Watershed management focusing on smallholder driven SLWM practices

Lead Agency:

World Bank




Melaku Tadesse mela635@gmail.com

Country Focal Point:

Daniel Danano

Contact Information:


Project’s Development Objectives

The Project’s development objectives are to (i) reduce land degradation; and (ii) improve agricultural productivity of small holder farmers in selected watersheds in six regions in Ethiopia. The objective would be achieved through the provision of capital investments, technical assistance and capacity building for small holder farmers and government institutions at national and sub-national levels.

Project Description

The proposed Project is one of the projects encompassing the SAWAP program in support of the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) and that it builds on TerrAfrica Platform for Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM). The Project would build on the experiences and lessons learnt as well as progress made under the World Bank/GEF financed support and other similar initiatives in the country and elsewhere. It would focus a significant level of investment in main watersheds in the six regional states in Ethiopia. The proposed project would not be implemented in the urban states of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

Component 1: Integrated Watershed and Landscape Management

The objective of this component is to support scaling up and adoption of best-fit sustainable land and water management technologies and practices by smallholder farmers in selected watersheds/woredas in the country. The component objective would be achieved through scaling up of tested best practice land and water management models including watershed management, afforestation/reforestation, biodiversity conservation and protection of ecologically critical ecosystems, conservation agriculture such as no-/low tillage, agroforestry, climate smart agriculture, and pasture management in selected watersheds in the country. The Community Based Participatory Watershed Development Guidelines (CBPWDG) developed by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and synthesis of lessons on best practices from projects, pilots and other initiatives will be the project’s guide.

Component 2: Institutional Strengthening, Capacity Development and Knowledge Generation and Management

The objective of this component is to strengthen and enhance capacity at the institutional level and strengthen technical knowledge of key stakeholders, including within government, research and academia at all levels, the private sector and small holder farmers at the community level. The component objective would be achieved through (I) review of existing policies and legislations related to watershed management and protection such as the CBPWDG, reward and incentive schemes for market-based instruments such as carbon market finance, payments for ecosystem services (PES), policy on rural land use planning, benefit sharing, mechanisms for dispute resolution, etc.; (ii) training and farmer exchange programs to enhance the capacity of local communities and institutions at national and sub-national levels in: (a) climate smart watershed and landscape management/protection; (b) biodiversity and ecosystem protection; (c) participatory rural land administration and certification; (d) participatory land use planning; (e) participatory resource assessment; and (f) landscape beauty and recreational development.

Component 3: Rural Land Administration, Certification and Land Use

The objective of the component is to enhance the tenure security of smallholder farmers in order to motivate them to adopt sustainable land management. It would expand the coverage and enhance rural land certification and administration as well as local level land use planning in project areas that are the project watersheds or kebeles. It would support the use of low-cost appropriate geo-referenced and mapping technologies aimed at assisting in cadastral surveying and delineating various rural land parcels  and thus at strengthening tenure security for smallholder farmers in the project areas while stimulating investments by farmers in sustainable land and water management practices. The Component would build on lessons and experiences emerging from the Government’s own land certification activities, SLWMP-1 and the Government of Finland supported rural land certification initiatives in the Regional State of Benishangul-Gumuz and the Lake Tana sub-basin.