In Drylands Transform, we will define the challenges of the social-ecological system and jointly identify pathways and barriers towards a sustainable transformation that maximizes synergies and negotiates conflicts among SDGs, hence contributing to unlocking their full potential.
The entry point of the proposed project “Drylands Transform” is the urgent need to identify and enhance synergies between food security (SDG2; 2.1-2.4), restoration of degraded land and ecosystem health (SDG15; 15.1, 15.3) and environmental governance (SDG16; 16.6, 16.7) for sustainable dryland development, while minimizing tradeoffs between increased agricultural productivity (SDG2), sustainable natural resources management (SDG15) and climate change (SDG13; 13.1).
In Drylands Transform, we envisage that the suggested research will have synergetic effects on water use sustainability and efficiency (SDG6; 6.4), while reducing poverty (SDG1; 1.5) and improving health and equity, with particular focus on women and children (SDG 3; 3.2 & 5, 5.1, 5.5, 5A, 5C).
The project will identify means of improving climate-resilient livelihoods, including sustainable livestock production. It will also identify and target population groups that are mostly affected by food shortage and lack of
food diversity. We aim at contributing towards Zero Hunger (SDG 2), through better access to food and more sustainable food production systems where resilient fodder practices that increase productivity is used. This will further address all forms of malnutrition.
Dryland ecosystems have been degraded substantially over the last decades due to overgrazing and pressure from rapid population growth. There is an urgent need to identify and modify livestock production systems to be both economically and environmentally sustainable. We will identify locally relevant grazing management practices through restoration and sustainable use of drylands and combat desertification, and thereby address SDG 15, Life on Land.
We will further develop knowledge to inform and enable local stakeholders and policy makers to address SDG 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions). The focus will be to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making bodies, but also contribute towards developing effective institutions. Furthermore, social/political stability due to improved welfare will make farmers/herders less conflict-prone.
Read more in this interview with the principal investigator of the project, Ingrid Öborn.