Climate, Pollinator biodiversity, Crop Pollination and People’s Livelihoods


Start date: 1 April, 2024 End date: 31 March, 2029 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 24-08-KU Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Climate change, Food security and safety, Natural resource management, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI), Tanzania Project coordinator: Bo Dalsgaard Total grant: 9,991,100 DKK

Project summary

This project aims to design climate smart agricultural approaches to sustain crop pollinators and implement beekeeping activities that will reduce poverty and food insecurity among smallholder farmers despite future climate change. As such, the insights we obtain will pave the way for alternatives to clearing additional forest areas, which helps protect the forest and its biodiversity from further degradation.

This project will generate new knowledge about the impacts of changing climates on pollinator biodiversity, crop pollination and people’s livelihoods in the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAMs) in Tanzania. We will examine how changing climatic conditions influence pollinator diversity and pollination limitation of food crops grown by smallholder farmers along an elevation and climate gradient. We will experimentally test the ability of beekeeping to increase food crop yields, and assess how natural pollination, beekeeping related pollination, and bee products affect farmers’ poverty status and food security depending on the climatic conditions along the elevational gradient. To design climate smart and pollinator friendly agricultural systems, we will use future climate scenarios to model the future distribution of the pollinators of the crops grown in the EAMs. This will allow us to recommend which crops that can be pollinated and sustain crop pollinators in the face of climatic changes. It will also allow us to map which crops to grow across an elevation gradient with different climate conditions, and where beekeeping can improve crop yields and people’s livelihoods the most.

This project is highly interdisciplinary, integrating biology, forestry, natural resource governance, socio-economy and geography – to tackle questions related to climate change, biodiversity, agriculture, poverty, food security, and forest protection.
Research capacity strengthening is an integrated part of the project to make sure that the project outcomes are transmitted to relevant stakeholders in Tanzania. Notable, we will educate three PhD students in Tanzania, facilitate research stays in Denmark for Tanzanian senior scientists and PhD students, write joint research papers and arrange research visits to Tanzania for Danish senior scientists and PhD student. We will also organize gender inclusive training workshops for partner institutions and farming communities, involving local smallholder farmer communities throughout the entire project period.

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