Pastoralists Alliance for Resilience and Adaptation in Northern Rangelands (PARAN) is a collective social movement made of up of pastoralists institutions and organizations, including: customary/traditional institutions,women’sgroups,youth groups, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, water resource user associations, rangelands user association, livestock marketing associations and other formal/informal networks. The role of PARAN is to strengthen and promote sustainable pastoralism by building the expertise, leadership, and capacity of its members to engage, negotiate and partner with relevant stakeholders, including: national governmental programs/agencies, county governments and assemblies, research agencies, academia, the private sector, conservation agencies and donors.
The overarching goal of PARAN is to secure pastoralist land rights and strengthen climate change resilience and adaptation among pastoralists by improving and advocating for community based natural resource management and building social movements and coalitions in Marsabit, Isiolo, Laikipia and Samburu. Further objectives of the alliance include:
- To build the membership’s capacity to form and mobilise alliances and networks across diverse constituencies, sectors, communities and geographies as a foundation for strong intra- and inter-community grassroots movements;
- To directly support and strengthen the capacity of pastoralist peoples and their organizations to undertake concrete work and advocacy activities at the county and national level on the implementation of the Community Land Act;
- To directly support pastoralist peoples and their organizations in the development of community based natural resource management arrangements as a strategy and tool of enhancing climate change resilience and adaptation;
- To strengthen and promote structured intra- and inter-community dialogue across four targeted counties as a strategy of minimizing conflicts that have continued to weaken community capacity for resilience, especially among women;
- To advocate for cultural heritage and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge to be recognized as a resource and asset to pastoralists and to promote the use of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge instrengthening climate change resilience and adaptation among pastoralists;
- To undertake research to generate new or support existing evidence on sustainable pastoralism, as well as on the impacts of external pressures, including large-scale land investments, on pastoralism, climate change resilience and adaptation.
Membership and Reach
The formation of PARAN is inspired by a study entitled ‘The Socio-Economic Impacts of the Current Model of Community-Based Conservation under the Communal Land Tenure System in Northern Kenya. A Survey of Marsabit, Isiolo, Laikipia and Samburu Counties’ (IMPACT, 2017). This study was funded by the Christensen Fund (TCF) with contributions from McGill University. The findings of this study suggest that there is a need for collective action to address the community land and natural resource governance challenges facing pastoralists in northern Kenya. Based on these findings, IMPACT has taken the lead to engage and consolidate the efforts of four other organizations(also supported by TCF) by forming a network. The organizations are based and operational in each of the counties where the study took place, including Marsabit, Isiolo, Laikipia and Samburu (MILS) – PARAN’s four target counties.
The initial founding partners of PARAN are: IMPACT (Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation), IndigenousStrategies and Institution for Development (ISID), Waso Trust Land, Kivulini Trust and Samburu Women Trust. The other partners who have expressed keen interest in PARAN are: Pastoralist Governance and Development Organisation, Pastoralists Integrated Support Program (PISP) and Isiolo Peace Link and Merti Integrated Development Program (MIDP). IMPACT hosts the alliance. A key strength of PARAN is that each of the founding and potential partner organizations have built small but solid social movements in their operational areas and with target communities. PARAN is pathway to consolidate these small, dedicated and nascent efforts into an emerging and resilient social movement and platform to advocate and advance pastoralists interests at several levels using multifaceted approaches and strategies.
Governance structure of PARAN
- Peoples General Assembly (activists, traditional leaders, CBOS leaders, women leaders, youth leaders)
- Steering Committee
- Thematic committees
IMPACT will host and act as secretariat for PARAN. Further details of PARAN’s governance structure will be/are being defined and mutually agreed upon by founding members and the evolving memberships based on adaptive learning. The membership will be the fuel that defines and drives the alliance’s governance though consultation, dialogue, and mutual understanding during the general assembly. The membership will be based and motivated by:
- Voluntary- willingness to work together and contribute to the strategic collective actions;
- Common vision, objectives and beliefs, which include:
- Pastoralism is a resilient food system/ livelihood that supports and holds diverse cultures together;
- Pastoralism contributes positively to the national economy, as well as to national heritage and biodiversity;
- Pastoralism need visibility at policy, legal, budgetary and practical levels to be resilient;
- Pastoralists’ cultural assets and social capital can significantly contribute to their resiliency and ability to cope with climate change related risks, shocks and hazards if they receive adequate support;
- Research can generate new evidence needed for advocacy and decision-making purposes;
- Strategic collective action adds value to existing processes/initiatives.
PARAN Key priorities
- Strategy development for the Alliance
- Capacity development for members
- Community land rights/protection/protection of livestock key/important habitats/landscapes
- Sustainable land use/governance/community based natural resource management plans/resilience/adaptation plans
- Community organising and engagement
- Responsible investment
- Organising/planning strategic campaigns /platforms
- Policy advocacy and influencing
- Strengthening customary institutions and advocating for them to be legally recognised and entrenched in decision-making processes
- The Christensen Fund (TCF): The founding members of PARAN are grantees of TCF
- Climate Justice Resilient Fund: PARAN project application is undergoing review(without prejudice)
- Partners for Resilience (CORDAID and Wetlands International): Currently support IMPACT and MIDP for policy influencing and capacity building work (supporting formulation of Disaster Risks Management policies and laws, training, strengthening community institutions such as Water Resource user association in Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo Counties)