Ecosystems/Landscape approach to climate proof the Rural Settlement Program of Rwanda

Project Overview

Rwanda is among the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change in the world. Higher incidents of irregular rainy seasons, droughts, landslides and floods have exacerbated the impacts of historically degraded ecosystems to significantly increase vulnerability to climate risks for most rural households. COVID-19 has arisen as a challenge that amplifies the vulnerability of the country, which also poses a risk to efforts to addressing climate change impacts. These changes will affect agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, energy systems and human health, causing an estimated annual economic cost of about 1% of GDP by 2030. Left unchecked, these impacts will particularly erode the benefits of the rural settlement programme (Imidugudu), adopted by government to catalyse urbanization and economic development in the rural areas. Such loses can be avoided by integrating climate risks and adaptation measures during the planning, design and implementation of the programme, to avoid maladaptation and ‘lock-in’. Uptake of these measures are hampered by four barriers: i) Technical institutions and communities have limited technical capacity to generate current and diversified knowledge and climate information to integrate climate risks into the planning, design and implementation of the Imidugudu program. ii) The resource poor beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme lack the means to invest in available climate smart technologies and solutions to integrate climate risk into the Imidugudu and diversify and sustain livelihoods in the face of climate change; iii) the country’s policy space inadequately caters for the integration of climate risks into the Imidugudu programmes, exacerbated by weak capacity for cross sectoral coordination at District level; iv) Beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme and their supporting technical institutions have inadequate knowledge management and M&E.

The "Ecosystems/Landscape approach to climate proof the Rural Settlement Program of Rwanda" project puts Rwanda’s Rural Settlement Programme (Imidugudu) on a climate-resilient pathway to secure the programme’s development gains in the face of uncertainties emanating from climate change, and contributes to the country’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. This project will demonstrate how a climate-resilient pathway can be achieved at the national level by implementing four outcomes that collectively tackle exposure and sensitivity to climate risks at the landscape. The project will provide technical skills, more accurate and relevant short to long-term climate information, tools, plans, methods and institutional and policy conditions to create and sustain climate resilient livelihoods for select communities, benefiting a total of 2,211,600 people (50% women).  It will be implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in partnerships with the Rwanda Housing Authority, Meteo Rwanda and the Local District Councils (Kirehe and Gakenke).

*The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations or UNDP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Expected Outcomes

Outcome 1: Enhanced institutional capacities, knowledge & climate information to integrate climate risks into the planning and implementation of ecosystems-based adaptation in the Imidugudu programme

Outcome 2: Adaptation measures implemented via landscape approach

Outcome 3: Improved Policy and coordination for effective integration of climate risks into the Imidugudu program

Outcome 4: M&E and Knowledge management

 

Project Details

Levels of Intervention

National

Source of Funds

Global Environment Facility - Least Developed Countries Fund

Key Implementers

Country Office
National Governments
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Funding Amounts

TOTAL FINANCING: US$31,215,638
CO FINANCING: US$8,355,638 (LDCF) | $500,000 (UNDP) | $10,000,000 (Rwanda Housing Authority) | $5,360,000 (Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources) | $3,000,000 (REMA) | $2,000,000 (Kirehe District) | $2,000,000 (Gakenke District) | TOTAL $22,360,000

Project Partners

Ministry of Natural Resources, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Project Dates

2022 to 2028

Introduction

Rwanda is among the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change in the world. Higher incidents of irregular rainy seasons, droughts, landslides and floods have exacerbated the impacts of historically degraded ecosystems to significantly increase vulnerability to climate risks for most rural households. COVID-19 has arisen as a challenge that amplifies the vulnerability of the country, which also poses a risk to efforts to addressing climate change impacts. These changes will affect agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, energy systems and human health, causing an estimated annual economic cost of about 1% of GDP by 2030. Left unchecked, these impacts will particularly erode the benefits of the rural settlement programme (Imidugudu), adopted by government to catalyse urbanization and economic development in the rural areas. Such loses can be avoided by integrating climate risks and adaptation measures during the planning, design and implementation of the programme, to avoid maladaptation and ‘lock-in’. Uptake of these measures are hampered by four barriers: i) Technical institutions and communities have limited technical capacity to generate current and diversified knowledge and climate information to integrate climate risks into the planning, design and implementation of the Imidugudu program. ii) The resource poor beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme lack the means to invest in available climate smart technologies and solutions to integrate climate risk into the Imidugudu and diversify and sustain livelihoods in the face of climate change; iii) the country’s policy space inadequately caters for the integration of climate risks into the Imidugudu programmes, exacerbated by weak capacity for cross sectoral coordination at District level; iv) Beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme and their supporting technical institutions have inadequate knowledge management and M&E.

The "Ecosystems/Landscape approach to climate proof the Rural Settlement Program of Rwanda" project puts Rwanda’s Rural Settlement Programme (Imidugudu) on a climate-resilient pathway to secure the programme’s development gains in the face of uncertainties emanating from climate change, and contributes to the country’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. This project will demonstrate how a climate-resilient pathway can be achieved at the national level by implementing four outcomes that collectively tackle exposure and sensitivity to climate risks at the landscape. The project will provide technical skills, more accurate and relevant short to long-term climate information, tools, plans, methods and institutional and policy conditions to create and sustain climate resilient livelihoods for select communities, benefiting a total of 2,211,600 people (50% women).  It will be implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in partnerships with the Rwanda Housing Authority, Meteo Rwanda and the Local District Councils (Kirehe and Gakenke).

Country Climate Plans

Linkage of the proposed project to National Development Strategies and Priorities: Climate proofing the rural settlement programme and enhancing resilience of the livelihoods of the beneficiaries of the programme will to Government Priorities set out in key national programmes and development strategies including:

  1. the Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy and National Strategy on Climate Change and Low Carbon Development for Rwanda (GGCRS), which provides a pathway to address climate change and low carbon development, with an aim of making a significant impact on adaptation, mitigation and economic development. The strategy was developed in recognition of the fact that if the country is to tackle climate change, it needs to be mainstreamed into Vision 2050 and Sector strategies. The GGCRS aims to guide the process of mainstreaming climate resilience and low carbon development into key sectors of the economy. With a focus on agroforestry, climate knowledge, irrigation and roads infrastructure as its main tenants for adaptation, it provides a strategy focusing on green, low carbon development, but does not explicitly provide mechanisms to deal with vulnerabilities, associated with climate change. The project will contribute to tackling some of the barriers hampering its full implementation, including inadequate awareness, lack of practical tools for mainstreaming in many sectors (e.g. the rural section of the human settlement policy) and capacity inadequacies amongst stakeholders.
  2. the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA): Objective four of the NAPA aims at providing assistance to districts of vulnerable regions to plan and implement conservation measures and water storage. Objective five aims to increase adaptive capacity of grouped settlement "Imidugudu" located in vulnerable regions by improving potable water, sanitation and alternative energy services, and the promotion of non-agricultural jobs. The project contributes to these objectives directly.
  3. Vision 2050 focuses on five broad priorities: High Quality and Standards of Life; Developing Modern Infrastructure and Livelihoods; Transformation for Prosperity; Values for Vision 2050; and, International cooperation and positioning. The project will contribute directly to the aims of vision 2050 - improved natural resources management, mainstreaming climate risk and gender, which are considered important foundational issues for the achievement of the Vision. The implementation instrument for the remainder of Vision 2020 (from 2017 to 2020) and the first four years of Vision 2050 (2021 – 2025) will be the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1)[1].  Priority Area number 7 of the NST1 recognizes sustainable management of the environment and natural resources as the pathway healthy lives and a Green Economy, focusing on Forestry, Land, Water, Environment and Climate Change. Under increased access to and use of sustainable and low carbon energy, the number of households depending on biomass as a source of energy for cooking is expected to reduce from 83.3% (2014) to 42% by 2024. This will be achieved by working with the private sector to increase the uptake of improved cooking stoves and to promote the use of alternative fuels such as cooking gas and biogas in both urban and rural areas
  4. National strategy for climate change and low carbon development (2020 to 2050). The strategy outlines actions that Rwanda can take in the short to medium term to ensure its future stability and prosperity in a changing climate and uncertain energy future. The strategy calls upon national planners to chart a new development pathway for integrated sector planning that balances cross-cutting issues of resource management. The project contributes to all the three core strategies of the National strategy for climate change and low carbon development: a) To guide national policy and planning in an integrated way; b) To mainstream climate change into all sectors of the economy, and (c) To position Rwanda to access international funding to achieve climate resilience and low carbon development.
  5. Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (SPCR): The objective the SPCR is to enhance integrated, economy-wide, multi-sectoral climate resilience and to drive climate-responsive investment in Rwanda. Funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), the SPCR aims at transformative impact through: a) Increased resilience of households, communities, businesses, sectors and society to climate variability and climate change; b) Strengthened climate responsive development planning. The proposed LDCF project contributes to these two overall goals, as well as directly to the four strategic programmes of the SPCR, namely: i) Agriculture Driven Prosperity under which it will provide climate-smart strategic support to Rwanda’s agriculture and agroforestry sectors, while implementing participatory adaptation and climate resilient infrastructure in targeted areas. (ii) Water Security for All, under which it will enhance climate resilience of surface water and groundwater systems, promoting sustainable access to water, and reducing vulnerability in the face of increasing uncertainty in runoff. (iii) Climate Resilient Human Settlements under which it will build Rwanda’s population resilience to shocks and stresses, by securing more reliable infrastructure and service delivery, and integrating climate change considerations into urban development. (iv) Stable and Sustainable Landscapes under which it will safeguard Rwanda’s most fragile and disaster-prone landscapes, to reduce communities’ vulnerability to floods and landslides and to enhance preparedness for a wide range of climate change impacts.



