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Friday, 13 June 2014

ALIN hold inception workshop for knowledge sharing project

By Bob Aston
The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) held an inception workshop for knowledge sharing project supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) at Beisa Hotel, Nanyuki, Laikipia County from 10th to 11th June 2014. The inception workshop titled Enhancing communities participation for effective natural resources management and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County provided an avenue for UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme grantees to deliberate on knowledge sharing.
The UNDP GEF SGP  funded grantees present at the workshop included; Kantuka Community Based Organization, Upper Ewaso Narok Water Resource Users Association, Rumuruti Forest Association, Ilmamusi Forest Association, Tuungane Tusaidiane community project, Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN), Sustainable Agriculture Community Development Programme (SACDEP), Segera Jirani na Mazingira, Yiaku Laikipia Trust and Laikipia Central Community Development (LAICCODO).
Mr. Anthony addressing participants during the inception workshop
Also present included representation from Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP) and the Laikipia County Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, Fisheries, Livestock Development, Environment and Natural Resources.
Speaking while opening the workshop, Mr. Anthony Mugo ,ALIN Deputy Director said the project offers a platform for knowledge sharing between partners supported by UNDP GEF SGP being implemented in Laikipia County.
“Our role is to facilitate knowledge sharing between partners. We aim to share the knowledge to help our communities improve their livelihood,” said Mr. Mugo.
Mr. Mugo said the project goal is to create an effective knowledge sharing platform to build communities’ capacity for effective stewardship of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices and enhanced resilience in Laikipia County.
He further mentioned the specific objectives of the project that included; to facilitate consistent knowledge sharing about Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM), to facilitate better knowledge sharing between UNDP SGP Projects in Laikipia County, to establish a knowledge access space for sharing and demonstration of technologies in Natural Resource Management (NRM) and to learn what the other partners are engaged in.
Mr. Kingori addressing participants during the inception workshop
“Ng’arua Maarifa Centre will act as a space for knowledge sharing for natural resources and sustainable land management,” said Mr. Mugo.
The  outcome of the project is to ensure better informed community members capable of adapting good SLM practices, preservation of biodiversity in Laikipia County, improved livelihoods of communities, improved communication and knowledge sharing, enhanced online visibility of UNDP GEF SGP project and improved accessibility of indigenous knowledge for enhancing communities resilience.
Mr. Kingori David Kariuki, Chief Officer, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources department in Laikipia County government thanked ALIN for holding the inception workshop as it had brought together different stakeholders involved in natural resource management and sustainable land management practices. Mr. Kingori noted that there is no need of duplication of activities among partners and encouraged sharing and collaboration among them.
Mr. Kingori said that the Laikipia County government is taking the concept of sustainable development seriously by ensuring that it has been incorporated in the County activities.
“We are looking at global environmental issues and emerging problems like climate change, loss of biodiversity, ozone layer depletion and trans boundary movement of hazardous waste as this will also affect Laikipia County communities,” said Mr. Kingori.
Mr. Kingori said the County government is looking at ways of utilizing resources in a sustainable way. The County government is currently involving the local and indigenous knowledge in the management of natural resources.
Participants follow proceedings during the inception workshop
“As a County we respect the indigenous knowledge in place of management of our natural resources. Indigenous knowledge is very critical in sustainability of natural resources,” said Mr. Kingori.
Mr. Kingori said the Laikipia County government is currently mapping out all the natural resources in the county so that the resources can be effectively utilized by the communities.
“The global environmental problems are affecting everyone and thus as a county we are looking at ways of addressing this issues. The County government has prioritized environmental conservation,” said Mr.Kingori.
The environment is an important issue in Kenya’s development agenda, with many communities directly relying on natural resources surrounding their localities to generate food for consumption and income. SLM is crucial in minimizing land degradation, rehabilitating degraded areas and ensuring the optimal use of land for the benefit of present and future generations.
SLM practices can contribute significantly to climate change adaptation and mitigation. It harbours great potential for preservation and enhancement of ecosystem services in all land use systems, degradation of water, soil and vegetation as well as gas emission.
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