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Environmental policy integration strategies of development planning in Kenya and their impact on local sustainable development
Ochieng Oulu, M. (2009). Environmental policy integration strategies of development planning in Kenya and their impact on local sustainable development. MSc Thesis. VUB: Brussel. 114 pp.

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    VLIZ: Non-open access 244440
Document type: Dissertation


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  • Ochieng Oulu, M.

    Kenya is among Sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries whose socio-economic development is contingent upon the environment. For such countries, environmental policy integration (EPI), otherwise known as environmental mainstreaming, offers an opportunity to achieve sustainable development (SD). Many countries’ decision-making systems tend to separate socio-economic and environmental factors at the policy and planning levels. Kenya is no exception. Using literature review and key informant interviews, this study sought to assess Kenya’s planning framework and analyse the normative, organisational and procedural EPI strategies employed from the point of view of horizontal policy integration. Three socioeconomic planning frameworks are identified, each with varying opportunities for environmental integration. Distinctive is the bottom-up district development-planning framework along which the environmental planning framework is modelled. The lack of a national sustainable development strategy (NSDS) and high-level strategic office to coordinate EPI; a public procurement Act and procedures that are not environmentally retrofitted; assigning a lowly regarded sectoral environmental agency the responsibility of coordinating EPI; and non-deversification of policy instruments are identified and used to explain the insufficiency of Kenya’s EPI strategies. Government regulation is the most applied policy tool, with legal provisions existing for strategic environmental assessment (SEA), environmental impact assessment (EIA) and economic instruments, although weak enforcement capacity remain a formidable challenge. Although use of EIA is well established and the application of Environmental Management Systems by industry is on the rise, there is little evidence of incorporating environmental information in decision-making despite improved participation in policy-making. The study recommends, among others, ensuring environmental representation in the Economic and Social Council and its transformation into a National Council for SD (NCSD), transferring the responsibility for EPI and SD to a high level strategic office, enhancing the environment and development links in the district development-planning framework, and delivering targeted education on the environment development nexus. Areas for further research are proposed.

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