[1] Republic of Rwanda, 2017: National Strategy for Transformation 1: THE 7YEAR GOVERNMENT PROGRAM 2017-2024

 

Barriers

Barrier # 1: Inadequate technical capacity to generate relevant climate information and integrate climate risks into the planning, design and implementation of the Imidugudu program

  • To effectively climate proof the rural settlement programme will require that local communities fully understand the risks to the programme emanating from climate change. It also requires that they understand the benefits and opportunities presented by climate change and have the skills to adopt climate smart solutions and adaptation practices. In addition, they need to understand and to have access to up-to-date, downscaled climate information and the appropriate tools and advisory services at their disposal.
  • Although the quality of climate information has increased in the recent past[1], there are misalignments and capacity gaps in the climate information products and services value chain, from the collection, analysis and packaging of such information to meet the needs of communities, to the application of this information at local level to support the integration of climate risks into the rural settlement programme and adaptation decisions and actions. Consequently, majority of the population tend to mistrust the available climate information and weather forecasts. About 75% of the respondents to the baseline assessment undertaken during the formulation of this project reported that they did not use climate information in decision-making. Meteo Rwanda has limited capacity (up-to-date skills and state-of-the art equipment) to generate, analyse and provide usable weather and climate information. Insufficient training of staff of relevant departments within the Ministries of Infrastructure, Agriculture and Animal Resources and Environment, and Community Groups facilitating development at local levels such as the Joint Action Development Forum (JADF), cooperatives (SACCOs), Twigire Muhinzi and the associated Farmer Field Schools exacerbates the challenge of using climate information in the planning and implementation of the Imidugudu programme. These institutions have limited capacity to offer needed advisories and effective extension support to the communities which would enable them to adopt more resilient and productive practices within the rural settlement programme.  Consequently, communities have limited awareness of the risks that climate change poses to the Imidugudu and their livelihoods and are not familiar with climate smart solutions to build their resilience and adaptive capacity.
  • Climate proofing the Imidugudu programme is further hampered by a lack of a clear, locally applied/tested model to guide climate-proofing the Imidugudu programmes. Thus, a working definition for the climate proofing is yet to be developed; the requirements for the widespread application of such a model(s) are not yet known including the policy framework, institutional coordination, budgetary provisions or the skills and capacities required for its successful uptake. As a result, there are no prototype climate-resilient settlement designs; and the facilitators of the Imidugudu programme – such as the private sector engaged in building the model villages (architects, contractors) - have little awareness of the necessity of climate proofing the process, and have no tools or skills for climate proofing.
  • While it is widely accepted that healthy ecosystems provide a cost effective means of reducing vulnerability of livelihoods to climate risks, the technical staff and the communities do not have the skills or the capacity to generate this knowledge and utilize it in facilitating a landscape approach or community based adaptation plans, that would guide the climate proofing of the Imidugudu program. The four sub-catchments targeted by this project are host to important river systems, wetlands and forests, which would provide cost-effective adaptation measures to secure the Imidugudu programme. These natural resources are highly degraded (Table 2), which sets off a vicious cycle where degradation of natural resources further increases poverty, often leading to negative capacity and coping strategies. Despite the high levels of vulnerability reported during the baseline assessment, none of the communities had any comprehensive plan(s) to tackle climate risks systematically.
  • Outcome 1 will provide skills, information and tools to reduce and/or manage climate risks and secure the benefits of the Imidugudu programme.

Barrier # 2A: Imidugudu beneficiaries lack the financial resources to invest in available climate smart technologies and solutions to integrate climate risk into the Imidugudu and diversify and sustain climate-resilient livelihoods.

  • The communities in the four project areas are resource-poor and unable to invest in the available climate smart technologies, opportunities and solutions for integrating climate risks into the Imidugudu and to diversify related livelihood systems. There are many  opportunities to implement resilience building measures to existing and new Imidugudu, which include: a) rehabilitation of degraded ecologically sensitive resources to improve ecosystems services and the effectiveness of nature based adaptation technologies; b) uptake of climate smart agriculture practices to rehabilitate degraded agricultural land and increase food production and adaptive capacity; c) improved and climate smart livestock management practices such as uptake of Girinka programme (zero grazing system for cows) and diversification of livestock systems; b) use of improved household energy systems such as biogas, electricity (including solar); d) constructing water harvesting reservoirs that help address the prevailing water scarcity; and, e) utilization of existing value chains to add value to produce, access organized markets and increase household incomes, boosting adaptive capacity. Communities in the project area have underutilized these opportunities as explained below, further undermining their collective adaptive capacities. 
  • Increasing resilience of settlements by implementing village greening measures (measures outlined in Table 1): Muzo/Kagano and Muramba are not yet climate resilient settlements, Gasharu is an old Imidugudu site with only 120 families (with additional room for 400 more). Many of the homesteads are constructed with non-durable materials and are located in vulnerable sites, surrounded by degraded ecosystems, making them prone to climate risks (landslides and floods). Indeed, only one of the four pilot sites rated 50% along the criteria set by the government for a model village[2] (Table 1). The RHA, in collaboration with the Kirehe and Gakenke Local Authorities, have identified many vulnerable households (categories 1 and 2) in the two districts. They have plans and budgetary provisions for settling many households into less vulnerable sites. However, the resettlement process is progressing slowly due to shortage of resources to build climate resilient houses and implement the greening processes simultaneously. Residents of these areas do not benefit from planned/consolidated dwellings and the associated access roads. More than 80% of the households do not have electricity or biogas, have no water harvesting facilities, and lack social amenities (community, health or technical training centres). Consequently, the beneficiaries of the new settlements to be established by RHA and the Local Councils will fall short of implementing these additional climate resilient measures, thus fall short of securing the benefits of the settlement programme from further climate risks.
  • Ecosystems management to improve ecosystems services necessary to increase resilience: Ecosystem-based Adaptation is the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, as part of an overall adaptation strategy, to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change[3]. It aims to maintain and increase the resilience and reduce the vulnerability of ecosystems and people in the face of adverse effects of climate change. However, the levels of ecosystems services at the project sites was reported to have deteriorated significantly due to degradation of ecosystems over the last decade (Table 2). Between 1990 and 2018, agriculture expanded by 8,439.70 ha and 5,140.20 ha of forests was lost. Currently, 10,410 ha of land faces moderate to extremely high risks of soil erosion and about 7,000 ha of forests are degraded. In addition, there are 288 ha and 47 kilometres of degraded wetlands and riverbanks, respectively[4]. Despite these facts, there is limited protection and/or rehabilitation of these ecologically sensitive segments of the landscape, reducing the effectiveness of the natural capital in providing cost-effective adaptation infrastructure to the settlements and livelihoods.
  • Limited uptake of climate smart livelihood support practices such as climate smart agriculture and diversification livestock systems, that would increase land productivity and diversify sources of household incomes, thus increasing resilience. Although the Crop Intensification Programme (CIP) was available in all four pilot areas, more than half[5] of the households did not access the programme due to their inability to consolidate land with neighbours, a requirement for joining the CIP[6]. In addition, many of the households cannot afford the 50% payment for irrigation equipment and technology (government subsidy covers the other 50%)[7]. Furthermore, although the Girinka Programme (one cow per family) is available in the four pilot areas, many respondents to the baseline assessment, especially women found it a challenge to keep cows. This is due to insufficient forage, lack of alternative choice (no small stock is offered to families who struggle to maintain the hybrid cows), limited consideration of gender aspect at project design level, limited land for eligible beneficiaries (families with less than 0.2 ha do not receive a cow while many teenage mothers fall in this category) and limited skills in the care and management of the given cows[8]. None of the households had crop or livestock insurance, leaving them exposed to loss of capital due to unusual climate events.

