WASAG – The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture

Climate change has become an urgent challenge for life and the Earth. Populations at disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences with global warming of 1.5℃ and beyond include disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, some indigenous peoples, and local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods (IPCC, 2018). 

However, indigenous communities across the world have indeed developed nature-based practices for climate change adaptation, based on their long-term experience with adverse climatic effects. 

The IPCC 6th Assessment Report, released in March 2022, "Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" states: "Prospects for climate resilient development are increased by inclusive processes involving local knowledge and Indigenous Knowledge as well as processes that coordinate across risks and institutions." 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has developped its innovation strategy, which considers indigenous knowledge as part of key solutions to agricultural food systems challenges, including climate change. 

It is therefore opportune to promote indigenous practices as part of nature-based innovative solutions and to mainstream them in community-based adaptation programmes. 

In this regard, the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG) published a compendium of indigenous and community adaptation practices across the world, with a focus on water scarcity in agriculture. 

The practices are related to the corresponding main agro-ecological zones (AEZ), namely arid, semi-arid, sub-humid, humid, highlands and coastal and wetlands and therefore have the potential to be adopted or to similar AEZ elsewhere in the world. 

Increasingly, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) are being recognized as inherently encompassing most of the aspects and principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Following the publication of this working paper, a webinar titled Community and indigenous strategies for climate change adaptation was held on 29 September 2022.

The webinar discussed the practices from the WASAG compendium and explores the opportunities for upscaling them, taking into account other practices such as those promoted by the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Sites (GIAHS), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the SinoCarbon Innovation & Investment. 

The webinar has triggered a Community of Practice which will further collaborate on actions to maximize the potential of Indigenous Knowledge and practices as significant nature-based solutions contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture and to mobilize the required support.

PROGRAMME

Introduction by the Moderator: Ruhiza Jean Boroto, Senior Land and Water Officer & WASAG team leader, Land and Water (NSL) Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Keynote address on the importance of indigenous knowledge and nature-based solutions: 
Robert G Guei, Sub-regional coordinator for West Africa, FAO

Unpacking the compendium on indigenous knowledge for climate change adaptation: 
Jean-Marc Mwenge Kahinda, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Patrick Bahal’okwibale, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), formerly FAO

Panel Discussion and exchange with expert audience:

Clelia Puzzo, Programme specialist, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), FAO
Yusuke Taishi, Senior Technical Advisor, Climate Change Adaptation (UNDP)
Jacque Macharia, Regional coordinator for Africa, Indigenous People Assistance Facility (IPAF), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Zongyi Wang, Senior manager, SinoCarbon Innovation & Investment

Moderator: Ruhiza Jean Boroto

Q & A Session to Panelists and Speakers 

Outlook and ways forward: Ruhiza Jean Boroto, Senior Land and Water Officer & WASAG team leader, NSL Division, FAO

Share this page