Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Review of Lessons Learned in Changing Agricultural Landscapes in Ethiopia: What Worked Well and What Didn’t Work so Well?

Version 1 : Received: 5 October 2020 / Approved: 6 October 2020 / Online: 6 October 2020 (11:21:16 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Haileslassie, A.; Mekuria, W.; Schmitter, P.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Ludi, E. Changing Agricultural Landscapes in Ethiopia: Examining Application of Adaptive Management Approach. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8939. Haileslassie, A.; Mekuria, W.; Schmitter, P.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Ludi, E. Changing Agricultural Landscapes in Ethiopia: Examining Application of Adaptive Management Approach. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8939.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2020, 12, 8939
DOI: 10.3390/su12218939

Abstract

Ethiopia has decades of experience in implementing land and water management interventions. Nonetheless, there remains persisting challenges to follow an adaptive management (AM) approach in efforts of restoring and transforming agricultural landscapes. This review was carried out to synthesize evidences on the impact on agricultural landscapes following the implementation of land and water management practices and to evaluate the use of AM approaches. We explored how elements of the structures and functions of landscapes have been transformed, and how the components of AM, such as structured decision-making and learning processes, have been applied. Despite numerous environmental and economic benefits of land and water management interventions in Ethiopia, this review revealed gaps in AM approaches. These include: (i) insufficient efforts in relation to evidence based contextualization of interventions, (ii) insufficient efforts in monitoring of bio-physical and socio-economic processes and changes post implementation, (iii) lack of trade-off analyses, and (iv) inadequacy of local community engagement and provision of feedback. Given the many uncertainties we must deal with, efforts to restore and transform agricultural landscapes cannot follow a business-as-usual approach. Future investment, in AM approach, tailored to the needs and context would help to achieve the goals of sustainable agricultural landscape transformation. The success depends on three interdependent pillars of action: the ability to make a robust, co-developed plan of interventions, the ability to continuously monitor changes based on key variables, and to learn from the knowledge generated and apply the learning as implementation evolves.

Keywords

landscape; land and water management; restoration of ecosystem services; AM; Ethiopia

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