r4d Synthesis Workshop East Africa on “Land-use planning for Sustainability”
The r4d synthesis workshop on “land-use planning for sustainability” took place from 3-5 May 2022 in Kenya and brought together over 60 stakeholders from civil society, public administration, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. The event was sponsored by the Swiss Government and reviewed issues of land-use planning for sustainability. It included findings of research funded under the r4d programme. The workshop was intended to synthesize lessons drawn from research in East Africa on a broad range of issues affecting land-use. It also included a field visit to review a number of key strategic and operational aspects of land-use planning and implementation. This provided participants with an important understanding of the issues and opportunities for improved land-use planning.
Land use is playing a central role in addressing sustainable development challenges. It is both a cause of global environmental change, as well as (part of) the solution to many environmental challenges. Careful planning for sustainable land use is becoming an essential tool. Land use planning is the practice of prioritizing or constraining certain functions and uses of the land, while balancing trade-offs between different sectoral objectives and stakeholder interests. Land use planning is informed by scientific understanding of the socio-ecological systems of people and nature. However, bridging the gap between science-based understanding and the practice of land use planning has proven to be challenging. Matching high quality research in the field of land-use planning with opportunities for implementation, whether at the local or national level, has proven to be a worthy exercise. During the meeting, not only research findings of importance to land-use planning were considered, but issues of implementation as well.