Mid Term Review of Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP)

Larsen, Thor S ; Kamugasha, Benjamin Nganwa ; Karani, Irene (2008)

This is a report of the Mid Term Review (MTR) of the Mt. Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP). The MTR has, according to its TOR, been requested to assess overall progress, results achieved compared to the Vision, Goal, Purpose and Objectives, as well as risks, challenges and constraints encountered in the process of programme implementation; and to provide strategic guidance for the remaining programme period. The MTR was conducted between 21 April – 6 May 2008 in Uganda and Kenya. The review methodology comprised of participatory methodologies and included literature review, Focus Group Discussions, key informant interviews, field observations and comparisons between the findings of the two appraisals of 2002 and 2005 against the MTR findings in 2008. The MTR had key interviews with 18 out of a total of 23 stakeholders/ institutions Mt Elgon has been identified by the EAC Secretariat and partner states as a transboundary ecosystem that needs to be managed through a regional programme of conservation and sustainable development during the 2001-2005 EAC Strategic Plan. MERECP was developed in response to the need for a regional approach to the management of this important trans-boundary ecosystem as a water catchment for the Lake Victoria, the Nile and Lake Turkana. The basic objective of the MERECP is underpinned by the challenges of managing the shared ecosystem of Mt. Elgon between Uganda and Kenya. The main purpose of MERECP is to enhance the conservation status and benefits of Mt Elgon ecosystem to environment quality and livelihoods. MERECP’s over-all Vision is: “A secure and productive ecosystem” and the goal is “Integrated ecosystem conservation and management for sustainable development and enhanced well-being of the people and their environment.” The purpose is: “To enhance the conservation status and benefits of Mt Elgon ecosystem to environment quality and livelihoods”, which is to be realized through four objectives; a): Conservation and management of natural resources and biodiversity in and outside protected areas promoted; b): Sustainable development in Mt Elgon Ecosystem enhanced; c): Conservation and management needs of Mt Elgon Ecosystem integrated into national, regional and international development framework; and d): MERECP implemented effectively as a regional trans-boundary programme MERECP’s vision, goal and purpose recognize the ecosystem approach, which is endorsed by several international processes and institutions, e.g. the Millennium Development Goals and the CBD, and also by the Norwegian Action Plan for Environment in Development Cooperation of June 2006. Transboundary natural resource management (TBNRM) is also a key priority under MERECP. The ecosystem approach emphasize the importance of participatory approaches in management of protected areas and ecological networks, with the overall objective to provide benefits to local and indigenous communities as well as enabling local communities to be more responsible for the sustainable management of their natural resources. (From CBD 7th COP Meeting). TBNRM require the safeguard of viable ecosystems and important components, appropriate and harmonized national legislation and regulations, and political


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