Good practices in
community-based approaches to integrated land and water management in Africa
David Read Barker
There is an ongoing paradigm shift among resource
managers and development practitioners from a sectoral to a more cross-sectoral
approach to address land and water issues.
The Operational Program on Integrated Ecosystem Management (OP #12) of
the Global Environment Program (GEF) is a good example of this paradigm shift.
Its objective is to catalyze widespread adoption of comprehensive
ecosystem interventions that integrate ecological, economic and social goals to
achieve multiple and cross-cutting benefits at the local, national and global
The integrated land and water management approach
provides the framework for the implementation of the Africa Land and Water
Initiative, which was launched in March 1999 by the heads of the GEF and its
implementing agencies—the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In its May 2000 meeting, the GEF
Governing Council approved a statement of OP#12 that is posted at
on the GEF’s website.
In recent years, the GEF Secretariat has commissioned
studies from the network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are
accredited for consultation with the GEF. In 1999, the
Monitoring & Evaluation Unit of the GEF Secretariat contracted with the IUCN,
which was at the time the Central Focal Point of the GEF-NGO Network, to conduct
a review of NGO perspectives on achieving sustainability in biodiversity
conservation. In December 1999,
Monitor International, a U.S.-based NGO, became the Central Focal Point of the
Network and began discussions with the GEF Secretariat about the Africa Land and
Water Initiative in March 2000. This
study is one outcome of the discussions.
The formal objective of the study is to compile,
synthesize and disseminate case studies of good practices on community-based
approaches to integrated land and water management, including traditional
systems. The underlying need for
the study is two-fold. First, the
concept of integrated land and water management is sufficiently new that it is
useful to have a few good examples of what such an undertaking looks like.
And second, one of the greatest challenges of the Africa Land and Water
Initiative will be to use the available funds to finance successful projects
that produce real positive benefits.
Monitor International commissioned the case studies
the Environmental Liaison Centre International (ELCI), an NGO based in Nairobi
that has been active in the GEF-NGO Network.
In light of ELCI’s extensive contacts with community-based
organizations and NGOs dealing with desertification and integrated water
resources management in Africa, ELCI
took the lead to identify exemplary cases and
appropriate authors and to oversee the preparation of the case studies.
ELCI used its contacts with the GEF-NGO Network, with RIOD, and with its own
membership to identify potential cases and authors. The initial goal was to prepare twelve case studies of
successful community-based approaches to integrated land and water management,
representing different agro-ecological zones in Africa.
In the end, the case studies do not represent a systematic sample from
the agro-ecological zones of Sub-Saharan Africa, but they do describe an
extraordinary diversity of settings and activities.
One of the twelve studies was prepared as a video and is not included in
The final drafts of the case studies were prepared by
12 different authors, one each for ten of the studies and two authors for one.
The authors of the eleven individual case studies have quite varied
relationships with the cases they describe.
Several of the authors work for organizations that have been actively
involved in the cases, and several are independent journalists or consultants
who have had more limited and task-focused contact with the case.
None of the case studies constitutes an independent “evaluation” of
projects or activities, and all of them reflect quite distinctive points of
The outline for all of the case studies was set
during the initial discussions between Monitor International and the GEF
Secretariat. Each case study is
2,500 to 3,000 words in length and conforms to the following outline:
The titles of the case studies, which have been
assigned to convey both the substantive gist of the study and its location, and
they have been assigned a serial number, for ease of reference, as follows:
1. Managing Lake Naivasha
2. Funding Serengeti Wildlife Conservation
3. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project
4. Community Forests in Tanzania
5. Constructed Wetlands in Kenya
6. Managing the Loita Naimina Enkiyio Forest
7. Restoring the Magute Spring, Zimbabwe
8. Managing Desertification in Namibia
9. Self-Help in Kola, Kenya
10. Changing Customary Land
Use in Turkana
11. River Water Users
Associations in Kenya
The case studies are drawn from six countries in
Eastern and Southern Africa. Six
cases--Lake Naivasha (1), Constructed wetlands (5), Loita Naimina Enkiyio Forest
(6), Self-Help in Kola (9), Changing customary land use in Turkana (10) and
River water users associations (11)—are in Kenya. Two cases—Community forests (4) and Serengeti wildlife
conservation (2)—are in Tanzania. Once
case each is in Zimbabwe (Magute Spring, 7) and Namibia
(Managing desertification, 8). And
one case, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (3), straddles Lesotho and South
All but one of the case studies describes local
community conservation efforts. The
exception is the Lesotho Highlands
Water Project (3), which differs from the others in both its international scope
and massive engineering scale.
