Institutions and policy in the Blue Nile Basin: understanding challenges and opportunities for improved land and water management.
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Haileslassie, A.; Hagos, Fitsum; Awulachew, Seleshi Bekele; Peden D.; Ahmed, A. A.; Gebreselassie, S.; Tafesse, T.; Mapedza, Everisto; Mukherji, Aditi. 2012. Institutions and policy in the Blue Nile Basin: understanding challenges and opportunities for improved land and water management. In Awulachew, Seleshi Bekele; Smakhtin, Vladimir; Molden, David; Peden D. (Eds.). The Nile River Basin: water, agriculture, governance and livelihoods. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. pp.253-268.
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In the past decades, both upstream and downstream countries ofthe Blue Nile Basin (BNB) had developed and adopted several policies and strategies related to land and water management. Yet there are important policy and institutional gaps that irnpeded adoption of improved land and water management strategies. An example of these gaps is the lack of upstream-downstream linkage and incentive-based policy enforcement mechanisms. In spite of long-standing efforts in improving land and water management in the BNB, achievements have been negligible to date. This is accounted for by land and water management policy and institutional gaps mentioned above. Addressing these gaps only at local level may impact the basin communities at large. Therefore, institutional arrangements need to be built across different scales (nested from local to international) that build trust, facilitate the exchange of information and enable effective monitoring required for successful water resources management (e.g. dam operation, cost and benefit sharing, demand management). Payment for environmental services (PES) is a potential incentive-based policy entorcement mechanism for improved land and water management and conflict resolution between upstream and downstream users both at the local scale and in the BN13 at large. This potential must be comprehended to bring about a win-win scenario in upstream and downstream parts of the BNB. Financing improved land and water management practices is an expensive venture and mostly within a long-term period of retums. A fully farmer-financed PES scheme may not be financially feasible (at least in the short term). Therefore, options for user and state cofinancing must be sought.