Managing natural resource conflicts in Kenya through negotiation and mediation
With the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms and Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (TDRMs) in managing natural resource conflicts was formalised. The Constitution envisages a situation where conflicts, and specifically the natural resource ones, should first be dealt with using ADR and TDRMs and only resort to court where necessary. Communities are required to make legitimate attempts to resolve the matter using the most appropriate mechanisms available to them. Despite this, there has not been evidence of genuine attempts at taking up these processes in managing natural resource conflicts, which are still prevalent and a cause of concern. While singling out negotiation and mediation, the author examines the opportunities that ADR mechanisms and particularly negotiation and mediation present in realising the goal of effective management of natural resource conflicts in Kenya through discussing the advantages associated with the processes and why they may be the most preferred means of natural resource conflict management.
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