The immediate and long term effects of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa include desertification, land degradation and food insecurity. These effects are expected to worsen in the coming decades, with attendant consequences on ecosystems and biodiversity services. This research assessed the potential of sustainable agriculture as a means for restoring and improving upon the biological diversity and ecosystem services within the Belepieni catchment, a predominantly agricultural landscape. The study considered the current trend in terms of the main environmental parameters, the drivers of change and the opportunities for addressing the current situation within the catchment. Although population growth remains the major driver, several opportunities such as high labour force, access to extension services, availability of market for produce, and most importantly traditional knowledge on farming practices also exist. A management approach based on the Climate and Ecosystem Change Adaptation and Resilience framework is proposed for improving the ecological, socio-economic and engineering resilience of the catchment.
Keywords: Belepieni catchment, Sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem function, climate resilience