ALTER - Alternative Carbon Investments in Ecosystems for Poverty Alleviation

Lead Research Organisation: The James Hutton Institute
Department Name: Ecological Sciences

Abstract

ALTER aims to demonstrate that there are real and lasting benefits for wide scale poverty alleviation, particularly for the rural poor, by tackling soil degradation at a range of spatial scales, from field to landscape, and using opportunities within agricultural as well as severely degraded land. Throughout the world, soil degradation impacts on the health, wealth and well-being of rural people in many different ways. Soils have a key supporting role in maintaining agricultural yields, water availability, water quality, resources for grazing animals and other ecosystem services. Some are perhaps less obvious but still valued such as maintaining habitats to support honey-bees and local wildlife. In Africa, soil degradation is recognised as a major constraint to alleviating poverty in rural communities. We have chosen to work in Ethiopia and Uganda where there are contrasting issues of soil degradation in mineral and organic soils are a result of agricultural land use but similar reliance in rural communities' on a range of benefits from soils.

Solutions to soil degradation are not simple and require a much better understanding of how people benefit from soils, what they stand to gain if they can improve the condition of the soils that they manage whether for crops, livestock, timber production or as semi-natural areas, what they would need to do to accomplish this and what barriers may prevent this. In parallel we need to gain better insight into the likely success of different management options to improve soils. Ultimately these options will require some form of investment whether that be via money, time, resources or other mechanisms. We will investigate the relative pros and cons of these mechanisms from the perspective of local people, organisations involved with markets for Payments for Ecosystem Services and national objectives in alleviating poverty. A broader view of carbon benefits and trading is an opportunity to invest in lasting improvements in degraded ecosystems and the livelihoods of the poor that depend on these.

All of this research and evidence building needs to be placed into the context of climate change. We need to establish that whatever might be suitable, acceptable and viable for tackling soil degradation now will have long-term benefits to local people and that these benefits will not be negated by the on-going changes to local climate.

The ALTER project is an international consortium between The James Hutton Institute (UK), University of Aberdeen (UK), Hawassa University (Ethiopia), The Ethiopian Government's Southern Agricultural Research Institute (SARI, Ethiopia), Carbon Foundation for East Africa (CAFEA, Uganda) and the International Water Management Institute (Nile Basin & Eastern Africa Office, Ethiopia). This team brings together natural scientists, social scientists and economists to work together with rural communities and other local decision-makers and facilitators to improve our capacity to predict how human-environment linked systems respond to incentives and other drivers change. This predictive capacity is needed to be able to explore whether different options for change could result in substantive poverty alleviation.

Planned Impact

ALTER seeks to achieve high impact by developing and implementing a Pathways to Impact (PtI) plan that permeates and frames the expected outcomes of all project activities. This PtI has a statement of desired change, that "the overarching aim of ALTER is to establish whether investment in soil carbon can be used to alleviate poverty (in addition to or as an alternative to aboveground carbon) by restoring, enhancing or protecting the goods and services provided by ecosystems in regions where soils are degraded or under threat of degradation".
The desired change as a consequence of ALTER's outputs is that soil degradation is reversed through management to achieve short- and medium-term benefits for poverty alleviation and enhance resilience of ecosystem services, whilst local, national and international capacity to invest in soil is achieved.

The ALTER project would provide the evidence necessary for this change to be promoted by national and international organisations and to provide local people with sound knowledge of opportunities available to tackle soil degradation. We will seek to influence institutions and governance structures that most relate to poverty alleviation. These include National Development Plans and implementation of existing National Adaptation Plans of Action and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.

