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The absence of a clearly defined land use policy in Kenya after years of independence has resulted in a haphazard approach to managing the different land use practices and policy responses. Land use continues to be addressed through many uncoordinated legal and policy frameworks that have done little to unravel the many issues that affect land use management. The Constitution of Kenya 2010, Kenya Vision 2030 and the Sessional Paper No. 3 of 2009 on National Land Policy all call for a clear framework for effectively addressing the challenges related to land use. It is in response to this call that this Land Use Policy has been developed, incorporating all activities that are likely to have an impact on the use of land and its resources. The overall goal of the national land use policy is to provide legal, administrative, institutional and technologicalframework for optimal utilization and productivity of land related resources in a sustainable and desirable manner at national, county and community levels. The policy is premised on the philosophy of economic productivity, social responsibility, environmental sustainability and cultural conservation. Key principles informing it include efficiency, access to land use information, equity, elimination of discrimination and public benefit sharing. The policy is cognizant of numerous factors that affect land use in Kenya which include geographic and ecological features, population distribution, social, historical, cultural and economic factors. Other key factors are administrative, institutional and policy instruments, investment, urbanization and land tenure. So as to ensure efficient, productive and sustainable use of land, key measures shall be taken by the government (both national and county) and all land users. These include: sound land use practices, conservation and enhancement of the quality of land and land-based resources and the proper management of demographic and health parameters. The Government shall institute mechanisms designed to induce land owners to put their land to productive use and encourage the application of efficient technology for the intensification of land use. Urban land use will be improved through measures such as establishing transparent, accountable, sustainable, comprehensive and participatory governance structures and decision-making processes. Other key measures address issues of land cover, land use data and land use planning. Land use plans shall be developed at both national and county levels with full participation of all stakeholders and strict adherence to them shall be enforced. Harmonization of laws and policies, mapping and documentation of all land uses in the country, developing a framework for incentives to encourage maintenance of forest cover, land banking for industrial, commercial, agricultural, residential and infrastructure development are other critical measures that shall be taken.

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