Summary of key discussions during the MSSRF30 Conference

Technical Session I: Climate change and Coastal zone management

Research

  • Economic evaluation of different ecosystems is necessary to understand the value of the ecological services provided by each.
  • Develop coastal biodiversity information system
  • Suitable models to understand sea level rise and its impact on coastal ecosystems at the decentralised level to understand the location specific impacts and develop appropriate plans.
  • Systematic studies on the impact of rise in ocean temperatures on coral reef associated fisheries at different depths and tourism
  • 3D modelling and vulnerability maps of the coast to help reach vulnerable areas faster.
  • Continuous Mapping of shore line to understand changes in erosion along sea coast
  • Prediction models for pelagic fisheries – will benefit fishing communities
  • Coastal climate services (carbon cycle, ocean acidification, sea level changes, loss of biodiversity, pollution of reactive nitrogen and phosphorous, etc.), needs to be developed.
  • Integrate coastal knowledge with social and human systems: Modelling of impact of human activities and environmental change on well-being of people and societies (Interactive Earth System and Human System Modelling)
  • Develop a policy paper on coastal resource use, governance, livelihoods, research and management as well as sustainable use of resources for societal benefits (meta analysis)

Outreach

  • Revive traditional farming of rice and shrimp where feasible for better income to coastal communities.
  • ICT based tools to help vulnerable fishers: The Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system and Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (NAVIC) tools being tested now will provide connectivity from the deep sea with the mainland
  • Design adaptive and mitigation strategies for sustainable development, fill gaps in livelihood capital and strengthen capacity of the coastal community for adaptation
  • Action plans with achievable targets, multi-stakeholder approach with strong partnership and investments to reduce the impacts of climate change vulnerability along the coast.

Advocacy

  • Conservation of all coastal ecosystems – crucial in the context of ecological and livelihood security
  • Advocacy for policy to deal with impacts on coastal areas due to climate change
  • Considering the gap (no specific CG or international institutes are working or focussing on this ecosystem) – need to develop integrated coastal zone management studies:

International Centre for Excellence for Sustainable Development and Management of Coastal Ecosystems” led by MSSRF for the benefit of vulnerable coastal zones and communities across the globe

Technical Session II: Science and technology to secure and sustain small holder farmers’ livelihood and nutrition & health security

Research

  • Development of short duration crop varieties to withstand abiotic stress such as seasonal drought or flooding
  • Conservation agriculture to enhance sustainable use of natural resources and need to develop an appropriate institutional mechanism to harness the scale of technologies for small holder farmer
  • Seasonal climate forecasting for effective risk management – modelling research focus on developing downscaled models (space and time dimensions) to suit the context of small holders
  • Strategies for retention of necessary soil moisture, using renewable materials which can enrich soil health (research at molecular level, e.g. decomposable polimers)
  • Contextualize factors that shape women’s role in agriculture work in different settings
  • Large scale studies should include qualitative methodologies with smaller sample size for better insights into issues of gender and social relations.
  • Studies on the right balance to ensure both ecological and economic sustainability with social sustainability
  • Develop eco-enterprise models for promotion at scale – need for an interdisciplinary approach to appropriate the technologies which are scale neutral to suit the small holders context
  • Research on sustaining collective action through appropriate institutional structures and processes among small holders
  • Farming system for nutrition models for different agro-ecological zones

Outreach

  • Attention to social mobilization and use of learner centric capacity building methods and processes while designing livelihood related programmes
  • Appropriately harnessing ICT like use of mobiles apps as decision making tools and also to disseminate the locale specific and demand driven information related to technologies and associated services
  • Watershed approaches – sustaining the initiatives at the local level in partnership with local communities and institutions
  • Promotion of crop diversity, mixed farming for diet diversity & increasing income
  • Promotion of nutrition gardens of fruits and vegetables
  • Nutrition Awareness strategies across the board for diet diversity, WASH
  • Thrust on value addition and decentralised processing to increase incomes
  • Technology adoption is a complex process; need for appropriate strategies in the context of small holders to promote adoptive decision making which needs handholding support (as a part of extension services)
  • Programmes should consider system stability while planning and implementing: to be designed by participatory approach and should include multiple stakeholders. Pure technology will not change the food consumption pattern. Drivers of production, to consumption and marketing and adoption of technologies should be considered.

Advocacy

  • Farming System for Nutrition (FSN) Approach for household food and nutrition security of small holder farmers
  • Greater policy support for nutrient dense crops
  • Nutrition awareness strategies to focus on improving diet diversity
  • Technologies suitable to strengthen the on-farm and non-farm livelihoods of small     holders together with access to other productive res/services like market, credit
  • Promotion of decentralised processing units to promote an inclusive value chain
  • Necessary institutional support (credit, infrastructure support etc) for technology upgradation of small businesses

Technical Session III: Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Climate resilience and Sustainable development

Research

  • Research, innovation and Value Chain Development in Neglected and Underutilized species (NUS) is a key for ensuring Nutritional Security, Climate Resilience and Sustainable development
  • Research on Nutrient value of different indigenous plants/foods is critical
  • Research and action to be taken to Neglected and Underutilized Species in farming systems

Outreach

  • Networking and Partnerships for effective utilization of biodiversity in the face of climate change.
  • Capacity building of women farmers on conservation linked Value Chains and appropriate technology development
  • Promote conservation and consumption of wild / indigenous foods
  • Generate awareness with respect to biodiversity conservation and its sustainable utilization and the national and international conventions/Acts.

Advocacy

  • Promotion of nutri-dense plant varieties, Neglected and Underutilised crops and Crop wild relatives in Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Climate adaptation strategies
  • Conservation of functional biodiversity especially the microbial biodiversity in the farms to reduce the use of harmful agro-chemicals
  • Strategies to conserve the wild relatives of cultivated plants both with in-situ and ex-situ measures
  • Recognizing Custodian Farmers in the context of Climate change and ensuring food and nutritional security is critical
  • Support for Community Based Initiatives on Conservation is essential
  • Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Sustainable Development requires convergence and State support for wider adoption and scale-up