The Government of Rwanda sets up a conducive policy environment to invest in several development initiatives. Agriculture sector as the main contributor in the economic development received supports to sustainably manage Rwandan hilly landscape, dominantly ranging from 5 to 55% slope gradient. Intensive erosion control interventions confronted with different approaches have been introduced in the country such as participatory landscape management, (participatory) integrated watershed management and site-located intervention without any specified approach. This chapter intends to describe and evaluate the impacts of these previous approaches used in Rwanda in order to retrieve the success stories and encountered challenges as lessons learnt in the future interventions for optimizing land productivity in a sustainable manner. Participatory landscape approach in Gishwati area was a success story in protecting degraded lands and generating ecosystem benefits. It leads to more sustainable natural resources management from participatory planning up to implementation which addressed the frequent landslides, erosion and flooding while sustainably exploit the land to the profit of local farmers in the livelihoods. About 6,600 ha of lands have been successfully protected with full-packaged bench terraces, rangeland blocks and forest regeneration. This participatory approach also helped to relocate people from high risk zones to other safe places and build capacities of farmers through farm-livestock cooperatives. On the other side, Nyanza and Karongi sites under LWH project also emphasized strong evidences how land husbandry technologies (terraces) efficiently reduced erosion risks and improved farmers’ livelihoods. Lands were made productive with implementation of bench terraces on 3212 and 2673 hectares respectively for the two selected sites. However, challenges were observed from technical and socio-economic contexts which might have caused farmers to abandon or under-exploit the terraced lands. Finally, the chapter suggests to scale up the participatory landscape management approach which supports the involvement of farmers’ communities in the process.
Part of the book: Soil Erosion