The PtI is developed in collaboration with local partners and structured to utilise the Theory of Change and ESPAs Impact and Knowledge Strategies, whilst building on partners' extensive range of experience in stakeholder engagement and research support for policy. There are many opportunities for developing metrics for measuring impact within the project. These include quantifiable measurements of soil carbon, fertility, primary production and flow of ecosystem services leading to poverty alleviation. ALTER will implement a set of Ideals: Innovation: improving on existing practices and building capacity; Inclusion: harnessing the potential of partners, collaborators and wider stakeholders; Implementation: showing how 'good practice' works; Linkage: linking up with previous and existing projects and programmes and Legacy: creating practices, attitudes and organisational structures that outlast the project. We will utilise the PtI Advisory Working Group (see Pathways document) to develop these metrics as appropriate to each location to ensure appropriate coverage and relevance. Whilst ALTER will report to the Research Outcome System, we will also seek to monitor flow of data and information through relevant organisations and maintenance of networks to ascertain the impact on achievement of the Statement of Desired Change.

By engaging with multiple stakeholders, from local communities, research organisations to regional and national government, we will develop working relationships that facilitate two-way dialogues with those we seek to learn from, inform and influence. We will map out networks of stakeholders to ensure an efficient process of engagement that provides a two-way flow of information between the multiple research disciplines. This enables the identification of key actors and targeting of influence efforts to increase the probability of effective change. Engagement with stakeholders, both within ALTER and wider networks will help ensure that all opportunities to influence the contextual drivers are taken. This presents a logical sequence through which ALTER will achieve the desired impact across multiple scales.
We will develop multi-media approaches designed to suit the needs of the range of stakeholders involved. Effort will be channelled through a range of communication media: Policy engagement; Linking to other projects and initiatives; Social networking and new media; Extension services; Workshops; Master classes; Local internet; Academic; Government, planning and policy. The details of activities for each of these media are provided in the Case for Support WP4.

Publications

10 25 50

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Black H (2015) Advances in Soil Biology: What does this mean for assessing soil change? in IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

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Bradford MA (2014) Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Bradford MA (2014) Reply to Byrnes et al.: Aggregation can obscure understanding of ecosystem multifunctionality. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

 
Description 1. restoration exclosures are primarily seen as beneficial by government and their use is being encouraged, promoted and extended, But not everyone in the local communities sees these areas as beneficial - in some areas their are disbenefits due to crop damage, wild animals and lack of access to provisions from these exclosures. How these areas are governed, in particular with access for goods and services, is key to benefiting people.
2. Improvements in soils, including soil carbon and carbon stocks, were measured from both exclosures and intensively maintained cropped soils (i.e. home gardens).
3. Soil carbon stocks in exlosure areas are not so straightforward to measure - simply following IPCC / standard methods is insufficient since it is the "growing" of the soil that greatly increases the stock rather than plant inputs alone
4. Management of agricultural soils to increase soil carbon has significant potential but the opportunities to do this (e.g. OM inputs, cover crops, etc) are limited for a number of reasons.
5. Spatial resolution of landscape scale assessments of soil carbob stocks, soil erosion risks and nutrient leaching risks (all associated with regulating services) have been improved by digital soil mapping in the Halaba region
Exploitation Route our results on the links between soils and people should be useful in developing practical options for soil management in SSA,
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description 1. Findings from ALTER have been used by Ethiopia colleagues to support policy implementation in Sustainable Agriculture in the Souther Region, ALTER results have been used to support discussions around improving soils in the region and wider. 2. in UK, the findings from ALTE have helped frame discussions with Scottish Government on payments for ecosystem services, soil monitoring in general and specifically issues of soil carbon management 3. ALTER findings have been used to help assist UK farmers in discussions over carbon credits for soil management
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Member of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soil
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact The 24th session of the FAO's Committee on Agriculture, held in Rome on 29th September to 3rd October 2014, considered the report of the second meeting of the GSP Plenary Assembly and Endorsed the Updated World Soil Charter.
URL http://www.fao.org/globalsoilpartnership/highlights/detail/en/c/253156/
 
Description NERC Advanced Training "Soil Underfoot" Summer School
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact 22 RCUK and associated postgraduates students gained accreditation in "Working with Soil" Foundation skills in field soil investigation, description and interpretation" and gained wider knowledge of the multi-functionality of soils - concepts, approaches and application. 5 day intensive course at Lancaster University - run by Lancaster, James Hutton and British Society of Soil Science.
URL http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/sci-tech/news/002081/online-training-for-a-new-generation-of-soil-scienti...
 
