|Title||Trade-offs and synergies between sustainable food production and other critical ecosystem services (ES) for women and men in the changing and dynamic Barotse Floodplain, Zambia|
|Author(s)||Estrada-Carmona, N.; Attwood, S.; Remans, R.; Groot, J.C.J.; Kennedy, G.; Nowak, V.; Rio Mena, Trinidad del; Declerck, F.|
|Event||8th ESP World Conference, Stellenbosch, 2015-11-09/2015-11-13|
Farming Systems Ecology
|Publication type||Abstract in scientific journal or proceedings|
|Abstract||Agriculture intensification and crop diversity decline is happening in many changing landscapes in Africa, including the Barotse floodplain in Zambia. Foodplains are highly productive and dynamic ecosystems, however, land use and landscape simplification is compromising and threatens the provision of critical ES for local communities, with particular impacts on the most vulnerable groups such as women.
We assessed 18 ES that are important for livelihoods in three communities in the floodplain to understand, with a gender perspective, the trade-offs and opportunities for synergies, in increasing sustainable food production while maintaining and protecting ES.
Our team conducted a landscape characterization and ES assessment. This was done by combining field work, participatory mapping activities and focal group discussions in three communities located in different sections of the Barotse floodplain.
We found that in the Barotse there are well differentiated agroecological units that match local knowledge in land classification and scientific knowledge on hydrogeological process. Each agroecological unit has different exposure levels to floods or droughts and therefore, each one provides different ES. Access to the different agroecological units varies depending on the time of the year, the location of the community, social status and gender, which in turn, determines households’ livelihoods and resilience.
In our research we identify opportunities for crop diversification, nutrition and livelihoods. We also highlight the importance to address gender differences in accessibility to resources to avoid increasing the gender gap. Finally, we assessed trade-offs between food production and ES provisioning at the farm and at the landscape scale.
Our work will help decision makers and stakeholders to 1) promote sustainable food production while guaranteeing the critical ES for local communities and agriculture and 2) to design and target interventions considering gendered access to ES.