The GEF Operational Program on Integrated Ecosystem Management
OP #12 states that experience gained from natural
resource management programs throughout the world offers three useful insights
into the application of integrated ecosystem management to optimize positive
ecological, economic, and social benefits of activities aimed at maintaining or
restoring ecosystem structure and function.
These insights, or lessons, indicate: (1) it may be necessary to define
the management scale to encompass an entire ecosystem; (2) natural resource
management programs should integrate economic and social factors into ecosystem
management goals; and (3) management planning should be flexible and adaptive.
OP # 12 aims at catalyzing widespread adoption of comprehensive ecosystem management interventions that integrate ecological, economic, and social goals to achieve multiple and cross-cutting local, national, and global benefits. Consistent with the incremental cost principle and the broad programmatic approach of this Operational Program, GEF funding, which will specifically support interventions to capture the global benefits of a program, will emphasize co-financing and cost-sharing.
The expected outcomes of a GEF-supported intervention
would include: (1) creation of an enabling environment, (2) institutional
strengthening, and (3) Investments. GEF would facilitate sustainable transitions from
conventional to integrated ecosystem management approaches by providing agreed
incremental cost finance for technical assistance, investments, financial
services, and targeted research to address constraints limiting the adoption of
The first insight, or lesson, of the Operational
Program for Integrated Ecosystem Management is:
may be necessary to define the management scale beyond the boundaries of a
single habitat type, conservation area, political or administrative unit to
encompass an entire ecosystem.
Although this lesson may be valid and important, the
case studies suggest that the day-to-day existence of most people—and their
projects—occurs in much smaller biophysical units. Watersheds are clearly the most important of these units,
followed by forest boundaries.
Three of the case studies deal directly with
watersheds. Only one study, the
Lesotho Highlands Water Project (3) , explicitly noted the issue of ecosystem
boundaries, perhaps because this is the only international project among the
case studies and because it involves inter-basin water transfers, through huge
tunnels. The Managing Lake Naivasha
(1) study identifies the biggest threats as the burgeoning human population,
extractions from the lake’s main feeder river, the Malewa, and continuing
destruction of the forests that provide vital catchment. The River Water Users
Associations study (11) notes that land use within river catchments impacts
river hydrology, and deforesting a catchment has the potential to increase flood
flows, decrease dry season baseflows, and increase sediment load in the river.
The one case study that focuses on wildlife
conservation in the north-west Serengeti (2) and two of the studies that focus
on forest management (in Tanzania, 4, and in the Loita Naimina Enkiyio Forest,
6) suggest that very useful conservation activities can be carried out on a
scale that is much smaller than an area described by its vegetation.
The study on managing desertification in Namibia (8) showed that a broad
set of indicators, such as the Index of Biological Integrity, is superior to
vegetation-based assessments in determining range condition. The study on
customary land use in Turkana (10) illuminated the complex mental maps of the
south Turkana people, who live in a highly dynamic landscape of diverse
habitats, where outsiders see only a “great expanse of dusty red broken
sporadically by dots of green.”
All but two of the case studies describe very
“intimate” settings that seem to span no more territory than can be reached
in a couple of hours walking, or less. The
villagers in the north-west Serengeti who watch for poachers; the villagers who
look after the Loita Maimina Enkiyio Forest; the residents of Dambakupetwa kraal
who look after the Magute spring; villagers near the Duru-Haitemba Forest; the
members of the Utooni Self-help Group in Kola; the south Turkana pastoralists;
and the businessmen who have constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment—all
of these subjects of the case studies live in microcosms of ecosystems.
Human factors in
The second lesson of the Operational Program for
Integrated Ecosystem Management is:
the needs of human beings play a major role in the disturbance of ecosystems,
natural resource management programs should integrate economic and social
factors into ecosystem management goals.
and District governments.
Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have important new forest laws in
draft or already enacted. Many of
these laws show a willingness to involve ordinary citizens in the process of
securing and managing forest and catchment areas.
A recent and radical approach looks to forest-local citizens not as
co-operands of government management regimes, but as potential forest owners and
managers themselves, through the framework of community forests, an entirely new
class of protected forest. With
incentive to control local forests, communities will be less willing to see them
disappear into private farmland or be used unsustainably and will determine to
retain the forest intact, to the benefit of the community as a whole.