Barrier # 2B: Low levels of community and local institutions’ capacity  to add value to products and to effectively participate in  existing value chains thereby limiting their access to high value markets

  • Despite the presence of considerable number of value chains operating in the two districts (detailed in the baseline assessment report, example of coffee value chains in Box 2), households in the pilot sites found it challenging to utilize them to benefit from value addition and existing markets. This reduces their opportunities to diversify household incomes, thereby increasing vulnerabilities. The inability to link with value chains is attributed to weak cooperatives and absence of a culture of savings, exacerbated by high levels of financial illiteracy.  Although savings would contribute to cushioning livelihoods against shocks from climate change, most people have very low levels of financial literacy which restricts their ability to save and access loans from formal financial services for improving agriculture and/or other income generating activities.  Consequently, the number of people accessing these facilities is limited.
  • There are many banks and financial institutions offering loans and investment packages (outlined in the baseline assessment report, example in Box 3). However, many people in the project areas are either unaware of these services, do not qualify for the services and/or belief the packages are too complex. Despite the many opportunities therefore, households in the target sites remain poor and outside this financial system. In Muramba, Muzo/Kagano and Gasharu, poor prices for milk sets a vicious cycle of weakening the milk savings and credit cooperative (SACCO) and irregular milk collection, high cost of transportation (3 hours to the processing unit).  Furthermore, the local organizations had very limited capacities to undertake their stated objectives (particularly linking members to inputs, credits and markets), with a combined score of below 40% (using the modified UNDP Capacity Assessment System – Annex 12 ).
  • Outcome 2 will support the practical implementation of measures to increase adaptive capacity, reduce exposure and sensitivity, thereby increase resilience.


Barrier # 3: Climate proofing Imidugudu is not recognized within the Rwanda Planning, Budgeting and Public Investment Systems

  • The Government of Rwanda has taken keen interest in promoting strong adoption of adaptation and low carbon, climate resilience development strategies. Despite these advances, climate change is still seen as part of the environment agenda, rather than as part of the development or planning agenda. Furthermore, climate proofing the Imidugudu programme is not yet recognized within the country’s planning, budgeting and public investment system, limiting its national uptake. National priorities in Rwanda are implemented in accordance with planning frameworks that ensure coordination across all public institutions and adherence to national strategic objectives. This planning happens at three levels, namely: i) long-term planning at the national level; ii) medium-term planning at the national, sectoral and institutional level; and iii) annual planning at the institutional level. An issue that is not mainstreamed into these planning frameworks will not feature in the decision-making on national public investment, hence cannot be budgeted for, nor up scaled or replicated. The important planning frameworks include the National Strategy for Transformation (NTS 1) 2017-2024, Rwanda’s National Investment Policy (NIP, 2017), the National Decentralisation Policy (2012), District Development Strategies (2018-2024), the rural settlement Strategic Sector Plan (2018-2024) and the Organic Law on State Finance and Property (No. 12/2013 of 12/09/2013).
  • Furthermore, important stakeholders involved in the planning and budgeting processes within the public sector investments are unaware of the importance of climate proofing the Imidugudu programme. They include Parliament, District Councils, Public Investment Committee (PIC), Local Government Projects Advisory Committee (LGPAC), Clusters, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), National Development Planning and Research Department (NDPR), National Budget Department (NBD), Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC), Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), budget agencies, line ministries and agencies and districts.
  • Coordination of climate proofing development initiatives at the district level is further exacerbated by the out-dated tools for environmental planning and the limited capacity for coordination of the institutional framework for disaster management and response established by the GoR in 2018, which includes national, district and sector level coordination mechanisms (see details in Box 4). A National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NADIMAC) has been established and it provides interagency and multi-sectoral technical support to the Ministry in charge of emergency management (MINEMA) on disaster management, disaster risk management and risk reduction issues and concerns. District Disaster Management Committees (DIDIMACs) have been established by law in the 28 Districts; and, Sector Disaster Management Committees (SEDIMACs) have been established in all sectors of Rwanda. These two institutions are in charge of coordinating and implementing disaster management activities at the District and Sector levels. Nevertheless, these institutions are nascent and still require additional capacity to sustain the coordination role. Similarly, the Joint Action Development Forums and Monthly Community Work (Umuganda), the parents evening forum (Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi) and general village assemblies (Inama Rusange y’Abaturage), which provide important foci for cross sector coordination in the implementation of the rural settlement programme have limited require additional training to be carry out these roles more effectively.
  • Outcome 3 will ensure that climate proofing of the Imidugudu programme is recognized within the country’s planning, budgeting and public investment systems and that key stakeholders in the district and national budgeting processes are aware of the importance of its mainstreaming, creating a sustainable pathway for its national uptake. It will also provide training to the district-level coordination institutions (DIDMACs, SEDIMACs, JADF and community institutions) and provide updated tools for environmental management - that mainstream climate risks related to the Imidugudu.

Barrier # 4: Inadequate knowledge management and M&E systems limit the use of experiences to improve rural settlement programme on a larger scale

  • Robust M&E, knowledge management systems are critical; they would enable the beneficiaries of the Imidugudu and the technical institutions that support them to learn from experience and lessons generated in Rwanda and abroad to collectively improve climate proofing and adaptation actions. However, these groups are not adequately or systematically monitoring the impacts of the programme on adaptive capacities of the beneficiaries. This is because they have no systems for monitoring and evaluation or knowledge management. The M&E and knowledge management systems of the institutions supporting the rural settlement programme and the associated livelihoods, such as the Twigire Muhinzi and the Local District Councils also have limited capacities for M&E and KM, because these functions are inadequately prioritized in budgeting processes. Outcome 4 will create participatory M&E and KM systems and build the capacity for the same for local communities and the support technical institutions.

 




[1] For example, Meteorological Services of Rwanda (Meteo-Rwanda) has recently reconstructed rainfall and temperature data to compensate for the significant decline in meteorological station data coverage from the mid‐1990s to around 2010. In addition, Meteo Rwanda generates weather information at 4x4 kilometre grid and communicates it using the administrative boundaries as reference.

[2] An improved Imidugudu is expected to have basics such as: planned/consolidated dwellings constructed with good quality permanent materials, have access to modern energy systems such as electricity, biogas, liquid petroleum gas, solar technologies, be equipped with water harvesting systems such as water tanks, have an established Girinka programme (access to one cow per family with a communal shed) and other economic activities linked to vibrant value chains, be served by public facilities such as a community hall, health facility, Early Childhood Centre and a technical training centre, members have access to land under the land consolidation program (with its improved extension services, commercialization and access to value chains), have well developed access roads (tar, murram) and that members have insurance, preferably for crop and/or livestock.

[3] Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2009). Connecting Biodiversity and Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Report of the Second Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change. Montreal, Technical Series No. 41, 126 pages.

[4] Source - (Prime Minister’s order No006/03 of 30/01/2017 “Drawing a list of Swamp Lands, their characteristics and boundaries and determining modalities of their use, development and management

[5] 48.8% of the men reported accessing land under the programme compared to 32.3 of the men and 14% of the youth

[6] Implemented since 2008, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) has used the CIP to promote commercialization of agriculture products and boost economic development of famers, supported by input schemes and value chains.

[7] The baseline assessments undertaken during the project formulation revealed that: (i) over 85% of farmers in the pilot areas do not use irrigation currently; (ii) irrigation produces a significant increase in yields both in Kirehe (where the climate is dry) and Gakenke (less dry, but high rain variability); (iii) a typical 0.25 ha farm could spend in the range of RWF 930,000 (~USD 1,000) to purchase a pump, sprinklers, pipes and accessories; (iv) half of the investment is covered by the subsidy the government; the remaining half needs to be finance by the farmer (or cooperative) directly, through loans or, if available, contributions from donors and NGOs.

[8] Government of Rwanda, 2018. GENDER MONITORING OFFICE ANNUAL REPORT 2017-2018. http://www.gmo.gov.rw/fileadmin/user_upload/reports/GMO_Annual_Report_2017-2018.pdf

 

Key Results and Outputs

Outcome 1: Institutional and community capacities for planning for landscape approach enhanced to climate-proof Imidugudu.

