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Beahrs ELP Blog

The Go Green (Nde’ho Maitso) Strategy

by Zoely Ramanase (ELP 2006)

The Go Green Strategy or “Nde’ho Maitso,” as termed in Madagascar’s local language, is currently being implemented by the food security program, Strengthening and Accessing Livelihood Opportunities for Household Impact (SALOHI), and Rural Access to New Opportunities for Health and Water Resource Management (RANONALA). Both of these projects are led by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and are financed by USAID in Madagascar. Additionally, CRS is involved to ensure environmental compliance of these projects as required by USG regulation 216 (US donor) and the Malagasy Government Environmental Chart.

The Go Green/Nde’ho Maitso Strategy is an approach that focuses on environmental reflexes. It consists of anchoring one or several environmental actions to an entity after repetitive implementation. A reflex is not obtained at once. This is valid for both simple and rather complex actions. The exercise is meant to be repeated at least four times through four evaluations. Each evaluation will take place every semester, and after each evaluation, improvements will be given to ensure the mastering of the action, its consolidation and an end result in behavioral change.

The Nde’ho Maitso-Go green strategy has four steps:

  1. The functioning period
  2. The trial period
  3. The consolidation period
  4. The anchorage period

At the end of these periods, it is hypothesized that the environmental reflex and behavioral changes will be attained.

I am the consultant who designed this strategy and has trained the SALOHI and RANONALA teams to implement it at the field level. In addition, I’m currently writing my doctoral thesis on “Environmental Reflex” at the University of Antananrivo in Madagascar where this strategy is the basis of my research. My thesis is expected to be finished in June 2013.


Mongolia’s New Environmental Law Packet

by G.Erdenebayasgalan (ELP 2009) and A.Sainbayar (Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Green Development)

Right after the approval of the 68th decree for the elimination of overlaps, contradictions and gaps in the law, the first priority of the Mongolian government was to do an analysis of the 18 environmental laws. These laws were systematically compacted into eight laws. Two new laws were then added and all were subsequently ratified through the Mongolian Parliament in May 2012. The following principles were adhered to in these legal innovations: to enable sustainable national development, exalt economic efficiency, responsibility, environmentally friendly development, implementation of compliance to international standards of auditing, “polluter recoup damage”, “local involvement in environmental protection”, “rising value of natural resources”, “generation of sustainable financial resources for funding environmental protection”, and “embedding sustainable management of natural resources.”

The newly revised Environmental Impact Assessment law reflects environmental strategic assessment and will impact environmental decision-making by facilitating public involvement in environmental assessment, control, and verification. Additionally, measures include appropriated protection and clear mining closure procedures along with actions to facilitate the implementation of the law. This law is significant as it reflects implementation procedures to offset biodiversity conservation and helps Mongolia to be on par with the global stage.

The soil protection law includes measures of desertification prevention as a consequence of the intensification of agriculture, mining, road construction, and urban land use as well as climate change. All of these activities increase negative and destructive impacts on soil, lower soil fertility, result in overgrazing and desertification, and decrease systems for prevention of soil erosion. An important consideration is also the facilitation of a safe and healthy environment for the human population. Additional measures include the establishment of accountability in environmental protection along with more elaboration on soil degradation, desertification gradation criteria and soil assessment methodology.

The water regulation law merges water resources with basin protection and introduces proper utilization and restoration practices. What is especially novel in this law is that it implements the integration of water resource management in 29 basins. To update adaptive measures based on the protection of ecosystems and the restoration of river basins susceptible to climate change, a project funded by the “Adaptation Fund” of UNDP is currently being implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development. Through this project, actions and strategies are being determined for biodiversity conservation of Mongolian dahurica, Uvs Lake Basin area, and to instill values that will assist people in adapting to new conditions resulting from climate change. According to the water pollution reimbursement law, individuals, economic entities, and organizations should be charged for water pollution.  Procedures are being carried out to further develop and improve payment and related regulatory systems.

With the expansion of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development into the Strategic Ministry, this will play a main role in determining the main steps of country development. Besides this, the Ministry is also working on the introduction and adherence to principles of raising the public’s ecological awareness, the establishment of a new system for economic incentives, and a merge between the financial structures of bank policies with green policies.

Designing a Monitoring and Impact Assessment Framework for the Development and Maintenance of Effective Integrated Landscape Interventions

by Armando Sanchez (ELP 2012)

Community representatives, decision makers and policy officials are currently in need of a reliable and comprehensive monitoring and impact assessment framework that allows them not only to monitor the outcomes of integrated landscape interventions, but also to determine the ecosystem, biodiversity and economic impacts of such projects. The objective of this article is to briefly discuss some difficulties in the design and implementation of an innovative framework that can play the role of an auxiliary tool for landscape management interventions.

One of the first things to consider is that the complexity of a monitoring and impact assessment framework will depend on the nature of the intervention. For example, if the goal of the project is to reforest and capture carbon, the measurement system should only take into account the temporal and spatial scales and can consist of a simple follow up of time series trends.  However, if the goal of the intervention follows an integrated approach, the type of system needed should include measurements of changes in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem maintenance, poverty reduction and their interactions. In fact, all of the technical components of the typical monitoring system will become more complex (i.e. objectives, variables, sampling strategy, data collection, data handling and organization). Even more, in the context of an integrated approach, the collected data might be associated to the spatial, temporal and individual scales. Having panel data with three dimensions makes the task more difficult to implement a follow up of the outputs and to infer causal relationships between management actions and outputs. So, some simplifying assumptions would have to be imposed to grasp the statistical patterns and causal effects of interest.

