The Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa, endorsed by the African Union (AU) 13th Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government, held in Sirte, Libya in July 2009, invites Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to convene periodic regional platforms to facilitate experience sharing, lesson learning, and dissemination of best practices in land policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring based on Member States experiences. It further invites RECs to capture and address issues of land policies within their respective common agricultural policy framework.
East Africa is well endowed with a variety of ecosystems that provide varied services, as well as habitats for a wide range of species.
The EAC‘s role and mandates on biodiversity conservation are provided under Chapter 19 of the Treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.
Four of the eight biodiversity hotspots in Africa are found in the EAC and are located at shared trans-boundary sites where they are critical for regionally migratory species. These hotspots are:
Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot (Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC);
Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa biodiveristy hotspot (Kenya and Tanzania);
East African mountains provide indispensable goods and services for both highland and lowland communities, and harbor unique biodiversity, provide non-timber forest products, water, food and energy security at local, national and sub- regional levels.
Pressure from human activities and climate change is leading to rapid montane biodiversity loss, land degradation and increasing disasters, jeopardizing mountains’ capacity to support livelihoods.
Under Article 111-2(c) of the Treaty, the Community sets to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources like forests and other terrestrial ecosystems. The East African region has a wide variety of forests that support a wealth of biological diversity.
The major forest types include:
- tropical and sub-tropical forests,
- forests plantations,
- Miombo woodlands,
- Acacia woodlands and
The forests are vital to people’s livelihoods and regional socio economic development through provision of goods and services.
An ecosystem is a collection of communities of both living and non-living things that are interrelated. While many ecosystems exist on land and in the waters of the world, terrestrial ecosystems are those that are found only on land.
The biotic, or living things found in an ecosystem, include various life forms, such as plants and animals. The abiotic, or non-living things found in an ecosystem, include the various land-forms and the climate.
The terrestrial ecosystems in the region include forestry resources; mountains ecosystems; mineral resources; land; and biodiversity.