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SANREM CRSP, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Abstract: The Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (SANREM) Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) is one of nine programs designed in the context of Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act to mobilize US university support for the overall US development assistance effort. The SANREM CRSP stems from a 1991 recommendation of the National Research Council to employ integrated, multidisciplinary research to simultaneously address livelihood and environmental protection in developing countries. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) funds and Virginia Tech manages this program for US and developing country scientists to conduct applied research and education which creates knowledge and tools to solve agricultural and natural resource problems that not only improve farmer livelihoods, but also protect the environment and essential natural resources.
The SANREM CRSP has worked in over 17 countries on long-term research efforts to understand relationships in a landscape setting and develop technologies and policies by combining agricultural, ecological, and social sciences. All SANREM activities link sustainable natural resource management with the economic concerns of local populations and the promotion of good governance. Currently, SANREM activities are: teaching farmers in developing countries how to reduce risk associated with climate change; developing new farming systems to increase production and improve the livelihoods of people who rely on marginal agricultural lands in the Andes; identifying forest management policies that increase income and ensure long-term sustainability of forest resources; developing business models that improve the livelihoods of poor African farmers, preserve biodiversity, and create ecotourism opportunities; and building public-private partnerships to improve livelihoods and protect water and other natural resources. In the past year eighty-one US and developing country students have been supported in long-term degree training programs. Each of their thesis and dissertation research projects is integral to the applied SANREM research addressing host country objectives. The majority of students are developing country nationals. (conference Abstract)