Water and Livelihoods Initiative launched

February 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water and Livelihoods Initiative

Water and Livelihoods Initiative: technical workshop in Amman, Jordan

The Water and Livelihoods Initiative, a multi-year research program funded by USAID and coordinated by ICARDA, was launched during the International Conference on Food Security and Climate Change held in Amman, Jordan, in February. Seven countries – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen – will work together to improve water management in agriculture. The project aims to integrate improved water and land management technologies, water policy, training and institution building, to ensure efficient, sustainable use of scarce water resources. Project activities will be driven by national research centers in the seven countries. Other partners include two CGIAR Centers (IWMI, IFPRI) and universities in the USA and throughout the region.
“In some countries in the region, per capita water availability has dropped to 170 cubic meters per year – compared to the internationally recognized water scarcity standard of 1000 cubic meters,” said Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General. “There is a direct relationship between food security and access to water.”
Research plans for 2010 were discussed at a technical workshop held in Amman, with work to begin at benchmark sites representing three major agro-ecologies: rainfed systems, irrigated systems and dry rangelands.
Dr Solh stressed the need for greater collaboration between countries and partner institutions. “In order for the Water and Livelihoods Initiative to succeed, countries must discard the inappropriate water and land use policies of the past. They must move from fragmented or narrowly focused projects to integrated research on agriculture and natural resource management, with partnerships that extend across national boundaries.”

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