The Asia-Pacific Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was approved during the 6th IPBES Plenary Meeting in Medellin, Colombia (17-28 March 2018).
The report outlines the dire threats that biodiversity and ecosystem services face in the Asia-Pacific region, and the associated risks to human wellbeing. It outlines a number of policy options to reverse such trends. This report and its Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) is the culmination of a 3-year long effort between more than 100 scientists and practitioners across the world.
Alexandros Gasparatos has been a Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) for Chapter 1, and was member of the assessment defense team during the 3 long days of negotiations with the IPBES Member States.
Project FICESSA held its final dissemination and stakeholder engagement workshop in Accra, Ghana. The 1.5 day workshop was held at the University of Ghana and featured some of the key findings of the project in Ghana. About 25 stakeholders attended the workshop representing different government organizations, private sector companies, NGOs, international organisations and academia.
The participants discussed the current trends and future trajectories of industrial crops in Ghana, such as cotton, oil palm, sugarcane and cocoa. Presentations were given by FICESSA members Alexandros Gasparatos (University of Tokyo, Japan), Steve Wiggins (Overseas Development Institute, UK), Osamu Saito (United Nations University, Japan), Yaw Agyeman Boafo (University of Ghana, Ghana), Abubakari Ahmed (University of Tokyo), Eric Dompreh (University of Tokyo), and Channing Arndt (International Food Policy Research Institute, USA).
A summary of the workshop as reported by one of the main daily newspapers of Ghana can be found here.
Alice Karanja conducted fieldwork in the Kiambu and Morang'a districts of Kenya in August-September 2017. She collected information about the factors that affect the adoption and sustained use of clean and energy-efficient cookstoves such as biogas and improved biomass stoves, as well as their environmental and socioeconomic impacts.
The study was undertaken along two transects in Kiambu and Murang’a County around Nairobi. In total 600 households were interviewed through extensive household surveys and a choice experiment. Qualitative information was collected through focus group discussions and ethographic approaches through extended visits in some of the surveyed households.
Abubakari Ahmed conducted fieldwork in Ghana in August and September 2017 to collect data about the impacts of industrial crops. Initially he surveyed 250 households in the Kobre, Kadua, Kojo B. and Number 1 communities around Smart Oil jatropha plantation in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. The respondents of the survey included permanent plantation workers, seasonal workers and a control group. This survey was part of project FICESSA, and focused on the impacts of engagement into industrial crop activities on food security and poverty alleviation.
Subsequently he visited different sugarcane, oil palm and jatropha production landscapes in Dabala, Kwae and Yeji to understand how environmental conflicts have emerged in these areas. He interacted closely with local communities undertaking community mapping exercises, focus group discussions and interviews with key local stakeholders such as chiefs. This fieldwork was part of a project on the Political Ecology of industrial crops in Ghana funded by the Asahi Glass Foundation.