The Project Goal is to adopt an integrated ecosystems approach for the management of land resources in the Kagera Basin that will generate local, national and global benefits including: restoration of degraded lands, carbon sequestration and climate change adaptation and mitigation, protection of international waters, agro-biodiversity conservation and sustainable use and improved agricultural production, leading to increased food security and improved rural livelihoods.
The Challenge: The agro-ecosystems in the region are facing increasing pressures as a result of rapid population growth, agricultural and livestock intensification characterised by progressive reduction in farm sizes, and unsustainable land use and management practices. The basin’s land and freshwater resource base, associated biodiversity and populations whose livelihoods and food security depend on those resources, are threatened by land degradation, declining productive capacity of croplands and rangelands, deforestation and encroachment of agriculture into wetlands. Climate change and variability aggravates these threats.
To address these problems, it is necessary to work with all actors at all levels because the adoption of improved practices for the management of soil, water, vegetation and the diverse ecosystems cannot be made without putting in place a suitable institutional and policy framework, including processes for planning, organization and decision making at community, district/provincial and regional / transboundary levels.
The Transboundary Agro-ecosystem Management Project for the Kagera River Basin (Kagera TA MP) was approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in June 2009. Activities started in April 2010 after signatory endorsement by the 4 beneficiary countries. GEF funds contribute 6 363 000 US Dollars, through TerrAfrica/PSI. With co-funding by governments, partner organisations in the basin, and by FAO (GEF executing and implementing agency), total funds may reach more than 21 million US Dollars.
The project is one of the 39 projects on land degradation that are integrated in the GEF umbrella programme “Strategic investment programme for sustainable land management in sub-Saharan Africa” (TerrAfrica/SIP) whose activities are integrated in the action program of NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development) and whose funds attain the sum of 150 million US Dollars.
The 4 Governments are major project partners – they guide it through the regional and national steering committees and co-fund activities. At national level, project coordination is assured by the following structures which each designate national project focal points and will facilitate agro-environmental cooperation:
The beneficiary communities, farmers and herders, and NGOs/CSOs in the basin are key stakeholders of the project.