Learning from DECCMA India’s District Level Stakeholder Workshop for Kendrapara, Mahanadi Delta

learning from deccma india stakeholder workshop

Learning from DECCMA India stakeholder workshop

Held on September 1, 2015 at Gupti, Rajnagar, Kendrapara District of Odisha, for Mahanadi delta, the objective of the Stakeholder Workshop was to sensitise different stakeholders about DECCMA seeking their responses and knowledge on the migration, adaptation, governance in the context of climate change which they are facing. The workshop was organised by Chilika Development Authority (research partner in the DECCMA India team) and was attended by representatives from Jadavpur University along with representation from 19 organisations including Government Departments, NGOs and SHGs.

Out of the 43 participants, 15 women and 9 men were residents of the Kendrapara district and 19 male participants had an exposure about this district and also provided insight about the neighbouring district of Jagatsinghpur which has similar bio-physical aspects as that of Kendrapara.

For better understanding and participation from the stakeholders, the deliberation was carried out in local language i.e. Odia.

A group activity was organised to ensure effective participation from the stakeholders on the issues of migration, adaptation and governance in the context of climate change.

The following are some of the key responses from the stakeholders –

Reasons for Migration:
• Lack of returns from agriculture which is attributed to the vagaries of climate change
• Environmental regulations for traditional fisherman for conservation of Olive Ridley turtles
• Limited employment opportunity in the district because industries are located in the other districts
• Erosion of the coastline and the river bank have led to migration of residents from the villages of Satabhaya, Pentha and Jaudia

Adaptations option active in the area:
• Cyclone shelter constructed by Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA)
• Height of the saline embankment has been raised
• Geo Tube embankment to prevent coastal erosion at Pentha
• Relocation of villagers from Satabhya to Bagapatia

Suggestions for Adaptation Options:
• Strengthening of saline embankment in all vulnerable areas
• Establishment of skill development training schools for men and women
• Facilitation of creek irrigation system
• Promotion of salt tolerant paddy and climate resilient variety of agricultural product

Problem/issues related to Governance
• Lack of political will
• Inadequate fund mobilisation
• Delay in programme implementation due to lack of coordination between departments
• Crop insurance has not rendered results as was expected

Gender sensitivity
• Women, children, elderly and people with special needs are not considered as target groups during planning and implementations
• In-situ adaptation options like training facilities and income generation schemes are needed
• Although a number of SHGs are active in the area, non-cooperation of financial institutions to extend loan to SHGs is also experienced

Most of the stakeholders expressed views that the issues brought forth by DECCMA are highly relevant to their daily reality. The stakeholders, both men and women alike were glad to see the gender component being effectively addressed in DECCMA. The women expressed their gratitude to DECCMA for having their voices heard.

The workshop was a success due to the active participation from the stakeholders and it was concluded with prospect of continued engagement.

Launch of Climate Knowledge Brokers’ Manifesto, ODI, London, 17 Sept 2015

The launch event of Climate Knowledge Broker’s (CKB) ‘Manifesto’, hosted by ODI and chaired by Geoff Bernard (CDKN) set out the vital role of climate knowledge brokers and addresses challenges they face. Do users know where to go to get the correct information? Who and what should they trust?

“Everyone makes decisions based on climate knowledge” – a key assertion by Florian Bauer the lead author of the Manifesto. Do those who produce the information know who the users are, what they need, how to present their findings and who else might be working on the same topics? Stakeholder Mapping and Engagement Strategies, along with a Theory of Change and RiU planning across CARIAA Consortia should provide a strong basis to identify relevant stakeholders and the methods for communication.

Some users of climate knowledge use it without knowing (unaware users), some use the wrong information and some are so overloaded with information they don’t know how to extract the relevant message. The role of knowledge brokers is to synthesis, contextualise and enrich, working across multiple sectors and disciplines. But who are they and where are they found? Is ‘Climate Knowledge Broker’ a job title? Is it another name for Research into Use or Pathway to Impact?

