‘Mid-Term Review’

For the past 6-7 weeks, I have been carrying out my MScCCAFS research project in collaboration the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Asia Regional Office in Hanoi, and at this point I’m just about half-way into the project period. It has been an interesting, intense and challenging experience and has certainly been a bit stretching. My research project is centered around ‘linking humanitarian and development interventions into a joint resilience continuum’ and I have been working with the Climate Change Team at CIAT Hanoi, who have been very amazing.

The project basically involves reviewing and analyzing the World Food Programme (WFP) Country Strategic Plans and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project documents in countries where they are both present, to identity programmatic synergies, complementarities and missing linkages between both organizations along the resilience spectrum, and ties directly into the recent agreement for collaboration and partnership among the United Nations Rome Based Agencies (RBAs) on strengthening resilience and the Grand Bargain Agreement.  This is achieved using a range of tools designed by the team and the end-product is an ‘analysis brief’ that provides information on areas of possible collaboration for WFP and IFAD to strengthen resilience.

For my research project, I have decided to choose one country each from Africa (Nigeria), Asia (Nepal) and Central America (El Salvador) as my case studies. I decided to select countries from different regions to introduce diversity to the project, but one thing they also have in common is they are all on the negative receiving end of climate variability impacts, from the desertification and resultant conflicts in northern Nigeria to the frequent natural disasters in Nepal and El Salvador.

At this stage, I’m just about getting started on the analysis of the projects in my country case studies and I’m thrilled to research and learn more about each of these countries.

Keep checking to stay updated on my progress and results…………….

-UN-

RESILIENCE – What does it mean?

Climate change is as real as the air that we breathe! The impact of climate change over the years is why we have to build climate resilience. Climate change is occurring and has impacts that are beginning to show clearly that we have a global problem. These impacts continue to increase daily and could be severe in the future, if drastic steps are not taken to mitigate and/or adapt to its impacts.

Globally, there has been a major shift in the seasons and an increasing frequency of extreme weather events all over. This is as a result of a variety of factors that have weathered the atmosphere and have rendered it weak. We need to brace ourselves for the impacts of this changes that are mostly manmade. People are now experiencing significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events.

The impacts of climate change vary all over the world, hence different communities face different climate change impacts for which they need to adapt. This is where we begin to talk about climate resilience and actively building measures to improve climate resilience.

Climate resilience, in terms of climate change refers to strengthening the ability of human and non-human systems to withstand and respond to changes in the earth’s climate. There is a rising awareness by national and international bodies to build climate resilience. Climate resilience addresses the vulnerabilities that communities, cities and countries face with the environmental consequences of climate change.

Most understandings of resilience share a common interest in the concept of vulnerability, with a general tendency to regard vulnerability and resilience as contrasting values. This idea is expressed in several different ways; while some see an increase in vulnerability as a decrease in resilience, others regard these concepts as two sides of the same coin, still others see vulnerability as a property that needs to be countered by resilience (Bahadur et al., 2010).

Christophe Béné, in is works, conceptualized resilience as a combination of absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities. This concept essentially describes resilience as the ability to deal with shocks through ‘persistence’, ‘incremental adjustment’ or ‘transformational responses’ and is known as the 3D Resilience Framework.

Resilience as the result of absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities. (Source: Béné et al., 2016)

Hello Hanoi!

Xin chào!

In my hotel room, still a bit cranky from being on the road and flying for almost 24 hours.

It is my first time in Asia and I will be spending the next few months in Hanoi with CIAT, studying and researching; Evidencing Climate Variability, Vulnerability and Resilience.

My trip started with a bus ride from Manchester to Heathrow Airport which lasted 6 hours and I was definitely glad and upbeat to be on my way to Hanoi.

My phone was charged, playlist set to my favorite and I was excited to be on my way. The flight to Dubai started off beautifully, as I settled in to the in-flight entertainment and music blasting through my headphones.

Seven hours later, I was in Dubai waiting for my connecting flight to Hanoi. Three hours of waiting, so I did a little bit of window shopping and had what I thought would be my last bite of McDonald’s burger and fries for the next few months.

My excitement had dropped considerably as I was tired and stiff from the journey. The flight to Hanoi was tiring and I wished for it to end quickly. My legs were throbbing and I just wanted to be on land again. Another seven hours, and I was glad to be out of the airplane. The immigration and visa process at the Noi Bai International Airport could not have gone any smoother. I was welcomed to another culture and language and I certainly look forward to learning a few words of Vietnamese in my short stay here.

I got my first taste of climate diversity immediately I stepped out of the airport. I had read that the weather in Hanoi is Tropical, I just didn’t think of how much it would remind me of some parts of home (Nigeria). The temperature was in full blast at 34 degrees celsius and it was so different from what I had gotten used to in the last few months.

On the drive from the airport to my hotel room and I could see why Hanoi is referred to as an ancient city. The landscape, few cars roaming the road and lots of motor bikes.

I look forward to creating memories and learning as I progress in my journey and immerse myself in my research work and thesis.

Tạm biệt

Exploring a World Without Food & Animals

What would happen if U.S. farmers stopped producing animals for food and Americans went vegan? Some have called for a move in that direction to address increasing concerns about U.S. health, eating habits, and climate change. Researchers at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Virginia Tech recently explored those questions and found surprising results.

Mary Beth Hall, an ARS animal scientist at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center in Madison, Wisconsin, and Robin R. White, a professor of Animal and Poultry Science at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, found that shifting land usage from food animal production to food crop production would increase the total U.S. food supply by 23 percent. Because much of that land is unsuitable for high value crops, most of the additional food produced would include high-calorie crops like corn and soybeans.

A complete shift away from food animal production would present major challenges to meeting America’s nutritional needs. With no meat, milk, eggs, fish, or cheese in our diets, the U.S. population would not receive enough of several different essential dietary nutrients from the foods they eat, according to the study results. The findings are based on information compiled in the USDA dietary guidelines.

Welcome!

Welcome to the research project blog of Uchechukwu Nnachi, as part requirement for the master’s degree on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in NUI Galway. It has been an exciting journey leading up to this moment and I can’t wait to share my adventure with the world.

As I take on my research work in CCAFS, I’ll be sure to share every bit of progress and maybe setbacks with you. I am excited about my future and the prospects that this research work would bring.

Stick with me!