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Harnessing and Managing Natural Resources at County Level Sustainably for Sustainable Development.
1 .INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND International Centre for Research in Sustainable Development (ICRSD) came into place after the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 57/254 to put in place a United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD), spanning from 2005 to 2014. After attending the conference in Paris, France, the panel of Eminent Research Consultants drawn from different disciplines, registered the organization with the main objective of carrying out and promoting research and capacity building in Sustainable Development with impactful outcomes in transforming livelihoods in Africa, the Pacific and Caribbean States. ICRSD’s main focus is to invest in research and strengthening institutional frameworks through capacity building focusing on the three main pillars of development that is; economic growth, social development and environmental protection, a process which enables to reconfigure businesses and infrastructure to deliver better returns on natural, human and economic capital investments at community level to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). 2. According to the Kenyan constitution 2010 article 174, there will be devolution of power where county governments will be formed and the objectives. Further, sub sections c, d, e and f takes cognizant of the principles of development where governance, natural resource use and management are articulated. In harmony with Article 69 of the Kenyan constitution, international centre for research in sustainable development in collaboration with the transition authority, Kenya’s vision 2030 and line ministries will ensure each and every county has realized their full potential as they will identify priorities, opportunities and challenges for development towards achieving vision 2030 as aligned in the national government. Recognizing the Rio+20 earth summit outcome, article 60 gives the acknowledgement that, sustainable management of natural resources will enhance eradication of poverty hence lower negative environmental impacts, increase resource efficiency and reduce waste.
3. International Centre for Research in Sustainable Development has developed a 47 county programme for strengthening and empowering the stakeholders at the counties to achieve their full potential for development though sound natural resource management, hence alleviating poverty at their various communities. These workshops will be multi-stakeholders ’ platform for discussing the effectiveness of the county development policies and strategies with focus on the natural resource use and management, at the same time protecting the Environment. There is need to empower the county stakeholders in order to realize the potential their counties have hence, establish a development driven agenda that reflects consensus on implementation of specific projects. These workshops will bring together a large number of participants including; the County Governor, County executives, County assembly representatives, Directors, Non-governmental organizations, Academia, Practitioners, Civil society organizations, the private sector, opinion leaders and other concerned stakeholders. 4. Under the theme “Sustainable management and harnessing natural resources at county level for sustainable development” the counties will build a strong development architecture that will steer development after the workshop where the outcome document will inform the county Government the priorities and opportunities laid forward by the stakeholder on the sustainable use and management of the natural resource available in that particular county. With special experts drawn from the sectors of Economy, natural resources management and environment will unleash every county’s potential for national growth focusing on Governance, Land use, Industrialization, Fisheries, Forests, Minerals and Water whereby best practices will be embraced. 5. These workshops will therefore underscore the importance of natural resources governance in the social and economic transformation processes at the county level to foster growth and poverty reduction. It will also emphasize the social, economic and environmental pillars associated with natural resources management, as well as institutional and policy frameworks within which natural resources can be effectively harnessed to meet development goals. Sharing best practices, innovative policies, operational frameworks, evidence-based knowledge and information and participatory arrangements for effective resource harnessing will be focused, along with showcasing appropriate institutional and governance frameworks for leveraging natural resources for every county’s development. 6. Globally, the competition for access to and development of natural resources has intensified, partly due to the rising demand for natural resources from emerging economies. This trend has reflected on commodity prices, which are at historic highs, and on the terms of trade, altered in favour of commodities. A historic opportunity has opened up for each county to effectively utilize its natural resources to catalyze economic development. This opportunity is enhanced by positive developments at the National level, including governance gains, greater
policy space, increased interest in exploring better platforms for development and raised aspirations among the citizenry for a better future. This is therefore an opportune time to deliberate on the roles and strategic importanc e of natural resources for community’s transformation. 7. With a reflection of a case scenario for Africa, 60 per cent of the cultivable land is not yet under production (see Economic Report on Africa 2012), the region has witnessed a proportionately higher share of the productive agricultural land being leased or sold to global investors who are anticipating greater gains from land deals. This increases the vulnerability of communities and groups, such as women and youth, currently struggling to access, utilize and own land. The growing concern about land rights, human rights, food security, environmental impacts, social dislocation and other issues on one hand, and the potential gains in terms of attracting much needed investment capital, technology and human capital in the agricultural sector on the other have sharpened the debate about the costs, benefits and appropriateness of large-scale land transactions on the continent. Shedding more light on the economic, social, environmental, institutional and governance issues around land transactions has become timely. 8. Kenya’s forest resources, the mainstay of energy supplies, have economic and sociocultural significance. Forests provide vital services which underpin economic performance, people’s well-being and environmental sustainability. Forests also play a vital role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, thus making it critical to focus on supporting communities, in particular the interaction of women and men with forest resources. There is an alarming deforestation in region, that can be termed as second largest loss in the world, is exacerbated by illegal logging, excessive reliance on fuel wood for energy use and uncontrollable bush fires, besides the emerging opportunities for enhancement of forest carbon stocks in climate change management and the debate raised about the policy, legal, institutional, technical and economic constraints that impact on wider application of sustainable forest management. Such deliberation on emerging strategies for sustainable management and development of forest resources in Africa and for enhancement of their contribution to overall development is also timely. 9. Inland water and oceanic/sea fishery resources offer tremendous potential and opportunities for development. Fishery resources contribute to nutrition and food security, create employment and income opportunities and generate export earnings. However, widespread unsustainable fishing practices and illegal fishing by predatory fishers have left capture fisheries with a shrinking resource base, undermining food security, economic well-being and ecological safety. Based on current knowledge, debate about resource management, institutional and governance arrangements and economic enhancement of the sectors for broader contribution to development is long overdue, calling urgently for a transparent platform for discussion.
Discussions will be organized around the following thematic focus areas: (a) Policy, legal and regulatory issues; (b) Economic issues, including participation and ownership; (c) Knowledge base, human and institutional capabilities; (d) Environmental, material stewardship and climate change; and (e) Governance, human rights and social issues. 10. Gender and youth empowerment will be taken into consideration as crosscutting issues in the discussion of all the above-mentioned areas as experts will break it down. 1. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES Overall objective The workshops will raise awareness and cultivate deeper understanding of the role of county’s natural resource governance in its economic transformation. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss frameworks; policy options and strategies to better integrate among others, mineral, land, wildlife, fisheries and forest management into county resource management programmes, strategies and policies. Specific objectives The specific objectives of these workshops include: (a) Demonstrate the role the county’s natural resources can play in its broad social and economic development; (b) Deliberate on the challenges that natural resources mismanagement could pose to county’s development, and offer governance and management models that can best support the county’s transformation; (c) Promote sharing of models, experiences, best practices and lessons learned in enhancing the role of natural resources in the development of the county; (d) Identify actions that need to be taken in priority areas in Natural resource management that best support development; (e) Debate emerging strategies and appropriate governance structures for sustainable natural resource development that makes a greater contribution to overall development; (f) Address equity issues, especially in relation to access to and use of natural resources; and
(g) Build and strengthen alliances and partnerships to advocate for implementation of action plans on natural resource governance to enhance development. (h) Give strategies and appropriate governance structures on Trans-boundary natural resource use for the development of both counties. 11. Workshop Structure: Presentations from experts drawn from different sectors. Plenary discussions by the experts with county stakeholders Parallel working group discussions on different thematic. Workshops will enable to generate ideas, share best practices and give recommendations to steer development. III. EXPECTED OUTCOMES AND OUTPUTS A number of outcomes and outputs are expected from these workshops. These include the following: Outcomes (a) Better-informed stakeholders about the role of natural resources for the county’s development; (b) Deeper understanding of stakeholders on how to translate frameworks and visions for natural resources management into practical policies and actions; (c) Strengthened capacity of stakeholders to advocate for prudent management of the natural resources to enhance their contribution to the county’s development; (e) Strengthened partnerships for advocating the role of county’s natural resource governance and management in the transformation of the county; (f) Strengthened budgetary and other financial resources for the implementation of innovative strategies, policies, programmes and tools to support better natural resource governance; and (g) Better understanding of needs, and approaches to addressing women and youth concerns in the design of policies, frameworks and strategies for effective management of natural resources. Outputs 12. Key workshop outputs will include the following: (a) The workshop’s reports (b) Recommendations and Issues papers (c) A Consensus Statements (d) An Indicative Plan of Action
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