The nexus between biodiversity conservation and climate adaption

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The nexus between biodiversity conservation and climate adaption
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By Robert Kigongo

A while ago, I visited Manafa District for sound land use activity under our alumni umbrella the KOICA Association of Uganda.

As an environmentalist and climate action crusader was excited about knowledge dispensation opportunity in agronomic practices, marketing strategies and gender mainstreaming strategies for economic growth between the community and the KOICA alumni in regards to sound land management.

Elgon is famously known as the best coffee farming region but I was disappointed with ‘KUFU Coffee Model farmers’ in Manafa District. Sincerely, I could not tell if they are coffee growing community or peasant hunters.

While interacting with the KUFU model peasant coffee farmers, they outlined excuses caused by challenges. From climate change, drought, soil conservation issues to extinguishing biodiversity, but according to my observation lack of knowledge on sound land use was the missing puzzle.

In the same Elgon Region in nearby district Mbale, the farmers in Wanare Subcounty and Wagagai are better utilisers of the land than Manafa despite facing relatively similar challenges. The difference between the community of Wanare and Manafa is definitely in sound land use or land management for better productive and production.

When we practice sound land use we can effectively and efficiently address biodiversity conservation as a proven mechanism of climate adaptation.

Subsequently, ‘the nexus between biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation refers to the interconnected relationship between how land is used, preserving natural ecosystems, and addressing climate change’.

Sound land use decisions significantly impact biodiversity and climate adaptation and the reverse is true.

Habitat preservation

Conserving natural habitats maintains biodiversity and supports ecosystem services crucial for climate regulation, such as carbon sequestration and water shed services.

Ecosystem-based adaptation

Preserving and restoring ecosystems like wetlands and forests helps communities adapt to climate change by providing natural barriers, flood regulation, and water filtration.

Sustainable land use practices

Agronomic Practices like agroforestry, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture promote biodiversity, sequester carbon, and enhance ecosystem resilience.

Land-use planning

Synchronising biodiversity and climate mitigation and adaptation into land-use planning ensures that development and conservation priorities align, minimizing trade-offs.

Synergies and trade-offs

Correlating the relationships between land use, biodiversity, and climate adaptation helps identify synergies like carbon sequestration and habitat preservation and trade-offs like bioenergy production and habitat loss.

Subsequently, addressing the land use nexus requires a holistic approach that balances human needs, biodiversity conservation, and climate adaptation. Collaboratively, Involving stakeholders in Sound land use is paramount to sustainable climate solutions.

For example, in Wanare, a non-government organisation Eco Trust, Bugishu Cooperative Union, National Forestry Authority (NFA), Local government mobilised peasants to form committees and farming groups in Mbale District.

Eco Trust equipped peasant farmers with capacity building programs, ToT trainings, and contemporary tools for land use mechanism, seed funding, and social empowerment programme3s while NFA is providing free tree seedlings.

Eco trust has developed the multilane highway and achievement road journey tools for sustainable land use, biodiversity conversation and climate change adaptation.

Land being the leading cause of gender based violence the non-government organisation introduced social empowerment programs to redress the challenges arising from land despites in homesteads.

Bugishu Cooperative Union is buying the coffee beans from Wanare TGB carbon farmers as a result of increased productivity courtesy of sound land use and climate adaption.

The synergies between Eco Trust, NFA, Uganda Wild Authority, Local government as paved way for recreation services, water shed services, soil conversation and biodiversity conservation especial from the tree species Eco Trust and NFA gave to the farming groups.

Its vivid the Elgon Sub-region had tragically lost its tree cover due to deforestation activities, but right now the afforestation program in Wanare TGB carbon farmers comes with an incentive of Paying for eco system services from the carbon sequestration.

Besides, the deforestation the area faced massive soil erosions and landslide but as result of afforestation, coffee farming among other sound land use practices the disaster mitigation and climate adaptation measures have been a result of concerted efforts by community and partners.

Subsequently, there are four pillars metrics of measuring biodiversity benefits;

  1. Species richness indicating the number of species detected at the site
  2. Species Diversity that indicates captures of richness and evenness
  3. Taxonomic dissimilarity and
  4. Habitat Connectivity.

Ecologically, all these attributions are as a result of Sound land use that has enabled the nexus between Biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation. Additionally, embracing sound land use will increase productive not just in Manafa District and related areas but it will definitely reduce poverty levels in home steady’s and country at large.

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Mr4 Robert Kigongo is trainee of Food and Agriculture organisation and Eco trust in nature based business solutions.

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