We heard that the scale is huge – almost everyone is a decision maker! Messages must be tailored, by understanding the users’ needs and ever increasingly, collaboration is vital. One organisation or project can’t be successful on its own – partnerships are needed. In CARIAA there is a premise that working as a consortium, and as part of a wider programme has benefits over small, perhaps isolated research activities. CKB’s thoughts that ‘joined up’ efforts are needed would seem to validate this format.

Behavioural change and social learning by both researchers and decision makers has evolved rapidly and changed the remit of CKBs. Cohesion between activities is vital – Claire Scott provided an example of the Gobeshna initiative in Bangladesh that brings together many players to share and build capacity. Information can be shared widely, but knowledge only comes through learning.

Roger Street (ECI Oxford and UKCIP) emphasised that science needed to be user driven, with information shared through multiple methods and forums. Translating data into useful information is an ongoing challenge. The Met Office explained how they increasingly go out and present their work in other fields and sectors to enable them to learn how to distill the information them produce into effective messages. The challenge of how to “Simplify really good credible science” into usable messages that can be translated to action on the ground.

This got me thinking; based in an academic institute, I wonder how best we can respond to the urgency that users express when needing information. By the time data collection has been completed, analysis done, a journal paper drafted, submitted, reviewed, rewritten and published do we miss the chance to respond to the ‘urgent’ in a robust scientific way? Can the process be quickened and what other channels can be used that don’t limit integrity or quality of research?

Secondly, the language and relevance of a journal paper isn’t always the most appropriate way to reach an audience. A good communication plan should identify targeted audiences and focus on the most relevant and appropriate channel to reach them. The language used is critical, especially when the results of one sector (e.g. hydrology) need to be understood and translated into another sector (e.g. agriculture) taking into account local context. Chains of knowledge brokers are needed to pass on the information – validating the need for networks and relationship building.

What is the difference between ‘data’, ‘information’ and ’knowledge’? This question was posed by a member of the audience. I knew the answer had to do with learning – and was ratified by the panel’s response. Knowledge is learning from information. A book is information, but knowledge is the utilisation of information – it is not written down but held by people.

Focusing my thoughts on DECCMA I wondered how often academics and researchers release a paper and think our job is done? Do researchers have a responsibility to apply their work and see it is taken up? If not, whose responsibility is it? Utilising structures such as Research into Use and Theory of Change the project has an idea of the ultimate goal and change that is desired (a joint understanding between stakeholders and researchers) but the question still remains – whose responsibility is it? Are we all Knowledge Brokers’ or is this a role/job title for a specific person or group?

There is plenty here for DECCMA’s WP1 (Stakeholder Engagement) and RiU to consider and learn from!

Download CKBs Manifesto at http://www.climateknowledgebrokers.net/manifesto/

An initial picture of migration & adaptation vis-à-vis environmental change in Satjelia Island of Indian Bengal Delta

Ladies discussing

Ladies discussing

On July 7, 2015 DECCMA Researchers from Jadavpur University and Centre for Environment and Development, Kolkata, India interacted with local residents of Satjelia island of Gosaba block (sub-district), of the Indian Bengal Delta for a focus group discussion (FGD). Attended by 15 men and 10 women, the discussion was conducted in local language (Bangla) in two separate male-female groups.

Prof. Sugata Hazra introduced the objectives of DECCMA. Although Satjelia does not face the risk of erosion as faced by some other islands of this delta, the responses from this FGD were important to understand other stresses experienced by the people of this region.

The following themes were discussed:

Perceived Climatic Changes: Imbalances in climatic conditions have become more prevalent since the occurrence of Cyclone Aila in 2009. These changes include unpredictable weather, untimely setting in of seasons, erratic rainfall, increase in temperature, floods and cyclones and saline water intrusion.

Effects on Livelihoods: Whiplash of environmental stress is being faced by all age groups, across all livelihoods. Farmers are worst affected followed by the fishermen, honey and crab collectors. Not only are the people shifting between livelihoods but also competing to carry those out in limited available space.

