Climate, peace and security workshop: implementing cross-cutting strategies for climate resilience

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Authors: Esther Nzuki, Benson Kenduiywo, Victor Villa (Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT); Contributions by: Lydia Kimani, Wambui Muchaba, Daphne Muchai

Climate change transcends the boundary of a mere environmental concern, evolving into a critical element that influences global peace and security. As ecological conditions deteriorate due to global warming, Arid, and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) communities face heightened risks of conflict over scarce natural resources, such as fresh water and and. Recognizing the interconnected nature of climate change with peace and security is imperative for crafting strategies that mitigate the environmental impact and foster conditions conducive to peace.

In response to these challenges, The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT through the Climate Resilience Initiative (ClimBeR) and in collaboration with the Climate Smart Agriculture Multi-Stakeholder platform (CSAMSP) held a 4-day workshop in Turkana County to finalize the pilot phase of climate, peace, and securityin Agriculture nexus and to establish a county CSAMSP platform making Turkana the 24th county. The workshop introduced the climate security nexus including the existing policy landscape; inclusivity in agriculture, peace, and security; CSA for peace; and digital tools to support climate action as crucial components of creating climate, peace, and security in Agriculture and in the community.

“The climate security course will introduce climate, peace, and security to the stakeholders participating in the workshop, allowing them to reflect on how climate change has impacted Turkana community security. The course catalyzes conversations towards building community resilience a key objective of the ClimBeR initiative.” Benson Kenduiywo -Research Specialist Climate Action

Turkana County is Kenya’s second-largest county by land area of 98,597.8 km2. Situated in the arid region of northwestern Kenya, it faces significant challenges related to agriculture due to its harsh climate and soil conditions. Traditionally, most residents relied on livestock-keeping, but there has been a shift towards sustainable crop production. Reliance on rain-fed agriculture and pastoralism makes farmers vulnerable to climate change and variability.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries (MoALF) Turkana is a key contributor to food security in the county. Core mandates revolve around the provision of sustainable development and management of Agriculture, livestock, and fisheries resources for food security and socio-economic development, improved livelihood resilience, and food & nutrition security through sustainable infrastructure. The workshop rollout was a timely initiative aligning perfectly with the County’s Agenda 9 focusing on strategic partnerships for food security.

The workshop drew participants from the county government and Non-Governmental Organisations working within the Turkana community. Together they deliberated on drought as a climate pathway that exacerbates cross-border conflicts, food insecurity, ecosystem disruptions, wildlife conflicts, and conflict over land and resources among many others.  The  CSAMSP will assist in the implementation and promotion of CSA practices that enhance the resilience of agricultural systems to climate change, aiming to ensure food security and improved livelihood.

Engagements on the Climate Security & CSAMSP establishment Workshop in Turkana. Photo Credit: Alliance/Esther Nzuki

“The UNFCCC has lauded Kenya as one of the countries with a robust policy framework to support the implementation of climate action. However, the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has resulted in cascading risks further weakening livelihoods as communities compete for scarce natural resources Therefore it is imperative for climate policies to address these emerging issues and to incorporate CSA as a solution to climate-related conflicts.” Lydia Kimani TWG 3 Lead CSA-MSP and Executive Director, Agribusiness for African Market

CSA contributes to peace by promoting efficient resource management, particularly in soil and water use, providing tools and knowledge to respond to climate change challenges thus lowering risks arising from climate. By focusing sustainably increasing production in a climate crisis, it alleviates poverty and reduces social tensions, addressing underlying conflicts. Therefore, investing in CSA technologies not only aids in adaptation and mitigation efforts but also offers new avenues for economic development and livelihood diversification.

To successfully combat the intertwined issues of climate change, peace, and security, we must adopt integrated strategies that leverage the strengths of diverse stakeholders. The security course addressed embedding gender considerations to ensure that policies and initiatives are inclusive and recognize the distinct impacts of climate change on different genders to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of food security in Turkana.

Building climate security and peace starts with understanding each person’s vulnerability to climate change and their role in society. A strong, sustainable food system, where everyone has a say regardless of their identity, allows the communities to design their solutions as they adapt to the changing climate, reducing conflicts. The benefit of no one left behind.Wambui Muchaba- Programmes Director ICCASA and Daphne Muchai- Executive Director WoFaAK

Alliance/CSAMSP Team and the team forming the Interim Steering Committee for Turkana CSA-MSP Platform. Photo credit: Alliance/Esther Nzuki

 An Interim Steering Committee of about 15 people from both the Turkana County Government and surrounding NGOs was established to spearhead the CSA-MSP platform in the county. The agreed objectives were to facilitate the adoption of best climate action practices, technologies, inputs, and services by practitioners in the agriculture sector,​ and resource mobilization for climate action to enhance gender and social inclusion in CSA programming and investment. To mainstream Monitoring, Evaluation, and learning of CSA actions.

“We are thankful to the Alliance for sponsoring this workshop. Introducing a climate security course in Agriculture takes into consideration the capacity building of staff. You made us understand CSA and how it connects with the climate, peace and security nexus in the agricultural system.The CSA-MSP platform will feed into the ongoing discussion on food security in the county.” Janerose Tioko – Chief Officer Agriculture and Land Reclamation MoALF

 

Acknowledgement:

This work was carried out with support from the CGIAR Research Initiative on Climate Resilience, ClimBeR. We would like to thank all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund.

Additionally, we extend gratitude to the County Government of Turkana and the participating organizations. Farmer Representatives, KARMO, NEMA, Department of Children Services/UKCS, NCPWD, MET, Concern Worldwide, LOKADO, World Vision, Friends of Lake Turkana,VSF Germany, USAID-Stawi, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), KRCS, TUPADO, Caritas- Diocese of Lodwar and World Relief.

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