Agriculture and Environment Sustainability Programme

The world population is projected to increase to 8–10 billion people by 2050. This will result in doubling in global food demand. Therefore, agriculture must double its output if global food and nutrition security are to be maintained. Agriculture has the capability to meet these needs but this must happen without compromising environmental integrity and ecosystem services. These concerns have heightened the need for more sustainable agricultural practices. This programme aims at using agriculture to achieve improved human welfare, particularly food and nutrition security, household well-being and sustainability of farming and the environment. The projects implemented under this programme include:

  1. Vital Signs

Agricultural activities impact the ecosystems and the benefits they provide to people. These result into unsustainable production systems and ecosystem services. Consequently, better data and risk management tools are needed to guide agricultural development decisions; ensuring that they protect both people and nature.

The VS project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, implemented by Conservation International (CI) in partnership with the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. It is being implemented in Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia and Uganda. The Africa Innovations Institute is the Vital Signs partner in Uganda and is responsible for coordinating and managing implementation of project activities in the country.

Key activities are:

  1. Collection of better data. Vital Signs gathers on-the- ground measurements of several different indicators of sustainability. These measurements help to create an accurate picture of the relationship among agriculture, nature and human well-being. The indicators measured include sustainable agricultural production, water availability and quality, soil health, biodiversity, carbon stocks, climate resilience, household income, nutrition and market access.
  2. Sharing of data and tools. Vital Signs provides the key data and the analytical tools that decision-makers need to evaluate trade offs, manage risk and inform decisions. By doing so, it influences policymakers to work toward resilient ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers.
  3. Building local and national capacity. The project builds local and national capacity, for environmental monitoring, among scientists, civil society, government leaders and the private sector, throughout Africa and the entire world.
  1. Fostering sustainability and resilience for food security in the Karamoja sub-region

The overall goal or development objective of this project is to improve food security. The Project objective is to contribute to enhancing long-term environmental sustainability and resilience of food production systems in the Karamoja Sub-Region.  The project will work in four districts in the Karamoja sub-region, in order to demonstrate the potential for upscaling SLM under different conditions, agro-ecological zones and livelihoods. The project will seek to achieve its objective through three interlinked outcomes and eight outputs. The outcomes are:

(1) Strengthened institutional frameworks for improving food security,

(2) Scaling-up integrated approaches at national and landscape level and

(3) Monitoring and Assessment.

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