The UNCCD implementation process for Kenya is explained and a number of measures taken in several important projects are elaborated. There were three broad overlapping phases: Phase 1: Creating an Enabling Environment. Phase II: Formulation and Elaboration of the NAP. Phase III: Implementation, Follow-ups and Evaluation.
Kenya is faced with land degradation and desertification and it is committed to combating desertification as reflected in its National Action Program (NAP) as per the provisions of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This Framework involves the inclusion of stakeholders in desertification combating initiatives. The NAP implementation process also recognizes four levels of operation, namely sub-regional, national, provincial/district and community levels and it is worth noting that some achievements have been realized in its implementation at the community level. These include development of various policies; strategies and development initiatives aimed at integration of the development of the Arid and SemiArid Lands (ASALs) into the national development frameworks. However, the country faces myriad challenges in its efforts to combat desertification, which include the growing imbalance between human population, resource utilization, development and environment.
Drylands are rapidly changing to the detriment of the environment. Increased number of livestock owned by migrants into ASALs has reduced the carrying capacity of these lands. The conversion of key livestock production areas to crop production as well as the establishment of 59 National Parks and Game Reserves in arid and semi-arid lands has also substantially reduced access to alternate wet and dry season grazing areas for the pastoralists.
Strategies to combat desertification are faced with many challenges, which include lack of general education and awareness with perceptions varying widely among stakeholders, climatic constraints, limited expertise in various fields, limited financial resources and mechanisms, poverty which is acute in most affected areas and inappropriate and/or inadequate policies and coordination mechanisms. Effective prevention of desertification requires both local management and macro policy approaches that promote sustainability of ecosystem services. Measures to arrest and reverse desertification are tailored to the local circumstance. The most effective are those that work with local communities.