Project DetailsSummaryProject Title: Development and evaluation of tools for including local knowledge in the management of climate related risks in the Bolivian HighlandsOverview: The project will explore how using local knowledge can improve livelihoods by establishing networks of farmer researchers who will generate agricultural plans based on local knowledge and evaluate the contribution of these plans to family well-being. Moreover, the establishment of links between local weather conditions and free downloadable MODIS satellite imagery will develop the capacity to evaluate local climate conditions without building scores of meteorological stations. By correlating imagery with local conditions, it should be possible to help farmers use information coming from meteorological services and validate traditional practices without local meteorological stations. This project gets at to some of the "so what?" questions that emerged from the first phase of research. Specifically, the first phase did a good job of documenting farmer diversity, strategies and knowledge, but did not really intervene or try to increase farmers' well being. This phase will use that knowledge to start to construct a planning system based on local and national indicators and leveraging the social capital of existing and new farmer-research-institutional networks. This work has the potential to revitalize rural livelihoods by making them less isolated and ultimately more rewarding.Project Aims: The overall goal of this project is to establish and evaluate an integrated climate planning tool based on local knowledge and scientific knowledge to help farmers make agricultural planning decisions based on improved forecasting tools used to predict short and medium term meteorological conditions. The purpose of these tools is to reduce the vulnerability of smallholders to climate variability and change. The specific objectives are:1. Develop and implement a system of early warning that would combine local and technological knowledge for the Bolivian higher Andes. 2. Evaluate the contributions made to producer well-being by agricultural planning based on local knowledge and farmer-researcher networks. This will be evaluated both in terms of short term benefits and in terms of the long term sustainability of adaptation decisions. 3. Develop and evaluate methods of dissemination of local and regional forecast knowledge to younger producers and stakeholders. Approach: Intensifying knowledge is the centerpiece of Agroecological Intensification. This requires a dialogue between local and global cropping system knowledge to generate innovation and adaptation in continually shifting contexts. This project relates to adaptation by linking agricultural planning with local knowledge; specifically, how farming decisions are made, based on local perceptions and information on climate. It increases the sustainability of smallholder farming by promoting an intergenerational dialogue about the utility of local knowledge. In so doing, the culture is kept up-to-date and dynamic, as debate and dialogue allows knowledge reconfiguration that’s responsive to current processes and developments. Furthermore, promoting the interrelation of local and global knowledge is a step towards egalitarian relations between different types of knowledge with potentially important implications for intercultural relations, transdisciplinarity, and meaningful collaboration. This project will increase the region's and program's understanding of how research networks function, specifically in terms of how relatively small groups of farmer-researchers interact and share knowledge with the rest of their community.