Upper River Basin Watersheds // Sustainable, Equitable and Profitable Interventions
The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) has conducted innovative research in the upper watersheds of the Ganges, Mekong, Red and Nile river basins. WLE sought to identify how to improve people’s livelihoods in ways that are equitable, profitable and sustainable, while also improving ecosystem services locally and downstream. The research specifically examined the impact of interventions spanning several sectors, including water, food, energy and trade. This brief presents results, insights and tools that can be adopted and applied elsewhere. Escaping from the confines of narrow sectoral investments and adopting an integrated, ecosystems-focused approach can lead to more sustainable, profitable and equitable use and development of upper watershed landscapes.
- Design infrastructure investments in upper watersheds in collaboration with local communities, based on an integrated ecosystem services and inter-sectoral ‘nexus perspective’.
- Design and implement upper watershed interventions that prioritize benefitting upstream as well as downstream people.
- Provide training and support both to strengthen the institutional capacities of local communities to engage effectively with others in planning and managing infrastructure projects, and to encourage ‘citizen science’ in collaboration with external scientific expertise.
- Use trade and marketing policies to promote sustainable intensification of agriculture, other ecosystem services and food security.
- In upper watersheds where communities are highly dependent on springs for water, adapt and make use of participatory interdisciplinary methodologies to identify and implement actions to ensure they will remain productive.
Towards Sustainable Intensification: Insights and Solutions Brief 6