This outcome will support climate informed planning as the basis for integrating climate risks into the rural settlement programmes and the associated livelihoods. It will provide communities in the four project areas, their supporting technical institutions and the private sector (builders, suppliers of building materials, contractors within the Imidugudu programme) with skills, awareness and decision-making tools to advance understanding of how vulnerability of livelihoods, local economies and the Imidugudu program are intertwined with the state of the natural systems. The stakeholders will use the information and knowledge to design alternative “climate proofed” Imidugudu plans; develop ecosystems-based adaptation plans as the basis for nature based solutions to flood and erosion control, including river bank and land stabilization in catchment areas; and design climate advisory services as decision-support tool to manage negative impacts of risks  to livelihoods. The outcome will therefore lay the basis for the implementation of the other three outcomes (2 to 4), which will utilize the skills and tools throughout the project, thus contributing to, and integrating with all other outcomes. It will also lay the foundation for scaling up of the climate-proofing models throughout the country (by training staff and the relevant private sector players at the national level). Outcome 1 is delivered through five outputs, described below.

Output 1.1: Training programmes and their sustainability mechanisms designed and delivered to provide specialized technical skills and awareness on landscape approaches to climate risk management for technical staff of all relevant Departments and community groups: Enhancing capacities for planning, coordination and implementation in a sustained process at the local level is critical to guarantee effective climate adaptation. Under this output, the project will provide gender and COVID-19 responsive training to government technical staff, communities and the relevant private sector (serving the building sector) in climate risk management within the EbA and climate proofing Imidugudu contexts for implementation, further scaling up and sustainability. To ensure the sustainability of the training and skills development, the programme will be embedded into the Twigire Muhinzi extension services described under Box 3. The following themes will be covered, with each module integrating relevant gender aspects and any new measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the response measures:

Downscaling climate information for local level planning – National and district level training to support outputs 1.3, 1.4 and 2.3

Developing ecosystems-based adaptation plans – Community level training to support output 1.4, 2.1 and 2.2.

Climate-risk assessments methods – district and community level training to support outputs 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5.

Climate proofing Imidugudu models – definition of concept and requirements for its roll out – national level training to support output 1.1, 2.3 and outcomes 3 and 4.

Participatory Integrated Climate Smart Agriculture (PICSA) as a tool for climate information and decision-making tools to support planning of Imidugudu and community-based adaptation measures applied in four communities – local level training to support output 1.5 and implementation of outcomes 2 and 4.

Climate smart technologies for rehabilitating degraded/ unproductive land via agro-ecological interventions to reverse the effects of unsustainable agricultural practices – local level training to support output 2.1.

Climate smart technologies to protect and rehabilitate ecologically sensitive segments of the landscape such as hills, river banks and lake shores, wetlands, watersheds, etc. – local level training to support output 2.2.

Practical measures to green the rural settlements in line with an updated Greening and Climate Proofing Toolkit – district and local level training to support outputs 2.3.

Diversifying livestock management systems – district and local level training to support output 2.1.

Financial literacy - existing value chains and their requirements, existing financial institutions and their loan/subsidy packages and tips on how to practically join/engage with them – local level training to support implementation of output 2.5.

Radical and progressive terracing techniques, other soil and water conservation techniques, agroforestry, plant husbandry and watershed services – district and local level training to support outputs 2.1 and 2.2.

Gender mainstreaming in development programmes – importance, methods and benefits – local level training to support the whole project.

Policies and local level implications on livelihood systems, why it is important that everyone pays attention to, and contributes to policy reforms e.g. awareness raising on the on-going land reforms - the new restructuring of land use planning and implementation from national to local levels, revised land policy and land law (2019), which have impacts on the implementation of the Imidugudu programme. Local level training to support the all the outputs.

Training on ecosystems based adaptation will be conducted in very close coordination with two on-going projects - Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in North West Rwanda through Community-based Adaptation and Building the capacity of Rwanda’s government to advance the National Adaptation Planning process. It will utilize training materials developed under these two projects as well as under the LDCF 2 - Building resilience of communities living in degraded forests, savannahs and wetlands of Rwanda through an ecosystem management approach. Training on the reforms in land use will be conducted in close collaboration with the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA). 

Training will take the form of training the trainer (ToT) and will be channelled through the Twigire Muhinzi system. For the technical institutions, training will target key staff in the local authority at District, Sector and Cell levels including Agronomist Officers, Environment Officers and interns, Cooperative Officers, Infrastructure Officers, Land Officers, Forestry Officers and RAB CIP Officers, crop intensification programme contractors (contracted service providers who organise seed and fertiliser distribution and provide extension advice). At the sector level, the training will target the Agronomist Officer who cover many of the above functions dealing with aspects of rural infrastructure, lands adjudication/title registration, forestry and environmental management (responding to the respective four designated officers at District level) in addition to the ‘primary’ focus on agriculture, livestock and horticulture. Livestock Veterinary Assistants and Forestry Officers deployed at Sector level will also be included in this training. At the Cell level, the training will target the Social Development Officers (better known as the Integrated Development Programme Officers or ‘IDPs’) as this is the main salaried post concerned with agricultural and development issues. Activities will include: a) Identify all the relevant groups that need to be trained (including architects, engineers, planners, community groups, etc.) and refine the capacity assessment undertaken during the project formulation (Annex 12) with emphasis on training needs assessment and identify further training needs; (b) Review existing training manuals and determine suitability for training under this project and/or modify as necessary, develop training modules with  a clear and costed work plan for implementation; (c) Conduct training in a gender responsive and participatory process; (d) Reflect on the development and delivery of the training programmes and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 1.2: Climate-risk assessments methods provided to support adaptation planning as an on-going practice with a focus on the local level in the project areas: The main climate related disasters affecting the project area are floods, landslides and mudslides, droughts and famine. The country has recently established a clear, well equipped and coordinated institutional framework for disaster management and response (Box 4). The programme has established climate risk assessment methods and set up systems for information collection and dissemination linking national to district and sector levels. Under this output, the project will raise the awareness of the Imidugudu beneficiaries and local populations at the project sites to the existence of tools and systems assessing and addressing floods, landslides and mudslides, droughts and famine. It will train, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive manner, relevant groups on the use of the existing networks and information so they can utilize the same more effectively. Activities under this output include: a) Disseminate information to local communities on the climate risk assessment tools and methods developed by the Joint Program on Support to Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee; (b) Train relevant groups on the access and use of the existing information and networks (in conjunction with output 1.1);  c) Reflect on the process and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 1.3: Climate-proofed Imidugudu models developed in a science-led, gender and COVID responsive highly participatory process and piloted in four landscapes: This model will be developed with participation of the entire country (national level); however, its implementation will be tested at the local level in the project sites as described under output 2.3. To ensure replication/upscaling, model development will be led by the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) with participation from all relevant sectors, including the private sector (builders, contractors, suppliers of building materials within the Imudugudu programme). With the support of a Project Technical Committee, RHA will lead a national discourse on climate proofing the Imidugudu aimed at creating understanding and buy-in of: a) definition of the concept; b) its importance in the efficiency and sustainability of resources invested in the Imidugudu programme; c) the requirements (costs, policies, rules, regulations and institutional arrangements) for its effective and widespread adoption including the trade-offs at different levels. This will lead to a stakeholder-driven and expert-informed model and guide for climate proofing Imidugudu settlements in Rwanda, addressing the entire process from planning the rural settlement programme to its operation. This model and guide will be designed with options that are applicable to different settings of Rwanda. To ensure that the development of the climate proofing model is informed by the best available technical expertise and science, a Project Technical Committee will be formed to lead the consultation, comprising of nominated/delegated persons from relevant institutions (Ministries and Agencies), civil society, academia and community organizations, who are mandated to represent the interests of their respective stakeholder groupings (with attention given to adequate representation by women, young people and other vulnerable groups).