Description 'Understanding the Impacts of the Current El Niño Event
Amount £264,498 (GBP)
Funding ID NEP0048301 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description cooperative research programme
Amount £2,500 (GBP)
Organisation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 05/2015 
End 05/2015
 
Description nexus network
Amount £450,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Department ESRC-DFID Joint Fund
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 09/2017
 
Title Adoption survey 
Description Data from a household survey conducted in Halaba on barriers to adoption of soil conservation and soil fertility management. Survey was carried out as face-to-face questionnaire by trained enumerators in Amharic or Halaban, using paper questionnaire sheets for data entry. File in SPSS: Adoption data.sav; main contact: Tewodros Tefera (teferatewodros@yahoo.com) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in alter modelling 
 
Title Before & after harvest interviews 
Description Two times thirty-three structured interviews (16 in Assore and 17 in Laygnaw Arsho) were conducted in April 2015 and again in November 2015 as face-to-face interviews on farming plans (April) and actual farming practices and outcomes (November). Data consist of two word documents containing the interviewees responses to each question ("before & after interviews Assore 2015", "before & after interviews Laygnaw Arsho 2015"). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com), anja.byg@hutton.ac.uk, paula.novo@hutton.ac.uk 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact understanding management options which have been used in subsequent modelling 
 
Title Benefit-disbenefit survey 
Description Data from a household survey conducted in Halaba on the benefits and disbenefits from restoration areas. Data were collected as face-to-face questionnaire by trained enumerators in Amharic or Halaban, using ODK/tablets. Data here: ALTER_Benefit_Disbenefit.dta, ALTER_SocioEcon_Benefit_DisBenefit.csv, main contact: Tewodros Tefera (teferatewodros@yahoo.com) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in alter modelling 
 
Title Choice experiment 
Description Data from a household survey conducted in Halaba on people's preferences for different soil management options. Survey was carried out as face-to-face questionnaire by trained enumerators in Amharic or Halaban, using paper questionnaire sheets for data entry. The data set consists of three SPSS files with the following names: "alter_worksheet_ethiopiastar_edited_and_merged_final_Q1_11"; "alter_worksheet_ethiopiastar_edited_and_merged_final_Q12_14"; "alter_worksheet_ethiopiastar_edited_and_merged_final_Q15_49", main contacts: Solomon Tarfasa (gutamajale@gmail.com), Tewodros Tefera (teferatewodros@yahoo.com) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in ALTER socioecological modelling 
 
Title Climate change interviews 
Description Sixty structured interviews (twenty in each of the three study sites) were conducted in May 2016 as face-to-face interviews on observed climate change, impacts and ways of responding to these impacts using a paper based interview form. Data consist of an excel file containing the interviewees responses to each question ("CLIMATE CHANGE DATA-AM-MD"). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact information gained from these interviews informed the successful application to NERC Dfid El Nino call 
 
Title Ecosystem services maps 
Description Six participatory mapping exercises (two in each of the three study sites, one with male participants and one with female participants) were conducted in January 2015 on the 'good things' and 'bad things' in the communities' surroundings using paper based maps created by the participants. Data consist of six word files containing the notes from each of the exercises ("Ecosystem services mapping exercise - Asore men", "Ecosystem services mapping exercise - Asore women", "Ecosystem services mapping exercise - Choroko men", "Ecosystem services mapping exercise - Choroko women", "Ecosystem services mapping exercise - Laygnaw Arsho men", "Ecosystem services mapping exercise - Laygnaw Arsho women") as well as images taken during the exercise documenting the process as well as the outputs (images of the produced maps). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com), anja.byg@hutton.ac.uk, paula.novo@hutton.ac.uk 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in developing understanding of gender, age and wealth aspects of how people benefit/ disbenefit from their environment 
 
