The 4th Mount Elgon Stakeholders Forum

After its inaugural meeting in 2012, the Second MESF was held in June, 2015 and, was attended by over 80 participants drawn from Regional (EAC) Authorities/Bodies, Central Government Ministries, National Parliaments, Autonomous Government Agencies and County/District Local Governments as well as development partners and civil society organizations that are operating in the Mt. Elgon Region from both Uganda and Kenya. The 3rd MESHF that took place in November 2016, drawing over 50 participants from Central Government Ministries, Agencies and Statutory Bodies, District Local Governments, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and Cultural and Religious institutions as well as representatives of related networks from Northern Uganda. The next (fourth) MESF is, therefore, in line with this collaborative stakeholder experience sharing and engagement.

Theme and purpose of the 4th MESF

The theme for the 4th MESF is: “Shared Understanding of Collaborative Solutions to Addressing Mt. Elgon Ecosystem Challenges”. The objectives are to:

  • Share experiences, lessons learned and good practices from some of the key on-going projects and activities within the Mt. Elgon ecosystem, and;
  • Have a common understanding on current and on-going national programmes and initiatives geared to address climate change impacts and building ecological and societal resilience.
  • Make recommendations for creating synergies and consolidating the achievements made based on the presentations in (i) and (ii) above.

Details and approach

DAY 1
SESSION ONE: National Programs to Address Climate Change

In this session, presentations will be made by the following Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and CSOs that are operating within the Mt. Elgon landscape to share their experiences, lessons learned and good practices. This will be followed by Panel Discussions and Plenary Sessions. This session will last one
and half days. Details will be given in the programme.

  1. Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Climate Change Department: An overview from the Climate Change Department on climate change issues in the country: the status, ongoing processes, programmes, challenges and the general strategy in place
  2. Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Forest Sector Support Department (FSSD). The Government of Uganda, through the MWE-FSSD is implementing the National REDD+ Program that is aimed at reducing Green House Gases emissions, deforestation and forest degradation. Uganda’s REDD+ Readiness Preparation phase (2013-2017) is in advanced stages for having Uganda ready for REDD+ implementation. The Uganda REDD+ Secretariat will be presenting the status of this process including but not limited to challenges, opportunities and the Secretariats’ expectations from the stakeholders in the Mt. Elgon ecosystem.
  3. Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Directorate of Water Resources Development (DWRD). The Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWM) has since 2011 been operationalizing catchment-based integrated water resource management (CbIWRM) throughout the country. A number of Catchment Management Plans (CMPs) have been finalized while others are at different stages of development. The MWE-DRWD will be discussing the progress of this initiatives,
    challenges and opportunities and what is expected of stakeholders in the Mt. Elgon ecosystem in as far as CbIWRM.
  4. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA). The UNESCO – Man and
    Biosphere (MAB) National Committees (NATCOMs) of Kenya and Uganda have been seeking to nominate the Mt. Elgon ecosystem as a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (TBR), the Elgony‐Masaba TBR. The successful nomination and declaration of Mt. Elgon as a TBR will not only enhance the functioning of the two Biosphere Reserves (BRs), but also will enhance economic development, environmental conservation and cooperation of the two countries in their sustainable development endeavour. The progress of this process as well as the proposed institutional and organizational
    arrangements will be presented and discussed.
  5. Office of the Prime Minister (OPM): The OPM approved the National Policy for Disaster Preparedness and Management in April 2011. The purpose of this instrument is to re- orient national and local efforts to address disaster induced problems due to climate change in a more comprehensive and integrated manner. The objectives of the policy are to: (i) Establish disaster preparedness and management institutions at national and local government levels; (ii) Equip disaster preparedness
    institutions; (iii) Integrate disaster preparedness and management into development processes at all levels; (iv) Promote research and technology in relation to climate change; (v) Generate and disseminate information on early warning; (iv) Promote public – private partnerships in disaster preparedness and management and, (vi) Create timely, coordinated and effective emergency responses at national, district
    and lower level local governments. The OPM will update stakeholders on the implementation process of this policy in lieu of the climate change risks and shocks obtaining in the Mt. Elgon ecosystem. NUSAF3 linkages to ongoing initiatives in the region and Ministry of Water and Environment IWRM approach and Catchment Management Planning processes.

SESSION TWO:
(POSTER SESSION): Exposition and updates on current activities in Mt. Elgon

This session will involve the under listed institutions showcasing and explaining their works to the stakeholders. Each will have a “stall” with appropriate communication and knowledge products. Here, they will exposition and explain their work to participants. Participants will move from “Stall” to “Stall”. This will be 2 hour explosion on the second day (afternoon) divided into one hour for presentation and another hour for stakeholder input to the exposition.

  1. Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA): In addition to its mandatory and statutory obligation of protecting and managing the Mt. Elgon ecosystem, UWA runs a Collaborative Forest Restoration Model that allows community members to access the Park for forest resources. Also, a percentage of the gate collections goes back to the community for development projects within the community. UWA will make a presentation on how these two initiatives have improved Park-Community relations and livelihoods and the discussions will be centered on how to improve the operations and governance aspects of In-Park Resource Access and the Revenue Sharing Scheme.
  2. ECOTRUST: ECOTRUST promotes Trees for Global Benefits Model that uses a system of payment for environment services to incentivize small holder rural farmers to apply proper land management. ECOTRUST will make a presentation on how this model works and the ecological and societal benefits it has been able to deliver in the Mt. Elgon landscape. Based on this pilot initiatives, discussions will be centered on practical aspects of how to upscale the model, and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Models that could be applicable in the Mt. Elgon ecosystem.
  3. Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH): CTPH promotes biodiversity conservation by enabling people, wildlife and livestock to coexist through improving health and livelihoods in and around protected areas (PAs). CTPH will share their experiences on this innovative approach in Uganda’s PAs and how this approach applies to the Mt. Elgon ecosystem.
  4. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF): ICRAEF working with IUCN, developed the “Africa Tree Finder Application” which enables stakeholders to find suitable indigenous tree species for Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) based on their local location, uses and purpose from their Smartphones. In Mt. Elgon, ICRAF has established a resource center in Mbale to be a one stop center for all information on smart agriculture.
  5. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): IUCN has over 20 years work
    experience in the Mt. Elgon ecosystem and, is currently implementing a project that integrates propoor principles and rights-based approaches into the National REDD+ Strategy, and other frameworks for sustainable management of forest resources in Mt Elgon and Agoro Agu. The project has generated practical lessons and experiences and these will be shared.

DAY 2
SESSION ONE: WRAP UP OF DAY ONE

SESSION TWO: DEVELOPING A STRATEGY FOR COORDINATED MANAGEMENT OF
THE MT ELGON LANDSCAPE

In this session, the next steps for strategically involving the MESF to influence national level processes will be discussed. The membership of the forum will also be reviewed and updated as well as the launch of the revamped MESF website for knowledge sharing. The MESF steering committee will also present a workplan and budget for the following year.

 

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