Understanding the ecosystem services of flood pulsed systems

Recent and ongoing investments in the Ayeryarwaddy Delta and upstream are thought to be having an impact on agro-ecological conditions through modifications to the flood pulse. These can significantly alter both the hydrology of the delta and land use patterns, which can further undermine flood-based food systems, resilience of livelihoods and undermine natural ecosystems.

The aim of the spatial analysis conducted through the WLE funded activities is to contribute to the efforts being made by researchers at IWMI, WLE and WorldFish to build an integrated picture of the factors influencing the hydrology of the delta and impacts. During the inception of the FBFS project (mapped to FP2), a gap was noted in existing knowledge of the changes which have occurred to the flood pulse over the past two decades, and the location of areas which are currently suitable for flood based farming systems.

With support from WLE, this project has focused over the past two years on the development of a new approach to develop suitability maps for flood based farming systems in the delta, that take account of changing flood patterns. The project has focused on the development of scientific outputs that complement ongoing bilateral funded initiatives, and are used by projects to ensure a sound scientific basis for any recommendations made, and thus to have a greater impact and contribution to the sustainable development of the delta and the equitable use of water resources, and in particular building the resilience of the livelihoods of female farmers where applicable.