August 22, 2011 by
The Kagera River is one of the largest rivers flowing into Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water body in Africa. The natural resources of the Kagera river basin face increasing pressure as a result of population growth, intensification of agriculture and livestock activities and unsustainable land management practices.
The Kagera river basin covers an area of 59,700 square kilometres, distributed between Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. The basin supports some 16.5 million people, the majority in rural areas and depending directly on farming, herding and fishing activities. Most of the inhabitants are very poor and unable to invest in improved resources management.
Refugee movements in recent decades have further increased pressures on resources in the basin, raising actual and potential conflicts between interest groups and across countries.
The Kagera Transboundary Agro-ecosystem Management Project (Kagera TAMP) supports sustainable agro-ecosystem management in 100,000ha in the four countries that share the Kagera river basin. Kagera TAMP is a project of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The aims of the project are to reverse land degradation and increase food security to improve rural livelihoods of about 120,000 people, in 22 pilot districts.
Kagera TAMP is holding a workshop during the last week of August 2011 to discuss how to encourage greater adoption of sustainable land management practices. Payments for Environmental Services (PES) will be explored as a means of supporting the sustained adoption and replication of sustainable land management after Kagera TAMP ends in 2013.
Building on an initial regional review of PES schemes and a parallel PES online discussion, workshop participants will share their experiences and identify opportunities to upscale existing PES schemes within the basin (so far mostly on tree carbon) and to replicate promising PES models in the region, such as that in Lake Naivasha, Kenya.
The workshop will present the tools and methods used to assess land degradation and select suitable land management treatments. Participants will also discuss components of creating an enabling environment for sustainable land management: land tenure and land use planning.
Kagera TAMP has begun identifying potential investors and discussing the enabling policy and institutional environment, as well as capacity gaps that need to be addressed to enable PES schemes in the basin. To inform these discussions, a parallel discussion has been launched on the Kagera PES online community. Please send your views and join by sending an email to: PESemail@example.com
The workshop takes place in Kabale, Uganda, from 29 to 31st August. To learn about the outcomes of the workshop, please visit the Kagera TAMP project website: http://www.fao.org/nr/kagera/en/