Lessons learned for improving policies affecting forest conservation and climate change adaptation in Kenya's water tower communities.

Published online
03 May 2017
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Russell, A. J. M. & Ongugo, P. & Banana, A.
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Africa South of Sahara & Kenya


This paper establishes the lessons learned to improve policies affecting forest conservation and climate change adaptation in water tower communities in Kenya. The key points established are: biodiversity conservation and livelihood policies are poorly integrated, undermining the implementation of both; national strategies for CC adaptation and mitigation follow traditional ministerial silos, risking the replication of problems associated with isolated portfolio approaches; and successful ecosystem-based adaptation on Mount Elgon requires greater cooperation between ministries, decentralized (local) governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities to: (i) integrate conservation (CC mitigation) and development (CC adaptation) objectives and activities; and (ii) build coherence in spatial planning to achieve biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, disaster mitigation and agricultural intensification across landscapes. Further, the paper suggests that decentralized governments have the potential to serve as coordinating bodies for jurisdictional EbA strategies and lead development of subnational CC initiatives.

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