While undertaking previous work, it was noted that lack of access and/or control of land, insecure tenure to land, and inequitable access to other resources were fundamental causes of poverty and vulnerability in Kenya and East Africa generally.
Moreover, the lack of ownership and access to land has been considered the most contributors to poverty. This has been witnessed in Yala and Malindi areas.
The history of land administration in Kenya, with all its facets of lopsided land laws, political patronage and corruption among others has had serious implications for a number of local communities and individuals.
The passage of the National Land Policy in 2009 and the new Constitution signified an important milestone in addressing the ever-potent land question in Kenya. Further, developments across the world call for greater access to information to enhance public participation in natural resource governance. Further, the changes initiated demands that steps need to be taken to increase awareness of members of the public. And more importantly, while changes are welcome, they remain mere promises waiting to be realised and therefore call for more work to ensure their realisation.
With this in mind, ILEG with the support of the Ford Foundation commissioned this two year project in 2010. The main goal of this project is to promote a robust and democratic governance of natural resources in Kenya. The project seeks to
- Seek the development of additional policy and legislative proposals to ensure sustainable development and guarantee access to land and land-based natural resources by poor and disadvantaged communities and groups.
- Promote mainstreaming of voices of local communities and other critical constituencies and innovations in development policies and legislative processes.
- Provide information and insights into ways and mechanisms for better securing of the assets of local communities.
- Enhance the capacity of the media to better report on environmental governance.
By the close of the project is it expected that: law and policies that will be developed will be in consonance with the constitution and best practice and that the stakeholders targeted will in a better position to make informed choices while participating actively in the management and governance of their natural resources.