Coping and Adaptation strategies: Adaptation measures include successful cultivation of salt tolerant rice varieties. Development initiatives include introduction of solar power since the island has no electricity. The villagers are also adopting coping mechanisms to survive by constructing temporary mud embankments which are unreliable.

Migration as a response to the stresses – People are mostly migrating to the nearest urban and peri-urban areas to work in bags, hosiery manufacturing units and tanneries. Young people are migrating seeking education. A lot of women who have school education are now going to Kolkata to work as care-givers for patients.

Migration successful or unsuccessful?: Success for these people is a very grey area. Migration is ushering in economic success but the pitfalls include diseases. Family as a social unit is getting disrupted at the cost of economic gains. Exploitation at the hands of middlemen hardly makes migration successful.

Impacts of migration: Households are devoid of men, women and young people. The social structure is thus getting affected with mostly the elderly being left behind. The island is gradually becoming home to trapped population.

If you are interested please contact Sumana (sumana.ju.deccma@gmail.com) for a full version of the report

Contributions of migration to household resilience among rural rice farmers in the Mahanadi delta

Landscape in the delta

Landscape in the delta

DECCMA researcher, Dr Ellie Tighe (University of Southampton), spent six months in the Mahanadi Delta, Odisha, India undertaking qualitative research on the impact of migration in helping households in the delta cope with various shocks and stresses. Dr Tighe was accompanied by fellow University of Southampton research, Dr John Duncan who was conducting research as part of the Leverhulme Trust funded PREFUS project researching the impacts of natural disasters on the resilience of small-scale rice farmers.

Dr Tighe conducted over 50 in-depth, qualitative interviews with selected rice farming households across 10 villages in the Mahanadi Delta (35 of these households had a member migrating). These interviews explored the livelihood strategies employed by the households, the major shocks and stresses to their livelihoods, their coping strategies in general, and how migration enabled the household to cope and avoid such shocks and stresses. Themes were identified highlighting contributions of migration to household asset profiles, and subsequent resilience to climate shocks and stresses.

The findings identified four core types of migration:

  • Seasonal and cyclic migration of unskilled labour into low-value, precarious and irregular employment within minimal contribution to household resilience;
  • Long term and semi-permanent migration of low or semi-skilled labour into formal, low-wage employment with varied contribution to household resilience;
  • Permanent migration of high-skilled labour, high-value salaried employment contributing to household resilience.

The relationship between migration and household resilience to climatic shocks and stresses were embedded within the local institutional context (e.g. the effectiveness of local government institutions, quality of local social networks, availability and quality of local employment opportunities and existing household social and material asset profiles). These factors therefore have impacts on the effectiveness on migration as an adaptation strategy

Dr Tighe and her colleague’s findings will be submitted to a peer-review journal for publication shortly.

3rd DECCMA Consortium Workshop, Ghana

3rd deccma workshop

Attendees of the workshop

DECCMA PI, Professor Robert Nicholls mentioned “Building the Consortium” as an important part of the functioning of the project and what better way to do it than organising face-to-face meetings for the entire consortium. The entire DECCMA consortium meets every six months, this time being the 3rd Consortium Workshop at Accra, Ghana. The Regional Institute of Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana (UoG), the lead institution for the DECCMA African team, hosted DECCMA members from Bangladesh, India, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

One might think that research project workshops only entail updating each other on research progress and discussing future research plans. DECCMA not only discussed these but also did much more. The first aim of the workshop was to refresh and reinforce relationships across the wider project, especially in work package teams and build on consortia development. This was achieved when the key members of the Northern team reached the University of Ghana a day ahead of the workshop to get better acquainted with the entire Ghanaian research team. Also, a day was dedicated to facilitate training sessions and discussions with respect to each work package. On 24th July 2015, members huddled around tables deep in discussion or diligently learning from the others during training sessions. This encouraged dialogues within the WPs with respect to delta-specific issues. As a part of the management team, I can proudly say that I attended my WP session outside the meeting venue at the steps in a garden. It was liberating in a way to discuss work yet not feel like doing work! A key outcome from this day was the clarification from each country team on the respective study areas. It was unanimously decided by all WP leads and member leads that administrative units in deltaic areas which are being dissected by the 5 metre contour line in each country shall be wholly considered as being in the DECCMA study area. The day closed with a cocktail dinner accompanied by live African music. The gentle evening breeze, Ghanaian food and the lively beats relaxed us after the long day.