Title Exploratory focus groups 
Description Initial focus groups conducted in November 2013 in Ayemele exploring issues of livelihoods, soils, poverty, land use change and barriers to adoption of soil management methods. Three separate focus groups were conducted with men, women and young people. Data consists of three word documents with the notes from the focus groups ("November 2013 focus group men", "November 2013 focus group women", "November 2013 focus group youth") main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com) These data are included in the ALTER database which will be passed to NERC at the end of the ALTEr project 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact these data have identified differents in perceptions which have been incorporated into the project BBN modelling and framework 
 
Title Focus groups May 2014 
Description 3x4 focus groups on livelihoods, changes, soil perceptions and restoration areas in the three study kebele (Assore, Andegna Choroko & Laygnaw Arsho). Notes from focus groups in two word documents ("FGD-May- land use changes", "FGD-Halaba Livelihood Poverty Soil"). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com), anja.byg@hutton.ac.uk, paula.novo@hutton.ac.uk 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact results used in the subsequent BBN modelling and incorporated into publications in prep. 
 
Title Household survey (2014) 
Description Quantitative, socio-economic household survey round 1 collected in May-June 2014 in the 3 study kebele in Halaba, Ethiopia, covering 358 households. Survey was carried out as face-to-face questionnaire by trained enumerators in Amharic or Halaban, using paper questionnaire sheets for data entry. Data entry was carried out at Hawassa University by trained students and subsequently checked by project staff (Teshale Woldemanuel & Tewodrow Tefera). Main contacts: Teshale Woldeamanuel (twoldeamanuel@yahoo.com) & Tewodros Tefera (teferatewodros@yahoo.com; dagted@gmail.com) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in ALTER socioecological modelling 
 
Title Land allocation survey 
Description Household level survey to study land allocation for alternative uses. Survey was carried out as face-to-face questionnaire by trained enumerators in Amharic or Halaban, using paper questionnaire sheets for data entry. Data set in SPSS: land-allocation-data-draft1.sav, main contacts: Tewodros Tefera (teferatewodros@yahoo.com) , Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in alter modelling 
 
Title Photovoice 
Description Six photovoice exercises (two in each of the three study sites, one with male participants and one with female participants) were conducted in January 2015 on the 'good things' and 'bad things' in the communities' surroundings. Data consist of six word files containing the notes from each of the exercises ("Asore photovoice mens group notes", "Asore photovoice womens group notes", "Choroko photovoice mens group notes", "Choroko photovoice womens group notes", "Laygnaw Arsho photovoice mens group notes", "Laygnaw Arsho photovoice womens group notes") as well as the images taken during the exercise (altogether 167 jpg files). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com), anja.byg@hutton.ac.uk, paula.novo@hutton.ac.uk 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used to understand peoples' views of their environment and to develop integrated modelling - reflecting on gender and age 
 
Title Restoration area focus groups 
Description • Restoration area focus groups - Three focus groups (one in each of the three study sites Assore, Andegna Choroko & Laygnaw Arsho) were conducted in January 2015 on the benefits and disbenefits from the restoration areas and the governance and rules applying to these areas. Data consist of three word files containing the notes from each of the focus groups ("Restoration areas focus group - Laygnaw Arsho- January 2015", "Restoration areas focus group - Choroko - January 2015", "Restoration areas focus group - Asore - January 2015"). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com), anja.byg@hutton.ac.uk, paula.novo@hutton.ac.uk These data are included in the main ALTER database that will be passed to NERC on project completion 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact paper published in benefits/disbenefits of restoration areas which has influenced the projects perceptions of restoration and how to incorporate this into the integrated socioecological modelling 
 
