Partnerships and Cohesion: LAICONAR partners for a new era in the Laikipia Forum

Laikipia County Natural Resource Network (LAICONAR) was formed in February 2012, as a result of a series of consultations on environment and natural resource issues affecting Laikipia and neighboring counties. The network has 50 organizational members, most addressing agriculture and forestry in the County.

Close scrutiny of these issues identified gaps concerning management, governance and advocacy on natural resources management in Laikipia County. The Network was born to advocate, promote, enhance, and encourage activities and reforms that enhance productive and profitable natural resource markets in sustainable landscapes.

LAICONAR is a membership driven, non-profit organization with its roots in landscape issues of agriculture, livelihoods and climate change. Building partnerships and cohesion in the landscape have been key objectives of the Network. Since 2019, we have agreed to partner with the Laikipia Forum
Our goal is to conserve water and share it better, and give it a value in the context of climate change. For us to succeed, we need to integrate our activities and programs with others. The Forum gives us this opportunity.
Other partners include: Cropnuts, a soil testing firm, ACRE Africa, an agriculture insurance advisory firm in the region, Kenya Meteorological Department, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Program, and the Laikipia Farmers Association 2014.

LAICONAR undertakes transparent, collaborative and accountable approaches that avoid repeating past mistakes, and we ensure that we respect the rights of all stakeholders, and the integrity and functionality of our ecosystems (especially wetlands). We work with others that advocate and legislate at county, national, and international levels. Yes, and as the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”.

The Network currently champions the conservation and protection of the Ewaso Narok Wetland and advocates the wise use of natural resources along the entire Ewaso Nyiro North Catchments, to reduce climate-related and natural resource conflicts in the landscape.

LAICONAR efforts on Ewaso Narok Wetland restoration;
Lobbied for the 2019 world wetland day Kenya to be hosted in Rumuruti Laikipia County with intention of showing the damage to the wetland. This was done by the County Government of Laikipia, LAICONAR and Laikipia Wildlife Forum and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).

On the 6th December 2018 NEMA held a stakeholder meeting to fundraise and plan for the event. The meeting had a total of 10 stakeholders present comprising of Conservation Organizations and Government agencies.
Mobilized with NEMA and other stakeholder to successfully host the world wetland day led by the CS Environment. It was capped with a camel caravan along the river where the Laikipia Governor and the CS visited the fringe of the wetland. The three day event attracted over a two thousand participants.

On 2nd February 2019 the Cabinet Secretary Environment, Mr. Keriako Tobiko issued an intent gazette notice for the Ewaso Narok wetlands.
In March 2019 the technical task force for the Ewaso Narok restoration held consultative meetings with communities around the wetlands. The task force was led by NEMA, FAO, CETRAD, LAICONAR, Laikipia Forum, Water Resources Authority and the County Government. The purpose of this meeting was to get community input on the wetland.
Held a leaders meeting in Rumuruti that had a total of 30 participants. The meeting was organized by the task force to update the leaders on the highlights, status and feedback from the community regarding the restoration of the wetland.
Released a live three-day documentary with Kameme and K24 television stations highlighting the Ewaso Narok. The documentary has so far been shared with LAICONAR’S membership and in the Laikipia Forum social media platforms.

LAICONAR is working to fill the following gaps realized as a result of our multi-stake holder platforms:
• Create strong value-chain for responsible agriculture products
• Provide awareness on available financial services and link farmers to social support networks, co-operative and supervised credit
• Enhance awareness about crop insurance and access to customized and tailored products
• Develop a decision-support systems that include geo-data, yield data, agronomic risk data.
• Enhance awareness of existing data, to address climatic related and seasonal gaps
• Support water financing and promote contract farming.
• Promote the use of certified seeds, adoption of guideline on good agricultural and climate-smart practices
• Lobby for conservation of critical habitats and ecosystems, especially wetlands
Our partnership with the Laikipia Forum has helped us reach more members in the Ewaso basin. We are working closely with the MKWEP and Ewaso Maji Users SACCO, a water financing cooperative, both working under the umbrella of the Laikipia Forum.

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