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‘Climate Change’ Category

An increasing number of national and regional support programmes and new funding approaches and initiatives are emerging particularly in industrialized countries seeking to strengthen local climate action through financial and capacity building measures. Efforts to improve enabling conditions for local climate actions are being undertaken and important lessons are starting to emerge:  improving planning and implementing capacities in local level governance institutions and initiating and advancing learning exchanges among the institutions. Moreover, the results of such initiatives are increasingly being fed back into national and international climate policy processes in order to promote their replicability.

To contribute to the above global efforts, The Institute for Law and Environmental Governance (ILEG) and adelphi Germany GmbH are partnering in implementing an International Climate Change Initiative (IKI) on “Strengthening national and county capacities to promote climate resilient low carbon development at county level in Kenya: Learning through exchange and networking.” The project is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Its overall goal is to contribute to the achievement of national climate-resilient low-carbon targets and priorities. County governments in Kenya are crucial in national climate policy, with decisive roles in the country’s climate-resilient low-carbon development and strong potential to promote efforts towards achieving national and global mitigation goals. The project will be implemented in Siaya and Kwale counties in Kenya.

As one of the activities under the project, ILEG organized for an inception workshop on 24th June 2015 at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. The participants to the workshop were key stakeholders drawn from community representatives, civil society, government, private sector and development partners. The workshop aimed at presenting the project to the stakeholders to seek convergence with the ongoing initiative, while exploring the gaps, barriers, and challenges encountered in achieving low carbon development. It was envisaged that this would  help align the project’s priorities with national and county climate change adaptation and low-carbon development planning priorities in Kenya.

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Climate change is possibly the most significant environmental challenge of our time and it poses serious threats to sustainable development globally. In Africa, dangerous weather patterns especially unpredictable droughts and floods are posing a
great challenge to national development planning and socio-economic well-being. In Kenya, climate change presents a number of economic, social and environmental challenges that should be addressed to avoid slowing development gains. Some of these challenges include increases in the incidences of waterborne and water related diseases, crop destruction by floods, escalation of pests as well as crop and livestock diseases. Other impacts include water scarcity which may foment natural resources conflict, food insecurity and malnutrition. Unless remedial measures are taken, this is likely to adversely affect the attainment of Vision 2030 because the key sectors of Kenya’s economy, including agriculture, horticulture, hydro-energy generation, transport, and tourism are extremely climate-sensitive.

The country has made some impressive progress on climate change response to date. This includes: the constitutional recognition of sustainable development, public participation in environmental decision making, and socio-economic rights; the intensification of forest rehabilitation and reforestation through a set level of mandatory forest cover; the establishment of climate change desks or offices in virtually all environmental government lead agencies; and the adoption of the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) and National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).

Despite the above progress, Kenya lacks a comprehensive and overarching legislative and institutional framework that can facilitate the necessary direction, guidance, coordination and high-level political buy-in to mainstream climate change and enable the effective implementation of actions to address climate change. The government is not well-equipped to keep pace with the emerging climate change issues from international climate change negotiations including transitioning to green economies. In addition, there are knowledge and information gaps at local levels, and challenges on mainstreaming climate change into local development planning in the face of ongoing political and economic reforms taking place. There is also a dearth of documentation of national, regional and international policy process, lessons and best practices that would help build a body of practice for mainstreaming climate change into environmental policy for African countries.

Responding to the above challenges requires multi-faceted and multi-pronged strategies. Those strategies traverse legal and policy responses and frameworks, financial and economic responses including availing resources for climate change action, political action, institutional strengthening and response and social strategies.  It also requires research and technological innovation and strategies

Our programme focuses on climate change governance at local, national and international levels through research, capacity building, policy formulation, legislation and implementation of projects.

*Ruth Nzioka is a Legal Researcher at the Institute for Law and Environmental Governance (ILEG). The views expressed here are a summary of ILEG’S  Publication CLIMATE CHANGE:A COMMON CHALLENGE by ILEG’s Executive diretor Benson Ochieng and Maurice Makoloo.

