Stakeholder dialogue on land restoration synergies of the three Rio Conventions in Rwanda

Group picture of the stakeholder workshop

Participants of the stakeholder workshop on March 28-29 in Kigali, Rwanda; Photo: MINAGRI Rwanda

The ELD Initiative together with the University of Bonn and Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda, conducted a stakeholder dialogue workshop in Kigali on 28-29 March 2023 on land restoration synergies among the three Rio Conventions.

The purpose of the workshop was to present the findings of a new ELD-study on the "Economics of harmonizing land restoration activities across the Rio Conventions in Rwanda and implications for food security" to a broad community of land restoration stakeholders in Rwanda for their feedback and promoting ownership. As part of the workshop, representatives from various ministries, research institutions, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders explored opportunities for synergies for collaborative activities on land restoration in Rwanda.  

Discussion of scenarios

During the event, various scenarios for inter-agency collaboration on land restoration between the three Rio Conventions, national and other international organizations in Rwanda were discussed. These included: 

  • Joint Inter-agency Land Restoration Working Group: Establishing a joint inter-agency land restoration working group provides benefits by avoiding duplication of effort, reducing waste of resources, and improving efficiency by maximizing the effectiveness of actions. Suggested challenges include the creation of a layer of management that could impede development implementation, conflicts of interest between agencies, and differing mandates. To overcome these challenges, high-level political will and authority involvement, clear terms of reference, motivation, and incentives must be established. 
  • Information sharing platform and website: Developing an information-sharing platform and website can improve communication, access to data, and resource mobilization. Challenges include the exposure of data to cybercrime and the potential widening of the digital divide among users. To address these issues, secure and affordable cloud services, IT infrastructure and advanced technology from IT are essential, as are regular updates, monitoring and data protection measures. 

  • Joint monitoring and evaluation system: implementing a common monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system can provide timely, up-to-date information, fair recognition of contributions, and improved learning systems. Challenges include harmonizing the system, which can be resource intensive and time consuming. Robust monitoring and evaluation tools, expertise, and financial resources are needed for this approach to be successful. 

  • Joint mobilization of funds: Joint mobilization of funds enhances credibility, facilitates access to funds, and promotes sharing of proposal writing capabilities. Challenges include potential conflicts due to unequal contributions, reporting difficulties, and complex financial management. Overcoming these obstacles requires government support, donor basket funding, and capacity building for proposal writing and financial management. 

  • Collaborative research: collaborating on research projects allows stakeholders to share capabilities and data, access more resources, and produce high-quality results. Challenges may include conflicts in resource management and research agendas. 

The workshop was an important opportunity for highlighting the importance of coherence between land restoration initiatives in Rwanda. The participants supported very much that the potential for synergies need to be promoted. Ways forward for implementation were discussed. Overall, the workshop provided a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration and emphasized the need for greater coherence for land restoration actions.