Title Soil management focus group 
Description Three focus groups (one in each of the three study sites) were conducted in January 2015 on the benefits and disbenefits of different soil management techniques and on the requirements and barriers to using these. Data consist of three word files containing the notes from each of the focus groups ("Soil management focus group - Laygnaw Arsho - January 2015", "Soil management focus group - Chiroko - January 2015", "Soil management focus group - Asore - January 2015"). Main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com), anja.byg@hutton.ac.uk, paula.novo@hutton.ac.uk these data are included in the main alter database and will be passed to NERC on project completion 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact used in development of the modelling 
 
Title Wealth ranking focus groups 
Description 3 word documents ("Wealth ranking Asore FGD May 9 2014"; "Wealth ranking Choroko" and "Wealth ranking Laygnaw Arsho") with notes from workshops carried out in each of the project kebele in May 2014 to elicit local people's definitions and understanding of poverty/wealth and classify of all households in the kebele into the defined wealth groups. main contacts: Awdenegest Moges (awde_moges@yahoo.co.uk), Mengistu Dinato (medidi10@gmail.com) These data are being compiled into the ALTER database which will be passed to NERC at the end of the project 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact these data are fundamental to ALTER investigating links between soils (other natural capital) and people, as it identifies aspects of the poverty status for households followed through the project. These data are now used by two other RCUK projects - iPore and BREAD. 
 
Description Collaboration with SRUC on cognitive mapping in Uganda and soil interventions in SSA 
Organisation Scotland's Rural College
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-supervision by P Novo of MSc students from SRUC / Univ Edinburgh who travelled to Uganda to carry out study projects on wetland ecosystem services (funded by Univ Edin). P Novo assisted with the development of the project with a focus on participatory mapping.
Collaborator Contribution supervision of students by K Glenk SRUC who provided expertise in cognitive mapping and soil management.
Impact Charissa Bosma (2014) Fuzzy cognitive mapping as a tool for analysing the sustainability of common-pool resources: An application to the Rwamucucu wetland in Kabale district, Uganda. MSc thesis. University of Edinburgh Huantao Shou (2016) Effects of Soil Interventions on Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Regional Review of the Literature. MSc thesis. University of Edinburgh Charissa Bosma, Klaus Glenk, Paula Novo (2017) How do individuals and groups perceive wetland functioning? Fuzzy cognitive mapping of wetland perceptions in Uganda. Land Use Policy 60: 181-196.
Start Year 2015
 
Description ALTER Poster presented at the 39th T.B. Macaulay Lecture (Dynamic Earth Edinburgh) - The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the dynamics of well-being given by Robert Costanza, Crawford School of Public Policy Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This public event in Edinburgh was well attended by a diverse audience and it provided the opporunity to show case ALTER project to this audience, and for the project team and leader to have discussions with Bob Costanza over the course of his visit about aspects of ecosystem services research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.hutton.ac.uk/events/39th-tb-macaulay-lecture-un-sustainable-development-goals-and-dynamic...
 
Description BBC Shared Planet Radio Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact After the interview I received emails and personal comments about how the interview had raised their awareness of the importance of soils and what issues were important in tackling soil degradation

extended interview listed as BBC podcast. The talk is listed by the Global Soil Partnership and I was asked to do TV interview for FAO on the topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03cmt4t
 
