On 13 October 2016, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the National Land Commission (NLC) in Kenya signed an agreement to initiate collaboration between the two institutions on land use planning and rangeland management.
The NLC manages public land in Kenya and recommends appropriate land management policies to the national government. It recently produced county spatial planning guidelines to monitor how land is used in counties across the country.
The agreement will give ILRI a chance to build on and expand these guidelines, incorporating inclusion of social and institutional aspects of land use planning especially in relation to the unique nature of arid and semi-arid lands where ILRI is working with county governments and the NLC in the livestock component of the Feed the Future Kenya Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) program to support policy development for rangelands management in Garissa, Marsabit, Isiolo, Turkana and Wajir counties.
The memorandum of understanding will guide collaboration between ILRI and NLC in three areas:
- Developing an annex to the county spatial planning guidelines which were recently produced and a complementary toolkit.
- Facilitating the mapping of shared resources in arid and semi-arid lands through a series of multi-stakeholder workshops, which will bring together knowledgeable local experts to document and map shared rangeland resources to lay the foundation for equitable and joint use of those resources by mobile pastoralists.
- Capacity development for county government personnel in spatial planning in rangelands.
The mapping workshops will result in geospatial data that will provide a better understanding of rangelands issues and needs of pastoralist livestock production systems
‘Land use planning is a powerful double-edged tool that can contribute to more effective rangeland management governance, but can make things worse if not well managed,’ said Iain Wright, ILRI’s deputy director general.
He said the collaboration between ILRI and NLC would be a stepping stone towards engaging in more activities. ‘I hope that in 2020 when Kenya will host a joint congress of the International Rangelands Congress and the International Grasslands Congress, there will be some success stories from this collaboration reported at that global forum.’
Tom Aziz Chavangi, the CEO and secretary of the NLC, appreciated ILRI’s willingness to collaborate with them. He said institutional foundation and enabling environment were important for formal community level and spatial planning processes.
The signing took place at the NLC offices and was attended by ILRI’s Iain Wright, Lance Robinson and Dorine Odongo, as well as NLC’s Tom Aziz Chavangi, Herbet Musoga, Charles Konyango Otieno and Rose Kitur.