In 1989, the central government of Tanzania decided
to convert the Duru-Haitemba forest into a National Forest Reserve, which meant
extinguishing local tenure over the forest.
Both local communities and outsiders took this as a signal to extract as
much as they could from the forest before it was lost to them, and within five
years it was almost entirely degraded. Villagers
argued that they could protect what remained more effectively than government
and, with government approval, implemented a management plan that within a few
months put the forest on the road to recovery.
Since then, the eight villages have approved Village By-laws that must be
upheld by local magistrates. With new land laws enacted in 1999, Tanzania has
created an entirely new form of land ownership, commonhold, which gives legal
weight and form to the customary capacity to hold certain properties such as
forests as group-owned private property.
In Zimbabwe, the Dambakupetwa community, on the
Magute Stream, decided that they needed outside assistance to help them revive
the spring. They invited extension
officers from the Zimbabwe government’s Agricultural Extension Services (Agritex)
department and from the Nyanga Rural District Council to help them replace lost
trees, wild fruits and other useful fauna and flora.
Traditional bodies of elders receive generally very favorable treatment
in the case studies. Perhaps the
most dramatic example is in restoring the Magute Spring: when the community realized that their shifting vegetable
gardens and orchards had gone as far as possible up the Magute stream, they held
a meeting with their traditional elders and decided it was time to stop the
practices that had almost led to their own extinction.
The community established several new institutions—a Village Natural
Resources Council, a Village Works Committee, and a local court headed by a
village headman. To link the
community with the environment, they “put together a set of rules” that that
bridged everyday and mystical behavior. People
were stopped from cutting trees, cultivating, digging for worms and grazing
cattle along the stream, and they were forbidden to show disrespect to the
spirits and mermaids of the spring, by using pots with soot, doing laundry, or
killing wild animals that used the spring.
In 1993 the Loita Maasai formed the Loita Naimina
Enkiyio Conservation Trust (LNECT) to act as the community’s manager and
custodian of the Loita Naimina Enkiyio Forest.
The Trust incorporated formal political structures into a basically
traditional one whose officials were a mix of traditional leaders, NGO workers,
government representatives and politicians.
Shortly thereafter, the Narok County Council announced its intention to
turn the Loita Naimina Enkiyio Forest into a nature reserve and open it for
large-scale commercial tourism. The
following year, the LNCET won a court ruling barring the Council from turning
the forest into a nature reserve. But
the community will have to accept a new property regime in order to secure their
land and forest; they must go completely against their spirit of communality by
privatizing the land and creating both individual and group holdings.
As one elder put it, “Now there is need not just to go with the
traditional way of doing things but to create a new forest management policy and
a new way of policing the forest.”
The Turkana people of north-eastern Kenya have shown
their resilience, determination and capacity to innovate new responses to the
droughts of the 1990s. In the past,
south Turkana pastoralists lived and moved in units of one or two families in
search of water and pasture for grazing livestock, but beginning in the 1980s,
the constant threat of violent robbery and death by marauding armed bandits
forced the pastoralists to form extensive areas of the range with mutually
observed boundaries, in which they congregate and graze their livestock under
the control of perimeter guards. Many
conservationists view these larger concentrations of livestock as
environmentally destructive, but the new arrangements provide pastoralists with
additional means of dealing with risk and prevent them from falling out of
reciprocal networks that are needed to rebuild herds following drought.
organizations and affinity groups.
Several case studies note that community-based organizations play a
The Utooni Self-Help Group was started in 1978 in the
town of Kola, Machakos District, Kenya, by six families from Utooni.
The instigator was a young employee of the National Council of Churches
of Kenya, Joshua Mukusya, who revived the colonial-era art of building sand
dams. He carefully enlisted the
support of the village elders, and in the ensuing years, the group has built 105
dams and more than 8,500 gutter and water tank systems.
Lake Naivasha Riparian Association
Three of the case studies give some insight into the roles and behavior
of established businesses, and one case features an SME scheme.
In Kenya, the Lake Naivasha Growers Group, consisting
of 20 commercial flower growers, has initiated a comprehensive code of conduct
covering all aspects of its operations, from water usage and the application of
pesticides to the reduction of fertilizers and human waste, workers’ welfare,
the containment of run off, and a ban on lakeside farming. The Group’s
executive officer undertakes regular audits of its members’ farms
In Tanzania, a large number of private sector
wildlife enterprises operate in the north-west Serengeti.
