EcoAgriculture Partners Newsletter: July 30, 2013
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EcoAgriculture and the 
Path to Real Green Growth
A message from EcoAgriculture Partners' 
president Sara J. Scherr

In many of the developing countries where we work, which face the challenges of hunger, poverty, resource degradation and climate change, "green growth" seems a promising alternative pathway to development. The truth, however, is that adjusting a national or regional economy to ensure the sustainable management of natural capital is far easier said than done. Achieving social, economic and environmental outcomes requires planners, investors and regulators to examine the full range of current and potential land uses and ecosystem services in a landscape: a planning process with which few are savvy. Governments and aid organizations are seeking guidance from experts in whole landscape approaches, who can systematically and pragmatically evaluate the social, economic and ecological links between agricultural production, ecosystems, social systems and institutions. This is where EcoAgriculture Partners comes in.

In June, EcoAgriculture Partners published the results of our work with the Tanzanian government and partners to develop a "Greenprint" for agriculture green growth (AGG) for the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). Among many other findings, the "Greenprint" reports that within two decades, AGG could generate an additional 2.2 million tons of rice and field crops per year, worth approximately US $600 million (936 billion TzSh) at 2012 market prices, compared to a scenario of agricultural intensification based on prevailing practice. In other words, green growth, especially in Africa, isn't just more sustainable growth; its more growth, period, and more inclusive growth.

We are also working at an international level to influence how the idea of green growth is applied. EcoAgriculture Partners was recently invited to the Global Symposium: REDD+ in a Green Economy in Jakarta, Indonesia, to help UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) bring REDD+ "out of the forest" and into the landscape, sharing our experience with strategies to more effectively mitigate the agricultural drivers of deforestation.

Looking forward, EcoAgriculture Partners' work with the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative, specifically an upcoming analysis of market mechanisms that support landscape approaches and an investigation of how landscape investments are being financed, will continue to improve our understanding of how to better design green growth programs.

Sincerely,
Sara 

EcoAgriculture and a Green Growth Strategy for Southern Tanzania 
By Abigail Hart, program associate in the Landscapes and Leaders and Research programs

EcoAgriculture Partners, in concert with the SAGCOT Centre Ltd. and the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT), recently released a new framework for Agriculture Green Growth in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). This region of nearly 300,000 square kilometers has enormous agricultural production potential, but also has some of the most valued biodiversity in Africa, including rich wildlife resources and associated tourism industry, important forests, and wetlands of international importance.

 

The agriculture green growth (AGG) approach to development highlights opportunities for transforming smallholder farming and reducing poverty while improving food security, protecting critical resources and strengthening resilience to climate change. It proposes a strategy to shape more than US $3 billion of anticipated agricultural investment towards innovative agricultural systems and practices. It highlights strategies to support smallholder farmers, who represent 70% of the corridor's population, to develop, test and promote innovations, and partner effectively with investors.

 

The framework for AGG is the outcome of an 18-month collaborative research and learning process. EcoAgriculture Partners, with the Environmental Resources Management Center for Sustainable Development (ERMCSD) and the SAGCOT Centre, engaged with more than 150 leaders and innovators in the corridor who participated in field visits, interviews and the Agriculture Green Growth Leaders Workshop. The process was the first to bring together leaders at local and national levels and across the priority micro-regions, called Clusters, in the corridor to reveal opportunities for investment and discuss what needs to happen to facilitate agricultural development that is supported by public, private and civic sector investment partners.

 

The framework is designed to inform investors and other key stakeholders about the development context in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor, and AGG investment innovations and opportunities that complement the goals laid out in the SAGCOT Blueprint in 2011. A set of five documents presents the benefits and impacts of AGG innovations on the ground, the institutional and policy environment needed to create fertile ground for AGG to take root, the types of finance and investment strategies for promoting AGG, a scenario analysis of the potential impacts of AGG in the corridor, and concrete next steps for advancing AGG. The project was supported by Norwegian Embassy and the UK's Department for International Development, and advised by the SAGCOT Green Reference Group.

 

The full set of documents is available on the Agriculture Green Growth Portal.

 

REDD+ and Agriculture: Better together in a 
Green Economy
EcoAgriculture helping to bring REDD+ "out of the forests"

In June, senior policy project manager Seth Shames attended the Global Symposium: REDD+ in a Green Economy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Seth represented EcoAgriculture Partners' unique perspective on integrated forestry and agriculture approaches at the conference and contributed to the discussion on how to promote forest conservation simultaneously with agricultural productivity.

The Global Symposium from June 19-20 focused on bringing REDD+ "out of the forest" by linking the approach more explicitly to the emerging concept of green growth. As implementing agencies have begun seeing REDD+ within its broader economic context, the links between REDD and other sectors, particularly agriculture, have become more apparent. Efforts to sustainably intensify agriculture are inextricably linked to the REDD+ community's efforts to protect forests and mitigate climate change. Relationships between agriculture, the largest driver of deforestation, and forests need to be managed within a landscape framework.

At the meeting, Seth highlighted EcoAgriculture Partners experience and expertise supporting these approaches in forest and agricultural landscapes, particularly his own work in collaboration with the CGIAR Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research program. EcoAgriculture Partners is committed to strengthening REDD+ programs through improved cross-sectoral coordination and integration so that they deliver more durable solutions in the complex mosaic landscapes where they are most critical. A more holistic approach to both REDD+ and green growth will be beneficial for biodiversity, agriculture, and rural communities worldwide.

