SIFOR - Smallholder Innovation for Resilience: Strengthening innovation systems for food security in the face of climate change (2012-2017).
work builds on a previous project (2005-2009), “Protecting community rights
over traditional knowledge”, coordinated by IIED with the same country partners
in China, India, Peru and Kenya. The project entailed participatory research
with traditional farming communities on how traditional knowledge and
associated bio-innovations are developed and sustained, and the role of
cultural values and landscapes; the threats to traditional knowledge and how
traditional knowledge and innovation systems can best be protected from loss
and misappropriation. It identified and
developed a number of practical tools with the communities. The current project
builds on this research and continues the work to develop practical tools to
protect traditional knowledge and innovation systems.
research methodology, the project will help the communities involved to
identify and assess traditional knowledge-based innovations and practices that
enhance productivity. Among these there are traditional crop varieties with
important traits (drought resistance, pest resistance, etc.), traditional
farming practices and climate change response strategies (eg. exchange of seeds
between altitudes to access different varieties).
elements included in the study are cultural values, such as reciprocity and eco-spiritualit;,
biodiversity conservation, collective resource management, access to wild gene
pools and sacred sites (ie. landscapes); and sharing and exchange of
bio-innovations over large areas.
In the case of Peru, the project takes place in the
Potato Park, which is managed by six Quechua communities in a microcenter of
potato diversity. The activities are coordinated by Potato Park
community technicians, with technical support from ANDES, and carried out by
community leaders, elders, and economic collectives. Local learning groups and community workshops are held
to: analyse TK-based innovations and conditions for resilience, including local
customary laws/values; and analyse the use of the territory to understand the zonation of the parks’
agroecosystems. The results are then used to develop a Life Plan for resource
management and food security in the Potato Park context of climate change. This
is needed to address significant climate change impacts already affecting the
park. The findings will be documented, utilized and shared.