Positioning the Kagera TAMP Project in the PES Landscape of East Africa
Market based mechanisms and particularly payments for ecosystem services (PES) represent an increasingly disseminated mechanism to give value to ecosystem services and thereby include their provision/consumption in natural resource management (NRM) decisions. Such mechanisms are integrated in the logical framework of the Kagera TAMP. PES may also be supportive in achieving the key objectives and target indicators of the project, notably: implement sustainable land and agro-ecosystem management practices; increase in NRM-based income of farmers; reduction of sediment load in representative micro-catchments; training of farmers; and enabling regional cooperation. Within the Kagera TAMP, PES hold the potential to be applied for: restoring degraded watersheds and pastures; enabling protected areas for tourism and biodiversity; reforestation of degraded treeless landscapes; sustainable agro-ecological production systems.
In the East African region the PES concept is disseminating slowly with pilot projects on the rise. During the PES conference in Jinja, Uganda and the research in the Kagera TAMP area it became clear that there is a high need and interest to exchange information, create a well-connected regional PES network and a need to foster a more comprehensive understanding of PES in order to raise awareness on the possibilities that this mechanism contains for incentivating sustainable land management (SLM) . With the Network for Environmental Services in Africa (NESA) one step in this direction has been taken. In the next step towards the dissemination of PES in the region the focus should be on spreading the knowledge and capacity on PES, scaling-up existing experiences and mainstreaming PES into national policy frameworks and institutions. Making this a governmentally owned- process is therein of central importance.
Important ES in the region, possibly central in contributing additional funding for ES conservation are carbon schemes. The contribution of East Africa to the global carbon offset market is increasing slowly. Important developments are the increased activity of the BioCarbon Fund and the World Bank and the development of national programmes for climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as sustainable energy programmes. A growing number of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects are being developed and all four countries of Kagera TAMP have assigned a Designated National Authority (DNA) and focal point for CDM projects.
Seven PES projects have been considered more closely. Two of these are directly within the Kagera TAMP area, both focusing on the ecosystem service (ES) relating to the carbon cycle. The additional cases are adding insights on PES schemes focusing on watershed management and biodiversity conservation and hold an informative position in the region. The schemes are contributing to foster the adaptation of different land-use practices as well as the organization of farmers into groups that foster cooperation beyond PES issues. Most PES schemes in operation in the region focus on carbon sequestration (reforestation projects), a few on biodiversity protection (e.g. shade coffee, organic production, community based conservation) and two established watershed management schemes have been identified (Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania and Naivasha project, Kenya).
A substantial limit to all projects is the issue of finding sufficient potential buyers that are willing to sign a binding commitment and that enable the project to move to a stable financing structure independent from additional financial sources and donors. Often also ES are considered as open access resource and ES stewards are at the same time consumers with a low purchasing power. Supportive national frameworks and regulating policies to create a reliable framework for PES projects are lacking. This is connected to limited capacities and knowledge on the potential of PES mechanisms. Showing the economic value of ES and the costs connected to their loss, thus building a business case is a valuable approach in the development of PES projects. Baseline studies have to be undertaken, critical ES and areas identified and the advance of national frameworks and assigned authorities fostered.
The role the Kagera TAMP can play in connection to PES can cover different aspects:
- Firstly, Kagera TAMP could seek cooperation with the PES ongoing projects that are immediately within the TAMP area and support their scaling-up or replication. The central actors here are Plan Vivo, Vi Agroforestry and ECOTRUST.
- Kagera TAMP could also focus on capacity building for PES at the national and regional level through: encouraging/supporting national authorities in expertise development; supporting national/ international NGOs active in the countries in their efforts to enhance PES; and supporting baseline studies/ analysis of the institutional environment concerning PES, in the frame of a workshop for example.A third aspect may be the direct support of new PES projects. A number of actors present in Jinja hold experience with baseline assessments, PES preparation and development, ranging from legal to technical expertise. Amongst the actors that have voiced their interest in a possible cooperation with TAMP on PES are: Plan Vivo, ECOTRUST, WCS, ACODE, ICRAF, PRESA, WWF and VIRED.
Berttram, D. (2011). Positioning the Kagera TAMP Project in the PES Landscape of East Africa. Internship Report. Kagera Transboundary Agro-ecosystem Management Project. UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).