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This project seeks to promote diffusion of successful local climate policies and good practice across local, regional and international learning networks. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety as part of its International Climate Initiative (IKI) – mitigating greenhouse gas emissions area. ILEG is the implementing partner in Kenya under the global consortium led by Adelphi Germany GmbH. Other partners are the UN Habitat Regional office for Asia and the pacific in the Philippines and Vietnam; Sustainable Energy Africa and ONE World Sustainable Investments in South Africa. In Kenya, the project is implemented in Kwale County. The project focuses on subnational authorities since they are crucial in the implementation of the national climate policy. They have strong potential to contribute to achieving national and global mitigation goals. In this case therefore, diffusion of successful local climate policies and good practice across local, regional and international learning networks can contribute significantly to global climate goals. The project has 4 main components: (1) support multi-level dialogues, (2) strengthen the exchange of good practices between sub-national actors, (3) support the development of capacities of local government planners through a series of trainings, (4) research the multi-level governance of climate action, focusing on the urban transformation agenda and change processes.

The main expected outputs are:
1. Strengthened capacities for national and subnational government representatives’ local climate action planning and coordinating through dialogue events.
2. Develop a climate mainstreaming guide to enable subnational government representatives to integrate national low- carbon development goals and priorities into key development plans.
3. Strengthened key capacities of subnational government representatives to plan for and implement subnational climate-resilient low-carbon development policy.
4. Creation of an informal regional network of national and subnational government representatives responsible for local climate-resilient low carbon development policy.
5. The project results and experiences are documented and analysed in five accompanying studies and three scientific articles and made available to a broad public and scientific audience.

These outputs will be achieved through a series of activities including: vertical dialogue events to strengthen policy coordination between national and county governments; development of a climate change mainstreaming guide; organizing training seminars for government representatives in subnational administrations; organizing a study tour to South Africa by Kenyan government representatives for a moderated learning exchange; regional good practice exchange conferences; country studies and cross-country analysis; scientific articles.

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Natural resources governance and local development planning provide critical entry points for fostering appropriate climate change responses, consequently improving governance and deepening democracy in Kenya. Indeed, Kenya has developed national sustainable development and global climate change adaptation and mitigation goals. These include the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted to United nations framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCC) in July 2015. However, practical experience shows that counties are largely unable to systematically translate the national climate targets into local actions. Implementation on the ground is still sparse as the planning and coordination capacities and know-how in the Counties are insufficient to ensure effective cooperative planning, implementation and monitoring. This is the core focus of this project – to support systematic strengthening of county level planning, coordination and implementation of climate resilient low carbon development in Kenya.

The main objective of the project is to improve democracy and accountability in Kenya through systematic strengthening of county level planning, coordination and implementation of climate resilient low carbon development. The project is funded with UK aid from the British People, and has five main expected outputs:

  1. – Communities and county assemblies have strengthened capacities to participate in planning, implementation and oversight of climate resilient low carbon development.
  2. – Enhanced budget oversight and accountability for climate resilient low carbon development in project counties.
  3. – Women in project counties have strengthened capacities to adapt to climate change and engage in climate resilient development planning
  4. – County-wide community natural resource networks formed and strengthened for effective advocacy on environment and climate change.
  5. – Improved coverage and reporting of climate change issues in local media.

To achieve these outputs, the project has outlined a series of activities including trainings, development of a Climate Change Guide, radio civic education programme on climate change, policy dialogues, tracking of county governments allocation and expenditure on climate change projects, supporting women to pilot climate-smart development projects, and supporting local community advocacy networks.

Target group: Community-based organizations, civil society, county assemblies, women groups, local media and journalists, county-wide natural resource networks, and county governments. Final beneficiaries are local community members across the project counties, especially women, youth and minorities.

Duration: 4 Years – 2016-2019,

Location of the Action: Kwale, Kilifi and Siaya Counties

Click here to download the project brochure..

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