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Tag: stewardship

Sharing Insights on Stewardship Partnerships at the Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Dialogue in South Africa

From 13-15 March 2023, stakeholders from the public sector, representatives of regional economic communities (RECs), academic and research institutions, the scientific community, and civil society gathered to share knowledge, and experience in the “Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Dialogue, transitioning to resilient farming in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).”  

At the conference, our NatuReS colleague, Aristarick Mkenda, shared insights from stewardship partnerships in the Pangani Basin in Tanzania. The dialogue was convened by the Transforming Smallholder Irrigation in Southern Africa (TISA) consortium in collaboration with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus in Pretoria, South Africa. The conference theme was “Transitioning to Climate-Resilient Farming Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA),” focusing on the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices.

The Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Dialogue Goals:

The Policy Dialogue aimed to accomplish the following: 

  • Share data demonstrating the value of climate-smart farming in SSA’s transition to resilient farming communities. 
  • Provide suggestions on how to scale up the development of climate-smart and resilient farming systems in SSA. 
  • Networking and encouraging collaborations and action 

Social inclusion in the context of agriculture and food systems, water resources use, and climate action, was one of the conference’s important sub-themes. Communities, women and youths crucially contribute to agriculture and SSA catchments as farmers, workers and entrepreneurs.  Depending on the regions, these groups face distinct constraints that reduce their productivity and limit their contributions to agricultural production, family livelihoods, and economic growth. As a result, the importance of context-sensitive and inclusive approaches to support them was emphasized. 

Presentation on: Addressing Water Security through Water Stewardship Partnerships. Experiences from the Pangani Basin in Tanzania

NatuReS colleague Aristarick Mkenda shared perspectives on stewardship partnerships as a possible solution to increase effective stakeholder participation and representation to address shared challenges in water-stressed catchments. Sustainable and participatory water management, thereby, is fundamental to sustainable agriculture. His presentation was based on his co-authored scientific article (Richards et al., 2022) for the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) that analysed the partnership approach as a solution for inclusive participation. The partnerships facilitated by NatuReS in the Pangani River Basin in Tanzania served as empirical data. 

Stewardship partnerships answer other IWRM implementation gaps. For example, additional financing from private sector partners can overcome the need for more funds to implement projects. 

A productive discussion with the participants followed the presentation, in which challenges and their possible solutions of stewardship partnerships were discussed, such as costs of participation and balanced involvement of the private sector.  

Collaboration to Address the Growing Complexity in the Agricultural Sector

In the concluding remarks of the conferences, Prof. Jammie Pittock from Australian National University (ANU) highlighted that the objectives in the agricultural sector have become much more complicated since they have grown from simply producing food to cover diverse societal needs and adapting to climate variability. The complexity of the issues and topics in agriculture is making collaborations and partnerships between individuals and sectors more important now than ever.  

We thank the “Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Dialogue” and its inspiring participants for the invitation and the productive conference days and are looking forward to more valuable exchanges. 

For more information about addressing water security through water stewardship partnerships, you can access the research article here

Stewardship for Armenian Lake Sevan: 3-day training for cross-sectoral cooperation

The Armenian Lake Sevan is the country’s most important source of fresh water, irrigation, aquaculture, and hydropower. Armenia’s economic, social, and environmental potential is linked to the lakes’ ecological conditions. However, the lake is severely endangered by unsustainable water management, pollution, rising water demands, environmental degradation, and climate change.

Lake Sevans’ crucial functions are impeded by unsustainable water management


Recognizing Lake Sevan’s socio-economic and environmental importance and the necessity to manage better this essential natural resource, stakeholders from Armenians’ public, private sector, and civil society decided to join forces. They sought guidance on how to effectively build multi-stakeholder partnerships to improve natural resources management around Lake Sevan collectively.

Enabling collective action to address water issues

From the 25th – 27th of January 2023, NatuReS, on behalf of the program ‘Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan’ (EU4Sevan), conducted a three-day online training for 24 participants. The training was about natural resources stewardship and collective, cross-sectoral action. The aim was to enable stakeholders to jointly set up a partnership for improved environmental management of Lake Sevan.

