The IGAD Biodiversity Programme (BMP) is a four year programme financed by the the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund. It supports IGAD in its efforts to protect the diverse wildlife, habitats and flora in the Horn of Africa. By building the capacity of local people to manage their natural resources sustainably, the BMP aims to reduce poverty in some of the most marginalised places in the Horn of Africa. The Programme also works to promote better cooperation between the environmental sectors of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Eritrea, Uganda, Djibouti and Sudan. By supporting the coordination of biodiversity policies in these countries, as well as working with partners at key cross-border sites, the IGAD BMP aims to empower local communities to manage some of their most valuable assets. 

Socio-economic development in the Horn of Africa and the sustainable management of its natural resources are inextricably linked. Yet a number of challenges threaten the future of the communities that depend on these habitats, as well as the region's unique biodiversity. These challenges include:

  • Over exploitation/depletion/poaching
  • Unsustainable changes in land tenure systems
  • Inadequate policies and regional planning
  • Inadequate capacity
  • Inadequate information/coordination
  • Insufficient livelihood opportunities
  • Inadequate policies and regional planning

As well as working with governments to develop regional biodiversity policies, the BMP disperses grants to three implementing partners at three cross-border demonstration sites:

The sites were chosen based on their location on country borders, their unique biodiversity and the importance of this biodiversity in terms of local and regional livelihoods, the high risk of habitat and wildlife loss, and their potential contribution to livelihood improvement. 

Grants for the implementing partners in the demonstration sites were signed in November 2013. The first year was spent putting in place the project teams, procuring equipment, holding stakeholder meetings and preparing baseline studies for each of the pilot sites. 

The Biodiversity Management Programme has 3 expected results:

1.    Conservation of cross-border land and seascapes strengthened and institutional capacities for management improved

2.    Policies for sustainable ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation at both the national and regional level improved

3.    Information generation, experience exchange and capitalisation.

Result 1 is implemented through actions at each of the demonstration sites. Results 2 and 3 are implemented by the BMP Management team based at the IGAD Secretariat with the support of a Technical Advisory Team (TAT) based in the IGAD Secretariat in Djibouti.