The workshop officially kicked off on the 25th of July with Professor Samuel Codjoe, the DECCMA Ghana Lead, welcoming everyone to Accra and the University of Ghana. Prof Robert Nicholls then took everyone on a journey of the inception of DECCMA, right from its proposal drafting workshop in September 2013, through the kick-off workshop at Dhaka in June 2014, to the last workshop held in India in January 2015. He welcomed any new member attending the consortium workshop for the first time and asked the country leads to do the same from their respective country teams. He reintroduced DECCMA, its objectives, work package structure, aims and timeline to everyone and reminded us that we are 32% through! The reminder of the timeline helped everyone to reflect on the status of work being done. The goals and timetable of this workshop were reiterated. This was followed by formal presentations on the delta boundaries of the Bangladesh Delta, Indian Bengal Delta, Mahanadi Delta and the Volta Delta. The day then continued with presentations on the research progress of each work package (WP) where the WP leads either introduced the overall WP activities or summarised the discussions. The country teams presented on their WP progress and it was a good chance to learn about the commonalities and differences across the deltas. While governance and policies of each country are unique, the effect of climate change was common for all. Although the physical stressors varied from one delta to the other, the effects on the people were comparable. Analysing secondary data and literature reviews showed migration from the hotspot areas of these deltas and the observed adaptation options were also learnt. But stakeholder interactions, focus group discussions gave first-hand accounts of such results. These can be fully validated and more information can be garnered once the DECCMA team ventures out to conduct the household surveys. An effective dialogue between the WPs was initiated to facilitate incorporation of questions from each WP into the household survey questionnaire and also to enhance the integrated modelling framework which relies on inputs from all the other WPs. The day closed with the monthly closed meeting of the DECCMA Management Committee. This was followed by a sumptuous dinner at a local restaurant which also had a live band. It was the perfect setting for everyone to unwind after the day, and work took a backseat for most of us!

Workshops like these enhance working relationships and offer chances for better communication. The added advantage of hosting a workshop at a study area is that the wider project team gains a first-hand exposure to a new study site and on the 26th of July, the DECCMA team went for a field visit to the Volta delta. It was an enriching experience and good to see the Keta Sea Defense Project that is active in the region. As a student of humanities, African Literature had introduced me to the horrors of slave trade which was once dominant in the continent and the visit to Fort Prinzenstein etched it loud and clear in my psyche, the gruesome and inhuman past. The heart-wrenching echoes off the walls were louder than the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean. With lots of activities for us in the field visit, I did not get much time to ponder over this gloom. The team was taken to a farm where wind energy and biomass energy were effectively used and we got a chance to walk through pigsty, maize and shallot fields. The afternoon sun could have got the better of us had it not been for the refreshing tender-coconut water which was kindly served to us at the farm. Ghanaian hospitality at its best!

On the 27th of July, stakeholders from the Volta delta were present at the workshop. It was a nice gesture to begin the day with a prayer followed by an introduction to the CARIAA programme by Michele Leone and an introduction to DECCMA by Prof Robert Nicholls. The documentaries on each delta were shown, which was promptly followed by the climate change skit. It was a delight to watch such a serious issue being enacted in such a simple manner, which was easily relatable by any person, irrespective of their nationality. This was followed by presentations on related projects in each delta and this session also gave enough opportunity for discussion and learning. The next session had a reminder of the key project documents that every DECCMA member should be familiar with. The Research into Use and Theory of Change presentations made the country teams more eloquent with the way DECCMA envisages using RiU to better effect research. It was communicated that an effective RiU strategy should be developed based on the audience as different groups have different needs and engagement efforts should be made accordingly. The next slot dealt with adaptation and personally speaking I benefitted a lot from the interactive session based on identifying which activity would be adaptation, development, mitigation, coping or maladaptation. It made all of us think, debate and learn. This was followed by a discussion on the gender-sensitive approach in DECCMA and the team was reminded once again of the importance of including gender right from the beginning of the project.