Description EGU 2017 (Jenny Farmer) - presentation on carbon dioxide emissions from peat soils under potato cultivation in Uganda 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Organic wetland soils in south western Uganda are found in valley bottom wetlands, surrounded by steep, mineral soil hill slopes. Land use change in these papyrus dominated wetlands has taken place over the past forty years, seeing wetland areas cleared of papyrus, rudimentary drainage channel systems dug, and soil cultivated and planted with crops, predominantly potatoes. There has been little research into the cultivation of organic wetlands soils in Uganda, or the impacts on soil carbon dynamics and associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This study used two rounds of farmer interviews to capture the land management practices on these soils and how they vary over the period of a year. Three potato fields were also randomly selected and sampled for CO2 emissions at four points in time during the year; 1) just after the potato beds had been dug, 2) during the potato growing period, 3) after the potato harvest, and 4) at the end of the fallow season. Carbon dioxide emissions, soil and air temperatures, water table depth, vegetation cover and land use were all recorded in situ in each field on each sampling occasion, from both the raised potato beds and the trenches in between them. There appeared to be a delay in the disturbance effect of digging the peat, with heterotrophic CO2 emissions from the raised beds not immediately increasing after being exposed to the air. Excluding these results, there was a significant linear relationship between mean emissions and water table depth from the raised beds and trenches in each field over time (p<0.001, r2=0.85), as well as between emissions and soil moisture content (p<0.001, r2=0.85). Temporal variability was observed, with significant differences in the means of emissions measured at the different sampling times (p<0.001, one-way ANOVA); this was the case in both raised beds and trenches in all fields studied, except for the trenches in one field which showed no significant difference between sampling times (p=0.55). Mean emissions from the raised beds were highest during the potato growing season (1.74 ± 0.07 g m-2 hr-1 (± shows standard error)) and lowest at the time when the beds had been freshly dug (0.67 ± 0.17 g m-2 hr-1). Mean emissions from the trenches were highest at the end of the fallow period (0.37 ± 0.02 g m-2 hr-1) and lowest at the time when the beds had been freshly dug (0.20 ± 0.05 g m-2 hr-1). As the first of its kind on Uganda's peat soils, this study has provided some insight into the use of these soils and impacts on CO2 emissions which can be used to inform Uganda's national emissions scenarios, whilst highlighting some of the fundamental data gaps which need to be addressed with future studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU 2017 (Jenny Farmer) - presentation on peatlands and potatoes; organic wetland soils in Uganda 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Land use change in Uganda's wetlands has received very little research attention. Peat soils dominate the papyrus wetlands of the south west of the country, but the areas they are found in have been increasingly converted to potato cultivation. Our research in Uganda set out to (a) document both the annual use of and changes to these soils under potato cultivation, and (b) the extent and condition of these soils across wetland systems. During our research we found it was necessary to develop locally appropriate protocols for sampling and analysis of soil characteristics, based on field conditions and locally available resources. Over the period of one year we studied the use of the peat soil for potato cultivation by smallholder farmers in Ruhuma wetland and measured changes to surface peat properties and soil nutrients in fields over that time. Farmer's use of the fields changed over the year, with cultivation, harvesting and fallow periods, which impacted on soil micro-topography. Measured properties changed over the year as a result of the land use, with bulk density, nitrogen content, potassium and magnesium all reducing over the course of the year. To determine the extent of the peat, a spatial survey was conducted in the Kanyabaha-Rushebeya wetland system, capturing peat depths and key soil properties (bulk density, organic matter and carbon contents). Generalised additive models were used to map peat depth and soil characteristics across the system, and maps were developed for these as well as drainage and land use classes. Comparison of peat cores between the two study areas indicates spatial variability in peat depths and the influence of neighbouring mineral soil hillslopes. Our work provides valuable insight into the condition and use of these tropical peat soils, which are under-researched yet highly depended upon by local communities, with wider climate impacts. Cultivation of these peat soils has implications for their future sustainability and use, and having insight into the impacts of land management on these soils improves local and national level capacity for better soil management.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Ecosystem Services Partnership meeting in South Africa 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact presentation by Italian funded PhD student linked to ALTER on "Modeling ecosystem services in different Scenarios in order to identify their role in land degradation. A case study in the Ethiopian Highlands" to introduce using Bayesian Belief networks in ES research as part of a discussion on using different modelling approaches to Ecosystem Services. Authorship also included Gimona. Poggio and Black (Hutton) As a result this student gained a better insight into different approaches which she has brought back to discussions with the ALTER team
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Global Soil Security Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact keynote presentation from H Black on "How Soil Security is Important to Biodiversity" at The inaugural Global Soil Security Symposium, hosted by Texas A&M University. This meeting was arranged to discuss how maintaining and improving soil quality will help the world to achieve food and water security, contribute to climate regulation, and improve human health. The event brought together an international group of people from research, governments, industry and practioners an important step forward in the international soil policy dialogue
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://ussc.edu.au/events/past/special-events/global-soil-security
 
