Earlier this year, the International Development Research Centre (Canada) published a book titled Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Highlands of East Africa.
In this short video interview, Ethiopian scientist Tilahun Amede, on joint appointment with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and leader of a Nile Basin Development Challenge project, explains some of the key messages in the book. It captures learning by farmers and researchers on natural resource management research—how to do it and what institutional mechanisms and arrangements are needed for natural resource management to work for farmers.
He emphasizes that natural resource management, including watershed management, goes beyond hydrological boundaries, and that the social boundaries and networks around specific landscapes are the important ones. Further, farmers need to be brought into planning and decisions by researchers and policymakers.
According to Amede: The evidence the book reports on was ‘generated with farmers’, so the researchers were actually bringing farmers’ options to farmers’ fields.