During the period between February 25 – March 1, 2019, practitioners and researchers from Academic institutions from the Horn of Africa countries, GreenPeace Africa, African Model Forest Network (AMFN) – West Africa, policy makers, partners (WUR-CDI), participants from donor agencies (Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), African Union (AU), USA Embassy) and community representatives (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia (Somaliland), South Sudan and the Sudan convened in Addis Ababa at the HoA-REC&N’s Headquarters in Gullele Botanic Garden at the HoA-CCP Harvest workshop. During this event, the HoA-REC&N’s implementing Civil Society Organisations showcased four-year achievements of the Horn of Africa Climate Change Programme (HoA-CCP) in the intervention landscapes towards promoting sustainable landscapes management approaches as a route to building community resilience through effective community engagement and creating a broad-based landscape engagement platform. Alltogether, 60 participants from the Horn countries and our partner organizations across the globe participated in the events.
The objectives of the ‘Harvest workshop” were:
- Envisioning the Horn Region in the face of climate change impacts
- Showcasing achievements, success stories and sharing lessons learnt from HoA-CCP
- Reviewing framework proposal for interventions in HoA-CCP Phase II
Outcomes from the workshop
Take on message from the Keynote:’ Envisioning the Horn in the era of climate change’
From the keynote speech by executive director of GreenPeace Africa, it emerges that close to 12 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are in need of food assistance; families in the region face limited access to food and income; the pressures on families to migrate to urban areas is growing further, making the challenge of tackling climate change impacts even more urgent.Governments and policy makers are too ignorant to tackle the problem of on-going environmental degradation, which will dearly cost the future generation.
Collaboration and Coordination for sub-regional collective actions: The Horn of Africa region is unique in its historical, biophysical and cultural diversity and interconnectedness. Ecosystems are cross-border, hydrological networks, high level of diversity and endemism, human origin and commonly shared cultural values, languages and resources across borders. Hence, the HoAREC/N is a strategically important institution that created and cultivated the opportunity for obligatory but mutually beneficial collaboration among knowledge institutions and practitioners in the sub-region.
Recommended actions from the workshop theme
With just 12 years to act to avoid the worst impacts of climate change according to a special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on 1.5 degrees released in 2018, focus on ecological agriculture; access to water and human health; and regional policy coordination to scale up investment in landscape restoration initiatives and support resilience building across the Horn countries; explore a new basis of ecological transformation and develop new ways to develop wealth and negotiate innovations.
Country level achievements, lessons and experiences
In Assamo Landscape in Djibouti broadly, critical milestones have been achieved, which include: policy awareness and a shift in institutional mind-set in the areas of invasive species management; critical innovations in dryland farming; a new spirit of entrepreneurships among the youth and women groups in Assamo landscape; technological shift embracing solar technologies, the use of solar powered pumps, for productive use; women meeting and storage facility and a huge leap in women empowerment and gender agency; Djibouti regional government buy-in of the CCP project and positive support, among others.
In South Rift Landscape, Kenya achievements registered in areas of Community led integrated water resource management planning and water governance arrangement that has gained full support of the county government; innovative model of community led improved cattle breeding programme for managing cattle and livestock for their quality with strong ownership of the community; reducing pressure on Land and increasing livestock productivity; Combating degradation and improving range productivity; land use planning enabling communities to secure their land and livelihoods aligning communities with the requirements of Spatial planning; The private sectors in the landscape actively supporting landscape restoration activities; Women empowered through expanded business networks (national and international outreach); strong partnerships and increased engagement of academic institutions (National and International) in landscape approaches through Demand Driven Action Research (DDAR) in South Rift Landscape, among others.
In MaroodiJeex Landscape in Somaliland; Community water governance platforms created, empowering the community to take full responsibility in managing the water resources; individual farmers in the landscape are practicing various sustainable land management demonstrations (soil bunds and stone bunds); water and soil conservations practices demonstrated by the programme using farmlands of few households; soil and water conservation practices quickly picked up by the landscape’s community and deployed in the farming system spreading across the landscapes; increased productivity in the land; Strong partnerships established with private sectors in honey value chain and households’ managed poultry projects.
Through the Eco-Hub demonstration initiative in the Gambella Region of Ethiopia, sustainable landscape management approach promoted through the Eco-Hub concept in Gambella with significant influence on regional development policy, giving rise to the Integrated Land use Development Plan (ILDP) currently underway in the region to inform sustainable resources management for the entire Gambella Regional state in Ethiopia; the Eco-hub as a landscape approach has captured the imagination of land use experts and regional policy makers alike; different ‘Eco-Hubs’ are slated for replication in the different agro-ecological zones of the Gambella region to test the innovation; the engaging work of Eco-Hub brought about significant behavioural changes and improved work ethics and commitment to duty, quite a huge contrast to the state before the intervention.
In the Khor El Teena Landscape in the Sudan, despite the limitation imposed by the sanctions and financial restrictions placed on the country, community needs were addressed through putting in pace water storage structures and installation of solar powered water system and appreciated by the community; Community led water governance arrangement in place through village development committees; strengthening of the Network through regional and international capacity development; academic institution such as the University of Bahri in the Sudan has now approved and included “landscape Governance Course” in their curriculum.
In Juba Urban Landscape in South Sudan, despite the conflict in the country, the baseline and validation is in its final stage; network members strengthened through the Landscape Learning Journey and also through international governance course throughout the programme period. The landscape Learning Journey has created a great platform for sharing best practices and regional engagement; strong partnerships with governments, businesses, international partners and the community have been built across HoA-CCP landscapes.
With majority of the Horn countries being in drylands, promote engagement and bring together policy makers to address the challenges holistically; mainstream landscape management into the broader regional development policy agenda; promote tree planting and support landscape restoration initiatives; capacity development should be re-oriented to focus on beneficiaries; deploy Most Significant Change tools for monitoring of achievements using trainers of trainers methods across all the landscapes; map existing landscape restorative initiatives and forge coordination of efforts with new initiatives.
Climate Change and Migration in the Horn of Africa: Policy Options
Looking at nature movement, ecosystems have moved over the years; for example, the episode of Sahara desert; people also move as part of being human and new populations are created forming ethno-genesis from anthropological perspective. This fact calls for a new way of developing ecologically and terraforming; Notwithstanding, it is true that climate change has been undermining economy and production sectors (agriculture, forestry resources, livestock) and a leading factor for internal migration in Ethiopia, for example, due to resource scarcity as a result of land degradation; many people in the region depend on climate sensitive production system, which explains why 40 % of pastoralists have dropped our of pastoralism system due to continued drought and diminishing of resource base; researches have also shown that coffee habitat could be lost in the coming decades; in the Horn, 60-70 percent of fertile component of the land is lost; the result is increased conflict dynamics and intensity, as social and ecological tolerance decline; this calls for the need to bring life to landscape through promoting land restoration; these challenges and many others call for building strong network and improve the convening role of HoA-REC&N in the Horn region for effective policy influence and change.
With 10 years together, the HoA-REC&N remains an asset for the region and requires strengthening; as such finalize HoA-CCP proposal for phase II and share achievements broadly to donors for support and build momentum through the HoA-CCP; share the MSC stories to policy makers; approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands to deploy the previously discussed Operations Manager and Regional Network Coordinator; strengthen the academia through the Demand Driven Action Research and build evidence for landscape restoration initiatives; undertake migration studies as part of the HoA-CCP phase II.