The last day of the workshop had discussion on formulation of the expert advisory groups in each country and the future plans with respect to each WP. The research plans, publication plans and upcoming training workshops were all discussed and shared among the members. The workshop closed with a vote of thanks to the Ghanaian team for their hospitality and all the members for attending the workshop and making it a success.

The workshop was successful not only in terms of what was formally presented and discussed during the sessions but also when the members were scheduling catch-ups with one another during the tea-breaks and meals. The interactions were effective amidst the picturesque campus of the University of Ghana with its bountiful dose of greens and birds. I look forward to returning to Ghana but right now I am looking forward to meeting the DECCMA team at Southampton in January 2016!

Keta – Point of no return

Coast in the Volta delta

Coast in the Volta delta

On 26 July 2015, the DECCMA team visited the district of Keta on the coast of Ghana as part of a field program. The first stop was Fort Prinzenstein on the Gulf of Guinea. Fort Prinzenstein is one of several ‘point of no return’ locations for the slaves who were transported across the Atlantic. It is hard to fathom the thought of those unfortunate souls who were looking at the far away ocean while passing through this ‘point of no return’.

Whilst inside the fort, it was difficult to hear the heart wrenching story of enslavement and the debasement of humanity during the time of slave trading. Fort Prinzenstein has stood for hundreds of years as a reminder of our inhumanity.

Now, half of the fort is gone to the raging sea which is trying to engulf the fort as if to erase our shameful past. In front of half of the fort, a line of sea defence has been erected to protect Keta from further erosion. I could not help but ponder to myself whether, we as mankind, have reached another kind of ‘point of no return’ and this time another human folly – climate change.

The defence is impressive and appears to be impregnable. It took 15 million cubic meters of sand and one million tonnes of granite to build this steely defence. Coming from Bangladesh, I could not help but gaze at this impressive defence with envy, but will it hold against the rising sea? Will it prove to be a successful adaptation to climate change or turn out to be a maladaptation in the end?

Such ‘hold the shoreline’ defences are now necessary given the current threats, but how have we reached this stage? A major cause of increasing sea erosion is the loss of sediment nourishment due to the Akosombo Dam on the Volta River. Research by our Ghana colleagues shows that this sea defence is causing down drift erosion, transferring the risk downstream. The defence is itself at risk due to bottom scouring. Our Indian colleagues informed us that in their part of the Mahanadi delta in Odisha, sand dunes are being looked at more favourably as a better natural defence than hard structures.

For a developing country like Bangladesh, we know how difficult it is to maintain such structures. The construction and maintenance of the sea defence are of much better quality, indicating a better governance system in place in Ghana than in our delta. What makes it tick in Ghana? Can we translate these to our part of the delta where we have to frequently engage armed forces to ensure quality and time of construction?

During the next 4 to 5 years we will have more opportunities to evaluate this impressive defence as an adaptation measure. We intend to learn from it and transfer the learning to our delta. We hope that it will stand its guard. Till then – looking at you Keta!

by Rezaur Rahman, DECCMA Bangladesh

Human Migration and Environment Conference

Street scene in India

Street scene in India

On the 28th June to 1st July, members from DECCMA’s Work Package 3 participated in a conference run by the University of Durham titled Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics, Invention.

Helen Adams led a session on ‘Promoting Successful Migration in Deltas: Ecosystem services, Risk and (Im)mobility’ examining migration under environmental change with a specific focus on deltas in Africa and Asia.

