Incentives for Environmental Services

Agriculture provides more than food and fibre. Farmers’ management of agro-ecosystems influence productivity and food security, and affect water and biodiversity for other sectors of society, at local, national and international level.

To opt for more sustainable practices, that can protect the farms' soil and water resources, farmers need an integrated incentive package that combines information and capacity building in the short-term, but also investments in long-term change. Access to rural finance, higher value markets and greater participation in the design of underlying policies and programmes, will be key.

Financing this integrated approach, across a transboundary watershed like Kagera, requires investment from other sectors, coherent policies and coordinated institutions. Because Kagera TAMP SLM treatments benefits farmers and water users further downstream, who may have reduced costs in desilting reservoirs and treating water, we are starting with them.

  • We have identified the causes of soil and water degradation and initiated sustainable land management (SLM) treatments
  • Hydrological monitoring is ongoing in Burundi and Rwanda
  • Water users are informed and willing to co-fund some of our investment in watershed management, as well as in the monitoring of its impact in the water they use
  • Project is ending in February 2015 and until then we work to gain full support from the water users to continue and out-scale

What we do

2010:  Review of regional PES expertise - Positioning the Kagera TAMP in the PES landscape of East Africa - main conclusions

  • The four countries have different experience levels with Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). While Uganda and Tanzania already feature a number of schemes, PES in Rwanda is at earlier stages of development. In Burundi, no activities in this direction have been initiated so far. Kagera TAMP could assist with increasing capacity to value agri-ecosystem services (ES), and improve understanding and of PES mechanisms.
  • Interest in PES is high, especially to learn about case studies that show the efficiency on the ground. There is a great need for communication and exchange of knowledge on PES in order to raise awareness on the possibilities this mechanism contains for SLM incentives. Kagera TAMP should increase awareness at the national and local level of importance of ES and create the capacity and basis for valuation of ES provision.

More information

    2011:Regional PES capacity exchange, 2010 and Kagera TAMP PES roadmap - main recommandations

    Kagera TAMP / 29 - 31 August 2011 Regional Technical workshop on Land planning and management

    • As a GEF project, K-TAMP requires co-funding to fully implement its own objectives and action plan. By engaging environmental service users, it can raise additional funds for implementation of current plans.
    • At the same time, engaging these stakeholders may mean capturing long-term SLM funding. Involving them from the early stages of the project, using the K-TAMP years as demonstration can improve their understanding of the need to invest in SLM to maintain agro-ecosystem services that are the basis of food security in the region.
    • Much of the K-TAMP investment in selecting participants, building technical capacity and facilitating SLM adoption coincides with the basis for PES for water benefits. Thus the additional cost of adding a real PES component would actually maximize the investment and represent very little additional costs. As an SLM project funded by GEF, it is already a PES scheme for Global Environmental Benefits (GEBs). Building a strong basis to pass these costs to local beneficiaries of SLM environmental benefits is consistent with GEF PES policy. See also PES and the Global Environment Facility - A STAP advisory document
    • Finally, using a PES thinking, even in absence of ES investors, may also be beneficial for K-TAMP on its own since no incentives for sustained SLM adoption have not been considered so far. More information

    2012: Assessing land and water degradation

    While mapping causes of land degradation and identifying SLM treatments, field teams also inquired about water related issues and mapped the main water users. In two catchments this revealed good potential for water users to be engaged in SLM and contribute to reducing the heavy sediment loads. In Burundi, near Gitega town, a brewery and a hydropower company have reported high costs with water treatment. In Rwanda, Water and Sanitation corporation (WASAC) has been battling with rising operational costs caused by the same problem- intense land use, in the hilly slopes along the river and high levels of turbidity that water supply has to be interrupted at times. 

    Newsletter 2014

    2013: Generating negotiation support arguments: tracking SLM benefits on water

    In Burundi and Rwanda, Kagera TAMP and national partners are monitoring how SLM treatments impact water quantity and quality. The monitoring scheme combines participatory monitoring: farmers measuring rainfall and river flow and sediment loads, and more detailed data collection for further analysis later on.

    • Rainfall: An automatic rain gauge has been installed within the grounds of the school located in the Marebe catchment. This provides a reliable and high resolution dataset which can be used as a baseline for the analysis of the other datasets.
    • Discharge: A v-notch weir has been constructed on the Marebe to aid the accurate measurement of discharge. 

    2014: Building partnerships with water users

    Considering that Kagera can only implement SLM  in a limited part of the micro-catchment, most benefits will only be visible once SLM is upscalled to cover a larger portion of the catchment, and once these measures are in place long enough to reveal their benefits.

    It is unlikely that this will happen within Kagera-TAMP’s lifetime, and this why we would like to raise awareness for these upstream-downstream linkages, to engage other partners in supporting this work, more widely and in the future. It is in their best interest to understand better where their water quality costs originate from, and how to reduce them, in collaboration with local authorities and other water users. Awareness raising activities are planned to hand-over our methods and early results to the water users interested in continuing to support this work.

    More information : Kagera brief

    Exchange visits between Kagera TAMP and Brazil

    Kagera TAMP and IFAD-funded Kirehe Community-based watershed management project (KWAMP), visited the World Bank-funded Rio Rural and Micro-watershed, Sustainable Rural Development Program in micro-watershedsprojects in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and similar initiatives in Brazil.

    These projects are using innovative ways of planning at micro-catchment level and pooling funds from various sources, including private sector, to support improved land and water management and increase productivity, mainly in dairy systems. This allows farmers to more easily comply with the forest and water protection laws, which would otherwise require large farmland set-asides.

    In 2014, Kagera TAMP invited Rio Rural trainers to share their approach with colleagues from GIZ-financed projects in Kenya and the Watershed Trust Organization (WOTR) in India. Training materials will be available here in 2015.

    More information

    For more details contact:

    Emmanuel Muligirwa, Kagera TAMP National Project Manager in Rwanda ([email protected])
    Salvator Ndabirorere, Kagera TAMP National Project Manager in Burundi (Salvator. [email protected])
    Bernardete Neves, Incentives for Ecosystem Services in Agriculture ([email protected])
    James Batchelor, Catchment dynamics, ([email protected])