Albertine Rift Valley:
The Centre for Rural Development is working in the heart of the Eastern Afromontane Region (Albertine Rift Valley), considered by BirdLife International and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to be “one of the biological wonders of the world, with globally significant diversity and endemism”. However, as CEPF acknowledges, “despite a wealth of natural resources, the region is characterized by intense and pervasive poverty. The grip of poverty impedes sound, sustainable development as local people and governments adopt development models and initiatives with short-term unsustainable gains”. Currently many farmers in this region do not fully understand the tradeoffs between economic opportunities and environmental sustainability and are intensifying in a financially and ecologically unsustainable fashion. Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife fund and the MacArthur Foundation have all identified this area as a top priority for conservation and sustainable development. It is for this reason our work is geared towards practical and cost effective interventions that help smallholder farmers improve their agricultural/land use practices whilst enhancing the communities ability to adapt to climate change. Although initially focusing on agriculture productivity and environmental sustainability, CRD seeks to pilot interventions that assist smallholder farmers to collectively adapt to climate changes by implementing village-scale carbon, watershed, biodiversity and landscape enhancing activities.