KMT Policy Brief
Climate Resilient Economic Development in Kenya’s ASALs - A Pathway To Achieving The Big Four Agenda
The ASALs cover 89% of Kenya, support 38% of the population (RoK 2012), and are Kenya’s major meat producing areas, contributing more than 80% of domestic red meat consumption (Behnke and Muthami, 2011). The livestock sector alone contributes 12% of national GDP and 43% of agricultural GDP (approximately US$ 4 billion per year) as well as employing 50% of the agricultural workforce (Behnke and Muthami, 2011).
Due to their size and economic potential, the ASALs will play an important role in the realisation of the Big Four Agenda, which are achieving 100% food and nutrition security, increasing manufacturing to 15% GDP, providing affordable housing and universal healthcare.
Key Messages From The Policy Brief
Climate change represents a big threat to the achievement of the Big Four Agenda
Five of Kenya’s ASAL counties (West Pokot, Laikipia, Turkana, Baringo and Narok) have already passed the 1.5°C average warming threshold, which is enshrined in the Paris Agreement, with 12 more counties projected to follow by 2050. By 2070, maximum temperatures in all counties are expected to exceed 1.5°C, and in the counties of Wajir, West Pokot and Tana River, temperature increases will exceed 2°C. Projections indicate that the impacts of climate change will be significant in the ASALs, as detailed in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018.
To manage the impacts and take advantage of opportunities associated with climate change, the Kenya government and its development partners
To manage the impacts and take advantage of opportunities associated with climate change, the Kenya government and its development partners need to support the productive sectors in the ASALs, such as the livestock sector, and prioritise investments and policies that will enhance climate- resilient economic development. These include investments to upgrade and transform the livestock value chain for better quality meat, milk and leather products. Doing so will contribute to the achievement of the Big Four Agenda.
Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) are sites of major economic activity and are vital to national food security
The ASALs will therefore a big role in Kenya’s Big Four Agenda. As areas of growth and opportunity, the Kenya government should fully integrate the ASALs into the national economy if it is to achieve the Big Four Agenda, especially related to 100% food security and nutrition, and manufacturing.
There is a clear role for government to provide an enabling environment
There is a clear role for government to provide an enabling environment, such as through climate information, extension and financial services, for private sector adaptation and to support businesses, in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in their efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
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