Immediate Objective B of the Project is based on the concept that the loss of biodiversity can only be reduced when the demand and supply of the resources is brought into balance leading to sustainable use of biodiversity resources. In order to bring about the necessary balance the project implements several activities which are expected to reduce demand for forest products from the target ecosystem; eg:

·        Provide for alternative supplies of major resources (fuel, poles etc) through promoting on-farm tree resources, and

·        Provide for livelihood and income strategies by stakeholder communities that reduce natural resource dependence.

This project is thus an Integrated Conservation and Development Project (ICDP), which seeks to meet conservation goals and social priorities of the people.  The participatory intervention planning process has led to interventions to integrate conservation and community needs.



One of the most difficult issues in design and implementation of ICDPs is that of linkages between livelihood interventions and conservation goals.  Many such projects (including this one) are designed on the basic hypothesis that one of the major causes for loss of biodiversity is the over-exploitation of resources due to the lack of alternative livelihood options available to resident populations. Indeed the site action planning process brought this to the fore. The interventions to tackle this problem were therefore based on the assumption that if alternative livelihood options are developed for local people, biodiversity loss will be reduced.

This broad assumption needs to be critically and carefully assessed before starting implementation. Many projects have run into problems in establishing linkages between “development” activities and "conservation" goals because of failure to appreciate the complexities of this issue. The hypothesis is an “attractive” one to many partners (especially within district and national governments, and even donor groups) as it establishes the development of livelihood options as an intervention strategy. There is, therefore, often considerable “pressure” within ICDPs to pursue this option as a priority. This has sometimes led to projects getting into a range of livelihood interventions without adequate analysis and assessment of their linkages with conservation.

·        At most sites in this project, there are interventions planned around the broad hypothesis mentioned above. It is therefore important to understand and assess conservation-development at each site carefully to make sure that development interventions contribute either directly or indirectly to conservation goals. Some of the interventions that have been discussed and developed by project partners together with the communities include;

·        Improved Agriculture in Sango Bay,

·        Beekeeping in Timu and Morungole in Kotido,

·        Passion fruit growing in Rakai

·        Reduction of post harvest losses in Napak and Kadam.

The regional consultancy planning input helped to examine the issue of conservation-development linkages in some detail as livelihood activities were being planned / undertaken at sites. There was need to generate a better understanding on the complexities of the linkages and the number of assumptions that need to be identified and addressed. It was made clear that even a part of a development activity requires a lot of planning and inputs to work in a conservation context and that we need to be careful when developing such strategies.

We describe one example here where the proposed development has been evaluated. We use this as a test case for discussion with our Mid-Term Review Team.

The Case of Promoting Coffee Growing by Sango Bay Forests in Uganda

One ongoing livelihood activity has had the opportunity to be examined in detail. The activity that has been initiated in Sango Bay is promoting the cultivation of coffee as a cash crop.. The objective was to analyse c-d linkages and assumptions in more detail and to identify supporting activities needed to ensure that the development interventions contribute to conservation goals. The activity was looked at for its contribution to livelihood development, its conservation impacts and sustainability. The Table shows the results of the discussions and analysis.

Table 1: An Analysis of C-D Links: The Case of Coffee Farming for Sango Bay

Overall Hypothesis: Promoting coffee growing amongst farmers (charcoal burners) will lead to a reduction in use of resources for charcoal and help to conserve biodiversity in Sango Bay




There is a market for the coffee

Prices? Fluctuation?

Impact of additional coffee on market?

Charcoal burners can be given adequate skills to convert to coffee growing

Is this realistic if they are not even doing effective farming at this point (which is why they are doing charcoal burning)?

There is willingness and motivation within the target group for this.

Whose idea was this? Who prioritised it?

The target group has adequate land and resources to take up coffee growing in a “substantial” way

Is this the case? Or are they the ones with less land and less capital to get into a cash crop?

The right target group can be identified and most of the people within this group can be targeted

What if only a few or part of the group is targeted? What about others? Will they simply hire additional labour to meet the demand for charcoal?

The amount of income generated from coffee growing is adequate to compensate for giving up charcoal burning

How much are they getting from charcoal? How much are they likely to get from coffee?

How much coffee will be grown?

Agreement can be reached and implemented on conservation regulations, roles and responsibilities

Has this process started?

What level of understanding/buy in on this is there?

Adequate resources and capacity is available for promoting and sustaining this initiative

Is the project the right agency for promoting cash cropping within a community?

There is political support for the initiative

Is this the main support? What is the motivation?

There are no negative long-term social or ecological impacts

What is happening to the continued demand for charcoal? Are we simply shifting the pressure elsewhere? Is this acceptable? Should the project also look into reducing the demand for charcoal?


What is the way forward?

Project partners have discussed and evaluated scenarios.  Coffee has been a main cash crop in Uganda for a long time. Prices are stable in country. The additional coffee may not significantly change supply volumes as to affect market prices.

Skills are available within the identified charcoal burners and coffee is not a complicated crop to manage. The introduced coffee is an improved crop and the charcoal burners have expressed interest and excitement in growing the coffee. Discussions with stakeholders indicated that the income from coffee is more than adequate to compensate for the giving up of charcoal burning. Additionally, it was noted that coffee tending required little effort to tend compared to the charcoal activity. The charcoal burning is not a very profitable activity and charcoal burners have acknowledged this and are eager to move to do something else. There is, as expected, tremendous political support especially at LC3 level.  And finally as this intervention was developed through a participatory planning process, the project was tempted to take it on.  What about if it doesn’t work?  This is where more sharing of ideas is necessary.

As the project moves deeper into implementation, it is important that lessons and ideas are regularly shared and discussed between the stakeholders and between the sites because of both the similarities and the differences in many of the initiatives being developed at the various sites. This is critical to both ensure cross-border linkages and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the project. It would also help to build staff capacity when ideas and approaches are regularly shared and discussed.  Mechanisms to enable sharing, learning and ensuring consistency need to be enhanced.


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