African Landcare Network
The African Landcare Network (ALN) is a network of individuals, institutions, government and non-government organizations that are committed to champion the Landcare approach in Africa. The ALN has been supported and chaired by Landcare South Africa through their national Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries and the secretariat support comes through World Agroforestry (ICRAF).
The Government of South Africa pioneered the development of Landcare in Africa in 1997. In 2003, Uganda piloted Landcare at three districts with apparent success. In 2005, Tanzania and Kenya followed by initially building national capacity for implementing Landcare. Landcare projects in Nigeria and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have been underway for a number of years. Several other partners in African countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Ghana have also expressed interest, and requested information and support for developing Landcare. It is for this reason that the African Landcare Network (ALN) was pursued, with the vision to promote the Landcare approach, as a community-based approach to resolving many environmental problems and poverty issues shared by most African countries.
Objectives of African Landcare Network (ALN)
The main purpose of ALN is to build up a network of country Landcare programmes as a general strategy to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa by:
- Building a supportive African network that draws together Landcare initiatives to learn from each other through general information exchange, exchange visits, mentoring, regular conferences and training workshops.
- Integrating Landcare into Africa-wide and sub-regional programmes.
- Facilitating access to and transfer of skills through tertiary institutions and effective extension of research and development innovations.
- Providing capacity building to country members and other stakeholders with Landcare philosophies.
- Collecting and developing a database of Landcare success stories.
- Mobilizing resources within the network and other partners to support Landcare initiatives.
- Promoting partnership and creating buy-in among government structures for policy inclusion.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF AFRICAN LANDCARE NETWORK TO DATE
Capacity Building and knowledge management
- East and Southern Africa Landcare Masterclass.
- Hosted the African Landcare Network Workshop in South Africa 2016.
- Hosted the ALN meeting at the 7th Biennial National Landcare conference in South Africa.
Integration of Landcare into existing country programs levels of governance
- Support of individual country plans and needs, despite challenges of current available ALN resources and country bottlenecks.
- Discussions in East Africa have facilitated integration of Landcare activities into project design, as evidenced through World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) projects such as Strengthening Rural Institutions and EverGreen Agriculture.
- Initiation of an evaluation of the Landcare Masterclass format based on activities in East and Southern Africa.
- Development of Landcare communication products and tools in collaboration with Landcare International.
- Alignment of Landcare impacts into the SDG with a focus on SLM, environmental sustainability and food security.
- Alignment with broader strategic programs including the Africa Union, South African Development Community (SADC), East Africa Community (EAC), Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the way Landcare can contribute to the broader objectives.
Marketing awareness building and promotion
- Motivation – collect information for conferences and provide reward through supporting attendance.
- Develop specific ALN section under the Landcare International (LI) website and monitor.
- Promotion and publishing of best Landcare projects implemented by various countries.
- Sharing and identification of collaborative research activities and opportunities.
- Provide a linkage of the stories to funding providers to support future funding activities.
- Streamline organizational structure of ALN including champions for specific areas.
Partnerships and resource mobilization
- Secretariat to retain coordination, but ownerships is with the countries.
- Share tasks with member countries to facilitate greater ownership of the network.
- Consider regional and sub regional programmes in support of natural resource management such as Kalahari -Namib Trans-boundary.
- Consider partnership such as South Africa Airways “Sawubona magazine” for marketing of Landcare programme as a good and sustainable approach to food security.