These commercial tour operators generate substantial profits and depend
on local communities’ support to
conserve wildlife. Recently tourist concerns and communities in the north-west
buffer zones have negotiated a number of innovative partnerships and agreements.
The Wildlife Department has introduced a voluntary levy on tourist
hunting equivalent to 10% above normal trophy fees, which could generate
revenues of up to $20,000 a year for the region.
Two private companies have taken the voluntary levy to 20% above the fees
the government charges. The fees
fund local anti-poaching teams and provide cash rewards for activities and
information on poachers. Participating
villages receive game culling licenses and a share of the meat hunted by
tourists, and the scheme generated a third of a million dollars between 1990 and
1993. But alongside such success stories there are an equal number
of disasters caused by companies that do not act in the best interest of either
local communities or wildlife conservation.
There are now six fully operational constructed
wetlands (CW) in Kenya, one treating sewage from a restaurant and resort and one
at a country club, both in the greater Nairobi area.
Another treats sewage from a new tourist camp in the Maasai Mara Game
Reserve. A Lake Naivasha, there is
one agro-chemical buffer for the lake and a CW that handles commercial laundry
effluent. At the Nandi Hills, a CW
at a tea factory recycles agricultural waste and toilet effluent.
In total, these constructed wetlands return just over 500,000 liters of
cleaned water daily to various surface water systems for safe use by others.
In Zimbabwe, the people of Dambakupetwa kraal
began making soap and jam from plantings at the restored Magute Spring, income
generation from sustainable harvest of natural resources.
Community members make soap by adding soda to oil extracted from jatropha
seeds, and they make marmalade jam from lemons on the abandoned trees near the
spring. Money from the jam, soap
making and garden projects is deposited in separate bank accounts, and the
community has agreed not to use the money until they have a substantial amount
to share equally among them all.
NGOs receive mixed reviews in the case studies.
One dynamic that emerges clearly is the different agendas of the big NGOs
operating from Europe and North America and the usually much small local and
national NGOs operating in Africa. In
at least two cases, the international NGOs dominated the locals.
In the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (3), the International Rivers
Network and the Environmental Defense Fund initially took a position quite
different from that of local NGOs. And
over the years, several international NGOs have helped the Utooni Self-Help
Group in Kola, Kenya (9): World Neighbours has conducted trainings and paid
allowances to committee members, and scouts from the UK provide money for
building materials and help in building water tanks and gutters.
But an arm’s length relationship is important. The Group’s founder said, “When planning our work we have
tried to avoid being dominated by NGOs. We
have made sure that NGOs don’t dictate what we do with the money they give
Globalization and the interplay among local, national, and global forces
is a theme that appears in several of the case studies.
The study on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project recounts how the World
Bank was pressured by local and international NGOs to stop its objectionable
practices and to conduct an environmental impact assessment before it lent funds
for Phase IB of the project. In
contrast, a positive turning point in the fortunes of the Lake Naivasha Riparian
Association was receiving the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award, in 1999.
In the commercial realm, wholesalers and supermarket
chains in Europe who are increasingly concerned about their suppliers operations
make regular, unannounced audits of the flower growers around Lake Naivasha.
And the safari tour operators in the north-west Serengeti draw customers
from all over the world.
Among the individuals who are introduced in the case
studies, only a few have the global sophistication of Andrew Lord Enniskillen,
who is quoted as saying, “I want to get the message across to the World Bank
and to international governments that they should be putting pressure on Kenya
to conserve its natural resources.”
The first result of the intimate scale of the lives
of most of the subjects of the case studies is variously termed “local
knowledge” or “traditional wisdom.” Again
and again the case studies show local people to have the understanding to be
able to protect, preserve, and restore their immediate surroundings.
In some cases, such as restoring the Magute Spring, this is accomplished
with the support of nature spirits, and in other cases, such as managing the
Loita Naimina Enkiyio forest, it requires the threat of curses.
of land and water resource use
All but one of the case studies paints a stark
picture resource scarcity; the only case of abundant resources is Lesotho, which
has much more water than it requires for its own needs.
Among the ten other cases, it is difficult to correlate resource use
patterns with successful new forms of ecosystem management.
