What was going on in 2023?

Vanja Westerberg & Simon Reynolds, March 2023

2023 has been nothing less than exciting. Discover what we have been working on in this sneak-peek preview:

  • The world is running out of sand! We assessed the business case for beneficial re-use of sediment from the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex (THC) in Uzbekistan. The case is strong and offers a critical entry-point for helping secure water, energy and food security, along with disaster risk resilience within the Amu Darya river basin. The study draws on the NIA nexus toolkit and further project context may be found here.
  • The elaboration of the ECON-WOCAT dataset, dashboard and guidance reports. The dataset fills a critical gap in information on the costs of investing in land-based natural capital. It covers 507 Sustainable Land Management (SLM) technologies across 11 land use types and nine climate zones for 75 countries of the world.
  • An analysis of land degradation hotspots and drivers of land de/regeneration for Olam Agri within key supply chains (rice, cotton, wheat, etc.) across ten countries. We use state-of-the-art global datasets and earth observations built in a custom-made python notebook using Google Earth Engine and statistical modelling techniques. To read more about Olam Agri’s work on natural capital and our contribution, have a look at their annual report.
  • A valuation methodology and FAO publication on presumed drylands. By accounting for feedback loops between land use productivity, climate change, and tree canopy cover, we assessed the value of preserving ecosystems within the presumed drylands of Cerrado and the Miombo–Mopane woodlands.Chapters 4 to 7.
  • Using Green Infrastructure to reduce reservoir sedimentation for the World Bank Group. In Through advanced hydrological and economic modelling we demonstrate that landscape restoration is an effective lever for reducing sedimentation of major hydropower dams in Tajikistan, while providing significant co-benefits to rural communities and society as a whole. The project was undertaken in collaboration with Hydroc and the associated publication may be accessed here.
  • The development of a Water Energy Food (WEF) Nexus Impact Assessment (NIA) Toolkit with guidelines on how to undertake M&E assessments and CBAs of WEF Nexus projects, including applications in four corners of the world, stretching from hydropower facilities to solar-powered greenhouses, cocoa driers, and drip irrigation schemes. Together with the Global Nexus Secretariat. Publications are under way.

We have also been contributing to:

  • Sarah Robinson’s and RECC Caucasus’ impressive effort to develop a National Pasture Management Policy Document in Georgia, which will set the stage for Georgia’s first law on pastures.
  • The Economics of Land Degradation science group. The ELD initiative is a global science-policy initiative that works to integrate the true value of land and its ecosystem services in public decision-making and to support policy reforms with the aim of boosting investments for sustainable land management. The science group is helping to guide the scientific and technical aspects of ELD programmes and its work streams.

Thanks to all our collaborators and new friends #CAREC, #Deltares, #SanjayGiri, #D-sediment, #ELD, #GIZGNS, #GroundswellInternational, #PDL, #Hydroc #WBG #MilleniumInstitute and many more.

As we embark on 2024, we look forward to continuing to do “our bit” to promote healthy, productive, climate-resilient landscapes and ensure efficient management of natural resources, at local and global scales.

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