Finding common ground: bringing together ecosystem services, agricultural productivity and smallholder livelihoods in landscape planning

The Finding Common Ground project will create a novel stakeholder-engaged planning framework—along with an investment optimization tool—to integrate ecosystem service and agricultural development objectives.  This framework will incorporate gender disaggregated priorities of smallholder farmers and incentives for land use change in agro-ecological landscapes. The project builds on the foundation of ongoing planning tool development and stakeholder engagement work by this team.  It will co-develop and test a novel integrated ecosystem service and agricultural management practice investment tool with stakeholders and development partners from: (1) the Nairobi Water Fund (upper Tana River) in Kenya; and (2) the Peruvian pilot scheme on Rewards for Ecosystem Services in watersheds (Cañete Basin); and introduce the tools to stakeholders in (3) the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

This project will 1) incorporate agricultural productivity into ecosystem services planning tools (e.g., RIOS, InVEST, SWAT) by drawing on existing agricultural modeling (e.g., APSIM, CropSyst or, DSSAT) and will include an expanded set of sustainable land management and intensification technologies than traditionally considered in watershed planning; 2) account for gender-sensitive livelihoods considerations and economic valuation through the use of gender-disaggregated household survey data; and 3) develop high resolution remote sensing land cover maps as inputs to the ecosystem service planning in both study sites. The tools developed will be open-source and tested within  stakeholder engaged processes in Kenya and Peru.