Frank van Steenbergen, Albert Tuinhof and Lenneke Knoop
Water is key to food security. We will not achieve global food security without water security. The integrated management of land and water buffers – the theme of this publication – is pivotal here. This book provides three important messages.
The first message is that we need to get to scale. Scale is not the sum total of many small things, but the transformation of landscapes, the soil and water processes underneath, the microclimates, and in fact entire economies. This requires new but tested governance systems and business models – that are based on the quantum benefits that integrated landscape management can bring. We need to get away from isolated interventions and single investments with their single rates of return. We need wholesale change.
The second message is that if we want to manage land and water we should not ‘divide and rule’ the water, but we should make stronger more resilient buffers and extend the chain of water uses. This must include ‘recharge, retention and reuse (3R)’, and a better appreciation of the links between land, moisture, groundwater, rivers. There are techniques that work well in some places but are not yet known everywhere or applied in an appropriate way. This book describes several of these. There is large promise here.
The final message is that buffer management should be an intricate part of green growth. The examples in this book make the point of ‘more environment, more economy’ and also ‘more economy, more environment’ and this means in the end: improved livelihoods. In a world of growing stress and climate change risks integrated landscape and water management offers jobs, better chances for young people, safer livelihoods, more environmental services and more economic opportunities.
In conclusion we encourage you not to just read this book – but challenge scale issues and apply some of the cases’ wisdom and principles in your own domain.