About the Sector – RD-MNR

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General Information

About 60% of all projects supported by HORIZONT3000 belong to the sector ‘Rural Development – Natural Resource Management’ (= RD-NRM). Additionally, about 30% of all the Technical Advisors in the Technical Assistance Programme are working in this sector.

The projects are located across the following regions and countries:

  • East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan)
  • Central America (Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador)
  • Senegal
  • Brazil
  • Mozambique
  • Papua New Guinea

Focus areas

In the sector RD-MNR, HORIZONT3000 currently prioritises the following areas:

  • Natural Resource Management
  • Agricultural production and livestock breeding
  • Entrepreneurship & income generation

Natural Resource Management

Depletion and destruction of natural resources is a widely spread and growing challenge in many countries of the global south, with devastating effects on the livelihoods of the rural and, particularly, the economically marginalised population. Much of the livelihoods of people in rural areas of low income and least developed countries depend on natural resources like soil, water, crops, and the diversity of nature in general. These resources are in danger and threatened by over-exploitation (for example through large-scale agro-industrial monoculture projects but also through the people themselves), resulting in a vicious cycle of destruction of the environment, a lack of economic alternatives, poverty, and thus, preventing local development.

HORIZONT3000 is currently working in three core areas in order to contribute to securing a sustainable management of natural resources in our partner countries:

  1. Water & Sanitation
  2. Forest & Soil
  3. Renewable Energies

Agricultural production and livestock breeding

Poverty is often closely linked to a lack of food security. According to the FAO, most of the people suffering from hunger and poverty are living mainly in low income or least developed countries in Africa and Asia. The FAO Report of 2012 declares that a higher productivity and efficiency of farmers present one of the possibilities to face these challenges. Investments in small-scale agricultural production are therefore an important strategy to fight hunger and to ensure food security in a sustainable manner, in accordance with the needs of the small-scale farmers. However, contributing to achieve food sovereignty is the objective in the long run. Thus, minimizing the environmental impacts of agriculture at the same time is part of this concept, because environmentally harmful and unhealthy cultivation methods also contribute to the impoverishment of small and subsistence farmers due to long-term damages made to soil and health.

Via the promotion of improved farming methods (most of them rather basic technologies based on the further development of traditional methods), quality seeds, and a variety of other agro-ecological strategies for specific contexts, the productivity of small-scale farmers can be enhanced. HORIZONT3000 focuses specifically on two areas to stimulate the productivity of small-scale farmers, via trainings, know-how transfer and material support:

  1. Agricultural and livestock production methods
  2. Agricultural inputs

Entrepreneurship & income generation

In order to ensure the sustainability of livelihoods in rural areas, the generation of additional income, both through the agricultural sector as well as through alternative ways in non-agricultural sectors, needs to be strengthened. This includes the analysis of local, regional and national markets to adapt production according to market requirements, trainings to strengthen technical and business skills, but also production of traditional arts and craft, or other sorts of products. HORIZONT3000 aims at supporting partner organisations via:

  1. Income generation through improvement of agriculture and livestock
  2. Alternative income generation opportunities



The main focus of the work of HORIZONT3000 and its partner organisations is on making a contribution to the sustainable and ecological use of natural resources, spreading the usage of renewable energies, supporting measures for climate protection, contributing to the achievement of food sovereignty, and, as part of the definition of food sovereignty, maintaining a constant effort to support a slow and steady shift to organic (and sustainable) farming. In addition, activities that promote participative and self-sustaining methods for income generation (such as the ERI – Enabling Rural Innovation Approach), or saving & lending schemes are pursued.

Partner Organisations

Generally, partner organisations of HORIZONT3000 in the sector RD-NRM are:

  • Farmers / farmer cooperatives
  • Community-based organisations
  • Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
  • church organisations (diocesan structures)
  • Private non-profit Hospitals

Capacity Development & Knowledge Management

Despite the overall emphasis of HORIZONT3000 to provide capacity development on three levels (individual, organisational, and societal level) to improve the living conditions of the target groups, HORIZONT3000 concentrates mainly on capacity development at an individual and organisational level within the sector RD-NRM. Key areas of know-how transfer are irrigation, production or processing methods, marketing strategies, or business basics.

At societal level, HORIZONT3000 contributes to strengthening networking activities of cooperatives and associations of its partner organizations at regional and national levels in order to put forward political claims in the name of the target groups for the protection of natural resources and the implementation of an environmentally sustainable agriculture.

On all three levels, experiences, instruments, and methods (= good practices) from partner organisations are identified, processed, and shared to the benefit of other partner organisations in the KNOW-HOW3000 network, as this is a general aim of the knowledge management programme of HORIZONT3000.

Cross-Cutting Issues

Cross-cutting issues are commonly defined as topics which, by their very nature, have a strong impact on all operations in a given field and, therefore, must receive special attention. For HORIZONT3000, engaged in the field of development cooperation, this means that the topics defined as cross-cutting issues – Gender and Environmental Protection – should be considered in all programmes and projects.


Strategies for sustainable development are only successful with a strong commitment to protect the environment in every possible way. Preserving natural resources and maintaining the natural biodiversity is a must in all the projects and programmes supported by HORIZONT3000.

To achieve this objective, holistic and integrated approaches for environment protection have to be developed and adapted individually for every project. Different natural landscapes, as well as local climate conditions, and other specific characteristics in the target region must be taken into consideration for these strategies.

Another important element of this cross-cutting issue is climate protection, or ‘action on climate change’. In the next three years phase from 2013-2015, HORIZONT3000 is developing a strategy to include actions on climate change into its strategy for rural development for two main reasons: first, most of the negative effects on climate change affect people in rural areas, and second, as part of the strategy for rural development, the importance of actions on climate change can better be highlighted.


HORIZONT3000 has defined gender as a cross-cutting issue, in line with common practice by almost all donors. Over the last decades it had become clear that this is not only a matter of justice for women, but also a matter of more efficiency and effectiveness in development cooperation projects.

For HORIZONT3000, gender equality is at the very centre for sustainable development. Adapting the interventions to different needs of the sexes, and working seriously for equal chances for men and women, is an important part of the value system and work of HORIZONT3000. Thus, a gender perspective is included in all programmes and projects of HORIZONT3000.

Additionally, in the sector Human rights – Civil society, the target group of specific interventions striving for justice and human rights are women and girls. Furthermore, men are included to achieve these objectives, if possible, after analysing the specific context.


Petra Herout, Sector Coordinator for Rural Development – Natural Resource Management

with funding from