EU-Kenya RangER program partners urged to enhance project visibility

Mr. Kim Geheb makes a presentation on Landscape approach at the training.

Communication specialists have been urged to enhance the visibility of the Kenya Rangelands Ecosystems services pRoductivity (RangER) Program project activities being implemented by the European Union (EU) funded consortium.

The RangER program aims to enhance the productivity of ecosystem services provided by rangelands within the AMAYA Triangle counties of Baringo Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo, through investments in evidence-based climate-smart feed resources, climate-smart tree-wildlife-and natural resource-based livelihoods, and enhancing the capacity of the four counties in governance, peace and security for both wildlife and people.

Speaking during the opening of the two-day training workshop on: Communications Strategy Review for the Kenya Rangelands Ecosystems Services pRoductivity (RangER) Program in Nanyuki, Laikipia County, July 20, 2023, NRT RangER program Lead, Mr.  Aloise Naitira in his welcome remarks, said the training was aimed at discussing emerging issues raised by stakeholders.

Dr. Clifford Obiero of JKUAT (right) presents a copy of the JKUAT Agritech News Magazine to Barnabas Limo of Baringo County government.

Tom Lalampaa, CEO, Northern Rangelands Trust, encouraged project partners to take criticism as positive feedback and endeavour to engage the stakeholders across the four counties, while addressing identified challenges as they arise.

Issues discussed during the training included role of partners, EU communication guidelines, and the need to have an enhanced and coordinated communication and media engagement approach to highlight the visibility of activities undertaken by project partners in various thematic areas.

NRT Head of Programs, Elijah Waichanguru emphasized the critical role played by peace as a prerequisite for creating an enabling environment for undertaking entrepreneurial engagement, noting that project partners have been on the ground implementing program activities and the positive stories need to be told.

“It is good to figure out how do we communicate the interesting stories coming out of the RangER program,” Mr. Wachanguru, said.

Kim Geheb, CIFOR-ICRAF Senior Scientist and Coordinator of Landscapes for Our Future (LFF) program, made a presentation on Landscapes. RangER is one of the 22 projects under the European Union’s LFF program.

Mr. Wycliffe Nyanga’u of JKUAT gives the status of program implementation by the JKUAT team.

Mr. Geheb shared insightful ways in which project partners can leverage “net maps” to understand situations in which people, groups, and organizations interact to achieve common, or, conflicting goals.

The situations could include, preparing and monitoring policy interventions, improving and coordinating multistakeholder governance, sketching hands-on interventions for project teams, understanding and improving personal influence networks.

Landscape for our Future seeks to advance goals relating to food and nutrition security, job creation and resilient and sustainable agriculture; climate change mitigation and adaptation; biodiversity and land/forest ecosystems conservation, restoration and sustainable use.

The RangER program brings together Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), E4Impact, World Agroforestry (ICRAF), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Community Safety Initiative (CSI), the four county governments of Baringo Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo and the Cooperation on Peace and Development (CoPAD).

Under this project, JKUAT is spearheading knowledge production to guide and inform interventions in the Amaya Triangle Landscape. Dr. Clifford Obiero, the JKUAT project coordinator and Mr. Wycliffe Nyangau represented JKUAT experts comprising of Prof. David Mburu, Prof. James Messo, Dr. Mathew Kigomo, Ms. Robai Liambila.

Dr. Obiero said, JKUAT is working towards “leveraging on the university’s technical capacity to facilitate mapping, monitoring, evaluation, analysis, interpretation of agriculture and natural resources information for sustainable land use.”

JKUAT’s core role is to co-produce knowledge to inform project interventions in the four counties to guide communities to map degraded hotspots and identify restoration options, undertake land-use planning and adopt climate-smart livelihoods.

Ms. Chebet Cheruiyot makes a presentation on the work of E4Impact

All implementing partners made brief presentations on their thematic areas and their contributions to the visibility of the RangER program activities.

Baringo County Acting Director of Communication, Mr. Bernard Limo, said, the training was “an eye opener and signals a new approach in giving visibility to the RangER program. This is the right time to share success stories.”

He reported that Ruko conservancy in Baringo had brought peace and understanding between the Ilchamus and the Pokot, and encouraged communicators “to generate RangER stories and link them to the aspirations of the government.”

Other training participants from Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu, called for a more collaborative approach, noting, there are notable achievements in the Amaya triangle that can bring out visibility of success stories of impact in the region.

The RangER project seeks to adopt an integrated landscape approach in the four counties.

Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) constitute 80% of Kenya’s land mass. The ASALs are home to the less developed populations, are dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods and are exposed to food insecurity.

Despite hosting 80% of Kenya’s biodiversity, the diverse ASAL landscapes and habitats are rapidly being lost and degraded through land fragmentation and unsustainable grazing.

Target beneficiaries of the program are the communities within Baringo, Isiolo, Laikipia and Samburu representing 25 existing community conservancies, local communities including women and youth.

The communities are exposed to three mains risks: drought, livestock diseases, and conflicts linked to scarcity of rangeland resources.

 “Integrated landscapes will enable local communities to continue to derive much needed ecosystem services in a sustained manner while conserving biodiversity,” Tom Lalampaa, observed during the program launch in 2020.

A section of participants of the EU-Kenya RangER communication training.

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