CBM's contribution to a recent World Bank initiative.
The World Bank is examining new approaches to integrating different aspects of land management in a way that will help improve efficiency in its commitment to support sustainable land management (SLM) in developing countries. As a member of an international team of experts in various aspects of SLM, CBM is contributing towards approaches that we anticipate will lead to a more integrative and sustainable approach to biodiversity.
A new operational concept for sustainable land management.
In 2003-5 CBM collaborated with a new project in the World Bank in Washington DC that is seeking ways to improve and integrate an operational strategy for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) that includes Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD) within the Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) section. The SLM Project led by Prof. Erick Fernandes (ex Cornell University) is being assisted by a multidisciplinary team drawn from different areas of the globe. The team is addressing a range of themes including ESSD strategies and the nature and definition of SLM including gaps in knowledge, land management typologies, activities and risks. The team will also explore how cross-cutting links within ESSD can be exploited to help reduction of poverty while sustaining viable environmental resources. The main contribution from Center for Biodiversity Management has been directed towards biodiversity and linkages between biodiversity and profitability.
The World Bank is actively pursuing a new venture in developing countries by seeking to establish a cross-sectoral computer-based Dynamic Information Framework (a DIF). Unlike most information systems that deal with specific sectoral issues, the DIF aims to bring together cross-disciplinary aspects such as hydrology, land use, soils, and biodiversity among others. Successful multidisciplinary baseline studies in Mozambique and Bhutan (see global case studies) have shown how biodiversity indicators can be linked with land use history, soils and remote-sensing. Work in progress involves the riparian countries of Lake Victoria where the World Bank is working closely with the Lake Victoria Commission that connects with Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda Burundi
While in Namibia, Andy Gillison visited the Desert Training and Research Centre at Gobabeb and presented a seminar comparing the ecology of the Namib and Gobi deserts. Later at the National Botanical Research Institute, Windhoek he met with staff and gave a seminar on recent developments in biodiversity assessment. The Namib desert is one of the driest inhabited deserts in the world and is home to one of the strangest plants - The extraordinary Welwitschia mirabilis (see below). Not surprising then that CBM acquired some useful transect data along a precipitation gradient across the Namib.
The second UN-DESA meeting was at an UN-DESA expert group meeting on “Sustainable land management and agricultural practices in Africa: Bridging the gap between research and farmers”. Göteborg (16 April 09) where AG gave a presentation on Agro-bio-climatic models: Towards a generic Land Management Typology. CBM is developing a completely new approach to classifying land management using a similar system to that employed in a grammar-based system in VegClass. More updates on that soon.