Summary of EA programme
Degradation of natural resources and ecosystem functioning are the main problems the wetlands in Southern Benin are facing. Many people rely on wetland resources and/or make use of wetland services and functions. Therefore wetland degradation undermines many local livelihoods. The main driver behind continuing degradation is high population density and expansion. The last mentioned is further triggered by migration from the rural north to the cities in the more urbanized south. As the big and economic capital of Cotonou is situated down stream of Benin’s main river basin complex – the Oueme-So river catchment area - it has a very strong interaction with the surrounding wetlands. This further contributes to additional pressures on both wetland resources and functioning through urban encroachment on wetland areas, pollution and high demand for various resources. Expected climate change will be of influence on local livelihoods in the whole river basin.
Overexploitation of resources will be tackled through promotion of improved fish production methods and more sustainable and productive farming. Additional and/or alternative incomes will be generated through value added transformation of fish and farm products and promotion of eco-tourism where feasible. Communities will be given the capacity and tools to improve the management of their resources. With the communities important ecosystem assets and functions that support livelihoods will be conserved and rehabilitated. Part of these activities will be concrete examples of nature based adaptation to climate change. The various field examples serve as ‘field based laboratories’ that generate knowledge and experiences that will be documented and shared with other actors from local to international level. The experiences will be scaled up and replicated and serve to strengthen policy making and implementation on nexus conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable development.
Theme 1 – Livelihoods and Ecosystems: The main objective under this theme is creating sustained, ecosystem based livelihoods. We will do this by building capacities community based organizations and private parties. Building capacity of CSOs will lead to better knowledge and skills at community and individual level which in turn will contribute to sustainable use of natural resource, preservation of ecosystems and long-term poverty alleviation. The following specific results will be achieved under this theme:
- A total of 1500 ha of wetland area (including mangroves) have recovered productivity and function by 2015.
- 2500 households have adopted ecosystem restoration practices, and more sustainable resource use providing 30% more in basic needs (incl. income) by 2015
- 25 CBOs and target communities in Benin have improved knowledge and skills to work on ecosystem-poverty linkages by 2015.
- The role and importance of wetland ecosystems are taking into account in local sanitation and drinking water policies and regulations (PNE)
Theme 3: Ecosystems, people and climate: The main goal under this theme is to strengthen climate change policies and practices that support local livelihoods and maintain ecosystems for effective climate change adaptation and mitigation. Under this theme the following will be realized:
- Ecological functions of 5000 ha wetland ecosystem restored and managed sustainably by 2015, buffering climate impacts.
- Practical local examples of nature based adaption to climate change will be documented, analyzed and promoted.
- Nature based adaptation will become part of national policies an regulations on climate change