Interactive exercises and showcasing of the Natural Resources Risk and Action Framework

The participants were introduced to the NatuReS guiding framework to set up and accompany stewardship partnerships, the Natural Resources Risk and Action Framework (NRAF) By testing a set of NRAF tools within interactive breakout room discussions, they practiced the development of their own multi-stakeholder partnership around Lake Sevan.

Trainees’ exchanged perspectives and analyzed joint risks

Throughout the event, the participants exchanged their knowledge and perspectives on risks affecting their different sectors. Putting themselves in the situation of another sector, the participants discover joint risks resulting from the pollution and mismanagement of resources around the lake. Trainees, for example, discussed water pollution as leading to health risks, income losses for fishermen and tourism, and public dissatisfaction, among others. This displays, that while water pollution affects all sectors, it leads to different risks. They can be operational, reputational or regulatory, for the different sectors. This in the past has often represented a hurdle for coming up with good solutions. However, only by addressing challenges across sectors can effective solutions be developed, implemented and maintained in the long term.

A foundation for a partnership at Lake Sevan

Participants were also trained in best practices to ensure efficient division of responsibilities for their future partnership based on NatuReS approach. The training created a foundation for the participants to identify relevant stakeholders and set up their own partnership. 

NatuRes thanks all participants and the EU4LakeSevan team for the productive days and the exciting insights into the environmental situation in Armenia. We wish them success in their future endeavors!

Community Engagement for Flood Resilience Provides New Hope in Kampala’s Informal Settlements

In the informal settlements in the outskirts of Greater Kampala’s Central Business District, improper solid waste management results in the clogging of drainage systems. This, in addition to the seasonal downpours, whose intensification is attributed to climate change, have exposed already vulnerable communities to a high risk of seasonal urban flash flooding. This is intensified by the fact that Kampala’s informal settlements are situated in flood-prone low-lying areas.

Associated with the floods are huge socio-economic losses due to the damage of assets and goods, and disruption of business and work operations. Nakato Caroline, a small business owner and resident of Sembule A Zone in Nalukulongo, states that floods continuously disrupt her retail shop by destroying valuable merchandise and leaving her shop inaccessible to customers. This worsens the financial strain on her family. She cites the insufficient plastic waste management as a major contributor to the clogging of the channels and the consequent flooding in her community.

flooding Kampala

The game changer: collective action

To sustainably build the resilience of these communities to flooding, the Greater Kampala Integrated Flood Resilience Partnership, supported by the Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS), is spearheading community action for flood resilience in two flood hotspots in Kampala’s informal settlements of Kinawataka and Nalukolongo. This partnership is being championed by ACTogether Uganda and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) through a project dubbed Community Action for Flood Resilience.” ACTogether is a Ugandan Civil Society Organisation affiliated with Slum Dwellers International (SDI) which supports the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda by facilitating processes that develop organizational capacity at the local level and promote pro-poor policy and practice in Uganda’s urban arena.

The “Community Action for Flood Resilience” project under the partnership empowers and builds the capacity of vulnerable communities to take the lead in the fight against floods. This is done through community-centered behavioural change activities to reduce the quantity of solid waste ending up in the drainage channels.

Through the project, 10 community members (5 from Kinawataka and 5 from Nalukulongo sub-catchments) were trained to become flood control champions, equipped with knowledge on the causes, effects, mitigation, and adaptation measures to the flooding challenges in their respective communities. The flood control champions are community members who were already spearheading awareness and dialogue sessions aimed at sensitizing their fellow community members on issues like malaria etc.  

flood champions
65 residents of Sembule A Zone in Nalukulongo, Rubaga Division, were sensitized on flood risks and mitigation measures by flood control champions trained under the partnership. Copyright: GIZ/Ebong Willy Bunga

Community initiative under a partnership approach

The actions of the trained flood control champions have had a cascading impact in these communities, particularly in terms of a positive mindset change towards communities’ capacities for flood resilience. They organized and conducted community dialogues called settlement forums, as well as community radio talk shows. Through these, the communities have been trained on urban flood risk and practical mitigation measures to enable them to control floods in their areas. Morever, they provided a platform for dialogue with other stakeholders and duty bearers, such as community leaders, on the flooding. These include causes, effects, and ways to collectively contribute to addressing them.

