Sustainable land management for improved livelihoods
The first phase of the Country Pilot Partnership (CPP) programme for integrated sustainable land management in Namibia, an umbrella programme under which various land management projects are implemented, will end at the end of this year.
The overall goal of the programme is to combat land degradation using integrated cross-sectoral approaches which enables Namibia to achive the Millennium Development Goal number 7 – environmental sustainability – and assure the integrity of dry land ecosystems and ecosystem services.
Established in 2007, the first phase of the programme is directed at addressing capacity constraints in combating land degradation through three identified levels, namely national systematic, institutional and individual levels and also addressing capacity at local level to assess land use management options based on particular resource users needs.
The second phase of the programme (2013 to 2017) will be determined by the success of the first phase and focus on obtaining and increasing investments to consolidate progress made and scale up best practices identified in the first phase.
Experience in combating land degradation has shown that participation by communities is essential for the success of natural resources management. Natural resources form the basis of all livelihoods and community participation is therefore vital to ensure sustained and improved food production.
Through out the course of the first phase, the CPP programme developed a chapter in the National Rangeland Strategy “Economic Evaluating of Rangelands”, which was launched earlier this month, and has facilitated the formation of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Sustainable Development Advisory Council which is expected to help mainstream integrated sustainable land management policies and practices.
The CPP also conducted a study on strategies that integrate environmental concerns in national development planning processes to address livelihood concerns of the Himba tribe in Namibia.
About 38 pilot sites covering 13 regions with an estimated area of 260,575 square kilometres were identified in 2010.
The Country Pilot Partnership programme for integrated sustainable land management (CPP-ISLM) through its innovative Grant Mechanism (IGM), approved small grants for community based income-generating projects that promote sustainable land management and valued addition to natural resources.
The IGM focuses on piloting community projects that reveal best practices and has potential replication in other communities. These projects or initiatives include the Mariental Reeds project, Recycled Paper and Block paper, Kavango Jam and Juice cc, Erari Mushroom Suppliers cc, Mungongo Trading Enterprise cc, Omuntele Green Project as well as Otjombinde Grass Seeding Project.
Since its inception in 2009, the mechanism has supported 23 community projects that support sustainable land management.