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Integrated natural resource management in the highlands of Eastern Africa

02 July 2012, AfriCAN Climate

The African Highlands Initiative (AHI), a program in World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) worked to improve livelihoods and reduce natural resource degradation in the densely settled highlands of eastern Africa. AHI developed and tested an integrated natural resource management approach in selected highland areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and institutionalized its use in key partner organizations. It targeted the poor where environmental and related livelihood problems were widely visible on farms and landscapes and were of concern to local residents for their effects on livelihoods

Progressive and alarming degradation of the natural resource base interlinked with increasing rural poverty in the highlands of East and Central Africa led to the establishment of the African Highlands Initiative (AHI) by research and development (R&D) stakeholders in 1995 as an eco-regional program of the CGIAR and a regional program of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA). The core role of AHI was to develop novel methods and approaches for participatory integrated natural resource management (INRM) and institutionalization of the approach in partner R and D organizations. AHI's targeted beneficiaries and partners include national and international research organizations and networks, development organizations, local governments, civil society organizations, service providers, policy-makers, community-based organizations, and smallholder farmers in the densely populated humid highlands of East and Central Africa.

AHI has generated many important lessons and experiences from INRM work in pilot sites scattered in 5 countries in East and Central Africa. These countries are Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar and Rwanda.

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