FARMS4Biodiversity’s second Annual Meeting yields exciting results!

After a productive first year of data collection, FARMS4Biodiversity held its annual meeting in February. We are really proud of this year’s work: SFHC has taken the lead in a complex network of interdisciplinary collaboration between five universities, the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (see their press release on our project here!), social and natural scientists, 24 family farms and 70 individual farmers. See below for more details on all we’ve accomplished in the first year of this new project!

SFHC Farmer Promoter Mwapi Mkandawire demonstrates method for catching and identifying pollinator taxa. Over 1300 bees and wasps and over 1000 butterflies have been collected thus far!

The Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services team had an excellent year of research, exploring the role of different organisms — ground dwelling anthropoids, flying insects, birds and bats — in combatting pests such as the fall armyworm and stemborer. The whole team took a field trip to see demonstrations of their methods and to understand the challenges they faced in data collection. We also heard updates on their assessment of pollinators and pollination services: in examining how agroecological practices protect biodiversity, they have collected more than 1300 bees and wasps, and recorded over 1000 butterflies to date! That’s over 53 species of pollinator.

The Community Social Dynamics team continued their research on the relationship between community-level social relationships and land use. They focused particularly on farmers’ experiences with the effects of climate change and seed saving.

Demonstration of malaise insect traps by the Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services team at Annual Meeting field trip.

The Participatory Scenario Planning team worked with farmers to train community members in remote sensing and GIS (Geographic Information Services) technologies. Farmers hope to map landscape and crop diversity analysis and eventually build a model to predict yield. Thus far they have mapped a total of 52 villages!

We are so excited by all the work that the FARMS4Biodiversity project has completed in its first year. We are honoured to be working with such skilled collaborators, and excited to see the results of this research!

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