Through the settlement forums, community-led monthly clean-up exercises have been taken up in Kinawataka and Nalukolongo. These have instilled a sense of community and social responsibility among the members. The communities acknowledge their contribution towards flooding through improper solid waste management. In turn, they collect solid waste and desilt clogged secondary and tertiary drainage channels within their surroundings that would otherwise contribute to the flooding. This is further complementing the Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) solid waste management and flood control efforts.

Kampala map
A map showing drainage channels, 588.79 meters long, cleaned up on 12th August 2022 in Kinawataka during a community clean-up activity. In this clean-up approximately 16 tons of solid waste, predominantly PET plastic, was collected from the channels. Copyright: GIZ

The flood control champions, officials, and community members speak out

As a follow-up to the actions led by the flood control champions and the communities, ACTogether organized community planning and review meetings. In these meetings, the flood champions, community leaders, government officials, and community members shared their experiences and lessons learned from the joint initiative. 

Nakato Leticia, one of the flood champions, expressed her excitement and gratitude for being a part of this partnership learning from experts’ proven ways to improve community flood resilience. In addition, she appreciated having a platform to disseminate this knowledge to members of her community.

However, the effects of the community-led clean-up efforts went much further: Nyanzi Bob, Head of the Solid Waste Management Unit at KCCA (Rubaga Division, in which also Nalukolongo is located), shared that they have also improved the relations between the Kampala Capital City Authority and the local communities. This only became possible by working together as partners for a common objective.

flooding Kampala

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Authors

Simon Peter Akena
Junior Advisor
GIZ-NatuReS
Willy Bunga
Junior Consultant
GIZ-NatuReS
Peter Mwambu
Project Manager
ACTogether Uganda

Invitation to the online event “Stewardship for Circular Economies”

The circular economy framework brings a new approach to waste and materials management, considering the whole life cycle of resources, while paying attention to sustainable production, supply and management of resources. Transitioning to a circular economy requires a collaborative effort from all sectors and can only succeed through coordination along supply chains and product cycles.

Stewardship has proven successful in promoting circular economies.

The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) supports multi-stakeholder partnerships in introducing circular economy practices. These partnerships bring together empowered communities, government stakeholders and a strong and engaging private sector to work on eye-level and jointly develop solutions to protect natural resources and promote sustainable economic growth.

During the event, representatives from public, private sector and civil society will share experiences, discuss best practices and reflect on lessons learned from promoting circular economies under a stewardship approach.

Join on the 6th of October to get hands-on insights! The event will take place online via MS Teams. Click here to join!

You will have the chance to listen to and discuss with the following panelists:

Public sector:

  • Patience Nsereko, Principal Environment Officer NEMA, Uganda
  • Kasenga Hara, Senior Inspector, National Water Supply and Sanitation Council, Zambia
  • Takele Desissa, Addis Ababa Cleansing Management Agency, Ethiopia

Private Sector:

  • Naa Adjeley Kome-Mensah, Kubik, Ethiopia
  • Andy Bownds, EcoBrix, Uganda

CSO:

  • Ian Matimba, People’s Process on Housing and Poverty, Zambia

Agenda for the event:

Time (CET)Item
10:00 – 10:15Opening and welcome address
10:15 – 10:45Partner journeys and experiences
10:45 – 11:00Questions and discussion
11:00 – 11.30Local solutions to circular economy partnerships
11:30 – 11:45Questions and discussion
11:45 – 12:00Closing remarks

This event is part of the Urban October:

More infos will follow soon. Stay tuned! In the meantime, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter!