June 2015] workshop on “Identification and work-plan development for Climate Smart Village interventions” including field visits to climate smart initiatives in adjoining geogs of Phuentsholing. The workshop was meat to orient the RNR officials of Chukha Dzongkhag and extension officials of Lokchina and Darla Geogs on Climate Smart Agriculture.

The CoRRB-S, over the next three years, will be initiating the concept of Climate Smart Agriculture, and establishing five Climate Smart Villages [CSV], in the East, East-Central and Southern Dzongkhags.  Following the international conventions and practices, the CSVs will test and validate agricultural Climate Change [CC] adaptation methodologies and interventions in an integrated manner with the aim to boost farmers ability to adapt to CC, manage risks and build resilience, and by this improve livelihoods and incomes and, where possible, reduce green house gas emissions to ensure solutions are sustainable. Focus will be on integrated actions – Weather -Smart, Carbon- Smart, Nitrogen -Smart, Energy -Smart, Knowledge-Smart (CGIAR -CCAFS approach).

Once the practices are tested and validated, these will be replicated in a wider scale; which is the part of the CoRRB-S’s technology generation activity, funded by the GCCA-Climate Change Adaptation Programme in the RNR Sector.

The internally accepted best practices for selecting a CSV and criteria are as follows; which are in order of priority;

  • Poverty –subsistence agriculture, poor  infrastructure and  less natural resources
  • Food Insecurities-incidences  of food shortage, crop failure due  to  disease outbreak s and  extreme  weathers)   in the past
  • Vulnerable to climate change and climate variability-  a  village  more prone to floods, landslides,  droughts,  extreme weathers ( wind –storm, extended monsoon rain to Oct-Nov)
  • Shortage of water for drinking and irrigation, shortage of  fodder, villages showing  the  signs of land degradation and  shrinking   forest resources
  • Large settlement and  high  population density
  • Accessible  ( for input and  monitoring)

Objectives

The main objective of holding the workshop was to:

  1. Orient the RNR staff with the concept of Climate Smart Agriculture in general and the need for establishment of Climate Smart Villages in particular.
  2. Jointly identify the Climate Smart interventions, based on the findings of the Diagnostic Study, and develop / integrate them into the Annual Work-plan & Budget of the sector.
  3. Make field visit to identify sites for implementing the interventions.

 

Main highlights of the work-shop:

Participants were oriented on the basic understanding of Climate Change, how it is impacting globally and its regional manifestations. In Bhutan it is already impacting on water resources, forests & ecosystems, agriculture & food security, and the rural livelihoods. The impacts are mainly due to changes in Biophysical Drivers, like temperature, rainfall patterns, extreme events frequency, intensity and seasonal shifts; and to a great extent non-climatic or human factor.

The RNR sector is highly climate sensitive. Therefore there is a need to transform current agricultural practices and make them climate smart; which will build Resilience, raise Food Security & Incomes, and reduce Green House Gas [GHG]; thereby balancing agricultural productivity and environment. The Climate Smart Agricultural practice sustains the health of the land & increases productivity, does not pollute, degrade land or loss of forests and biodiversity; and delivers food, fibre, fuel and incomes, carbon sequestration and reduce GHG emissions.

In order to initiate the formation of CSV, an ‘Assessment of Sustainable Livelihood and Climate Vulnerabilities’ was done on Pamji village of Lokchina and Tabji village of Darla Geogs. This was the ‘Diagnostic Study’, aimed at collecting baseline information on the households including:

  • collection of information on the opportunities and constraints of the households that influence the sustainability of livelihoods
  • constructing  the  capital asset accumulation and  assess vulnerability  of  the household livelihoods  against adverse effect of climate change and variability
  • identification of climate smart interventions/technologies to be introduced for reducing households’ climatic shocks and stresses.

The study also included Supplementary Key Informant interviews and Secondary Data Use. The observation and data collection revolved round the impacts on Natural, Physical, Financial and Social capitals. Based on the analysis of the diagnostic study, some key interventions & activities were proposed, as follows:

CapitalTABJIPAMJI
Vulnerabilities/ problemsInterventionVulnerabilities/ problemsInterventions
Social  CapitalA  few  formal group  ( agriculture marketing )  and 1-2  informal group availablePromote active group  participation and  awareness  creation and information on climate impactNo formal group (school vegetable- one household )   exist and  traditional informal group seems  disappearedFormation of formal groups  and  re-activating of traditional help groups
Human CapitalA few  number of educated farmers and a  few attended trainingContinue  Farmers training  on crop production and marketingLess number of educated farmersFarmers training  on crop production and marketing
Many farmers  unknown about  impact of climate change  on livelihoodsCreate awareness and establish public provide climate informationImpact of climate change  on livelihoods  not  aware at allCreate awareness and provide climate information
Physical CapitalHouse holds  not connected to Geog farm road. Travel long distance  on foot  to sell farm produceEstablish  storing facilities  and  crop and animal product  processing unitHouse holds  not connected to Geog farm road. Travel long distance  on foot  to sell farm produceEstablish  storing facilities  and  crop and animal product  processing unit
Natural capitalWater source drying up making access of drinking and  irrigation difficult. Soil  fertility and Crop productivity  decreasingRain water harvesting and managementWater source drying up making access of drinking and  irrigation difficult. Soil  fertility and Crop productivity  decreasingRain water harvesting and management
Introduce  improved Crop and management techniques-New variety of maize and upland riceDirect seeding

-Zero Tillage, Minimum  tillage

-Green manuring

-Integrated Pest management

Introduce  improved Crop and management techniques-New variety of maize and upland riceDirect seeding

-Zero Tillage, Minimum  tillage

-Green maturing

-Integrated Pest management

Land slide and soil erosion  problemIntroduce/ intensify  Land management and soil conservation , agro forestry practicesLand slide and soil  erosion  problemIntroduce Land management and soil conservation , agro forestry practices
Financial CapitalA few has  taken loan  to finance poultry farmsContinue group  formation  and actively take part government loan scheme  for commercializationNo  Agriculture commercial venture at the siteForm group to get access to government loan and schemes to start  production a large scale
Only established commercial  venture for poultry productionDiversify crop and livestock  production ( e,g, vegetables, dairy improve  orange & cardamom productionNo commercial productionEnter into commercial production of crops, vegetables and fruits.

 

Participants were divided into three sub-sectoral groups, to further work on the interventions using the concept of CSV and integrate them into Annual Work-plan and Budget.

The final two days were spent on field visits to Sampheling Geog, where some climate smart activities have been initiated.

-Submitted by CoRRB

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