Photo: BES-Net

Nearly sixty members from Kenya’s science, policy and practice sectors came together last week to take stock and reaffirm their commitment towards helping Kenya reach its Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) goals and protect and conserve its ecosystems.

The event, which took place on 20th April, marked Kenya’s first Trialogue, a unique methodology pioneered by the GC-RED hosted BES-Net initaitive across regions and at the national level that aims to bring key actors in the conservation space together, engaging a diverse range of ideas, perspectives and values about nature to take action.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Walid Badawi, UNDP Resident Representative in Kenya, highlighted the value that Trialogues bring to the table. “This Trialogue is a platform that facilitates greater collaboration between scientists, policymakers and practitioners to address pressing issues and design solutions in a joint manner, adhering to the principle of leaving no one behind.”

Kenya finds itself in a unique position. Land and rich biodiversity are precious commodities in the Kenyan context with nearly 40% of the population turning to agriculture for subsistence. The loss of ecosystems and habitats have direct and serious implications not only for species conservation, food security and the fight against climate change but also dire economic consequences and the emergence of new zoonotic diseases.

Mr. Cyrus Mageria, Director of Multilateral Agreements, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, emphasized how land degradation due to human activities poses the greatest threat to sustainability. “To address these challenges in Kenya, we have set national targets that we want to attain in order to stop land degradation and promote sustainable use of land,” he said. Kenya has set ambitious LDN targets, aiming to achieve no net loss of healthy ecosystems by 2030 and restore almost 5.1 million hectares of land.

But achieving land degradation neutrality and ensuring valuable species are conserved, require concerted and coordinated action. Participants like Dr. Mary Guantai of the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service urged that the need for sustainable agricultural practices and effective natural resource management is imminent to protect pollinator species like bees and consequently, improving food security.

Participants came together to discuss Kenya’s National Plan on Land Degradation Neutrality and Pollinators and Food Security, building off initial discussions that took place at the Anglophone Africa Trialogue in 2019. The National Plan aims to:

  1. Transform the relationship between society and nature
  2. Improve current conditions for the maintenance of pollinator populations and services
  3. Transform agricultural landscapes

The Plan prioritizes research on pollinators, promoting integrated pest management and organic farming systems, raising farmers’ awareness, mapping and monitoring pollinator species among other actions.

As a result of this Trialogue, participants will seek to establish a national Trialogue Network of actors and players across different sectors who can help implement the National Plan. Kenya will also be one of the upcoming recipients of the BES Solution Fund, provided by BES-Net and the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).  The Fund will support in the implementation of some of the priority actions identified in the national plan.

For more information about the Trialogue, please visit: https://www.besnet.world/event/kenya-national-trialogue

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