Description Global Soil Week 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact ca. 100 people attended the dialogue session on "Soils and seas in the nexus: linking sustainable land management and the coastal and marine environments" where H Black presented a keynote on "The amazing soil-sediment-water system: it's role in solutions for societal challenges" followed by facilitation of the afternoons discussion which resulted in a detailed rapporteurs report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://globalsoilweek.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/GSW_15_1.5_summary.pdf
 
Description Keynote presentation at the World Congress of Soil Science: Soils, ecosystem services and poverty allevation: a case study from sub-saharan Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation keynote/invited speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact talks initiated discussions with peers and subsequent request for Keynote at Global Soil Security 2015

identified regional collaborators for key datasets and models
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.20wcss.org/sub03_1.php
 
Description Oral presentation at the 'Forest and Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, Engagement' conference December 2015, Paris. Anja Byg, Paula Novo, Tewodros Tefera, Bedru Balana, Teshale Woldeamnual , Mengistu Dinato, Awdegenest Moges, Helaina Black (2015) Forest and soil restoration exclosures in southern Ethiopia: Impacts on livelihoods and distributional inequities. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Oral presentation at this international conference to raise awareness of ALTER / ESPA researcg and stimulate discussion over restoration implications for local communities
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.ifriresearch.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BYG.pdf
 
Description Poster presentation at the Ecosummit conference, Montpellier, August 2016. Paula Novo, Anja Byg, Awdegenest Moges, Mengistu Dinato, Helaina Black (2016) Restoration of common lands through enclosures in southern Ethiopia: Sustaining multiple benefits? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 5th International EcoSummit Congress, EcoSummit 2016 - Ecological Sustainability: Engineering Change, was an international forum with the target of bringing together scientists working in several ecological disciplines, and who required a better understanding of the concepts and methods for a holistic use of ecology in environmental management. Thus it was an excellent forum for our earlier career project members (PhDs and staff) to present their research and be able to interact with the worlds leading scientists in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ecosummit2016.org/conference-programme.asp
 
Description Presentation at ESPA Annual Conference 2014 by T. Tefera (Hawassa Univ): Tewodros Tefera (2014) From PRA to Social Survey: understanding the link between poverty and ecosystem services. Oral presentation at the Annual ESPA conference 2014, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact ESPA Annual Conference with international participants - raised awareness of ALTER research in Ethiopia and gained insights into other ESPA projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation at ESPA Annual Conference 2015 by P Nova (JHI): Restoring common lands through exclosures in southern Ethiopia - impacts on livelihoods and distributional inequities. Paula Novo, Anja Byg, Tewodros Tefera, Bedru Balana, Teshale Woldeamnual , Mengistu Dinato, Awdegenest Moges, Helaina Black (2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact engagement with ESPA community and presentation of results to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Soils @ The Royal Highland Show, UK 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact International Year of Soils event at the Royal Highland Show, between Hutton, Soil Association, Scottish Government, EU Joint Research Council and others. Engagement activities throughout the show to highlight the importance of soil including soil walk, soil educational games, soil App games and interaction with the public on one-to-one. H Black participated in the event talking to public, farmers and policy about soils and how issues of soil health and soil degradation influence us all.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.hutton.ac.uk/news/royal-highland-show-2015-time-celebrate-our-soils