Establishing Cross Sectoral Planning Mechanisms for Sustainable Land Restoration

To help incorporate cross sectoral planning mechanisms and frameworks, TRI Tanzania has worked to establish and support a cross-sectoral national working groups (a national SLR committee) with a core mandate to promote sector integration as well as guide and coordinate the implementation of SLR programs. This aims to ensure Tanzania achieves its AFR100 / Bonn Challenge Restoration target. Further, TRI has initiated the establishment of landscape level multi-stakeholder platforms to address competing and conflicting land use interests towards a shared vision. Cross-sectoral planning mechanisms are expected to address silos in planning, decision making and implementation of SLR initiatives to enhance biodiversity conservation, climate resilience and local livelihoods. Stakeholder engagement and participation is provided for in different policy frameworks defining the position as well as the specific roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders and sectors. By addressing multi-sector issues and including diverse stakeholders, TRI was able to incorporate cross sectoral planning mechanisms in SLR policies that also address cross-cutting issues such as good governance, resource mobilization, and gender.

The cross-sectoral mechanisms would not have been successfully established and functional without interest and willingness amongst stakeholders. Shared challenges, desire for a common vision and clearly defined priorities catalyzed the need for concerted efforts and effective communication, engagement and coordination ensured effective stakeholder participation in SLR working groups. The mechanisms provide opportunities for addressing and capitalizing on conflicting priorities and synergies, leading to win-win conservation and socio-economic outcomes.

By working to incorporate cross sectoral planning mechanisms and contribute to policy processes that use multi-sector and multi-stakeholder participation to address cross-cutting environmental issues, TRI Tanzania learned what interests and priorities each of the different sectors have and how restoration can be influenced and implemented by these sectors. Additionally, with the use of the cross-sectoral working group to guide and coordinate SLR work, TRI learned how the various agencies and stakeholders work together to negotiate,  formulate policy and mainstream restoration work. The process allows TRI to identify where relationships, alliances and partnerships can be established and strengthened, which synergies can be leveraged, and how the different stakeholders approach restoration policy process and implementation. All these lessons taught TRI how to best to design and operationalize cross-sectoral mechanisms that integrate sectoral interests and priorities and a range of cross-cutting issues.