To ensure systematized consultation and input by all relevant groups, this committee will map stakeholders and develop a strategy for consultation and capacity support for stakeholders who might require it to participate fully. It will adopt innovative measures to engage the youth, for example by organizing competitions and debates between various institutions (schools, universities). Input from communities will be secured during the process of formulating adaptation plans (output 1.4). Inputs from the scientific community will be secured via technical conferences while inputs from policy makers will be secured through several iterative workshops and policy dialogues. Activities under the output will include: a) Establish the Climate Proofing Technical Committee with clear Terms of Reference for its operations; (b) Undertake stakeholder mapping and identify relevant stakeholders to be consulted; (c) Design a stakeholder consultation strategy, identifying any specific capacity support required for effective participation of specialized groups such as Meteo-Rwanda, technical experts (climate scientists, infrastructure development experts, rural development experts), academia and students; (d) Undertake the consultative process in line with the stakeholder consultation strategy (at all levels); (e) Collate the inputs from the stakeholder consultations and develop the climate proofing models; assess the feasibility of the various models via cost benefit analysis including considerations of social, economic and environmental feasibility using multi-criteria approaches. Select one or several models and develop guidelines for their application; (f) Develop training materials that are deemed necessary to support the uptake of the model (to be incorporated in the training conducted under output 1.4 and for uptake by other relevant government programmes); (g) Develop and disseminate awareness raising material to popularize the model such as policy briefs (with recommendations for policy and regulatory changes that might be required – in conjunction with Outcome 3); h) Reflect on the process of model development and piloting and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 1.4: Four Ecosystems-based Adaptation Plans developed in a science-led, gender and COVID-19 responsive and highly participatory process: As explained in the strategy section, households are highly dependent on low technology, low input agriculture and other natural resources for their economic development and livelihoods. Mainstreaming climate risks into the Imidugudu programme requires improving the natural resources and healthy ecosystems. Healthy functional ecosystems are therefore the bedrock of climate resilience of the communities in the rural areas, as they buffer away climate hazards and widen the livelihood options in the face of climate change. Adaptation plans will therefore be developed to provide a systematic approach to address the vulnerabilities at the landscape level and promote healthy natural resources and ecosystems. This will underpin good adaptation policy, planning and delivery by the communities that are directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Informed by various technical assessments, analyses, data and maps, and expert knowledge to be provided by the  Project Technical Committee, the EbA planning process will bring together and enable an open dialogue to take place between the population exposed to climate change, decision makers, development planners and climate change experts to: define the geographic scope of the plan; describe the environmental, social, economic and institution characteristics of the mini watersheds; articulate a vision and strategic management objectives; identify and prioritize strategies and methods for addressing the issues;  identify, prioritize and depict spatially suitable areas for cost-effective land rehabilitation, soil and  water conservation, protection of wetlands, sustainable agriculture and other land uses; present a detailed implementation plan, including: (i) institutional arrangements for governance, collaboration and monitoring; (ii) a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework; (iii) a financing strategy and sustainability plan.

The project will update (ground-truthing) the vulnerability assessment[1] undertaken during the project formulation and use it as one input into the ecosystems-based adaptation (EbA) planning. EbA will be implemented using a community-based approach to adaptation (CbA) and will incorporate the concepts of Forest Landscape Restoration principles, to identify forested areas for protection and degraded forests for restoration. Adaptation planning will utilize suitable tools such as CRISTAL (https://www.iisd.org/cristaltool/), COBRA or any of the many other tools summarized here  https://www.iied.org/tools-for-ecosystem-based-adaptation-new-navigator and here https://www.iied.org/sites/default/files/eba_tools_navigator_tutorial_sept_2019_en.pdffile:///D:/2020%20Bids%20and%20carry%20over/Rwanda%20LDCF%203/Literature/Community%20Based%20Adaptation%20Practioner's_Guide.pdf.

To ensure effective uptake, the plans will be developed in a gender responsive and participatory approach, to engage a wide range of stakeholders in discussions about climate change in general and climate proofing the Imidugudu in particular. This is in line with the Land Use Planning Guidelines (2017)[2]. Particular consideration will be given to ensure meaningful participation of women, youth and other vulnerable or potentially marginalized groups. Activities under this output include: a) Mobilize communities and conduct training to ensure their effective participation in the design of the adaptation plans (in conjunction with output 1.4); (b) Review available EbA planning tools and select the most appropriate for application under the Rwanda pilot areas’ conditions; (c) Conduct planning meetings - facilitate a discussion on the importance of the landscape for each of the stakeholders and sectors and how the actions of one stakeholder group or sector can influence the vulnerability and adaptation prospects of others, either positively or negatively; (d) Review and stock taking of socio-ecological information and information on the institutional and regulatory context; (e) Analyse climate change scenarios and assess current and future vulnerabilities (includes updating/ground trothing the vulnerability assessment report); (f) Identify, select and appraise adaptation options – including trade-offs; (g) Develop a clear, long-term implementation strategy, a financing and sustainability strategy; (h) Develop an M&E system to support adaptive management, learning and upscaling; (i) Develop and disseminate guidelines to integrate the EbA plan into day to day activities of the local communities and the existing development programmes, policies, frameworks and planning mechanisms at the local level; (j) Design a sustainability strategy to ensure continued implementation of the EbA plans and start its operationalization before the end of the proposed project; k) Reflect on the EbA planning process and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 1.5: Meteo-Rwanda capacitated to provide high quality climate information to support uptake of gender and COVID-19 responsive adaptation measures in the four project sites and nationally: This output will increase the capacity of Meteo Rwanda to generate required climate information to inform decision-making at central and project levels. Traditional methods of producing weather/climate forecasts using synoptic chart analysis are approaching a limit above which they cannot be improved further for greater benefit to users, who demand more accurate forecasts of the local weather/climate events. Enhancing climate related research, modelling and prediction of weather and climate through Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and climate modelling is the only way to ensure decisions are informed by non-proxy data in mitigating climate risks.  Numerical Weather Prediction products will inform not only policy makers at central level but most importantly at community level during their day-to-day activities, while climate projection information will guide policy and decision makers and interveners in their long-term plans, hence minimising costs and risk in the long-term.

To support the generation of numerical weather prediction and climate modelling products, the project will set up a centre at Meteo Rwanda, equipped with high capacity computers (2 mini cluster computers) and 4 desktops with super capacity to run mathematical and climate models and other relevant accessories. This centre will provide climate risk analysis and conduct climate sensitivity analyses. This information will be used in the development of the cost effective climate proofing models, defining climate proof settlements infrastructure, climate smart agriculture and resilience and in the assessment of long-term climate risk. Meteo Rwanda will be supported to actively contribute to downscaled weather and climate information which will be disseminated through regular channels nation-wide with a web portal created for online visualisation. The dissemination of the information will be accompanied by an awareness raising strategy to educate the public about the availability of the higher quality, more relevant interpreted climate information and the existence of the portal for the use/application of weather and climate information for day to day decision-making. This communication will be channelled through Communications companies (Television stations, radio stations, cell phone companies (Artec, Liquid Telecom and MTN Rwandacell), and newspapers.

Furthermore, Meteo Rwanda will partner with the Rwanda Agricultural Board and Twigire Muhinzi to further disseminate advisory services at the local level via the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA)[3]. PICSA will be used to reach out and empower farmers to interpret location specific weather and climate information in the project sites giving them options to cope with prevailing weather patterns amongst other factors so as to consider their implications on crop and livestock production. Lessons will be drawn from the four districts (Burera, Ngororero, Nyanza and Kayonza) who have benefitted from the Rwanda Climate Services for Agriculture (RCSA) project. Activities under the output include: i) set up and equip the numerical weather prediction and climate modelling centre; ii) conduct climate risk and sensitivity analyses and provide input into the development of the cost effective climate proofing model/defining and PICSA advisory services; iii) develop and disseminate awareness raising strategy on increased quantity, quality, relevance and access of climate data for decision-making; iv) partner with RAB and Twigire Muhinzi of Kirehe and Gakenke and roll out PICSA advisory services; v) Reflect on the process and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Outcome 2: Gender and COVID -19 responsive adaptation measures implemented in targeted landscapes following the landscape-approach

This outcome will pilot practical gender and COVID-19 responsive climate-proofing of Imidugudus in the four pilot areas benefitting both the old and new IDP settlements. It will work alongside three villages that Government and the districts have already identified for resettlement into new more climate smart villages (Muramba, Gasharu and Muzo), and whose upgrade is already budgeted for by government (output 2.3). LDCF funding will support climate-proofing initiatives through ecosystem based and diversified livelihood activities for the beneficiary communities, building on the Government co-financing of USD 10 million. It will also work with Bukinanyana village, which is already resettled in a more climate smart village as well as the inhabitants of the rest of the 191 villages in the four mini-catchments to support the implementation of the EbA plans. This will including the rehabilitation of the degraded hotspots to restore ecosystems services, upgrading of housing and infrastructure around Imidugudu to more climate smart versions, adoption of climate smart agricultural practices to increase land productivity and food security,  promote the uptake of water harvesting and efficient household energy options to reduce pressure on the forests and more effective utilization of existing value chains to increase household incomes and resilience. Collectively, these measures will enable the beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme to create, improve and sustain livelihood options that collectively reduce their exposure and sensitivity to climate risks at the landscape level while simultaneously increasing their adaptive capacities. The results of this pilot will inform the design of the entire settlement programme of Rwanda to include climate change adaptation.

Outcome 2 will utilize the results of outcome 1 (skills and tools); it will provide feedback to the planning process of outcome 1 and the policy reform under outcome 3, informed by on-the ground practical implementation. It will contribute to the formulation of the participatory monitoring and evaluation plan and generate the knowledge to be collated and shared via outcome 4. It therefore forms the core of the project, and will be delivered through six outputs, described below.

