Short report from the SIANI Expert Group on Restoration of Rural Landscapes for Food Security, 2014-12-13
After some time for granting this expert group and some time for settling the contract, a first constituting meeting was held at KSLA in Stockholm on 12th June 2014. The plans discussed considered on one hand the activity described in the application; Policy dialogue around research on societal and landscape development in West Pokot County in NW Kenya dealt with in the “Triple L platform project”. On the other hand, the meeting discussed possibilities to do some activity in Sweden around degraded lands and restoration involving local Swedish engagement including “new Swedes” with experiences from Sub Saharan Africa.
The main activity for the expert group during fall 2014 has been the policy interaction part of the Triple L annual workshop in Kitale, Kenya, 18th to 21st of November. The policy interaction part of the workshop was organized by Triple L in cooperation with the SIANI Expert Group. The Triple L (Land, Livestock and Livelihood) Initiative is a multidisciplinary research initiative on the remarkable rehabilitation of degraded drylands that has happened in parts of West Pokot, Kenya, during the last three decades. It engages researches from four Swedish and two Kenyan universities as well as from one national and two international research organizations. The policy interaction was specifically one day (20th) for intensive discussions with ten invited local officials (agricultural officers from local to county level administration and local chiefs).
On the 21st there was a public meeting in Chepareria (the heart of the transformed area) where students and researchers from Triple L reported research findings back to the local community. The SIANI expert group emphasized the importance of such research feed-back to local communities as well as the importance of the local communities participating in formulating research questions. More detailed information on the outcomes of the policy interactions in Kitale and in Chepareria will shortly be published in the Triple L workshop report
On the Swedish arena, the expert group has been approached by, and communicated with, Urban Rural Gothenburg (Utveckling Nordost, Göteborgs stad) and the Swedish Agroforestry Network, where we hope to engage in research-policy-practice discourse and interaction in 2015 both in the Swedish and international arena with resource groups not usually heard in the academic discourse, e.g. immigrants from countries where land degradation is a major problem.
Use of budget
As the activity could not be started until May 2014, we had oral notice from the SIANI secretariat that activities could be carried out also in 2015, even if we were granted only for one year. The budget use so far is only 24 388 SEK paid through SLU account. This mainly relates to travel cost for three persons based in Sweden to the workshop in Kenya. The participation from Sweden was 10 persons, but most of them travelled on other accounts of ongoing cooperation whereas this specific cost is unexpectedly low. However, as the main applicant Gert Nyberg is based in Kenya and Tanzania around the turn of the year also some local costs from the workshop has not been billed yet.