  • Dr Mohammad Nadiruzzaman (University of Exeter, Espa Deltas project) presented on ecosystem services in Bangladesh and the role of place attachment and livelihood patterns on migration responses following Cyclone Sidr.
  • Sara Vigil and Caroline Zickgraf (University of Liege, Helix project) presented findings on migration in the Senegal delta with a particular focus on fishing communities and trapped populations.
  • Using Cyclone Mahasen in Banglandesh as a case study, Dr David Wrathall (UNU-EHS, MDEEP project) demonstrated the value of mobile network data as an approach to monitor and assess behavioural responses of communities affected by natural disaster.
  • Olivia Dun (University of Wollongong) presented findings from a case study in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam to demonstrate how a village’s transition to shrimp farming led to salinization, subsequent out-migration, and an overall decline in community wellbeing and resilience.

The session was well attended by approximately 30 delegates. Questions posed by attendees demonstrated a strong interest in examining deltas as systems with unique environmental challenges and migration responses.

The presentations highlighted that there are certain land use and livelihood patterns common to deltas. Rapid change in land use from agriculture to shrimp is common to both the Bangladesh and Mekong delta. Artisanal fisheries and occupational immobility are common to both the Bangladesh and Senegal delta. There is reason to hypothesize, therefore, that there are broad patterns of migration that may be more consistent with deltaic systems.

However, the presentations highlighted the range of ways that migration is used to support human wellbeing in deltas. For example, in the Mekong, out migration was a result of development of shrimp aquaculture. However, in the Senegal delta there were examples of immobility and reluctance to move even for improved livelihoods. In the case of Cyclone Mahasen, migration patterns during the cyclone could be subsumed into broader patterns – there was not a cyclone-specific flow.

Overall, conference discussions showed a growing awareness within the migration and climate change research community of the influence researchers have in shaping public discourse. The example of ‘climate refugees’ as having provoked alarmism was one example provided that demonstrates the need for researchers to be careful in how we frame discussions to avoid perverse outcomes.

The conference was a valuable opportunity to build the profile of DECCMA’s research, learn from other research happening in the field, and to expand on our existing networks. Further information on the conference can be found here:

Incorporating gender into the DECCMA Indian team’s research

The DECCMA India team organised a Gender Workshop on the 1st of June 2015, primarily to discuss DECCMA’s working paper on gender DECCMA’s approach to the incorporation of gender (Vincent, K. and Cull, T. 2015).

The workshop began with an introduction by Prof. Sugata Hazra where he highlighted the project objectives and how gender lies at its core. Following this, Ms. Anchita Ghatak, gender focal point for the DECCMA Indian team, discussed DECCMA’s approach to gender. She used power point presentations prepared by Kulima to initiate the discussion.

The presentation pointed out that while “sex” is the biological identifier, “gender” is a social construct. Gendering begins right from the birth of a child and it is almost as if society hands out a rulebook containing the dos and don’ts based on the sex of the child. This concept was further discussed by the team by sharing things which take place around us all the time and are intrinsic to our culture and way of life. We, therefore, take them as ‘natural’ and accept them unquestioningly. For instance, the gendering of toys for children has always been there but it seems that we take it for granted that that is how it is supposed to be.

We also talked about the fact that many thinkers and activists no longer make a distinction between nature and nurture. They are of the opinion that it is difficult to distinguish between what is biology and where socialisation begins. We also discussed the fact that gender identity is not necessarily fixed or static. While it is a fact that most people in the world subscribe to a gender identity of either male or female, they are many who choose other identities for themselves. Also, someone assigned ‘male’ (or female) at birth may not continue to ascribe to being male (or female) later in life. We need to develop an understanding of gender that goes beyond binaries and also appreciate new knowledge that says that we can see a spectrum of gender identities and an individual may be at different parts of the spectrum during their life. Also, it is important to understand that all people are also not necessarily heterosexual. Of course, a non binary understanding of gender necessarily explodes the idea of a solely heterosexual world.

Gender as a marker of identity works with other identifiers such as age, ethnicity, caste, religion, wealth, class and disability. Depending on where we are in our patriarchal society as a combination of these markers, we are privileged or oppressed. Compare a Brahmin, able bodied man in India with a Dalit girl with a disability. Different struggles to create an equal world do not aim at imposing sameness but strive for equality of opportunity for all – specific measures have to be put in place for oppressed / disadvantaged groups. Consequently, creation of a gender equal world often requires establishing equitable conditions. For example, we cannot expect girls to attend school if there are no toilets for them.

