Mainstreaming climate and environment in PSTA4

Agri-TAF is supporting MINAGRI with the mainstreaming of climate change and environment, i.e. with their integration into sector development policy and plans, rather than implementing standalone climate or environment projects.

Rwanda started the process of mainstreaming in the previous national and sector development planning period (2013-2018), with climate and environment identified as a priority cross-cutting theme.  A new development planning phase (2018-2024) is currently underway and Agri-TAF has been working with MINAGRI to apply climate and environment mainstreaming in this second phase, in the new Strategic Plan for the Transformation of Agriculture (PSTA-4).

The first step was to review the previous agricultural mainstreaming process and results, considering the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan (PSTA3) and the Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (ASIP-II).  Climate and environment activities were included in these documents, although they were listed as a separate sub-programme component.  There was also a set of national mainstreaming indicators developed, that were linked to the budget circular, to encourage implementation.  These included a number of indicators for the agriculture sector at the project or intervention level.

From this positive base, a deeper integration process was developed. A new method was introduced for the second phase (2018-2024) of agricultural mainstreaming, with the use of an iterative climate risk management approach that considered current climate variability as well as future climate change. More advanced governance arrangements were also included to help the integration process, with the engagement of the sub sector working group on climate and environment, alongside direct collaboration with the PSTA-4 planning team early on in the process.

The next step was to undertake a risk screening to identify climate and environment risks and opportunities in the agriculture sector in Rwanda, then to focus down on the programme areas as identified in the National Agricultural Policy and the early drafts of PSTA-4.  This considered whether, for example, climate change might affect the performance of policies, programs and projects, as well as the impact of policies, programs and projects on climate vulnerability. The final step was to integrate climate and environment directly into all programmes (rather than as a separate sub-programme).

Overall, a significantly greater level of climate and environment integration was achieved in the PSTA-4 (2018-2024), with the introduction of many climate smart agriculture interventions.  One reason for this was the integration of climate and environment in the high-level strategic outputs and outcomes of the plan, which encouraged mainstreaming at subsequent activity level.  The use of the iterative approach also helped to frame the importance of immediate climate action, as well early actions to address future climate change.

Following the development of the plan, Agri-TAF is now supporting MINAGRI with climate finance proposals to help fund the implementation of the integration activities identified, and have submitted a concept note to the Green Climate Fund.

The project delivers against a number key Agri-TAF objectives, with improved capacity (in MINAGRI and its agencies) to mainstream cross-cutting issues in agricultural policies, plans, and programmes.

The iterative approach adopted for climate mainstreaming