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MainDBNew: Participatory planning as a tool for effective stakeholder engagement in addressing ecosystems challenges: Lessons from the Ecosystem Based Adaptation in Mountainous Ecosystems programme, Mt Elgon, Uganda.

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Participatory planning as a tool for effective stakeholder engagement in addressing ecosystems challenges: Lessons from the Ecosystem Based Adaptation in Mountainous Ecosystems programme, Mt Elgon, Uganda.




UN and affiliated organization; Non-governmental organization (NGO)



Scope of work
















Good practices and lessons learned




Date of submission






Adaptation element

Adaptation planning and practices; Technology support; Stakeholder involvement; Vulnerability assessment

Adaptation sector/theme

Ecosystem-based adaptation

Climate hazard

Land and forest degradation




Ecosystems submission


The Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in Mountain Ecosystems Programme is a Flagship Programme that was jointly implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with funding from the Germany´s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Its approach was to support countries´ local and national adaptation strategies by helping rural vulnerable communities adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of natural ecosystems. The programme was implemented in Uganda, Nepal and Peru. This case study reports experiences from Uganda. Case background In Uganda, the project was implemented in the Mount Elgon landscape, in the districts of Kapchorwa, Kween, Bulambuli and Sironko. Mt. Elgon is the seventh highest mountain in Africa. It is an important catchment that straddles the border with Kenya. The population relies on rain-fed subsistence agriculture (vegetables, fruit, paddy rice, yams and sugarcane). Predicted climate change impacts include a temperature rise of 0.5-0.6°C for the next 20 to 50 years, while rainfall will increase by 18.7 mm over the next 20 years. The drier months of June, July and August are expected to become even drier. This is expected to lead to several climate-related hazards such as soil erosion, flooding, landslides and drought. In response to these challenges, several activities were undertaken These include; improved riverbank restoration interventions; soil and water conservation; gravity flow irrigation during drought; and tree planting to stabilize soil to reduce erosion and landslides. These activities were identified through both scientific assessments and ground-truthing through a participatory process. The participatory process Project implementation centered on enhancing awareness and creating a forum for relevant actors and groups to fully and equally participate in decision-making. Previous experiences showed that powerful groups would position themselves to access the relevant project information and benefits, preventing the less powerful/privileged from being involved. Therefore, the participatory process was deliberately promoted to ensure inclusion of the less powerful sections of society, especially women, the very poor and youth. These are more at risk and less able to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change Stakeholder mapping and analysis was undertaken to identify and understand the relevant actors with a stake in the project, their interests, expectations, level of understanding, and influence. This enabled the project to make the right prioritization and put in place the right communication channels and entry points. It also provided an opportunity to integrate local knowledge in climate change analyses. By doing this, local people were given an opportunity to articulate and enhance their own knowledge and understanding, and to plan actions for all-inclusive implementation of the project activities. Besides the communities, the relevant local government departments were engaged from the onset to ensure better coordination and harmonization of activities within districts. Because of this early involvement, local governments took responsibility and ensured that the project was integrated into their plans. Coordination meetings between districts led to a call for better harmonization of interventions within the Mt Elgon landscape to ensure concerted efforts. This led to the birth of the Mt Elgon Stakeholders forum (MESF) with the overall aim of providing a platform for coordinating the scattered interventions within the ecosystem. The forum provides an opportunity for considering Mt Elgon at a landscape level where various stakeholders get a common understanding of the issues within their landscape, and how they affect or are affected by various interventions. This then guides strategic interventions. Through the forum, partners have been able to share information and understand the inter-linkages in across their work. Tools and methods The following tools and methods were applied for participatory planning and implementation • The Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis framework: IUCN chose to apply this framework because of the various tools and processes it provides to collect, organize and analyse vulnerability and adaptive capacity. • The Community-Based Risk Screening Tool: Adaptation and Livelihoods (CRiSTAL): It provided a platform for all key actors to build a common understanding of the climate issues and a strong ownership of the solutions proposed, because it is based on local needs and priorities. • Forests – Poverty linkages toolkit: This was applied to understand the contribution of the Mt Elgon forest products to peoples’ livelihoods, and evaluate the different ways how the goods and services were being impacted on, in order to inform the project EbA interventions. • Joint planning meetings: The outcome of these was a shared understanding of the project objectives and the expected contribution from each stakeholder. • Community visioning: This was undertaken at the site level and helped communities develop their desired future as a target they should ensure to achieve through direct involvement in the project.

Expected outcome


Further information



Indicators of achievement



Case study




United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)



Regional group


Target group

Communities; Practitioners









Type of knowledge resource


Scale of work






Implementing partners







Content Type: NWPSearchableItem
Version: 1.0
Created at 10/10/2018 14:30 by Serkant Samurkas
Last modified at 10/10/2018 14:30 by Serkant Samurkas