By Madeleine Nyiratuza
In May 2018, the Vital Signs Programme contracted the Center for Geographic Information Systems at the University of Rwanda to participatorily analyze Rwanda’s Vital Signs data and produce information useful to decision-makers for the design of more effective strategies and interventions. Vital Signs collects and integrates data to provide decision support tools to policy makers, businesses and farmers to influence development in a way that protects the environment, while also improving human wellbeing. The Vital Signs Programme in Rwanda has been hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2015. The second round of country-scale data collection in Rwanda was completed in April 2018. In total, 265 vegetation plots were visited, 609 roadside assessments sampled and 300 household surveys conducted.
This work involves extensive engagement of stakeholders to derive contexts of results and generate insights that will be relevant and applicable in efforts to solve food security and resilience challenges in Rwanda. The centre is expected to provide recommendations that will help decision-makers to develop a sustainable land use strategy and a framework for monitoring and regulating land use changes among others.
The scope of their work includes:
- A Rwanda policy analysis to examine the extent of integration of ecosystem services, agriculture and human wellbeing.
- Assessment of socio-economic and spatio-temporal effects of climate change and potential adaptation measures and options that can allow farmers in Rwanda to increase their resilience.
- Evaluation of trade-offs between socio-economic and ecological needs to propose sustainable land use options.
- A Rwanda Atlas that characterizes the context, vulnerabilities, and opportunities at national and sub-national scales, including information on patterns of current, historic, and projected future trends in: land cover and land use, climate, biodiversity and distribution of protected areas, soil types and suitability, water availability and quality, agricultural productivity, infrastructure, and human wellbeing.
The centre will also deliver a policy analysis report that highlight effects of climate change and potential adaptation measures and options, trade-offs between different socio-economic and ecological needs and proposed options of sustainable land use, downloadable and interactive digital versions of the Rwanda atlas and a policy brief.
Stay tuned for more on the results of this work.