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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

UNDP GEF SGP grantees set to start Laikipia Maliasili newsletter

By Bob Aston
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 have initiated a quarterly newsletter called Laikipia Maliasili.
The UNDP GEF SGP 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).
Ms. Esther taking participants through newsletter creation process

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.
Laikipia Maliasili will feature four different themes namely; biodiversity conservation, ecotourism-Climate change, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), carbon credit and REDD+, water and energy. A school corner will also be established to incorporate Sustainable Land Management (SLM) related activities done by schools.
The first edition of the newsletter will be in July and will consist of both English and Kiswahili version. The UNDP GEF SGP grantees also selected a team to sit in the newsletter editorial board.
“Through Laikipia Maliasili, grantees will be able to capture and document indigenous knowledge relevant to sustainable natural resources use and management for posterity,” said Ms. Esther Lung’ahi, ALIN- Project officer.
The news letter target audiences include partners, farmers, farmer groups, government extension workers, schools among others.
Ms. Esther said that in a bid to enhance content creation the grantees will each send two representations from their organizations to be trained on citizen journalism from 30th June to 4th July. They will be trained on news writing, creative writing, feature writing, photography, interviewing, videography, online journalism (blogging) and media law and Ethics.
Participants during the inception workshop
Ms. Esther said  Laikipia Maliasili will help to close knowledge gaps, promote sharing of projects experiences among grantees, connect beneficiaries to policy makers, improve accessibility of indigenous knowledge, enhancing feedback of project activities, promoting replication as well as ensuring that the communities are better informed about Sustainable Land Management (SLM).
“The newsletter will help in providing a platform for knowledge sharing between partners supported by UNDP GEF SGP being implemented in Laikipia County,” said Ms. Esther.
The UNDP GEF SGP grantees also agreed to use Laikipia Rural Voices (LRV) blog for disseminating project activities.LRV will provide a platform in their blog for the same purpose. The blog has also been integrated with the social media to help in dissemination of information. This is also aimed at enhancing visibility of UNDP GEF SGP Project
Laikipia Maliasili will help to complement the UNDP SGP knowledge sharing project whose objectives include; 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.
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.

Knowledge sharing about SLM is essential to the successful management of natural resources. Opportunities for collaboration can play an important role in allowing different stakeholders to bring their unique skills and perspectives together to address various challenges faced.
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