Kenya International Livestock Research Institute

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya International Livestock Research Institute

Nairobi, Kenya
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The direct dependence of humans on ecosystem services is by far strongest in developing regions where poverty restricts access to resources. This dependency also makes people in developing countries more sensitive to climate change than their developed counterparts. Increasing human populations deteriorates natural habitat, biodiversity and ecosystems services which spiral into poverty and low human welfare. This calls for innovative solutions that encompass the entire socio-ecological-economic system, as recognized on a global scale in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. However, innovative and practical solutions require downscaling to regional levels for identifying concrete sets of drivers of change. For Africa specifically, the interplay of human population growth, land use change, climate change and human well-being is a major challenge. This project focuses on the Serengeti-Maasai Mara Ecosystem and associated agricultural areas, a region in East Africa that encompasses parts of Kenya and Tanzania. The ecosystem is world-famous for key aspects of its biodiversity, such as the migration of 1.3 million wildebeest. This flagship ecosystem role will enhance the international interest in the project. In this project, internationally leading researchers from Norway, the Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark and Germany are teaming up with strong local partners in Tanzania and Kenya. The research will be organised in seven interlinked work packages: 1) assemble and integrate the so far separate Kenyan and Tanzanian relevant data on the region; 2) quantify the connections between human population growth, land use change, climate change and biodiversity change; 3) test how biodiversity change leads to changes in key ecosystem services; 4) quantify the dependence of human livelihoods on these ecosystem services. We will implement innovative ways for communication and dissemination of the results of continuous engagement by local stakeholders.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-6-2014 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2015

B3Africa - Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa will dramatically improve and facilitate the development of better predictive, preventive and personalized healthcare worldwide. The rapidly evolving African biobanks are an invaluable resource: The African population has the greatest genomic diversity on the planet and represents an incredible resource of information to advance biomedical research. B3Africa aims to implement a cooperation platform and technical informatics framework for biobank integration between Africa and Europe. The collaboration harmonizes the ethical and legal framework, biobank data representation and bioinformatics pipelines for sharing data and knowledge among biobanks and allowing access for researchers from both continents. Main actors from the relevant initiatives including Human Heredity and Health in Africa project (H3Africa), European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources research infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC) and LMIC Biobank and Cohort Network (BCNet) collaborate in B3Africa to address the following objectives: Defining an ethical and regulatory framework for biobank data sharing between Europe and Africa Defining data models for representing biobank and research data based on existing best practices, standards and ontologies Designing an informatics platform using existing open-source software (with eBioKit and BiBBox as essential modules) integrating workflows for biobank applications Implementation of an education and training system for information and capacity building Validating the B3Africa concept with existing biobanks from both continents B3Africa will provide the critical mass to maximise efficiency in biomedical research, supports defragmentation through integration and allows efficient leverage of existing biobanks and e-infrastructures in Europe and Africa. The technical informatics framework will be designed for easy upscaling and integration with other research infrastructures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-3-09 | Award Amount: 7.62M | Year: 2009

This project aims at Improving Human Health and Animal Production in developing countries through Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonoses in animals, based on Scientific Innovation and Public Engagement. Neglected zoonoses, such as anthrax, rabies, brucellosis, bovine TB, zoonotic trypanosomiasis, echinococcosis, cysticercosis and leishmaniasis, are major causes of ill-health in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Production animals and companion animals of significant societal value act as reservoirs for transmission to man, and the burden of these diseases on affected communities is compounded by the adverse effects many diseases have on the productivity of livestock and hence the livelihoods of the poor. Control of these diseases in animals represents an opportunity to address the constraints they pose to both human health and animal productivity, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and the MDGs. Effective control in animals will require scientific innovation to identify and (where necessary) develop tools for diagnosis, for quantification of disease burdens, and for control. Public engagement at all stakeholder levels will be needed to ensure that strategies are appropriate for use in affected communities and are adopted within the policy framework of affected countries. The project will: (i) map and review research activities at a global level, (ii) survey and assess the burden of zoonoses in communities, (iii) improve or develop disease control tools as appropriate for conditions in affected countries, with private sector inputs where appropriate, (iv) develop cost-effective control and prevention strategies taking into account economic, sociological and cultural factors as well as traditional knowledge, (v) build capacity in ICPCs through technology transfer and training and (vi) empower communities and policy makers to utilise control and prevention strategies appropriately and effectively.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2010.1.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2011

The HEALTHY FUTURES project is motivated by concern for the health impacts of environmental changes. HEATHLY FUTURES aims to respond to this concern through construction of a disease risk mapping system for three water-related high-impact VBDs (malaria, Rift valley fever and schistosomiasis) in Africa, accounting for environmental/climatic trends and changes in socio-economic conditions to predict future risk. Concentrating on eastern Africa as a study area, HEALTHY FUTURES comprises a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary consortium of health, environment, socio-economic, disease modelling and climate experts in addition to governmental health departments. To achieve its aims, HEALTHY FUTURES will deploy a bottom-up, end-user/stakeholder-focused approach combining field-, laboratory- and library-based research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 12.67M | Year: 2011

