My project – CSA prioritisation

My Masters project is all about the people! This makes a nice change from the lab work I have been used to and it’s a bit more fun to be honest! Let me tell you what I mean….

I should start off by telling you the title of my project:

“CSA prioritisation in Vietnam, from commune to landscape level”

Well, as we know, CSA is seriously broad! What constitutes as CSA varies from location to location, contexts and times. It can be anything from agricultural practices such as using conservation agriculture or fertiliser micro-dosing; it can be more economically focused such as enabling farmers to access financing or index insurance for example. It also includes access to information and technology such as facilitating farmer workshops, forming women’s groups or getting weather updates to your mobile phone! The main thing to remember is CSA interventions must include certain things i.e. they must either enhance productivity and livelihoods, reduce/omit GHG emissions or help people and systems to adapt to climate change.

This is a lot to take in at the best of times and could leave farmers, decision and policy makers a little lost right? How do we know which option is best and what we should chose for a certain area? Thankfully, there are ways and means of easing this process and making it a possible feat; so whether you are an economist, social scientist, agronomist or an investor, there are various methods and tools that can help you prioritise. Some of these include models, mathematical programming and flexible frameworks for example.

For my project, I am working at the village level and so a much smaller scale. for this reason I will use ‘tools’ to help me extract information rapidly and gather farmers’ knowledge. Key to all of this is to use a bottom up approach! these tools help me to understand farmers perceptions on climate change; to understand the situation where they live and to figure out what they need to improve their resilience and enhance their livelihoods.

This type of work is vital in the prioritisation process because if scientists do not consider farmers’ needs and realities there may be major negative impacts and even maladaptation. Quite simply, if farmers do not perceive CSA interventions to be beneficial, then they will not be adopted! We are here trying to make sure that doesn’t happen!

Stay tuned!