SO 4: Improved natural resources management in targeted biodiverse areas by and for the stakeholders.
SO 4 is directly focused on improving sustainability and the team will be very thorough in that regard. However, although policy and institutional constraints are highly problematic for the environment sector in Kenya, the SO team does not plan to support direct work on the broader policy level to address fundamental causes of environmental degradation, such as inappropriate land tenure policy, due to limited resources and to the fact that this is not the Mission's comparative advantage. These causes will be addressed on a local basis within the program’s five focal areas, which we hope will provide successful examples of this approach for national replication over the long-term. Nevertheless in the short term, these national trends will continue to degrade surrounding areas and will therefore inevitably continue to impact them negatively.
In addition, on the local level, SO 4 plans to develop land use/community resource management plans (IR 4.1.2) to support a broad perspective on environmental, social, and economic sustainability, and to ensure harmonization with the Agency’s sustainable development goals. SO 2 partners will be involved to some extent in supporting these analyses to address agroecological issues. These land use plans will also be utilized to illustrate the need for a range of policy improvements to support sustainable natural resources management and community-based enterprise, including agriculture, in Kenya. Other USAID-supported programs around the world have used land use planning processes or community mapping processes to document their concerns spatially, and have found it a powerful tool for improving their negotiating position. (See for example, BSP-Indonesia; BOLFOR; etc.). From the natural resources management perspective, such plans will help highlight, for example, an increased need for strengthened wildlife protection, a more visible role for communities in resource decision-making processes, and stronger incentives for sustainable approaches to economic development in fragile lands. SO 4 will expand the vision for these planning processes to encompass related, outlying communities, if their livelihoods have the potential to impact focal area ecosystem functions.
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