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Shaping Sustainable Socio-Ecological Landscapes
in Africa: The Role of Transformative Research,
Knowledge, and Partnerships
Shaping Sustainable Socio-Ecological Landscapes in Africa: The Role of Transformative Research, Knowledge, and Partnerships ISABELLE PROVIDOLI , GETE ZELEKE, BONIFACE KITEME, AMARE BANTIDER, JOHN MWANGI
Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development
with co-funding from:
Publisher Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, with Bern Open Publishing (BOP)
Mittelstrasse 43, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Copyright © The authors, 2019
This report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence.
See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ to view a copy of the licence.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression
of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the publisher and partners concerning the legal or development status of any
country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The
views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies
of the institutions mentioned.
This publication was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), under the Global Programme
Citation Providoli I, Gete Z, Kiteme B, Amare B, Mwangi J, editors. 2019. Shaping Sustainable Socio-Ecological Landscapes in
Africa: The Role of Transformative Research, Knowledge, and Partnerships. Bern, Switzerland: Centre for Development
and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, with Bern Open Publishing (BOP).
ISBN (e-print): 978-3-906813-83-7
ISBN (print): 978-3-906813-84-4
Editors: Isabelle Providoli (CDE), Gete Zeleke (WLRC), Boniface Kiteme (CETRAD), Amare Bantider (WLRC), John Mwangi (CETRAD)
Design: Simone Kummer (CDE)
Technical and William Critchley (Sustainable Land Management Associates)
Printing Grafisches Zentrum Cuno GmbH & Co. KG, Calbe, Germany
Photos on front cover: (top) Lower Ewaso Ng’iro Basin, Kenya (Hanspeter Liniger).
(bottom) Abagerima learning watershed, Ethiopia (Isabelle Providoli).
Table of Contents
Contributing Authors 9
Acronyms and Abbreviations 10
Setting the Stage 12
Several Decades of Learning, Innovation and Action in Land and Water Management and Governance 17
From Land Degradation Monitoring to Landscape Transformation: Four Decades of Learning, Innovation and Action in Ethiopia 19
Promoting Equity, Peace and Sustainability through Society-Rooted Institutions: Four Decades of Learning, Innovation and Action in Kenya 29
Transformative Research - Triggering Changes in Policy and Society 39
National Land Use Policy Triggered by Transformative Research 41
Innovative Knowledge Management Approaches for Policy and Practice Across Scale 48
Web-Platforms as Enablers for Guiding Negotiations and Shaping Landscape Transformation 57
Web-Platforms for Integrated Decision- Making within the Domain of Land and Water in Ethiopia and Kenya 58
Conclusions and Key Messages for the Way Forward 68
Water and water-related environmental services constitute one of the most pressing global development issues of the 21st century. Closely related to water availability and qual- ity are land use change and environmental degradation. By 2030, over 40% of the world’s population will be living in severely water-stressed river basins. Hence, water scarcity has become a systemic global risk with complex effects on peo- ple’s health and well-being, the economy, environment and society at large. In many countries, water scarcity can pose a significant threat to national security and spur conflict in already unstable and fragile regions.
Switzerland is committed to promoting the successful imple- mentation of the “water agenda 2030” throughout the world. In this way Switzerland helps to promote a water-secure world, in which people have the capacity to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities and quality of water for their livelihoods, their well-being and their socio-economic devel- opment. Simultaneously, this ensures protection against water- borne pollution and water-related disasters, and conserves ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability. The Dis- patch on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2017–2020 highlights the importance of sustainable management of, and access to, natural resources including water, as a means to reduce inequalities, improve living conditions and create better prospects for people in developing countries.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)’s Global Programme Water (GPW) is dedicated to attaining a water-secure world, and to promoting policy changes and the implementation of innovative solutions. The GPW is a bridge- builder, positioning water on the international agenda, and harnessing Swiss expertise to ensure that sustainable access to water becomes universal.
To meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), strate- gies are needed to tackle persistent inequalities in the poor- est economies, where development needs and dependency on natural resources are greatest. The requirement to address the SDGs simultaneously calls for integrated approaches aimed at achieving coherence in policies and actions across scales, from local to global, and across multiple sectors. In this process, science is tasked to provide knowledge for nego- tiations and shaping transformations towards sustainable development.
SDC and the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) look back to more than 30 years of cooperation in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Over the years, CDE and its long standing regional partner networks have become lead- ing experts and knowledge brokers in sustainable land man- agement and sustainable regional development. Based on these unique assets, the collaboration between SDC and CDE continued under the “Water Diplomacy and Governance in Key Transboundary Hot Spots” programme in the frame of the Global Water Programme. Within the Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) project, solutions for improved sus- tainable water and land resource management and govern- ance, as contributions to conflict prevention and mitigation in national and transnational river basins, were tested and put into practice.
This publication highlights the results of this collaboration and provides snapshots of jointly elaborated sustainable development pathways in the Blue Nile, Ewaso N’giro and Pangani river basins. Furthermore, it shows the importance of transformative research as an indispensable component in addressing sustainability challenges and shaping policies in the water sector and beyond.
We wish you interesting reading.
Johan Gély Head Global Programme Water Division Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Thomas Breu Director Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) University of Bern
The foundations of the Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) project were built upon the Centre for Development and Environment’s (CDE) collaboration in East Africa and the Horn of Africa, which began in the 1980s. Firm and last- ing partnerships have evolved through various projects and phases. WLRC’s work has been focussed around two regional centres: the Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Centre for Training and Inte- grated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD) in Nanyuki, Kenya. Over this period, countless participants in Switzerland, East Africa and the Horn of Africa have made crucial contri- butions. A special mention must be made of two key initi- ators from CDE: Professors Hans Hurni and Urs Wiesmann. Without their steadfast dedication and commitment the part- nerships could not have continued, and thrived, through all these years.
Many other colleagues were involved. There are too many to name here: thanks to them all, nevertheless. However we would like to specifically acknowledge the following institu- tions and their key personnel: • The Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) of Addis
Ababa University (AAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under Dr. Gete Zeleke.
• The Centre for Training and Integrated Research in ASAL Development (CETRAD) in Nanyuki, Kenya under Dr. Boniface Kiteme.
• The Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), under Prof. Thomas Breu, and the WLRC coordinator, Dr. Isabelle Providoli.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been part of this endeavour from the very beginning – some forty years ago - and has actively supported WLRC’s transformative research efforts. Through this long-term com- mitment it has been possible for CDE to build up signifi- cant expertise in sustainable land management and regional development, while establishing a unique information base, and creating a strong and reliable insti