Throughout the huge six-country area ecompassed by the case studies,
nomadic, semi-nomadic and sedentary pastoralists are found co-mingled among
shifting and sedentary cultivators. Aside
from the modern flower and vegetable farms near Lake Naivasha, irrigation is not
present or is only a marginal factor, even among the sand-dam builders of Kota,
who use impounded water primarily for domestic consumption rather than
Rainfall fluctuates widely and irregularly throughout
the region touched on by the case studies, and traditional resource use systems
set aside special areas as reserves in time of drought. Population growth and
the spread of farming has put tremendous pressure on these reserves, to the
point that Loita Naimina Enkiyio is the only untouched forest among the case
Resource scarcity promotes a “get it while you
can” outlook that is vividly described in several studies, especially
community forestry in Tanzania, in which the villagers of Duru-Haitemba began to
pillage their own traditional lands in anticipation of their conversion into a
national nature reserve.
Community land and water tenure systems
point that emerges clearly from these studies (and others from elsewhere around
the world) is that the process of removing forests from local control and
bringing them into national systems is almost certain to leave the forests
vulnerable to uncontrolled exploitation that ends only when they are essentially
ruined. The studies of community
forestry in Tanzania and the Loita Naimina Enkiyio Forest in Kenya illustrate
the process convincingly.
solution is apparently very complex, and perhaps it has not been found anywhere
yet, but the new forest and land laws in Tanzania seem to be on the right track,
and the legal predicament of the Loita Maasai in being unable to manage their
forest suggests that more legal work is needed in Kenya. Traditional communal tenure systems apply, but as pressure
from population growth and frequent droughts persist, Loitans recognise that in
order to secure their land and forest, they have to accept a new property
regime: privatisation with a mix of individual and group holdings.
duality of upstream versus downstream is developed in three of the five cases
that touch on watershed management. For
the Lesotho Highland Water Project, a recent Instream Flow Requirements study
suggests that if development continues as planned, Lesotho’s rivers could
deteriorate to “something akin to waste-water drains” and that upstream
riparian communities will experience critically severe increases of diseases.
Lake Naivasha is declining in part because of extraction of water from
its tributary. And the River Water
Users Association study recounts the formation of an association on the Ngara
Nything/Sirgon to prevent water abstractors from taking as much as possible.
two of the studies suggest a complex picture of watershed management.
In the case of the Magute Spring, it was the people of Dambakupetwa
themselves who initially degraded the rivulet, which they restored just before
it was destroyed. In the area
around Kola Town, Kenya, the Utooni
Self-help Group has built 105 sand dams that have impounded sufficient water to
reduce disease, but not hunger. The Group now needs to focus on how to use the reservoirs
the case of funding Serengeti wildlife conservation raises the issue of
concessions to private enterprises to control land use for private benefit, but
it suggests that such concessions are likely to fill central government and
private coffers at the expense of local people.
six of the constructed wetlands presently in operation in Kenya are situated on
privately owned land, which is probably because municipalities have been so
reluctant to experiment with them.
Origin and rationale for adopting the
greater or lesser degree, nearly all of the management systems described in the
case studies can be categorized as being reactive, rather than proactive.
In at least eight of the cases, the situation described in the study was
prompted either by environmental degradation or by the imposition of
restrictions on traditional resource use and management practices.
Environmental degradation stimulated the Lake Naivasha Riparian
Association to develop its management plan; prompted the people of Dambakupetwa
to restore the Magute spring; pushed the people of Kola to organize the Utooni
Self-Help Group and build sand dams; and motivated the people of the Ngare
Nythin/Sirgon watershed to organize a river water users association.
In contrast to these four cases, which began from either “natural”
causes or from unregulated but “normal” behavior, it was the constant threat of robbery and death from armed
bandits that drove the south Turkana people to concentrate their herds—and
themselves—into larger self-defense groups.
In two cases, villagers were threatened with expropriation of their land
by distant government entities: the
Narok District Council in the case of the Loita Maasai, the central government
of Tanzania in the case of the Duru-Haitemba forest dwellers.
In the north-west Serengeti wildlife conservation case, the external
threat to villagers’ livelihoods came from safari tour operators and their
customers, backed by government.
might be argued whether the three “proactive” management systems are really
that at all, since they all represent responses to perceived problems.
They are: Namibia’s desertification management program, the Lesotho
Highlands Water Project, and the six commercial constructed wetlands in Kenya.
Both groups of case studies head toward the same conclusion, which is that national governments and modern commercial enterprises are endowed levels of with autonomy and power that is not granted to villagers. Throughout the case studies, villagers are either trying to correct the environmental damage their or their upstream neighbors have caused, or they are defending themselves from laws that will even further erode the powers they still have.
the one case that is private sector-driven—constructed wetlands in Kenya—
decisions are apparently made at the level of the firm, for the benefit of the
firm’s owners. All of the ten
other case studies sketch a collective decision-making process.
