The 2023 second Regional Research Conference was held at the Kenya School of Government, Nairobi on Wednesday 24th-25th 2023. The Conference under the theme “Responding to Climate change through Land Governance in the region” brought together scholars and researchers from the region to discuss the pertinent issues affecting climate change and make policy recommendations to mitigate and adapt to Climate change through Land use.
Speaking while officially opening the two-day conference, Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang noted that the education sector has not been spared either by the adverse effects of climate change, noting that learners in several parts of the country miss school due to several challenges brought about by the changing climate. ’Tackling climate change, calls for collective efforts to combat for the overall good of humanity’ ’said Dr.Kipsang. He concluded by calling for collaborative approaches from all stakeholders, stating that the government was committed to hitting its target of 15 billion trees by 2032.
The Dean Faculty of Science & Technology Prof. Leonida Kerubo represented the Vice Chancellor Prof. Kiama. She noted rapid land use transitions including urbanization, conversion of farmlands and associated mutations are already threatening sustainability in land governance. She further noted, the University of Nairobi researchers are already playing a critical role: in the co-generation of knowledge especially in the context of climate change and the anticipated increase in the magnitude and frequency of climate extremes and their impacts. The Vice Chancellors speech also highlighted the important role the Instate for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA) has played; in building human capacity necessary to address the unique climate change and adaptation needs of vulnerable communities through teaching, action-oriented research, development of innovative technologies and community participation. The Institute also provides expert advice for national and regional policy formulation and implementation.
National Land Commission Chairperson Mr. Gershom Otachi noted that the country recently experienced one of the worst droughts in 40 years that occasioned loss of livelihood and acute food insecurity affecting over 5 million Kenyans. As such, Mr. Otachi said, the conference was timely to present evidence-based findings. He further stated that the conference was a platform through which the Commission and other land sector institutions, can deliberate and upscale climate change mainstreaming in land governance processes and procedures. Mr. Otachi further stated that the conference was a platform through which the Commission and other land sector institutions, can deliberate and upscale climate change mainstreaming in land governance processes and procedures.
On her part NLC acting Chief Executive Officer Ms.Kabale Tache hailed the organization of the research conference which followed the successful inaugural one 2021. “The Commission undertook the Inaugural Conference in 2021, and it was resolved that the research conference was to be held annually,” said Ms. Kabale.
The two day workshop concluded on a high with all the conference objectives having been accomplished: to collate, synthesize and share knowledge related to Land Governance and Climate Change, take stock of efforts to mainstream climate change, identify opportunities and challenges, assess progress on carbon trading, provide a platform for land sector and climate change actors to exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences, and generate policy recommendations to support mainstreaming of climate action in the region.
The conference was organized in partnership with the University of Nairobi, National Research Fund and National Bank of Kenya and was sponsored by European Union, Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), National Bank and KELIN.