SUSTAIN-Africa: Sustainability and Inclusion Strategy for Growth Corridors in Africa
SUSTAIN is an IUCN-led initiative supporting the Sustainable Development Goals in African growth corridors. The aim of the project is to facilitate the greening of growth that is inclusive and climate-resilient. SUSTAIN integrates water, land and ecosystem management with sustainable business to demonstrate inclusive green growth using a landscape approach.
The initiative is implemented in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), Micaia, Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo (ADPP), and the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL).
AFRICAN GROWTH CORRIDORS
Growth corridors in Africa are regions where natural resource-based industries, such as agriculture and mining, are being developed to boost economic growth. SUSTAIN supports growth that is inclusive and sustainable in two major African growth corridors:
Southern Africa Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT)
⌂ Ihemi/Kilombero cluster
⌂ Sumbawanga cluster
⌂ Zambezi Valley Development Corridor
WORKING ACROSS LANDSCAPES
SUSTAIN builds partnerships to ensure that investments flowing into growth corridors include solutions for the sustainability of water, land and ecosystems that are socially inclusive and build resilience to climate change.
SUSTAIN activities are increasing knowledge, skills and capacities among communities, business and government on how water, land and ecosystem management support growth.
~Andrea Athanas, AWF Programme Director
Sizing up Africa’s major development corridors
Driven by investment, business, technology and the dynamism of its people, Africa is changing at a rate perhaps unmatched in recorded history. Of the 20 fastest growing economies in the world, nine are in Africa. The continent’s population will double to 2 billion by 2050, while population growth in much of the rest of the world slows.
Economic development in Africa is for a large part focused on major 'development corridors' designed to boost agricultural production, natural resource exports and economic integration. Today, 33 development corridors are operational, under construction, or planned. Combined, they traverse 38 countries and total 53,000 km in length.
The backbone of the corridors are highways, rail links, pipelines and deep sea ports paid for by massive foreign investment to increase access to Africa’s natural resources and goods. It’s a Mount Kilimanjaro-sized bet that opening up some of Africa’s most remote areas to agricultural expansion will pay dividends for both foreign investors and the African nations involved.
See the full version of this story: Sizing up Africa's major development corridors, by David Williams
WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES: SUSTAIN'S KEY BENEFICIARIES AND ACTORS
SUSTAIN supports water management to move from a conventional top-down methodology to more integrated initiatives focusing on local communities. Delivering sustainable water-related outcomes requires an integrated approach linking various institutions with local communities.
In the Kilombero cluster of Tanzania for example, AWF together with the Rufiji Basin Water Office (RBWO), formed two Water User Associations (WUAs). These WUA's empower communities, giving them more voice and control over local water management and allowing them to monitor river health.
Local water users volunteered to be trained to use a monitoring tool, Mini Stream Assessment Scoring System (miniSASS), to help gauge the health of the Mchombe River.
“Once you have collected a sample you look for the different bug groups and then score whether they have been found. The score tells you the health class of the river, ranging across five categories from natural to very poor” explains Dr. Lulu Tunu Kaaya, a lecturer in freshwater ecology from the University of Dar es Salaam.
Mchombe River was placed in category E, indicating a high level of pollution. The river is the communities' only source of water. Something needed to be done.
For full story, see: Collaborative citizen science in Kilombero
ENGAGING WITH REGIONAL PARTNERS: BUILDING ON EXISTING CAPACITIES AND KNOWLEDGE
In the Sumbawanga cluster in western Tanzania, the flow of the Katuma -a major river supplying water for agriculture and industry, but also a lifeline for the biodiversity of downstream Katavi National Park - reduced so significantly that the river was reclassified in 2000 from perennial to seasonal. As part of the SUSTAIN-Africa Initiative, a water assessment was undertaken by SNV in collaboration with Local Government Authorities and the Lake Rukwa Water Basin (LRWB).
The analysis of the assessment led to the demolition of illegal water diversions and finance schemes, and replaced it with a community-led irrigation scheme benefiting farmers, local entrepreneurs and the national park's biodiversity. SUSTAIN aims to scale up these successful models in other clusters of the Growth Corridors.
A video made by SNV shows the SUSTAIN partners at work in Sumbawanga, Tanzania. The short documentary includes interviews with field managers, water basin experts, government officials and community representatives, highlighting what the challenges were, and how a coordinated effort by SUSTAIN partners led to an integrated approach ensuring a long-term sustainable solution.
To view the video, click this link (YouTube) or see below.
REACHING OUT TO BUSINESS: CLOSING THE LOOP
SUSTAIN helps business to systematically assess, minimize and mitigate impacts on water, land and ecosystems and related risks.
"Members and partners of the IUCN SUSTAIN-Africa programme are excited by the enthusiasm and urgency with which the CEOrt is engaging on issues concerning biodiversity conservation. The aim is to make IUCN’s vast and global experience in conservation, including business and biodiversity, available to the CEOrt and its members in their efforts to conserving nature for sustainable business and livelihoods in Tanzania" ~Michael Kwame Nkonu, IUCN SUSTAIN-Africa Programme Coordinator.
See full story: Tanzania’s CEOs champion business and biodiversity conservation
SUSTAIN’s Action Plan for Business focuses on:
• connecting business with other progressive stakeholders and initiatives on sustainable and inclusive growth
• building partnerships among business, civil society and government to enhance knowledge and improve solutions for water and food security and climate change resilience
• testing new business models, which empower rural communities and integrate ecosystems and natural capital values for inclusive green growth
• inspiring innovative business practices that create incentives for sustainable water, land and ecosystem management
VALUE CHAINS MADE INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE
In Mozambique, SUSTAIN is developing sustainable and inclusive value chains to build climate change resilience and promote innovative solutions for local communities.
The recipe is simple and involves a few ingredients for success: ownership, organisation, diversification and access. In the Chitima area (part of the Cahora Bassa District where SUSTAIN works) farmers are given demonstration plots and are brought together under Producer Clubs. Here they practice conservation and climate-smart agriculture, develop stronger governance structures and sustainable livelihoods.
By engaging in new or existing value chains, farmers are not only able to gain access to markets, they are more likely to access extension services, as well as machinery and finance. These new opportunities can in turn lead to improved living conditions and lift communities out of poverty.