Resolving Environmental Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya
This study examines the resolution of environmental conflicts through mediation in Kenya. Kenya has experienced many environmental conflicts over the use, access to and management of natural resources such as land, water and forests. The mechanisms that so far have been used to resolve these conflicts have only ended up postponing the dealing with causes of the conflicts and led to animosity between parties to the conflicts. Environmental conflicts and struggles relating resource use have defined the better part of the history of Kenyan communities. These conflicts have been caused by a number of variables including, scarcity of grazing lands, socio-cultural factors, economic and political marginalization of rangelands which leaves out the people living in the rangelands out of the natural resource sharing agenda. They have also been brought about by unresponsive policies and bad governance of the environment and the diminishing role of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. Environmental vagaries such as drought, narrow livelihood base and the emerging acts of illegal environmental resource utilisation like log felling have also contributed to the conflicts.' Generally therefore, environmental conflicts occur over issues of access and management of natural resources which are used by people in their daily lives.