Assessing and strengthening institutional capacity for mainstreaming landscape restoration in sectoral plans

To ensure landscape restoration is adequately mainstreamed in sectoral and local action plans, TRI Tanzania undertook an assessment on institutional capacity for mainstreaming restoration in institutions with mandates related to SLR. The undertaking aims at identifying key capacity gaps and generating recommendations for enhancing institutional capacity for mainstreaming landscape restoration in the target plans. Target sectors are those with mandates relevant to SLR such as agriculture, livestock, land, water and mining. On enabling Ministerial mandates and operational arrangements, the assessment revealed low levels of staffing and competence on SLR. In terms of supportive policy and legal instruments, existing sectoral policies and strategies need to be reviewed and updated to accommodate emerging environmental global issues and ambitions. Cross-sectoral coordination structures exist, most of which are passive with limited capacities to coordinate SLR. Identified gaps and recommendations will inform the design and implementation of capacity building modules and programmes to enhance restoration integration in cross sectoral plans. Continuous strengthening of institutional capacity is a critical step towards supporting environmental restoration and biodiversity conservation in Tanzania.

TRI was able to build institutional capacity for mainstreaming SLR because of the expertise the project gathered. Other major factors are interest and willingness of target Ministries and Local Government authorities in participating in the assessment. The effectiveness of the capacity building programme depends on the extent that it reflects and addresses stakeholder issues. Critically, the participatory ROAM assessment informed the National Environmental Masterplan formulation process and ensured the right areas were prioritized in recommendations.

The existence of conservation regulatory frameworks alone is insufficient to advance and sustain restoration objectives in the face of competing sectoral priorities and land uses. A critical process is integration of restoration in sectoral and local action plans. Mainstreaming is critical for minimizing negative impacts of regulatory frameworks on SLR and maximizing synergies between restoration and development objectives. By undertaking assessment and delivering tailored trainings, TRI Tanzania has learned how to strengthen institutional capacity for mainstreaming SLR in sectoral and local plans. Institutional capacity for mainstreaming SLR comprises of both in-house technical capacity and adequacy of regulatory frameworks. Identification and assessment of the relevancy and strength of existing frameworks defines the nature of impact of such frameworks on SLR.