Output 2.1: Climate smart agricultural practices adopted to increase and sustain food production under uncertain climate and COVID-19 scenarios in the four pilot areas: Land productivity has declined significantly on isolated farms (outside the land consolidation system under the Crop Intensification Programme – CIP), with over 75% of the households reporting that they do not get surplus produce for sale, in an area where agriculture is the main source of livelihoods. The project will rehabilitate degraded and unproductive lands to increase land productivity and increase food production for consumption and sales, which increases adaptive capacity. The project will therefore support: a) households to consolidate farms and join the CIP; b) construction of radical and progressive terraces in degradation hotspots; c) diversify livestock farming systems; and, d) popularize crop and livestock insurance as measures to support climate responsive practices.

Under land consolidation, the project will assist households to consolidate their lands in order to start farming under the Crop Intensification Programme and take on other climate smart agricultural practices. It will therefore raise the awareness of the communities about the gender and COVID-19 responsive climate smart options available for adoption (for cropping, agroforestry and livestock systems) they can adopt. Individual households will be encouraged and supported to adopt the practices appropriate to their circumstances. Support for this output will be channelled through the Twigire Muhinzi structures whose functions are described in Box 5.

The project will also assist willing households to diversify livestock using the Girinka model. The Girinka provides one cow per household in a merry-go-round system. The project will work through producer cooperatives to facilitate households to engage in these alternative livestock production systems. The project will also train the households on practices to integrate pasture production and food production systems to increase availability of livestock feed.

The project will support households to adopt crop and livestock insurance schemes, offered by the private sector. The GoR has recently (2019) initiated a subsidized insurance scheme for selected crops (maize and rice) and cows under the Girinka, where it provides 60% of the premium. GoR has entered into collaboration agreements with three insurance companies (Radiant, SONARWA and Prime Insurance) to roll out these insurance schemes country-wide. Radiant Insurance Company has been designated (by GoR) to operate the programme in Kirehe and Gakenke. Many of the households in the project area are not yet fully conversant with how these insurance schemes will function. The project will mobilize farmers in the project area to join the insurance scheme, exploring means of raising the premium, e.g. through the SACCOs and VSLAs. Activities under this output will include: a) Confirm degraded agricultural lands and degradation hotspots (in conjunction with the EbA planning); (b) construct radical and progressive terraces on about 300ha, treated with manure and planted with crops such as beans, maize, bananas; (c) Rehabilitate the irrigation system in Bukinanyana by constructing at least one structure to capture and store rain water; (d) Facilitate land consolidation process for the resettled households (identify suitable crops, establish cropping cycles, in line with the adaptation plans and the established extension support cycle, mobilize farmers to participate (making their land available), facilitate the delivery of the extension services availed under the land consolidation programme; (e) Review the climate smart agriculture practices (many available online) and determine suitability for use by the project (taking into considerations gender and COVID-19 requirements); (f) Disseminate the information and make households aware of the various available options and support farmers to implement measures appropriate for them, through the regular extension service (Twigire Muhinzi); g) Update list of alternative livestock and the requirements for successful adoption and disseminate the information; h) Organize interested farmers into clubs and/or cooperatives which will generate initial funds (either through savings or link to micro loans), and support formulation of livestock merry-go-rounds (in the same manner as the one cow programme under Girinka); i) Collaborate with Radiant Insurance Company to disseminate information on crop and livestock insurance schemes and recruit households to register; j) Reflect on the process of  facilitating adoption of climate smart agricultural practices to increase and sustain food production under uncertain climate scenarios in the four pilot areas and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 2.2: Degradation hotspots (forests, hilltops and wetlands systems) identified by the EbA plans are rehabilitated to restore ecosystems services as the cornerstone of resilient livelihoods – covering at least 500 ha distributed across the 23,560ha: The baseline assessment identified degradation hotspots across the landscape of the four pilot areas (Table 2 and map 2 of Annex 1). These hotspots will be confirmed by the ecosystems-based adaptation plans to be formulated under outcome 1. Informed by the Environmental and Social Impacts Management Plan (ESMP), Gender and Stakeholder Engagement Plans, the project will treat these hotspots to boost the sustained provision of ecosystems services under the EbA context. This includes restoring forests to provide nature-based flood and erosion control, land stabilization in catchment areas and rehabilitating river banks to protect the water catchment services, reduce incidents of landslides and protect rivers and wetlands from siltation. The project will: a) stabilize 46km of degraded riverbanks via enforcement of rules and regulations prohibiting encroachment into the river channels combined with planting bamboo and other protective vegetation along the channels. These rivers include Rwagitugusa, Kibaya, Kagogo, Murutagara, Cyacika, Sumo, Mugambazi, Nyabarongo; b) engage communities in community-based protection of the 7,000 ha of forests found in the four  project areas; c) implement reforestation  programmes for at least 200 ha of degraded forest using the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR guidelines) guidelines.

To ensure effective reforestation  that balances trade-offs (economic, livelihoods needs and ecosystems restoration), reforestation  will be guided by the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) Concept[4], where the villages will produce FLR plans following the methodology introduced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and IUCN, as recently modified and applied for the Gatisbo FLR baseline conditions assessment[5]. Under these guidelines, no known invasive species will be introduced. Species whose potential for invasiveness are unknown will be carefully assessed to avoid accidental introduction of invasive species. The project will specifically promote research on indigenous trees and grass species which balance quick growth rates, economic potential and protection of the environment. This is necessitated by the fact that high levels of poverty, high population densities and associated land shortage present a significant challenge to establishing/expanding indigenous forests, since they are seen to compete with food production. Agroforestry is currently the more feasible option for producing wood products and ecosystem goods and services. The major agroforestry practices to be promoted by the project will include boundary planting, contour hedgerows, home gardens, silvopastoralism and woodlots. Activities under this output include:  a) Confirm the degradation hotspots and determine the community groups to actively participate in each of the rehabilitation works; (b) Undertake assessment of potential for invasiveness of all species considered for reforestation and promote research on indigenous species for rehabilitation, identify candidates and integrate them into the rehabilitation packages; (c) Mobilize/sensitize local communities in the hotspots, and refine training on specific rehabilitation measures/works (tree husbandry, terrace making and reestablishment of cropping systems on the new terraces, riverbank protection, etc.); (d) Establish tree nurseries (preferably via business arrangements, encouraging farmers who lose use of their lands for about a year (while establishing terraces) to take up such income generating activities; (e) implement land use zones in line with the EbA plans – e.g. survey and mark river channel boundaries to ensure clarity on all parties where utilization (annual crops, livestock rearing, etc.) should not cross; (f) Rehabilitate riverbanks by planting suitable grasses/trees, encouraging farmers who lose use of their lands for about a year (while establishing terraces) to take up such income generating activities; Maintain and protect seedlings (protect from grazing by livestock, monitor to replant if seedlings die off, weeding) for 2 years after planting; (g) Plant selected seedlings to reforest 200 ha; maintain and protect seedlings (protect from grazing by livestock, monitor to replant if seedlings die off, weeding) for 2 years after planting; h) reflect on the process of rehabilitating degradation hotspots (forests, hilltops and wetlands systems) to restore ecosystems services as the cornerstone of resilient livelihoods and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 2.3: Upgrading of housing and communal facilities around the Imidugudu to more climate smart versions in four villages benefitting about 500 households: Output 2.3 will test the implementation of the Imidugudu climate proofing model developed under output 1.3. The project will support the climate proofing of the IDPs, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive processes. The support will be spearheaded by the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) under the District Development Strategies (DDS) of both Kirehe and Gakenke, informed by the findings and recommendations of the ESMP. It will support the RHA and the Districts to refine the selection of the sites for the new villages, ensuring that medium to long-term climate information and the status of the ecosystems inform the choice. It will work on the designs of the new homes, ensuring that climate risks are factored into the building plans, thereby testing, or contributing to the development of building codes for climate proofed Imidugudu to be developed under outcome 1. It will ensure that all the stakeholders engaged in the building process, including the private sector contractors, have been trained on climate proofing (training provided under output 1.4). The project will also upgrade communal facilities by implementing the greening measures outlined in the IDP Greening Toolkit[6] (which will be updated by the project under output 3.1). Improving communal facilities will be contracted to the relevant private sector and will include upgrading roads, installing waste management systems, electricity installation (including solar power), establishment of tree nurseries and reforestation of the new villages, community halls and early education support systems. The project will explore geo-tagging of all climate proofed infrastructure, water bodies and other resources under the programme to enable interested stakeholders (communities and other decision makers) to track progress and better planning of resilient infrastructure. Activities for this output include: a) Provide technical input into the selection of sites, design and building of the new IDPs and climate resilient access roads[7], ensuring that each step incorporate measures to climate proof the process and the settlement programme; (b) Organize beneficiaries to establish nurseries, grow and plant various materials to green the public places in the new villages; (c) upgrade communal facilities to incorporate climate risks (roads, installing waste management systems, electricity installation (including solar power), d) reflect on the process of collaborating with government co-finance to upgrade houses to more climate resilient versions and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2). The design of the infrastructure and housing will deliberately integrate resilience and fit for healthy living in response to COVID-19, minimizing exposure to and community spread of diseases such as COVID-19. Consultations with health professionals will be done in the design of the housing and infrastructure.

