Tools and methods

Landscape of the Kagera basin

The Kagera TAMP will use inter-sectoral approaches that will allow to address the land use-livelihood system as a whole, considering both the environmental and socio-economic benefits that can be obtained from more integrated land use systems and better resource management practices (i.e. improved efficiency and ecological functions of sustainable, diversified systems generating improved productivity and income with reduced inputs and costs)  while contributing to the conservation of resources, restoration of degraded lands and maintenance of ecosystem services.

Some traditional practices are no longer viable (rotations, fallow, shifting cultivation, nomadic livelihoods) as well as some practices that negatively impact on the environment (burning, repetitive tillage etc). Alternatives will be developed: to improve land cover, nutrient recycling, water quality and quantity; to reduce biomass losses; and to enhance systems’ diversification and resilience. Improved practices include, for example, agro forestry, crop-livestock integration, inter- and relay-cropping and species/ varietal improvements, conservation agriculture, pasture improvement and sustainable harvesting and improved marketing of products from endemic plant and animal species (including medicinal, wild food...)

Past interventions to alleviate land degradation in the Kagera basin have, on the whole, been sectoral, tending to focus on erosion control and on blaming the practices of local land users, in particular, the poor and most marginal rural people, for their unsustainable practices.

A key to maintaining the value of the natural resources is to ensure that the local resource users and stakeholders benefit from their efficient and sustainable exploitation of the resources and ecosystems. This has not been the case in the Kagera basin, as there has been limited or negligible government support and lack of incentives for natural resources management. There are weak governance mechanisms for the common pool land and water resources and many resource users do not participate in decision making, especially the poor, women and youth.

The project will contribute to the implementation of the various national strategies and plans in a coherent, harmonious and effective way, through working closely with local governance and communities to build the capacity of technical and district level staff. TAMP Kagera will also work at international level to harmonize strategies across the basin for the generation of global environmental benefits through reversing land degradation, conserving biodiversity, enhancing carbon sequestration and thereby contributing to protection of the shared water resources.

The approaches and methods to be used are the following: