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Land, Resources and Equity

Most Kenyans, especially the majority poor rely almost exclusively on land and natural resources,  such as forests, water, wildlife, fisheries, dry lands, wetlands and minerals – for sustenance. Apart from Agriculture which sustains over 80% of Kenyans, other livelihood activities like pastoralism, fishing, tourism and processing natural resources for sale are entirely dependent on natural resources

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Water Catchment

Introduction

Land, Resources and Equity Overview

Kenyans also rely on natural resources for food, water and energy for domestic use. Apart from being the sole livelihood source, land, particularly ancestral lands are also the subject of great emotional attachment. Indeed, discontent over ownership, access, use and control of land and resources therein has remained the most notable source of conflict in the country’s history.

Yet, Kenya’s history is wrought with conflict based on injustices related to ownership, access, use and control of land and resources therein. These conflicts remained largely unaddressed by official government policies and legislation until the National Land Policy of 2009 and the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 put in place an overarching governance framework for the country’s land and natural resources.

These were followed by enactment and or review of several land and natural resources – related laws and policies. Among other things the reforms established guiding principles which must be observed while managing and using land and natural resources, including sustainable development, public participation, equity, and accountability.

However, these principles are yet to be fully understood and appreciated by the duty bearers and citizens alike, leading to continued unsustainable use of, irregular allocations, tensions, and conflict over natural resources.

Tensions and conflict over land and natural resources are expected to persist due to impacts of climate change, land degradation and increasing poverty and population growth. Moreover, recent discoveries of oil, gas and high-value minerals is expected to exert more pressure on the land available for other economic activities.

The Land, Resources and Equity programme seeks to promote and support development and implementation of appropriate laws, regulations, institutional frameworks and capacities for sustainable and accountable management of land and natural resources.

The programme also seeks to promote and support equitable access, utilization and sharing of benefits accruing from investments on land and natural resources. In addition, the programme seeks to support and work with local communities to practically conserve and restore degraded lands, forests, wetlands and other natural resources.

Overview

  • To undertake policy research on topical issues relevant to sustainable management, conservation and utilization of land and natural resources in Kenya and East Africa
  • To advocate for the development, review and implementation of laws and policies on sustainable management, conservation and utilization of land and natural resources in Kenya and East Africa.
  • To promote public participation and civic engagement in the management, conservation and utilization of land and natural resources in Kenya and East Africa.
  • To strengthen county level planning and coordination in the management of land and natural resources.
  • To strengthen capacities and enhance public awareness on sustainable management and utilization of land and natural resources.
  • To provide technical support to county and national government and other public agencies in the development, review and implementation of laws and policies related to sustainable management, conservation and utilization of land and natural resources.

Objectives

  • Conduct policy research on different topics around sustainable management of natural resources
  • Develop background papers to stimulate dialogue on topical land and natural resource issues.
  • Develop and disseminate policy briefs and ‘voices from the grassroots’ publications on topical land and natural resource issues.
  • Hold consultative meetings with law-making agencies – Kenya National Assembly and Senate, County Assemblies and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) on prioritization and fast-tracking of natural resource-related Bills.
  • Hold multi-stakeholder forums to discuss, review and push for development, review and implementation of natural resources-related laws and policies.
  • Work with local and mainstream media to take part in TV and radio debates and develop and publish news features and opinion articles on sustainable natural resources management
  • Provide relevant information to citizens and civil Society organizations for informed public participation and civic engagement
  • Support citizens and civil society to participate in public policy and decision-making, including monitoring government functioning, voicing concerns, and promoting accountability.
  • Strengthen local community organizations and networks working on environment and natural resources issues.
  • Train local communities and civil society organizations on community-based natural resource management
  • Train county assemblies on legal and policy principles of natural resources management
  • Facilitate intra and inter-county as well as international cross-learning visits.
  • Provide technical support to county assembly committees to develop land and natural resource-related bills, policies motions and plans.
  • Support local communities to conserve and restore degraded landscapes through tree-planting and other landscape restoration activities
  • Support local communities to establish and manage tree nurseries for landscape restoration projects
  • Provide field extension and information services to support landscape conservation and restoration projects.

Current Projects

Past Projects

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