Healthy ecosystems provide a variety of vital goods: food, wood, fibre and fuel... are usually paid by the markets. But they provide also services which are considered as free, and therefore undersupplied: regulating services (such as climate (Carbon sequestration) or flood regulation, water purification, pollination...) and cultural services (like aesthetic landscape, relaxation, and spiritual reflection...). According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 60 % of the world ecosystems have been degraded.
Sending the right signal to the providers of these services (e.g. farmers) or to the users ( food products consumers, water buyers, tourists...) is decisive: Ecosystem Services should be (better) paid for.
The Kagera TAMP aims to identify benefits that can be generated in terms of local livelihoods and global environmental support through improved production systems that ensure in the Kagera basin sustainable natural resources and ecosystems management and value addition; following outcomes are identified:
- enhancing valuation of market products, through producers’ organisation, marketing, quality identification (incl organic products) but also through farming techniques (incl. conservation agriculture), integrated pest management... or promoting bamboo cultivation
- promoting payment for environmental services, including Carbon sequestration, watershed management, biodiversity (and landscape) preservation
- preserving traditional knowledge and important heritage
A decisive preliminary condition is an equitable access to land resources, and stable and clear land tenure rights: a base line will be assessed, and mechanisms will be identified (formal and informal) to solve land and resources conflicts and enhance access rights and fair and equitable sharing of benefits.