Water resources management and REDD+ in East Africa

REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, including the role of conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of carbon stocks in developing countries. This mechanism is intended to provide payments to developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forests, and could support activities such as the conservation of existing forests, sustainable forest management and enhancing carbon stocks, which may include reforestation or afforestation activities. The emergence of REDD+ provides an opportunity on both the regional and national scale, to invest in long term sustainable forest management that not only contributes to mitigation of climate change through reduced deforestation and forest degradation in the region, but also provides an opportunity to complement regional and national strategies to address water issues. By integrating REDD+ strategies with country-level strategies and programmes for water management, REDD+ stands to supplement the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) approach. The likely option of catchment based forest conservation, reforestation and afforestation means that REDD+ can contribute to the enhancement of watershed ecosystem services relevant to current and future economic activities, and can contribute to averting the looming water stress in East Africa.