PICOTEAM is a network-organisation with nodes in Africa, Latin America and Europe
that supports efforts to bring about change and innovations for sustainable development.
Experiences in AFRICA
|Participatory Action Research for Sustainable Wetland Management||Sustainable wetland management is one of PICOTEAM´s areas of experience. Working together with the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) researchers and as part of the Save the Sand Programme, PICOTEAM member Edward Chuma facilitated an action-research project for sound use of wetlands as a contribution to an integrated rehabilitation and management plan for wetlands in the communal areas of the Sand River Catchment.
The initiative supported farmers and extension staff to develop the appropriate understanding, skills and competences associated with sustainable wetlands use so to be able to implement an integrated plan for the rehabilitation and management of the Sand river Catchment. The plan sought to recover the ecological function and improved livelihoods associated with the communal wetlands in the Sand River Catchment using the Cragieburn wetlands as a test case. The project supported farmers to design and implement action projects in their fields. Researchers facilitated the process, monitored and documented the change processes.
Awareness of the value of wetland goods and services in providing livelihood security to poor rural communities in the Sand River Catchment and good practice with respect to farming and resource use in the Craigieburn wetlands was created amongst resources users. The process associated with the development and implementation of community-driven wetland action projects was documented and a set of indicators in collaboration with the farmers in order for them to assess whether their actions are having an impact on their agricultural production and the state of the wetlands were established.
A series of collaboratively developed action projects involving wetland farmers were implemented over a three years period and that helped farmers to develop sustainable wetland farming practices. The action projects were developed by “Action Teams” set up around specific practices and also helped to strengthen self-organisation of the wetland farmers. Capacity building in sustainable wetland management was achieved though workshops and mentoring of a team of facilitators, including agricultural extension officers, in good wetland use and management practices. Appropriate resource material, techniques and tools that enable wetland farmers to improve their practices were developed. Lessons from the documentation of the learning process were synthesized into principles for sustainable wetland management.
|World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF- SA) - : Green Trust
Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), Limpopo Department of Agriculture (South Africa)
2005 - 2008