The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania  and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.  Considering that natural resources are the drivers of national and regional economic development, the objective of the Environment and Natural Resources Management sector within the EAC is to promote sustainable use and management of natural resources and promote adaptation to climate change.

The EAC Treaty established in July 2000 provides for co-operation in environment and natural resources, and EAC Partner States have agreed to make a joint effort to co-operate in the efficient management of these resources. EAC is focused on strengthening the resilience and sustainable management of biologically significant trans-boundary freshwater ecosystems (EAC, 2010) and supporting adaptive capacities, and resilience to the negative impacts of climate change.

Lake Victoria Basin Commission and the Nile Basin Initiative have provided a collaborative platform for the management of shared water and land resources for a
number of years. However, an EAC wide plan to harmonise policies and laws to better manage trans-boundary natural resources is still in development (Tessema, 2019). Read More

Protocol on Environment and Natural Resource Management

The Protocol on Environment and Natural Resources Management was signed by the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania on 3rd April 2006. The Protocol has since been ratified by the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Kenya in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi were not yet EAC Partner States at the time the Protocol was negotiated and signed.

The United Republic of Tanzania has not ratified the Protocol due to a number of issues. The process to address these issues in order to finalise the ratification process and make the Protocol operational is ongoing under the guidance of the Council of Ministers. The Protocol is currently not in force and hence not a legally binding document pending ratification by all Partner States. Source


Instruments to Improve Conservation

Instruments developed by EAC to improve conservation in the region include a 2017-2022 strategy to combat poaching, illegal trade and trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products (EAC, 2018). This is a significant transboundary cooperation related to conservation of shared resources. It will support implementation of
activities, including the development of a regional wildlife conservation policy, economic and non-economic valuation of wildlife, strengthening community participation in the management of transboundary wildlife resources and establishment of Trade in Wildlife Information Exchange System (TWIX).

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