Parliamentarians from the member States of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) participated in a highly successful tour to the dry lands of Northern Kenya to learn first-hand about conservation and livelihood. The aim of the tour was to raise the parliamentarians’ awareness of the importance of sustainable natural resource management for dryland livelihoods and to help them engage in policy dialogues in their countries. The parliamentarians toured three conservancies – Kalama (Samburu District), Gubadida (Garbatula District) and Naibunga (Laikipia North District) where they interacted with community members and government officials.
The eight parliamentarians from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia said the tour had a profound effect on their understanding of conservation issues among communities living in dry areas.
The parliamentarians discussed their experiences on this tour and agreed over a series of recommendations for the IGAD region as a whole, including:
- organizing an annual regional meeting on potentials and products of arid and semi-arid areas (marketing chains and value additions);
- promoting sub-regional policies for managing transboundary resources in arid and semi-arid areas; and
- putting in place mechanisms for exchange of information and experiences among IGAD countries.
The parliamentarians will also recommend that an IGAD-wide Inter-governmental committee on transboundary environmental issues be created. These recommendations will be presented to the IGAD Council of Ministers and ultimately to Heads of State for action.
The tour was organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in partnership with IGAD and the Aridlands Resource Management Project of Kenya’s Ministry of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands.