Building Forward Better

Thematic areas

1. Water productivity

The module focuses on crop water productivity approaches currently employed to address food security and to evaluate the effects of the environment and of different management practices on crop production. It presents the evolution of the standard approach and the most recent tools   developed through on-field applications.

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2. Land resources planning

The module presents an approach for achieving sustainable and efficient resource use, taking into account biophysical and socio-economic dimensions. The module covers Sustainable Land Management (SLM), Land Degradation Neutrality, land assessment and impacts, digital soil mapping, and remote sensing for land use planning.

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3. Water use efficiency and performance assessment

The module focuses on the elements and strategies of WUE to increase water performance for the improvement of water and food security and moving towards the achievement of SDG6. It presents FAO MApping System and Services for PRESSsurized irrigation systems (MASSPRESS), discharge measurement techniques and flexible water resource allocation.

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4. Hydro-economic modelling for river basin management

The module presents hydro-economic models used to integrate spatially-distributed water resources, economic values, infrastructure, and management policies and to optimize water allocation between different uses across time and space, taking into account various physical, economic, environmental and institutional constraints. The module introduces the potential of hydro-economic modelling to serve as useful tools to guide the policy making process.

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5. Integrated drought management

FAO is strongly committed to fighting drought and is advocating for a proactive drought risk management based on three key pillars: (i) Early warning and monitoring systems; (ii) Vulnerability and impact assessment; and (iii) Drought risk mitigation measures. The module discusses main related concepts and presents international frameworks and initiatives as well strategies to move away from a reactive approach towards a proactive approach in drought management.

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6. Water harvesting and agroforestry

The module presents a number of water-harvesting and agroforestry practices for agriculture and transforming landscapes, applicable under various geographical conditions, also in association with agronomic and soil water conservation techniques.

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7. Investment in agricultural water and energy

Taking into account relevant global and regional initiatives, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), the module discusses investment strategies and prioritization of water/energy projects and present the FAO Diagnostic Tool for Investment (DTI).

8. Renewable energy use for irrigation

The identification, planning and implementation of appropriate energy, water, food security and climate-smart strategies can stimulate agricultural growth and rural development without increasing energy production. After an introductory session on the water, energy and food security nexus, the module presents strategies, technical approaches and field implementation cases in the use of renewable energy sources for irrigation.

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9. Irrigation asset management

The module provides a comprehensive presentation of currently available asset management systems (within and related to the irrigation sector) and will address the main challenges to maintain diverse irrigation infrastructure. It also introduces the characteristics of modern asset management approaches and illustrates the application of effective systems for increased performance of water delivery services and reduced maintenance and operational costs.

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10. Early warning systems

The availability and access to reliable and timely information are critical to allow policymakers to anticipate food security crises in order to mitigate the severity of their effects. The module presents main concepts related to early warning and its application, introduces the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS), and illustrate the role of early warning in disaster management as a major element of disaster risk reduction, with a focus on FAO Early Warning Early Action System (EWEA).

11. Climate change and agriculture: mitigation and adaptation strategies

After introductory sessions on climate change and its impact on different environmental systems, the module focuses on mitigation and adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector and present strategies to accelerate adaptation in key systems. A number of tools (i.e. FAO MOSAICC), best practices and approaches (i.e. climate-smart agriculture) are presented.

12. Agricultural indexes for performance assessment

The module will present and discuss both FAO and global agricultural indexes used to respond to different needs, such as, plans for crop insurance, elaboration of national policies, evaluation of production gaps and needs. The module focuses on three main areas expected to contribute to promote the further implementation of agricultural indexes: (i) innovative indexes to enhance predictability of losses; (ii) improving quality of insurance contracts and adoption by farmers, in the case indexes fail; (iii) extend availability and accessibility of contracts to the largest number of potentially affected livelihoods.

13. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for natural resources management projects

Complex and interlinked trends, including global population growth and climate change, are increasing pressure over the world’s natural resources. The module will focus on: (i) monitoring and evaluation of natural resources management projects; (ii) strategies to strengthen M&E for decision making and planning in the agriculture sector; (iii) monitoring and reporting against the SDGs indicators; and (iv) the role of Big Data in the development sector.

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