Patriarchy privileges males and a certain idea of maleness. The world gets divided into a ‘male’ world and a ‘female’ world – these are manifested differently in different cultures. The gender division of labour too, is almost always seen as ‘natural’, and women and girls are burdened with a disproportionate amount of domestic tasks.
The “public” and “private” domains have been starkly divided where women are trained to comply with the duties of the private world tending to household needs and carrying out reproductive activities. This demarcation has been so strong that it has been considered inappropriate for women to venture into tasks pertaining to the public domain. This has led to underdevelopment or lack of certain “simple” everyday skills in women. It is necessary for us to sharpen our gender lens to look beyond the norm.

When we look at Gender vis-à-vis Migration and Adaptation, we often find that women stay back to look after the elderly and children and perform reproductive activities. Migration also reinforces gender inequality where the woman who stays back may face exploitation and the ones who migrate may be subject to exploitation and violence. Remittances can also reinforce gender vulnerabilities and hierarchies where remittances sent by family members are handled by the remaining males of the family. Also, women sending remittances can challenge gender hierarchy but few acknowledge the source of earning.

Regarding gender and Adaptation, it was discussed that differential access to resources needed for adaptation gives rise to gender differences in vulnerability to climate change. We also discussed that access does not necessarily mean control. To access those resources required for carrying out household activities, women often have to toil more owing to the impacts of climate change on these resources like water, forest and land.

Developing a gender lens enables us to challenge patriarchy and develop a commitment to justice and equality. The project activities need to demonstrate inclusiveness as well as a commitment to address inequalities of caste, gender, religion, class, ableism, age and others. It is important to remember that gender is a cross cutting issue and issues of gender have to be addressed within all parameters of identity. An empowering vision needs to be developed which we would want to implement and we expect, as part of Research into Use, the research findings will enable a nuanced understanding of empowerment options and lead to suggestions for gender sensitive adaptation proposals.

The DECCMA Work Package structure was also discussed during the Workshop. Work Packages 1, 3 and 6 incorporate gender right from the data collection processes and ensuring equal participation of men, women and others at stakeholder events and household surveys will lead to a gender equitable process. Work Packages 2 and 4 rely on secondary data which is already sex-disaggregated. Under WP4, exploration of the effect of women’s micro-credit self-help groups on women and the economy can be assessed. Since Work Package 5 includes outputs from all the other WPs, gender is already included.

The workshop closed with the prospect of having a next one where the researchers will develop a plan about addressing gender in the work tasks of their different work packages.

Projecting fish production under climate change: A comparative analysis across three vulnerable deltas

projecting fish production

Work flow between Step 1 (data collection and comparative analysis) and Step 2 (modelling).

Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) will be conducting a comparative analysis on the importance of fisheries for food security in the three deltas/regions: Volta (Ghana), Mahanadi (India) and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (Bangladesh) and how climate change could potentially influence marine ecosystems productivity. Deltas communities are strongly dependent on coastal fisheries including shallow wetlands and other semi-enclosed bodies of water. In these three countries fishery is a very important sector and contributes between 4-5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite its importance for the local economy there are marked differences amongst countries, for example, the average per capita consumption (per year) of fish products varies with Ghana consuming the highest amount (25kg) followed by Bangladesh (14kg) and India (8.2kg). Delta communities are ranked amongst the poorest in the world and as a consequence potential impacts of global and regional climate change on the marine ecosystem productivity could have dramatic impacts on their economy and food security.

