A training and scoping workshop was held in Tanzania in August 2017 as part of the INTERACT-Bio project. It focused on defining and prioritizing nature’s benefits and policy options for Dar es Salaam.
ICLEI’s INTERACT-Bio project is designed to improve the utilization and management of nature in fast-growing cities and the regions surrounding them. It aims to provide expanding urban communities in the Global South with nature-based solutions and associated long-term benefits. The project supports governments at all levels – from local to national – to integrate their efforts for mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services into core subnational government functions such as spatial planning, land-use management and local economic development.
One of the objectives of the INTERACT-Bio project is to provide training on ecosystem valuation and prioritization, and based on this, the workshop had two main aims:
- To provide training on ecosystem services and various tools and methods available for taking nature’s benefits into account.
- To undertake various practical exercises aimed at defining specific ecosystem benefits to the city, identifying objectives and prioritizing options and opportunities for incorporating nature’s benefits into the functioning of the city.
The need to reconnect with nature and nature’s benefits is a key element of urban development. The workshop on nature’s benefits connected strongly with this theme and supports the Aichi Biodiversity target no. 1: to promote an awareness of the values of nature and biodiversity and the steps that can be taken to conserve and benefit from nature. Rapid urban development in the Global South highlights the imperative for subnational governments to mainstream nature’s benefits into sector policies, plans and the lives of urban citizens to directly contribute to more resilient and sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11).
The workshop was attended by 26 delegates. These included staff from the Regional Administrative Secretary’s Office, representatives from Dar es Salaam City and the five Municipal Councils of Dar es Salaam, representatives from the Environment Division of the Vice President’s Office and representatives from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, as well as staff from Ardhi University.
The workshop was presented jointly by ICLEI Africa and ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Center, together with ecosystem valuation experts from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany.
The workshop topic and deliberations also connected with COP decision IX.8: to “highlight the contribution of biodiversity, including, as appropriate, ecosystem services, to poverty eradication, national development and human well-being” as well as to Africa’s Agenda 2063 – Aspiration 1.10: “Africa’s unique natural endowments, its environment and ecosystems, are healthy and protected, with climate resilient economies and communities.”
INTERACT-Bio is a global project implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in three countries in the Global South: Brazil, Tanzania and India. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).