Evolving Customary Institutions in the Drylands: An opportunity for devolved natural resource governance in Kenya?
Improved governance of natural resources is crucial for building climate resilient livelihoods and economies in Africa’s drylands. This paper looks at why the authority and capacity of customary natural resource management institutions has been weakened, and how this impacts on resource governance and climate resilience. Our case study looks at a new hybrid form of customary/formal institution that is emerging as a response to the stagnation of development and increasing conflict around resource access. The paper demonstrates that legitimising and supporting customary institutions can be a more successful and sustainable approach to addressing the ‘drylands development deficit’ than projects that focus on technical fixes or work in parallel to customary institutions.