Workshop participants work out the thorny details of measuring biodiversity impacts in agricultural landscapes.
Workshop Propels Eco-Standards Assessment Research Agenda 
Diverse group united by desire to improve biodiversity outcomes of eco-certifications and standards

 

EcoAgriculture Partners project manager Lee Gross and Rainforest Alliance conservation scientist (and former EcoAgriculture Partners research director) Jeffrey Milder co-hosted a pre-session workshop at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, July 22nd. The workshop was entitled "From Best Practices to Proven Impacts: Expanding and Measuring Conservation Benefits of Agricultural Sustainability Standards in Tropical Production Landscapes."

 

This work builds on earlier research by EcoAgriculture Partners to assess the ecological outcomes of agricultural eco-standards and certification and to support biodiversity conservation objectives within agricultural landscapes.

 

The workshop was well attended by conservation practitioners, researchers and eco-standard body representatives, including individuals from organization like the World Wildlife Fund, International Finance Corporation, ISEAL Alliance, World Cocoa Foundation, World Resources Institute, and UTZ Certified.

 

The event focused on three major outcomes: 1) developing a co-authored paper on an "agenda for monitoring, evaluating, and scaling-up conservation benefits of agricultural sustainability standards in tropical production landscapes;" 2) outlining a paper synthesizing the methods and tools for impact assessment developed through the five-year IFC/GEF funded Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP); and 3) identifying new partnerships and collaborations between the research community and key stakeholders on sustainability standards.

 

Workshop presentations covered both the demand and supply sides of eco-standards and impacts and steps towards integrated outcomes. Despite the diversity of backgrounds among the participants, the group was eager to unite around a common research agenda for improving the ecological benefits of agricultural eco-standards and certifications. In the coming months, the group will be determining the best ways to move forward on this agenda through dialogue and collaborative work products and activities. 


EcoAgriculture Semi-Finalist for UNCCD's Land for Life Award
We are honored to be in such great company. Congratulations to the winners!

EcoAgriculture Partners is thrilled to have been named a semifinalist for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification's (UNCCD) annual Land for Life Award. The winners, selected by a jury of experts, were announced June 17th, World Day to Combat Desertification, and unfortunately we narrowly missed out on the prize money this year. The award is designed to honor excellence and innovation in sustainable land management.

 

First prize went to the Foundation for Ecological Security, which has worked to bring sustainable land management to over 200,000 hectares of common property rangelands, forests and water resources in India. Two organizations shared runner-up status: Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMSS) in Mexico and World Vision Australia, for its work in West Africa.

 

EcoAgriculture Partners was honored to be among the 16 semifinalists, and is excited to pursue the prize again next year!


EcoAgriculture Partners Organizational Growth Continues
Our Washington, DC office has added 3 new staff members since May!

EcoAgriculture Partners recently welcomed three new staff members to its Washington DC office: Kedar Mankad, Margie Miller and Ashlee Baeten. Each brings exciting international experience and unique skills to the organization, and we are thrilled to introduce them. 

 

Kedar Mankad joins us as a program associate working primarily with the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP), the Business Engagement working group of the Landscapes for People Food and Nature (LPFN) Initiative, and on various projects within the policy program, including work on climate-smart landscapes. He previously worked with USAID and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, working on sustainable agriculture development projects. Kedar earned his M.A. in International Relations from Yale University and his B.A. in Philosophy from Emory University.

 

The communications team welcomed two new contributors this summer. Margie Miller became communications associate, charged with growing EcoAgriculture's social media presence, writing web and print copy, and helping design and execute multimedia communications projects. Margie previously supported program outreach and communications for the Union of Concerned Scientists Food & Environment Program, Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet Project, and the National Family Farm Coalition. She graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in Politics.

 

Ashlee Baeten is serving as communications intern this summer, supporting digital communications and outreach while getting a crash course in ecoagriculture. She contributes to the organization's social media content and updates the EcoAgriculture Partners and Landscapes for People, Food, and Nature websites. She will return to the University of Iowa in the fall to complete her Bachelors of Arts in Geography and International Development and expects to graduate in 2014.

 

The Growth Continues: We're Hiring!
EcoAgriculture Partners seeks new program associate

EcoAgriculture Partners seeks to hire a program associate to join our committed team in our Washington, DC, USA headquarters.  The program associate will primarily provide support to EcoAgriculture's Policy and Landscapes and Leaders programs. For the complete terms of reference, please click here.

EcoAgriculture Partners at our July staff retreat
The future looks bright.
EcoAgriculture Staff Photo from July 2013
From left:
Rachel Friedman, Sara Scherr, Margie Miller, Lee Gross, Louise Buck, Joan Downie, Kedar Mankad, Lola Ogunremi, Christine Negra, Louis Wertz, Louise Willemen, Raffaela Kozar, and Seth Shames. 
Essayas Cherakssa is not pictured.

Still Adjusting to our New Look?
Like it? Hate it? Wonder where a familiar feature went? Please email communications manager Louis Wertz. 

This new format for EcoAgriculture Partners' newsletter debuted in our May 2013 issue. Other items previously featured in our newsletter that covered ecoagriculture-related happenings, new reports by our partner organizations, calls for papers and proposals, and upcoming events are now announced on the EcoAgriculture Partners or Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative websites, on the Landscapes Blog, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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EcoAgriculture Partners 
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