The Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) project concerns two transboundary river basins in the Horn of Africa and East Africa: the Blue Nile/ Eastern Nile Basin in Ethiopia, and the Ewaso Ng’iro Basin in Kenya/ Somalia. In these river basins, negotiations and decision-making on transboundary and trans-contextual hydropolitics are extremely challenging and often stall, due to uneven political and economic power among the parties involved. WLRCs aim to help overcome these obstacles by facilitating evidence-informed negotiation and knowledge-based diplomacy, ultimately contributing to sustainable water and land governance.
In Phase I (2011 – 2013) of the project, the Centre for Development and Environment and its local partners established two WLRCs in Ethiopia and Kenya. During Phases I and II (2013 – 2015) both WLRCs established hydro-meteorological observatories, which feed rich and open-access data and information repositories, produce tailor-made information products for various stakeholder groups, and implement transformative land and water management activities on the ground, such as learning watersheds. These efforts will be continued and strengthened in Phase III, which will run until the end of 2018.
The overall goal of the project is to improve sustainable water and land resource management and governance, secure environmental services, and deal more effectively with inherent conflict in national and transnational river basins in the Eastern Nile and East Africa. It does so by generating knowledge for devolved processes of negotiation, planning, implementation, and conflict resolution, with a view to balancing benefit-sharing and long-term preservation of water-related environmental services.
The project is designed to systematically collect, integrate, and share data that are otherwise highly fragmented, incomplete, or not available at all. Indeed, cross-sectoral and cross-scale knowledge generation and dissemination are essential preconditions for integrated regional management of water resources and resulting sustainable use of water and land. Both WLRCs have been consolidated institutionally and now serve as knowledge platforms for cross-scale policy dialogue, learning, informed action, and improved decision-making on water and land management, and governance.Furthermore, the WLRC in Ethiopia is developing and managing the Knowledge Base for Natural Resources (NR) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Ethiopia, (SLM-KM). The WLRC in Ethiopia is an institutional member of WOCAT and has signed an MoU with the WOCAT Secretariat in March 2016. It also started to document SLM best practices with the WOCAT SLM Technologies and SLM Approaches questionnaire.
Both WLRCs have established rich data and information repositories, produced tailor-made products, and implemented activities on the ground.The following knowledge products are designed to be of national, regional, and global relevance. They are targeted at policymakers/ decision-makers, the scientific community, development practitioners, and resource and land users.
Ethiopia: WALRIS http://walris.wlrc-eth.org/
Kenya: Social Hydrological Information Platform (SHIP) http://wlrc-ken.org/
2011 - 2018
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