Output 2.4: Rainwater harvesting and alternative energy options piloted in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process to increase resilience of livelihoods under the Imidugudu programme: Under this output, the project will support the beneficiaries of the resettlement programme (described under output 2.3) to acquire water harvesting structures to increase water available to households for domestic use and/or irrigation to counter the effects of irregular rainfall patterns. Implementation of this output will be closely guided by the ESMP and the Gender Action Plan. The project will support the acquisition of water storage facilities, based on best practices available. These could be tanks (underground and/or above ground as appropriate) for rain harvesting (minimum 3,000 litres). The project will undertake an assessment of water storage options to support adaptive capacity which are incremental in nature and use the findings to guide selection of systems to be disseminated. It will also support the uptake of alternative household energy technologies, to increase clean energy options and reduce pressure on the forests and the ecosystems. It will assist households to construct at least thirteen communal cowsheds (each shared by about 40 households), acquire a cow per household (under the national Girinka Programme) and construct and operationalize biogas units for the homes.  Households will be engaged in a participatory process to identify cattle breeds that meet a multi-criteria system (including sustainability).

Many households in the IDP villages have experienced challenges with the biogas; indeed observations during the project planning process (confirmed verbally by District and National Government Officers) show that many biogas units have failed due to a combination of facts:  a) the fixed dome bio-digester commonly used tends to be expensive[8], is complex to build and operate, and has a high rate of failure within the Imidugudu setting, especially in very cold places (such as Muzo/Kagano); b) The beneficiaries of the IDP villages are the very poor, many struggle with resources to maintain these systems (inadequate land, pasture and labour to feed the cows that produce the feed for the biogas) and an absence of a culture of maintenance, exacerbated by few available technicians to offer such services. The project will therefore utilize a mixture of household energy solutions which will include the following: a) explore cheaper, more efficient and less complex biogas systems such as the flexi-polyethylene tube digesters[9] which utilize a broader range of materials – including waste from pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, poultry, kitchen waste, market waste, grass, water hyacinth, farm weed and garden clippings. The project will review the outcome of several piloting initiatives undertaken in the country and if these are reliable and economically viable will actively support their uptake. (b) Biogas systems will be issued only to households who express the willingness and demonstrate abilities to maintain them. (c) Other households will be given the option of improved energy cookstoves. (d) Solar technologies will be promoted for both lighting and cooking. (e) At least 10 technicians will be trained on the biogas installation and maintenance as well as basic plumbing skills (for the maintenance of the water systems). The project will assist the communities to develop long term financing and business models for maintenance and replication of the technologies.

The project will further create awareness and demonstrate available solar technologies and improved cookstoves, encouraging local traders to supply them to increase availability locally. The Village Savings and Loans Clubs will be encouraged to use the joint savings to purchase solar equipment and the improved cookstoves under their normal mutual support systems, wherever appropriate. Activities under this output include: (a) Undertake an assessment of the different energy access options, including various biogas systems in use in the country and beyond and identify the appropriate system(s) for the households in the project areas; (b) Disseminate improved household energy options depending on the choices and abilities of households – includes construction of the selected biogas and BioSanGas toilets, improved cookstoves and solar technologies; (c) Construct thirteen communal cowsheds and link the households to the Girinka programme to acquire one cow per willing household; (d) Acquire 500 water tanks (each a minimum of 3000 litres); (e) Train (or provide refresher courses) for at least 10 technicians (5 of them females) on electrical, plumbing, biogas and road maintenance. These technicians will be engaged in the construction of these facilities to ensure practical on the job training; f) reflect on the process of providing improved water and energy systems and their role on increasing resilience and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 2.5: Beneficiaries of the Imidugudu supported to utilize existing value chains to increase resilience via higher household incomes: The project will support households to effectively utilize the many existing value chains, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process, to add value to produce and access markets, to increase household incomes and hence adaptive capacity, guided closely by the ESMP, the Gender Action Plan and the Stakeholder Engagement Plan. The value chains include milk, fruit processing, coffee, poultry, maize, beans and cassava sales. It will identify marketing cooperatives and increase their capacities to facilitate producers to cooperate, bulk and sell together, buy inputs together and add value through transforming together. The Table below shows an initial private sector mapping that will be expanded during project implementation and used to build stronger private sector engagement in project implementation. Annex 12 contains a list of other potential products and opportunities for bulking commodities with currently active value chains. Cooperatives will be provided with technical expertise (via training and coaching) to increase operational capacities and improve financial services to their members (improve financial literacy and savings). The project will refine the value chain and private sector engagement assessments undertaken during the project planning phase to create a list of active bulking and marketing opportunities and hence value chains and potential enterprises development opportunities; clear understanding of the challenges faced by households and potential entrepreneurs in accessing and utilizing current opportunities (in value chains and enterprise development); assess capacity needs and implement capacity building programmes and support the establishment of sustainable and scalable businesses. Activities under this output will include: i) analysis of market opportunities; ii) selection and implementation of income-generating activities to utilize the existing value chains (identified during the PPG and confirmed during inception phase), e.g. milk, coffee, fruits processing, poultry, mushrooms (detailed in Annex 12 – Baseline Assessment Report); iii) appropriate support to local communities on value-addition activities, including agro-processing and marketing skills; iv) financial education; v) formulation of sustainable financing options; vi) promote the development of local private sector agents such as agricultural service providers; vii) Establish an agribusiness forum for exchange on sustainable value chain development and private sector engagement; viii) reflect on the process of facilitating communities to utilize existing value chains and its contribution to building resilient livelihoods and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

 

Outcome 3: Policies and cross sectoral coordination

Under this outcome, the project will provide a policy enabling environment and improve cross sectoral coordination to create pathways for replication and scale up of the climate proofing concept. The project will ensure that the concept of climate proofing the Imidugudu and other infrastructure is captured in the national and district planning, budgeting and public investment systems, to provide a basis for budgetary provisions for its roll out. It will update REMA’s environmental planning tools to include principles of climate proofing. It will also increase the skills of institutions and platforms recently created by the GoR for cross sectoral coordination and disaster risk reduction. Building on the increased understanding and appreciation of the health-climate-environmental linkages due to COVID-19, the project will facilitate the involvement of the health sector in the cross-sectoral coordination capacity building process. The outcome will be delivered through two outputs, described below.

Output 3.1: Strategic review of policies, national and district strategies, programmes and planning tools to ensure they capture climate proofing of Imidugudu and other infrastructure programmes in the investment decision-making processes: Annex 12 shows the extent to which policies relevant to the Imidugudu mainstream climate risks.  The project will facilitate stakeholders, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process, to review the following strategic planning frameworks and to generate recommendations which will be provided to influence future planning cycles. These include the National Strategy for Transformation (NTS 1) 2017-2024, Rwanda’s National Investment Policy (NIP, 2017), the National Decentralisation Policy (2012), District Development Strategies (2018-2024), the Rural Settlement Strategic Sector Plan (2018-2024) and the Organic Law on State Finance and Property (No. 12/2013 of 12/09/2013 (Rationale for mainstreaming climate proofing Imidugudu in these instruments is provided in Box 6). The review of the Human Settlement Policy (2015) is currently under way, and likely to be completed by the time project implementation starts. The PIF and PPG processes informed the review of the policy. The project will therefore support the Rwanda Housing Authority to develop a strategy for implementing the revised policy, including aligning its budgets to the new policy provisions, to replicate and upscale the climate proofing concept.  The project will also review the following relevant policies and programmes and make recommendations for reforms to ensure that they provide strong basis for integrating climate risk into development processes, hence promoting replication and upscaling of the climate proofing concept:  National Urban Housing Policy (2008), National Disaster Management Policy (2012) and National Disaster Risk Management Plan (2013); the Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (SPCR) (2017); the National Strategy for Transformation (NST; 2017–2024); the National Land Use and Development Master Plan (2011) (under revision), Local Urban Development Plans (LUDPs), and Detailed Physical Plans /Area Action Plans (AAP’s) for local implementation. It will then ensure that relevant environment and building protocols further integrate climate risk considerations. These include the Green Village Toolkit by REMA / PEI and the REMA’s Environmental management Tools and Guidelines[10].  Activities under this output include: a) Review policies relevant to the Imidugudu (listed above), in a participatory and gender responsive process, recommend changes and advocate for their adoption; b) Update REMA’s Environmental management Tools and Guidelines[11]; c) reflect on the process of using strategic policy reviews to ensure budgetary allocation for the upscaling of the climate proofing model in the Imidugudu programme and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 3.2: Technical and community institutions trained to improve their effectiveness in the cross sectoral coordination units and networks recently created by the Government of Rwanda: The project will strengthen the systems for cross sectoral and District coordination (described in Box 4) created recently by the GoR to make it easy for technical departments to coordinate the multiple decisions needed to climate proof Imidugudu programmes. At the District level, these include the District Disaster Management Committees (DIDIMACs), Sector Disaster Management Committees (SEDIMACs) and the Joint Action Development Forums (JADFs). They also include community level institutions representing the communities – the Monthly Community Work (Umuganda), the parents evening forum (Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi) and general village assemblies (Inama Rusange y’Abaturage). Activities under this output will be implemented in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process and will include: a) Undertake training needs assessments for the disaster risk reduction and coordination committees, the JADF and the community institutions in the Kirehe and Gakenke districts and formulate a training programme, in conjunction with output 1.1; (b) Train the committees, JADF and the community institutions as per the training programme, in conjunction with output 1.1; c) reflect on the process of further strengthening capacities for the institutions mandated to coordinate cross sectoral and District coordination created recently by the GoR and the impacts on their capacities and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

