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Climate change is a key development challenge that has significant effects on sustainable development. It poses a risk to sustainable development and achievement of the vision 2030 as it affects livelihoods, health and economic development among other sectors. Creating climate-resilient and low–carbon development path has become a development imperative and its integration is a prerequisite for sustainable development.
The National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) reveals Kenya’s economy being susceptible to significant disruption from extreme climate events such as floods and droughts. Some of the clear indications of this situation include loss of infrastructure, reduced agricultural production, reduced food security, increased incidences of flooding and droughts, widespread disease epidemics, and increased risk of conflict over scarce land and water resources among others. Climate change affects all sectors, all counties and all peoples (men and women). However, its impacts will be distributed differently among all region and genders. The severity of its effects depends on the individual capacity or of the system to cope with the impacts.
Climate adaptation is an urgent priority for the county decision makers and practitioners. Institutional capacities and regulatory framework to respond to avert climate change impacts are vital for economic, social and environmental management at the County levels. With the devolved government system, Counties are expected to consider certain factors in planning including environment, climatic conditions, economic disparities, marginalized groups and gender equity among others. Statistics show that development especially in the counties does not take cognizance of climate change issues into consideration. This situation can be blamed on the inadequate awareness of their implications on development, lack of enabling regulatory framework and the lack of skills to integrate them in planning. Devolved government system creates a need for enabling regulatory framework to support climate change actions and a comprehensive County Climate Change Action Plan.
The Green Belt Movement with support from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and other development partners intended to develop comprehensive County Climate Change Action Plans to put in place mechanisms to enhance the implementation of the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) for Nandi and Nakuru Counties. The Institute for Environment and Water Management (IEWM) was mandated with the task to facilitate and guide the development process of the County Climate Change Action plans for the selected Counties as external consultant by the Green Belt Movement. The main objective of the consultancy was to develop enabling regulatory framework to support climate change actions and comprehensive County Climate Change Action Plans. IEWM would use a participatory and consultative approach throughout the entire process which drew upon views and perspectives of a number of key players and provided for a meaningful involvement of all the stakeholders that would either participate, or be impacted on by the implementation of the action plans or policy recommendations. Multi stakeholder dialogue meets were held for the two counties to develop the action plans, review County and national policy and legislative instruments on climate change with an aim of developing enabling regulatory frameworks that would promote coherence, coordination and cooperative governance to respond and avert climate change impacts at county level.
The Action Plans were made up of 3 sub-components which are not only distinct but are also closely linked and interrelated. This included;
Sub-component 1: Long-term County Low Carbon Development Pathway. This is designed to facilitate reflection and/or mainstreaming of climate change aspects in the counties integrated plans and it’s Medium Term Plans (MTP). It seeks to identify key elements of the counties low-carbon and climate resilient growth.
Sub-component 2: Enabling Policy and Regulatory Framework. This aimed to review County and National policy and legislative instruments relating to climate change with a view of developing policy and /or legislative frameworks that promotes coherence, coordination and cooperative governance of climate change issues at the county levels.
Sub-component 3: County Adaptation Plan. Recognizing that adaptation is a priority, this aimed to identify priority immediate, and medium and long-term adaptation actions in order to develop County Adaptation Plan.
The resultant outcome of the entire process would constitute;
The key deliverables of this process included;