New directions for integrating environment and development in East Africa

IIED and Ecoagriculture Partners have published a new discussion paper, 'New Directions for Integrating Environment and Development in East Africa'.

News, 16 March 2009

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.

This paper is based on a survey of nearly 200 leaders in environment and development in Ethiopia., Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as international experts, and uses their views and recommendations as a foundation to suggest priorities for action towards sustainable development in East Africa. The research was carried out by Ecoagriculture Partners and IIED on behalf of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The results of these consultations 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, and they draw attention to highly successful local initiatives that can be cost-effectively scaled up with more strategic co-ordination among rural development, environment and economic sectors.

Although there are some major barriers to implementing these ideas, the leaders interviewed had pragmatic ideas for the future and these deserve broader attention and discussion.