Initiative Result:

Kenya’s new climate action plan tackles security threats

Kenya puts peace and security at the center of its National Climate Change Action Plan III, adopting CGIAR research recommendations.

Climate change poses significant threats to Kenya’s agriculture, food security, peace, and security. Longstanding engagement with national authorities has allowed researchers from the CGIAR Climate Resilience Initiative (ClimBeR) to inform Kenya’s new National Climate Change Action Plan III as well as County Climate Change Action Plans, ensuring that climate security issues are included and addressed. A training course developed with the Climate-Smart Agriculture Multi-Stakeholder Platform (CSA-MSP) will demonstrate how climate-smart agriculture can be used as a tool for peace.

In Kenya, five consecutive failed rainy seasons, including short 2023 rains caused by El Niño, have led to loss of livestock, destroyed crops, and displacement of people in search of food and water. Compounding these losses are several types of conflicts. Acknowledging the risks posed by the co-occurrence of climate impacts and conflict, the Kenyan government has officially recognized climate change as the fifth threat to national security.

In response, researchers from the CGIAR Climate Resilience Initiative (ClimBeR), have provided evidence, analysis, and recommendations in support of the Kenyan authorities’ efforts to build resilience. Notably, ClimBeR researchers were invited to provide input into Kenya’s new National Climate Change Action Plan III (NCCAP III) (available upon request to the Ministry of Environment). The action plan outlines the government’s strategy for mitigation and adaptation to climate change impacts during the coming five years and was officially launched by Kenya’s President William Ruto during the Africa Climate Summit in September 2023. ClimBeR researchers have provided recommendations on how the NCCAP III can contribute to mitigating climate security risks.

Insights from ClimBeR research and other stakeholders have also significantly influenced one of the technical documents underpinning the NCCAP III: the Adaptation Technical Analysis Report (ATAR). The ATAR report outlines adaptation priority actions, grouped under strategic action areas. Priority Action Area 16 on climate-related insecurity commits national and county authorities to, among other actions, integrate traditional, community-based early-warning mechanisms into decision-support tools.

“The [CGIAR Focus Climate Security] team made significant evidence-based contributions and strategy actions informed by work done under the ClimBeR Initiative in Kenya to identify climate security actions to be integrated into the NCCAP III. [T]he team’s research and support [] helped us establish concrete actions for the next period 2023-2027,” Lerenten Lelekoitien, Deputy Director, Climate Change Directorate, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Kenya

ClimBeR was granted the opportunity to contribute to the NCCAP III after initiating conversations with the Kenyan government and other stakeholders on climate security issues in 2022, notably in a workshop designed to achieve a common vision. This work prompted the Climate-Smart Agriculture Multi-Stakeholder Platform (CSA-MSP), a network tasked with coordinating stakeholders in the climate-smart agriculture arena, to integrate climate security into its Technical Working Group 5 focused on social inclusion.

Climate security risks cannot be mitigated through national policies alone but must be addressed at local levels too. That is why Kenya’s county governments have been engaged in formulating their own County Climate Change Action Plans.

In September 2023, ClimBeR researchers therefore contributed evidence and insights to a workshop on integrating peacebuilding and conflict analysis into County Climate Change Action Plans. The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)’s Africa Climate Security Initiative (ClimSec-Africa) and its partners brought together stakeholders to propose strategies and approaches for effectively integrating peacebuilding and conflict management interventions and pinpoint any obstacles hindering adoption of innovative climate security solutions within communities.

This focus on enhancing locally led climate action is echoed in the CSA-MSP. Platform members have identified a pressing need to offer training and capacity building on how to identify and address potential climate security risks at the county level.

ClimBeR researchers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, through its Climate Change Unit (MOALD-CCU), and the Technical Working Group 5 of the CSA-MSP, with the support of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, have developed a training course for county-level agricultural authorities, representatives of non-government organizations, and farmers. It is designed to improve their shared understanding of climate security and illustrate how climate-smart agriculture can contribute to peaceful communities. ClimBeR researchers are slated to pilot the course in select counties in 2024, sharing knowledge and tools for local actors to be better placed to mitigate climate security risks.

At the same time, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology is set to adopt highlights from the course into its curriculum to ensure that the right expertise is available to tackle climate security issues in Kenya for years to come.


Contributing Initiative

CGIAR Research Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration

CGIAR Centers

CGIAR Centers contributing to this result: The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)


This result was made possible by our valued partners: Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry; Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development; Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Header image: Drought and failed rains pose risks to agriculture, food security, peace, and security in Kenya.Photo © Climate Center/Flickr