New Directions for Integrating Environment and Development in East Africa
IIED and Ecoagriculture Partners are pleased to announce the release of a new Discussion Paper:
New Directions for Integrating Environment and Development in East Africa: Key findings from consultations with stakeholders in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda
by Steve Bass, Sara Scherr, Yves Renard, Seth Shames
From the Preface:
East Africa is at a watershed moment in sustainable development policy, as enormous pressure mounts on the natural resource base that is critical for its economic development. A common critique of sustainable development interventions throughout East Africa and the developing world generally, is that too much of their direction lies in the hands of outside actors. The approach of this project was to use the perspectives of in-country leaders as a point of entry. The goals were to synthesize these ideas in order to distil the most daunting challenges and fruitful opportunities, to reflect back to these leaders their collective insights, and to promote their voices in national and international policy discourses on development and environment.
This study was carried out at the initiative of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, to explore opportunities for sustainable development in the region, building on the Foundation’s experience and achievements in its population program in Ethiopia. The basis for this report is a series of consultations carried out by the authors in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda between February and April 2007 to gather perspectives from environment and development leaders in these countries on priorities for investment in sustainable development. Our two institutions – Ecoagriculture Partners and the International Institute for Environment and Development – are grateful to the Foundation for the opportunity to conduct this interesting study, which has also helped us in developing our own strategies for action in the region.
The results of these consultations are fascinating, and also inspiring. They highlight ways to link new or rapidly-growing economic sectors in East Africa (natural resource-based commodities, agricultural investments, tourism, carbon offset markets) to national agendas for food security, restoration of degraded natural resources, and poverty reduction. They propose ways to build on and strengthen national institutions to guide policy formation under new economic and resource pressures and opportunities. They draw attention to highly successful local initiatives that can be cost-effectively scaled up with more strategic coordination among rural development, environment and economic sectors. While major barriers to implementing these ideas exist, the leaders interviewed had pragmatic ideas for moving forward. These ideas are thought-provoking and, we believe, deserve broader attention and discussion.
Sara J. Scherr, President, Ecoagriculture Partners
Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development