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Blog Action day 2010 dedicated to WATER

blog action day on Water

By definition WATER is a clue topic! Today more than in the past. Vandana Shiva many times wrote that the next wars will be fought for water and not for oil.

The topic is so relevant that I would like to publish for this article something more detailed and peculiar than my own thoughts. That’s why I prefer to report this short extract from “Water and the Rural Poor: Interventions for improving Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa“:

Insecure access to water for consumption and productive uses is a major constraint on poverty reduction in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). For millions of smallholder farmers, fishers and herders in SSA, water is one of the most important production assets, and securing access to and control and management of water is key to enhancing their livelihoods. The potential exists for well-targeted, local interventions in water that contribute to rapid improvement in the livelihoods of the rural poor in SSA and help attain the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. It discusses conditions for success and proposes water-based, context-specific, and livelihood-centered approaches to poverty reduction in rural areas.

Given the predominance of rural poverty in SSA, and given that agriculture will remain the main source of livelihood, poverty reduction strategies need to focus on improving productivity in this sector. This report focuses on agricultural water because:
(i) it plays a central role in agriculture-based rural livelihoods;
(ii) adequate availability and reliable access to water is frequently a constraint on production; and
(iii) water provides a focal point around which other interventions can be organized.

Examples of successful water projects in SSA exist, and there are important opportunities for new investments in water. Their success will depend on the development of new models of interventions, centered on enhancing the diversity of livelihood conditions of rural populations. A large part of the success of future investments in water control will depend on a more comprehensive analysis of dynamic opportunities and needs, which are closely linked to the shifting biophysical and socio-economic contexts.

However, there is no “one size fits all” approach for improving livelihoods. Different contexts and needs will require different types of investments, in which market or household food security, prevailing agroclimatic conditions and associated farming systems, and the overall socio-economic and institutional environment will guide the choice from a non-prescriptive menu of appropriate interventions at different scales.

Special thanks to Guido Santini and Jean-Marc Faurès for their publication and contribution.


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Climate Change and Communication for Development

Today, for the Blog Action Day ’09, the topic is the connection between Communication for Development, the discipline managed by the Team I’m part of at FAO, and Climate Change, the topic all of us are dealing with these days and in the near future.

Writing this post is not an easy job due to the vastness of the argument. Climate Change influence our actual and, more then anything else, future life. In this perspective, we think communication can be a valid tool if not to solve at least to afford and manage the change. The objective is to avoid that this phenomenon that we provoked could damage our future existence in an unsolvable way.

Communication helps people to manage their life in a better way. The exchange of thoughts from one person to the other and vice-versa can help all of us to reflect and find new opportunities, solutions and ideas to afford and solve our problems. Communication for Development is a discipline which takes care that communication is embedded in development activities. This is because where the future is created, as in such activities, then interaction is fundamental to prepare a better approach to that future. Exchange is a key word for ComDev. Parity is another one. Dialogue, and not monologue, is the forth keyword.

Those are the reasons why we consider Communication fundamental also in facing Climate Change. Adaptation to CC, that’s to say the option to adapt human behaviors and attitudes to the Change of Climate, is the way to prepare ourselves for the future way of living when, probably: temperature will change around the globe, plants and animals will move from equator to poles, agriculture and nutrition will change as a consequence, wearing, eating and working habits will modify, etc etc. We really believe communication can offer a great opportunity to sustain Climate Change Adaptation and that’s the reason why we dedicate our job to encourage, stimulate and support people, organizations and projects which adopt communication when involved in adaptation to CC.

Just to mention one concrete activity in this direction, the Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative – CSDI is one of them. CSDI aims at implementing communication programs and services in selected countries, and to make available suitable ComDev methods and tools at the international level through knowledge networks and partnerships.


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BLOG ACTION DAY: Professional football against Hunger

In the framework of the World Food Day, FAO and the European Professional Football Leagues have launched a new campaign called “Professional football against Hunger”. Roberto Baggio and Raul, two of the FAO Goodwill Ambassadors are among the promoters of the campaign.

What I think to be interesting in this attempt is the power of emotions and examples. The campaign, as the Austrian Ambassador explained, is based on the power of the emotions that football can produce in many of us. They are the levers to open the hearts and the minds of the people who are, watching the games, fascinated by the “good examples” offered by the football ambassadors and, as a consequence, pushed to replicate positive behaviors many and many times.

As a citizen and a football amateur, I really hope the campaign to be successful. As a professional, I’m reflecting on the times I’m able to work on the emotions of the people involved in KM/KS activities and the number of good examples I can find and offer to this public so as they can be stimulated to reproduce the same “positive” attitude. The 923 millions people who are actually suffering for hunger and poverty need an answer as soon as possible from all of us.

This posting sustains the Blog Action Day 2008 dedicated to Poverty.