Another important aspect in developing a monitoring and impact assessment system in the context of an integrated approach implies the development of a comprehensive framework for describing and analyzing multi-objective and multi-stakeholder projects. To do so, one needs to rely on a team of experts from different knowledge areas capable of understanding the project outcomes from different perspectives and collaboration to disentangle the interactions between the social, biodiversity and ecosystems aspects. This team should also have as a goal not only to monitor, but also to determine the impacts attributable to the project, which might be a useful basis to improve the interventions. For example, the statistical tools typically used to isolate the economic impacts, counterfactuals, might be used in conjunction with monitoring tools, such as remote sensing, that are already in use to follow up reforestation patterns. Therefore, the challenge is to adapt the existing methodologies in a consistent framework that might be used to assess the benefits of an integrated project.

In general, a successful approach for the design and implementation of systems to monitor and assess the impacts of effective integrated approaches requires an alliance of experts with different areas of expertise and disciplines. All project stakeholders must be involved in the innovative design and the objective given the type of interventions needed nowadays to adapt to the challenges imposed by climate change.

Chipinge Rural District: A Case for Climate Change Adaptation Ensuring Food Security and Poverty Alleviation for Dry Regions of Zimbabwe (2012-2020)

by Osmond Mugweni (ELP 2008)

The Africa 2000 Network has identified an area with a lot of underground fresh water that is between 5 – 15 meters in Wards 23 and 25 of Chipinge District in Manicaland Province (Zimbabwe) through its Participatory Development Management Programme. This was through drilling four of the six boreholes funded by the Japanese Embassy. The four borehole yields are extremely good (data seen below). There are a total of ten villages in this zone (four in Ward 23 and six in Ward 25 with a total population of about 5000 households.

Africa 2000 Network can develop a Holistic development recovery that covers ten community irrigation schemes (one in each village), individual deep well schemes for 1000 households (100 in each village); a sanitation programme for family and group toilets at community schemes and individual family toilets as well as income generating programmes through well diggers and other related irrigation projects with a Holistic Land and Livestock Restoration of Land and Natural Water Sources Programme. The time frame can be three years. Funding is needed for this.

For further information on this project, email Osmond at


Sites of New Boreholes Drilled in 2011 in support by the Embassy of Japan:

  1. 1. Takunda A Ward 23 (BH A) Borehole Depth 50mtrs; Water Level 15mtrs; & Estimated Yield (Gallons Per Hour=GPH) 1050GPH or 1.3125 l/s
  2. Takunda Ward 23 (BH B adjacent to irrigation Block) Borehole Depth 50mtrs; Water Level 7mtrs; & Estimated Yield (Gallons Per Hour=GPH) 1700GPH or 2.125 l/s
  3. Chimurenga Ward 23 Borehole Depth 50mtrs; Water Level 5mtrs; & Estimated Yield (Gallons Per Hour=GPH) 600GPH or 0.75 l/s
  4. Mupawaneta Ward 25 Borehole Depth 50mtrs; Water Level 6mtrs; & Estimated Yield (Gallons Per Hour=GPH) 1200GPH or 1.50 l/s


Management Planning Process for Privately Owned Forests using a Participatory and Consultative Process in the Northern Albertine Rift Forests in Uganda

by Simon Akwetaireho (ELP 2012)

The Murchison-Semliki Landscape (MS-L) in western Uganda is one of the six core landscapes constituting the Albertine Rift and is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the African continent in terms of birds, mammals, amphibians and plants. In MS-L mosaics, there are privately owned tropical rainforests that are important for providing vital ecosystem services that regulate global and local climatic conditions, act as carbon sinks, and provide catchment protection to many streams and small rivers. The private forests also act as corridors and dispersal areas for wild animals like chimpanzees between government managed wildlife protected areas. Unfortunately, the corridor forests are being lost and degraded due to subsistence and small scale commercial agriculture, increasingly indiscriminate unsustainable logging, harvesting of fuel wood, and sub-canopy agriculture.

With financial support from American Electric Power in Ohio, USA and in collaboration with seven national and international conservation organizations, the Jane Goodall Institute is implementing a pilot project, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), in MS-L to provide incentives to local farmers to maintain natural forest on their land. The goal of the project is aimed at 1,541 private forest owners through building awareness, capacity, and governance mechanisms to access carbon payments and that benefit from the United Nations REDD approaches to climate change mitigation. The 1,541 private forest owners live in 19 separate Parish Local Governments and have been organized into 13 functional Private Forest Owners Associations for implementing project activities and channeling REDD incentive payments.

After being equipped with skills and knowledge in collaborative planning and facilitating multi-stakeholder processes by Beahrs ELP 2012, I returned to Uganda determined to facilitate and support each of the 13 Private Forest Owners Associations and to develop a forest management plan in a consultative, participatory, and integrated manner. Technical support was provided by a procured forest consultant, with me co-facilitating the meetings along with the Community Development Officer from the Hoima District Local Government. A village meeting was organised for each of the 13 Associations. The consultative meetings were held in September and October 2012 and were aimed, among other things, to develop a shared vision, goal and set of objectives for the management of private forests under the Private Forest Owner Association. I was specifically involved in facilitating four sub-working groups that were tasked to generate planning issues focused on the following themes related to forest management: benefits, problems/issues and associated potential solutions, stakeholders and their roles/responsibilities as well as community resource mapping.

The series of meetings culminated into the development of 13 private forest management plans and were ready to be implemented to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation through supporting farmers to undertake the following set of interventions: forest-based enterprises, agro-forestry, establishment of woodlots for firewood, conservation farming, profitable forest friendly cash crops e.g. cocoa and coffee, access to rural micro-finance services, and organic certification for farmers to be able to demand higher prices for agricultural products.

N.B. The implementation period of each management plan is 2013-2022 and each will require on average an investment of US$ 278,592 for implementation of the interventions for the entire ten years.

For further information, contact Simon at and

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