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ACIAR Final Reports 2020. (FR2021/016):101pp. 26 ref. ; 2020.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1898201


The combination of appropriate agricultural and irrigation practices, and innovative social interventions through farmer collectives, were shown to strengthen fragile agricultural livelihoods in the project "Improving water use for dry season agriculture by marginal and tenant farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains" (DSI4MTF - ACIAR Project LWR/2012/79), which operated from 2014-2019. The success of the DSI4MTF model is dependent on the scalability and sustainability of the collectives, as well as the ability to manage risks associated with irrigated agriculture and climate change. This small research activity (SRA) continued engagement with farmer collectives in six villages in Saptari (Nepal) and Bihar and West Bengal (India), with the aim to extend the use of climate-smart irrigation and water management practices and strengthen institutional structures to sustain farmer collectives to ensure their long term sustainability. It was found that "measuring to manage" helps to improve on-farm irrigation and water management decisions, thereby mitigating climate risk. A Smart Irrigation Toolkit (SIT) approach has been outlined, which incorporates simple field level assessments using low-cost measurement equipment, supported by decision support mobile Apps. SIT provides the farmer with timely information to improve irrigation practice. It also provides managers operating at a program or scheme level, with information to support spatial and temporal benchmarking, as well as system operating, maintenance and replacement decisions. The establishment of farmer collectives, which allow farmers to pool land, labour and capital, has been shown to be foundational for sustainable agricultural intensification by marginal farmers. The SRA period was used to identify the longer-term strategy to sustain these collectives and build their scalability. These include the need to harness existing cohesion and collective spirit within communities, the importance of expanding to form larger plots, and the critical role played by ethical community engagement in ensuring buy in from communities. Most importantly, to strengthen the collectives and ensure their sustainability after the end of the project, a Collectives Association has been proposed and piloted under this SRA. The Collectives Association brings several groups together under a single institutional framework. It helps offer broader economies of scale, strengthens linkages with other institutions, and could support training of farmers in irrigation technologies, renting of equipment, facilitating conflict resolution, and supporting blue sky ideas such as a land lease bank. The project has had substantial success in building gender equity through the collectives, and in considering gender across the supply chain. There has also been considerable progress in strengthening links between the farmer collectives and a range of institutions and programmes. Links to the private sector, especially with regards to the marketing of agricultural produce, need to be further strengthened, and the collectives association could play a critical role. It was suggested that the scaling of improved irrigation practices through a Smart Irrigation Toolkit (SIT) is best done through a pilot project, which integrates project learnings with organisations responsible for irrigation development. While there is good potential for scaling, business cases are required to demonstrate potential benefits to the range of beneficiaries. These business cases need to be developed in association with irrigation scheme implementation agencies, as well as with organisations supporting farmer communities. The public sector has a key role to support the initial scaling of SIT. Alignment with irrigation and agricultural department functions would establish a program for deployment, demonstration and alignment with policy. The Collectives Association would play a key mediating role for marginal farmers, and could support the deployment of SIT locally. The COVID19 pandemic, which started in the last few months of the SRA pe

Global Policy ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1280260


This paper examines the Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA) and discusses options to improve sub- and non-state involvement in post-2020 climate governance. A framework that stimulates sub- and non-state action is a necessary complement to national governmental action, as the latter falls short of achieving low-carbon and climate-resilient development as envisaged in the Paris Agreement. Applying design principles for an ideal-type orchestration framework, we review literature and gather expert judgements to assess whether the GCAA has been collaborative, comprehensive, evaluative and catalytic. Results show that there has been greater coordination among orchestrators, for instance in the organization of events. However, mobilization efforts remain event-driven and too little effort is invested in understanding the progress of sub- and non-state action. Data collection has improved, although more sophisticated indicators are needed to evaluate climate and sustainable development impacts. Finally, the GCAA has recorded more action, but relatively little by actors in developing countries. As the world seeks to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and enters a new decade of climate action, the GCAA could make a vital contribution in challenging times by helping governments keep and enhance climate commitments;strengthening capacity for sub- and non-state action;enabling accountability;and realizing sustainable development. © 2021 The Authors. Global Policy published by Durham University and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1246854


Purpose: The study uses the case of an online-mediated barter economy that proliferated during the COVID-19 crisis to highlight Indigenous notions of barter, trade and exchange. Design/methodology/approach: A netnographic approach was employed which involved collecting online posts and comments which were stored and analysed in NVivo. This was supplemented with field notes and reflections from authors with an intimate knowledge of the context. These were analysed thematically. The overall methodology is inspired by decolonising methodologies that seek to restore the agency of Indigenous Peoples in research towards self-determination. Findings: Findings suggest that during and beyond the crisis, social media (a new means) is being used to facilitate barter and determinations of/accounting for value within. This is being done through constant appeals to, and adaptation of, tradition (old ways). Indigenous accounting is therefore best understood as so through Indigenous accountability values and practices. Originality/value: This paper propose a re-orientation of accounting for barter research that incorporates recent debates between the disciplines of economics and anthropology on the nature of barter, debt and exchange. The authors also propose a re-imagining of accounting and accountability relations based on Indigenous values within an emerging online barter system in Fiji during COVID-19 as “old ways and new means” to privilege Indigenous agency and overcome excessive essentialism. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Global Sustainability ; 2020.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1132007


Non-technical summary We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakening. Adverse impacts on human society include increasing water shortages and impacts on mental health. Options for solutions emerge from rethinking economic models, rights-based litigation, strengthened governance systems and a new social contract. The disruption caused by COVID-19 could be seized as an opportunity for positive change, directing economic stimulus towards sustainable investments. Technical summary A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity;(2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost;(3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks;(4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives;(5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change;(6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement;(7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, (8) updated positive cost-benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short- A nd long-term perspective;(9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems and (10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations. Social media summary Stronger permafrost thaw, COVID-19 effects and growing mental health impacts among highlights of latest climate science. Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.