 

Outcome 4: Knowledge Management supported by participatory and effective monitoring and evaluation

This outcome will provide monitoring and evaluation systems, codify knowledge and promote its dissemination to further support replication and upscaling. The project will design, in a gender and COVID-19 responsive process, a participatory M&E plan and integrate it into the M&E systems of the Twigire Muhinzi, District and/or relevant Sectors. It will also develop a comprehensive Communications and Knowledge Management Framework to coordinate communications and knowledge management (in a similarly gender and COVID-19 responsive manner). Knowledge products will be produced and disseminated targeting different audiences at all levels - local, national, international, including decision-makers, project partners, aligned programmes, community stakeholders. At least two knowledge sharing events will be held at the district level. This outcome is fundamental to monitoring the results of all the whole project, distilling and disseminating lessons. The outcome will be implemented through two outputs, described below.

Output 4.1: Development of participatory M&E plans and enhancement of communities’ capacities to monitor, learn and sustain the climate proofing initiative: The project will design a participatory M&E plan linked to the adaptation plans (in conjunction with output 1.4) and integrate it into the M&E systems of the Twigire Muhinzi, District and/or relevant Sectors. It will train community groups to provide the skills required for their effective participation in gathering data for monitoring, reporting it and using it to compile and learn lessons – to support adaptive management. The M&E system will take full cognizance of the complexity of ecosystems-based adaptation initiatives, especially the uncertainties of attributing improvements in environmental status to the outcomes in the short, medium and long-terms. At the district level, the implementation of the M&E system will link into existing GIS capacity in the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA).

A project-specific monitoring and evaluation plan has been developed (described in Section 6 of this Prodoc and Annex 3). Activities under this output include:  a) Building on participatory M&E plan produced via the EbA planning process, identify, in a participatory and gender responsive manner, additional indicators for the comprehensive monitoring of the effectiveness of the rural settlement programme on adaptive capacities of its beneficiaries. (b) Design and implement a training programme to equip the beneficiaries of the rural settlement programme in the project area to participate in data collection, storage, analysis and use of the outcomes of the process (in conjunction with output 1.1). (c) Design and implement a training programme for the technical institutions supporting the rural settlement programme on M&E, linking them to the GIS capacity of the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (in conjunction with output 1.1). (d) Refine the project Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (annex 3) to incorporate any amendments that may be necessary based on data or issues emerging from the planning process, and any refinement of the gender mainstreaming indicators. (e) Track project performance against the M&E framework quarterly, using UNDP Standard tools. (f) Carry out MTR and the TE and share lessons to improve current and future programming and implementation. (g) Reflect on the process of participatory M&E for communities under the EbA and Imidugudu Programmes and document lessons learnt (in conjunction with output 4.2).

Output 4.2: Best practices, lessons collated and shared, KM products codified and disseminated to support continued adaptation planning and implementation for the imidugudu program: The outcomes of this project are designed to strengthen the foundational capacities required to continue implementing climate-proofing measures in the Imidugudu programme and for on-going replication of similar initiatives country-wide. The project is therefore expected to contribute to the sustainability of all adaptation projects in and outside of the country. This output will promote dialogue, learning and cooperation between the project participants and other stakeholders inside and outside Rwanda, to catalyse upscaling. This will be achieved by engaging in communications and advocacy, knowledge networking and management. A comprehensive Communications and Knowledge Management Framework will be developed in Year 1, which will include strategic objectives, costed activities, roles, responsibilities, timeframes, workflows and institutional linkages to coordinate communications and knowledge management. The main elements of the Framework will include: (i) raising awareness through an effective community-led advocacy campaigns, supported by appropriate awareness-raising materials; (ii) developing and sharing communications pieces and knowledge products targeting different audiences (decision-makers, project partners, practitioners, community stakeholders), and using multiple formats, platforms[12] and media; (iii) engaging in local, national and regional adaptation knowledge-sharing events and communities of practice, ensuring that lessons learnt in the project pilot sites inform similar projects being implemented elsewhere, and that lessons from other projects are used in adaptive management of the proposed project; (iv) collating, organizing and making available all information relevant to the project – through a dedicated webpage linked to the websites of the key institutions engaged in the project – RHA, REMA, MINAGRI, Gakenke and Kirehe Districts Councils and UNDP. All relevant project documentation will be uploaded to the UNDP PIMS+ platform. All communications will adopt, to the greatest extent possible, digital technology including mobile based applications and use of social media to disseminate information to communities.

Activities under this output will include: a) Develop a Communications and Knowledge Management Framework for the project. (b) Guided by the Framework: i) Establish and support a community-led advocacy programme for the project, working through Farmer Promoters and FFS Facilitators. (ii) Prepare and disseminate communications pieces and knowledge products targeting different audiences (decision-makers, project partners, aligned programmes, community stakeholders). The products should include policy briefs, technical reports, best-practice case studies for release via various knowledge platforms, social media (which could include Facebook and Instagram, with postings released via UNDP and Government of Rwanda platforms), YouTube video clips that can be accessed on mobile phones, radio interviews, articles in the printed media. (iii) Facilitate stakeholders to participate in local, national and regional lesson-sharing events convened by related projects and programmes, and compile lessons learnt reports or communications pieces based on this participation. (iv) Convene at least two lesson-sharing workshops during the project’s lifespan (preferably linked to MTR and TE feedback sessions), and compile the proceedings into lesson-sharing reports. (v) Set up a dedicated knowledge management system (web-based) where all information relevant to the project can be accessed, in a well-archived form.

 




[1] The data is available in a database – to avoid unnecessary data collection

[3] PICSA was developed by a broad partnership including the University of Reading and the CGIAR systems and was successfully piloted in four districts – Burera, Ngororero, Nyanza and Kayonza.

[4] Ministry of Natural Resources – Rwanda (2014). Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunity Assessment for Rwanda. MINIRENA (Rwanda), IUCN, WRI. viii + 51pp.

[5] World Resources Institute, Ornanong Maneerattana, Fred Stolle, Tesfay Woldemariam; 2017: Baseline Conditions of Forests and Landscapes in Gatsibo District. Methodologies for Understanding Restoration Progress through Biophysical, Socioeconomic and Governance Indicators: Gatsibo District, September 2017.

[7] Climate proofing of infrastructure such as roads will include, but not limited to engineering and structural measures (such as Slope stabilization structures such as dry stone wall, gabion wall and jute bag wall; paving of roads with durable materials; improved drainage systems to avoid erosion of materials; planning and design with proper cross section and dimensions) and bioengineering measures ( such as use of vegetation, either alone or in conjunction with civil engineering structures such as small dams, wall and drains to manage water and debris thereby reducing instability and erosion on slopes). Specific measures will differ by site.

[8] Costing around Rwf 800,000 and Rwf 900,000 respectively (US$ 1260 and US$ 1410) for a 6m3 and 8m3 tanks, respectively

[9] The two digester sizes available, 6 and 16 m3, cost about $500 and $800 respectively (includes the stove, gas pipes, installation)

[12] Sample platforms on which technical publications could be shared include: Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE): http://www.cakex.org/ Ecosystems and Livelihoods Adaptation Network  (ELAN) http://www.adaptationportal.org Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) http://unfccc.int/nwp

Natureandpoverty.net The Nature Conservancy: http://conserveonline.org/workspaces/climateadaptation  weADAPT - http://www.weadapt.org/