Mapping and zoning local critical resource areas

‘Mapping and zoning local critical resource areas with communities leading, helps achieve greater capacity and production capacity for Small Holder Farmers.’
At the Conference on Land Policy in Africa being held in Addis Ababa, participants have been informed that the Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) has incorporated technology to realize a people centered land and food rights for the rural communities under participatory planning.

The organization is utilizing the Social Tenure Domain Model in a project that has been running from the 2015 to currently 2017. The project is implemented with support from GLTN under IFAD-support TSLI-ESA Programme. It is aimed at improving the capacity of communities in counties to better protect their land and natural resources rights in the face of ongoing exploration of resources, encroachment and service delivery.

The project has aimed at the following outputs:
• Properly complement a functioning partnership for diverse stakeholders.
• Improve knowledge and awareness on land and natural resource tenure security.
• Strengthen capacity for tool development and implementation.
• Strengthen and scale up approaches and tools for securing land and natural resources tenure.
• Positively influence institutions responsible for service delivery, supporting livelihood programme.
• Policy reach and influence towards use of technology in mapping.
• Monitoring and evaluation by use of technology for mapping.

“Kenya has embraced technology to ensure efficiency in various areas and the County Spatial Plan Guidelines has back-stopped the idea by creating the environment that would help map and secure rural resources including water, pasture grazing areas, forestry and agricultural production areas” said Angela Nyanchama.

“Information to define proper intervention requires data that presents the social and spatial dynamics”, she emphasized while presenting a case of practical application of the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) as participatory technology oriented approach to secure communal resources the case of Bomet, Kirinyaga and Embu Counties in Kenya.

The reason for using an open source geo-spatial technology is that STDM is a simple and easy to use tool. The enumeration and mapping process engages local communities, thereby gaining from as well as reinforcing knowledge and skills on tenure security. It demonstrates the overlaps of user rights that can be presented in maps, thereby helping resolve conflicts. Therefore it can be flawlessly be integrated into implementation of Community Land Act, (as it is a community oriented mapping model) through enumeration and recording of land rights thus presenting an opportunity for counties to integrate the outputs into the County Spatial planning process.

Impact of mapping and documenting common resources has been important in the sector of livestock production where the rural communities depend on small dairy production system. Applying GIS technology in mapping common resources in Bomet helped the Ministry of Agriculture; Fisheries and Livestock development define the intervention on management and administration of Land and NRM with certainty in term of coverage and location and density of livestock. In using the technology, communities engage not only as beneficiaries but also as experts designing the process and actual participatory mapping using a range of tools to produce spatial and non-spatial data.

Further the concept of participatory mapping has complimented the non-discriminatory clause as outlined within the Constitution of Kenya. It has actively promoted the roles of women and youth in securing the tenure and protecting of resources. The encouragement of active participation in mapping resources has ensured that women and youth acquire information on resources as well as contribute to the management and administration of the resources. The participatory mapping of different resources and land in the project areas has promoted a sense of confidence and transparency with regards to public, private and communal resources, policy/laws and good governance generally, focusing on livelihood, land and natural resource.