ANIMALCHANGE will provide scientific guidance on the integration of adaptation and mitigation objectives and design sustainable development pathways for livestock production in Europe, in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. ANIMALCHANGE will inform public policy development in EU27 and propose cooperation programs addressing smallholder livestock farming in selected developing countries. The core analytical spine of the project is a series of coupled biophysical and socio-economic models combined with experimentation. This allows exploring future scenarios for the livestock sector under baseline and atmospheric CO2 stabilization scenarios. These scenarios are first constructed in Component (CP) 1. They are elaborated and enriched by breakthrough mitigation and adaptation options from CP 2 at field and animal scales, integrated and evaluated at farm scale in CP 3 and used to assess policy options and their socio-economic consequences in CP 4. ANIMALCHANGE will: - Quantify and reduce uncertainties in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and assess climate change impacts on livestock systems (including grasslands) - Revise estimates of the GHG balance of livestock systems and integrate soil carbon sequestration - Integrate climate variability and extremes into the assessment of impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of livestock systems to climate change - Develop breakthrough technologies for adaptation and mitigation to climate change for both ruminants and monogastrics - Study and quantify trade-offs and synergies between adaptation and mitigation options - Assess the potential societal and sectoral costs and benefits of these options for the livestock sector in Europe and in study regions of Africa and Latin America - Assess climate change vulnerability of animal production and of associated GHG emissions - Provide direct support through the design of an integrated and consistent mitigation and adaptation policy framework for the livestock sector


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2011.4.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2011

AGRICAB aims to strengthen Earth Observation (EO) capacities in Africa by building on the open data sharing through GEONETCast, connecting the available satellite and other data with predictive models in order to facilitate integration in agriculture and forestry planning and management processes. Dedicated national applications in various African countries are designed to address particular policy issues related to livestock, crop systems and forest management. Through these applications, twinning partnerships are developed between a European and an African partner, to maximize knowledge transfer and integration. Experiences learned will form a good basis for regional trainings to the member states of the Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) in Tunisia, the Regional Centre for Mapping Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Kenya and the AGRHYMET regional centre in Niger, covering almost the entire African continent. These activities will be linked with Africa-wide management and research initiatives and programmes on Forest and Agriculture and builds on experiences from the GEONETCast for and by Developing Countries (DevCoCast) and Global Monitoring for Food Security (GMFS) projects.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.1.2.1.2 | Award Amount: 4.72M | Year: 2010

One of the most dramatic and immediate impacts of climate variation is that on disease, especially the vector-borne diseases that disproportionally affect the poorest people in Africa. Although we can clearly see that, for example, an El Nino event triggers Rift Valley Fever epidemics, we remain poor at understanding why particular areas are vulnerable and how this will change in coming decades, since climate change is likely to cause entirely new global disease distributions. This applies to most vector borne disease. At the same time, we do not know currently the limit of predictability of the specific climate drivers for vector-borne disease using state-of-the-art seasonal forecast models, and how best to use these to produce skilful infection-rate predictions on seasonal timescales. The QWeCI project thus aims to understand at a more fundamental level the climate drivers of the vector-borne diseases of malaria, Rift Valley Fever, and certain tick-borne diseases, which all have major human and livestock health and economic implications in Africa, in order to assist with their short-term management and make projections of their future likely impacts. QWeCI will develop and test the methods and technology required for an integrated decision support framework for health impacts of climate and weather. Uniquely, QWeCl will bring together the best in world integrated weather/climate forecasting systems with heath impacts modelling and climate change research groups in order to build an end-to-end seamless integration of climate and weather information for the quantification and prediction of climate and weather on health impacts in Africa.


Thornton P.K.,CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change | Ericksen P.J.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Herrero M.,CSIRO | Challinor A.J.,University of Leeds
Global Change Biology | Year: 2014

The focus of the great majority of climate change impact studies is on changes in mean climate. In terms of climate model output, these changes are more robust than changes in climate variability. By concentrating on changes in climate means, the full impacts of climate change on biological and human systems are probably being seriously underestimated. Here, we briefly review the possible impacts of changes in climate variability and the frequency of extreme events on biological and food systems, with a focus on the developing world. We present new analysis that tentatively links increases in climate variability with increasing food insecurity in the future. We consider the ways in which people deal with climate variability and extremes and how they may adapt in the future. Key knowledge and data gaps are highlighted. These include the timing and interactions of different climatic stresses on plant growth and development, particularly at higher temperatures, and the impacts on crops, livestock and farming systems of changes in climate variability and extreme events on pest-weed-disease complexes. We highlight the need to reframe research questions in such a way that they can provide decision makers throughout the food system with actionable answers, and the need for investment in climate and environmental monitoring. Improved understanding of the full range of impacts of climate change on biological and food systems is a critical step in being able to address effectively the effects of climate variability and extreme events on human vulnerability and food security, particularly in agriculturally based developing countries facing the challenge of having to feed rapidly growing populations in the coming decades. © 2014 The Authors.

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