Adaptive Management Strategies
third lesson of the Operational Program for Integrated Ecosystem Management is:
ecosystems are dynamic, management planning should be flexible and adaptive so
that management strategies can be adjusted in response to new information and
One of the most striking themes that pervades all of
the case studies is the accelerating rate of change. The situation is not simply that everything is changing
quicker than can be managed, but the future will be even more different than the
past. The environmental impact of
human population growth is noted in nearly all of the cases, but this is only
the beginning of this story, because the greatest challenge for all of the
actors in these cases is to create new forms of social organization quickly
enough to “get caught up.”
importance of adaptive management is most clearly drawn in the case of the
Lesotho Highland Water Project (LHWP). The
project is caught between the binding legal agreements reached between Lesotho
and South Africa, on the one hand, and the myriad negative environmental
consequences of proceeding, on the other hand.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of the lessons to be drawn
from the LHWP, but these are on a different scale of magnitude from the rest of
the case studies give a picture of “trial and error” and “making it up as
we go along” as the operating principles.
The time frame is set more by climatic cycles and court cases than by
planned management efforts, and the best of the new community land & water
management entities appear to have all the flexibility and adaptive capacity
that they need. Examples of these
successful organizations are: the Loita Naimina Enkiyio Conservation Trust; the
Dambakupetwa Magute Spring Protection and Management Project; the Lake Naivasha
Riparian Association; the Utooni
Self-Help Group; and the Dream Camp facility at Ilhara village, in the
Science & technology
modern science and technology point a way toward sustainable land and water
management in Africa? The case
studies highlight the extent to which science & technology are still very
limited to the formal economy and national policy.
Science and technology play a relatively marginal role in the study
most interesting scientific work described in the case studies is the Index of
Biological Integrity that was used to measure habitat and range condition in
Namibia’s programme to combat desertification, NAPCOD.
far the most interesting innovative technology described in the case studies is
constructed wetlands (5), which obviously have tremendous potential.
Suggestions for the GEF
GEF’s operational program for integrated ecosystem management aims to catalyze
widespread adoption of comprehensive ecosystem management interventions that
integrate ecological, economic, and social goals to achieve multiple and
cross-cutting local, national, and global benefits. The expected outcomes of GEF-supported interventions will
include: (1) creation of an enabling environment, (2) institutional
strengthening, and (3) investments. GEF
would facilitate sustainable transitions from conventional to integrated
ecosystem management approaches by providing agreed incremental cost finance for
technical assistance, investments, financial services, and targeted research to
address constraints limiting the adoption of integrated approaches.
A catalytic role
The most obvious conclusion to be drawn from these
case studies is that there is no reliable formula for success in managing land
and water in Africa. The different
pieces of the puzzle that make success fit together in numerous ways.
The Law of Unintended Consequences is always active, and productive
initiatives in one setting may not work in different times or places.
role of catalyst is among the most desired by the actors on the stage of
international development, but the GEF has emerged as the pre-eminent source of
funding for environmental protection on a global scale.
To play this role effectively will require further maturation of the
active learning process that the GEF initiated in the biological diversity and
international waters portfolios, with the objective of identifying what works in
one setting and how to replicate the success in other settings.
case studies suggest strongly that a lack of capital is not a key problem, which
is to be found in the impact of a growing population on a degrading resource
base, compounded by the imposition of laws that may constrain a community’s
capacity to manage its traditional natural resource base. Overall, the case studies point much more toward GEF
interventions for technical assistance and targeted research than for
investments, especially large-scale investments.
Large-Scale Terrestrial Ecosystems are taken to be the basic frames of
action in African land and water projects (as Large-Scale Marine Ecosystems have
become in GEF international waters projects), then many of the new projects
should define the intervention territory on the basis of watersheds.
is truly to perform a catalytic role, the GEF will need to apply its incremental
cost financing to quite small-scale projects.
In particular, these projects should focus on the enabling environment
and on increasing institutional capacity. Regarding
the enabling environment, they should focus on land, forest and water laws,
regulations and ordinances.
projects should demonstrate participation by multiple stakeholders, including
NGOs and CBOs as well as private enterprises.
GEF-supported projects for community-based integrated land and water management should be small and medium-size. This will put a premium on the UNDP among the Implementing Agencies, since UNEP does not have a national-level mandate or strong presence on the ground in most of Africa, and the World Bank is focused on bigger investments than OP#12 seems to need now.