For the DECCMA project data will be collected from available database and literature to give information about fisheries (e.g. commercial species, time series data of catches, fishing and natural mortality, division between subsistence, artisanal and commercial fisheries) and socio-economic structure (e.g. number of fishermen, type of vessels, incomes/trades, consumption, livelihoods) in Ghana, Bangladesh and India. This part of the work will be conducted in liaison with local partners who will supply PML with local data whenever possible. This information will be summarised for the project report(s) and in published paper(s). The data collected and the information gained from the comparative analysis will support ecosystem modelling also carried out by PML. A model of water circulation and energy transfer (Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Coastal Ocean Modelling System – POLCOMS) will be coupled with a model of the low trophic levels (the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model – ERSEM) and fisheries models (size-spectrum and species based). The output from this framework will be fish production potential under climate change scenarios across the three delta/regions. Finally these results will inform other work packages in the DECCMA project (migration, integration, economics and adaptation).

Summary: DECCMA Northern Team Meeting

northern team meeting

Northern team meeting

Even with the abundance of technological advances and communication options, the DECCMA team recognises and highly values extended time for face-to-face meetings. In May the DECCMA Northern team, a sub-set of the wider consortia, led by the University of Southampton met in Bilbao, Spain for three days. The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), a sub-contractor of Southampton, hosted the meeting in their offices in central Bilbao. As well as BC3 and University of Southampton team members, the meeting was attended by partners from the University of Exeter, University of Dundee, Plymouth Marine Laboratories (PML) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The Northern Team meet every six months, in-between six monthly whole consortium meetings which involve the full project team with partners from Bangladesh, India and Ghana present. The objectives for Northern Team in Bilbao were to examine research progress by work package, review communications and team building across the consortium, discuss project outreach and publication plans and crucially, consider the basis for a coherent and well-structured Research into Use (RiU) strategy for the project.
Stakeholder mapping for the study sites were reviewed with discussions focusing on how the project can encourage stakeholders with a low interest but high potential influence to become more engaged with the project. Analysis of governance policy and acts has started, with a broad collation of available literature for the delta study sites; next steps will involve analysing policies for a better understanding of how internal movements of people may or may not be encouraged. Corresponding stakeholder workshops have been held in study sites to supplement this work.

GIS experts and biophysical environmental modellers have been collecting data on climate hazards (flooding, salinity levels etc) from study sites to construct first pass hazard vulnerability maps for the project study sites. The overlaying of these hazard vulnerability maps with separate migration maps produced from demographic analysis of census data by the projects migration work package will be the basis for sampling for the project’s household survey. These linkages were discussed by socio-economic and bio-physical experts alike to start the process of developing a robust and comprehensive sampling strategy.

DECCMA’s household survey will provide valuable insight into the drivers of migration and the decision process that drives community and family level adaptation choices. The design of this survey was discussed across all work packages to ensure that the questions are carefully crafted so that results feed into the areas that the project requires. One set of deliverables within the project is to provide criteria for evaluating the success of adaptation and migration in deltas, leading to the development of a rule-set for each. The process of defining ‘success’ was discussed in breakout sessions, starting with the identification of key criteria and indicators used to score them.

DECCMA will combine a section of project results into a policy-relevant integrated assessment tool, enabling scenarios to be run through the model, producing plausible and possible future states for a range of thematic areas. The conceptualisation of the factors that contribute the integrated tool have been formalised in a draft framework, which was circulated around the project for comment in early 2015. A revised draft framework was discussed at this meeting, along with a potential basis for the integrated assessment tool, the Delta Dynamic Interactive Emulator Model (DIEM) used in the ESPA Deltas project. Furthermore, an iterative learning loop of policy interaction and scenario development was tabled for discussion. This loop will take simulations that the integrated assessment tool produces back to stakeholders for discussion, to see if how they rate the plausible future that was generated under their initial scenarios, and to discuss what policy decisions they might lead to that result.

A large portion of the workshop was dedicated to discussing the development and articulation of a clear RiU strategy for the project. The team reviewed components that should be included in the strategy and identified where across the project they were already developed and need combining into one document. A precise ‘two-pager’ was developed to summarise the project’s impact aims, methods and activities that will be involved in achieving these goals and required resourcing. This will be developed into a full RiU strategy.

The workshop closed with planning for the upcoming DECCMA Whole Consortium Workshop in Ghana in July, the next occasion where representatives of the entire DECCMA project from Bangladesh, India, Ghana and the UK meet.