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The Journey towards Green Energy: Prospects and Challenges

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Photo Courtesy: Energy Star

By Hon. Dr. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb (Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Lawyer and Dispute Resolution Expert from Kenya), The African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023) and Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023)*

There have been several attempts towards recognizing the right of access to clean and affordable energy as a fundamental human right at the global, regional and national levels. The Energy Charter Treaty is a multilateral framework for energy cooperation that is designed to promote energy security through the operation of more open and competitive energy markets, while respecting the principles of Sustainable Development and sovereignty over energy resources. Among the target of the Treaty is the promotion of energy efficiency and minimising the environmental impact of energy production and use. The Treaty is one of the best available instruments for improving international energy security by promoting international energy investments and fair access to markets. It also urges its member states to formulate clear policies for improving energy efficiency and reducing the energy cycle’s negative environmental impacts. However, membership of the Energy Charter Treaty is mostly drawn from European nations.

The Treaty may thus not address energy concerns in most African countries. The United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development also seeks to foster the adoption of green energy. Sustainable Development goal 7 is aimed at ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. It further recognizes that investing in green energy including renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and thermal power; improving energy productivity, and ensuring energy for all are vital in the attainment of the Sustainable Development agenda. Adopting green energy is thus vital in fostering Sustainable Development.

At the regional level, the Treaty Establishing the East African Community recognizes the role of energy in the East African integration agenda. It urges member states to adopt policies and mechanisms to promote the efficient exploitation, development, joint research and utilisation of various energy resources available within the region. Further, the Treaty calls upon member states to promote the exploitation and utilisation of new and renewable sources of energy within the East African Community. The Treaty also implores member states to take measures towards supplying affordable energy to their citizens while taking cognizance of the protection of the environment.

In Kenya, it has been pointed that access to energy is a Constitutional right. Although the Constitution does not expressly provide for the right to access to energy, it recognizes energy as part of the natural resources in Kenya. To this extent, the Constitution provides that natural resources means the physical non-human factors and components, whether renewable or non-renewable, including inter alia rocks, minerals, fossil fuels and other sources of energy. The Constitution also enshrines the principle of Sustainable Development in Kenya. Enhancing universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services including green energy sources such as renewable energy is an essential part of the Sustainable Development agenda. The Constitution of Kenya thus envisages adoption of green energy.

Further, the Energy Act embraces the concept of green energy by recognizing renewable sources of energy. The Act mandates the government to facilitate the provision of affordable energy services to all persons in Kenya. It also requires the government to promote the development and use of renewable energy technologies, including but not limited to biomass, biodiesel, bioethanol, charcoal, fuelwood, solar, wind, tidal waves, hydropower, biogas and municipal waste. Towards this end, the Act requires the government to undertake several measures including formulating a national strategy for coordinating research in renewable energy; promoting international co-operation on programs focusing on renewable energy sources and harnessing opportunities offered under clean development mechanism and other mechanisms including, but not limited to, carbon credit trading to promote the development and exploitation of renewable energy sources. Actualizing the vision of the Energy Act is paramount in enhancing the right of access to clean and affordable energy in Kenya and adopting green energy.

In addition, the National Energy Policy is recognizes energy as a critical component in Kenya. The policy seeks to achieve which several objectives including improving access to affordable, competitive and reliable energy services, promoting energy efficiency and conservation and promoting diversification of energy supply sources in Kenya to ensure security of supply among others. It contains several proposals towards the use, development and conservation of energy sources in the country such as coal resources, renewable energy and electricity. The Policy also contains energy efficiency and conservation measures aimed at reducing energy consumption without sacrificing productivity or increasing costs91. Effective implementation of the Policy is integral in promoting green energy in Kenya and enhancing the right of access to clean and affordable energy.

The concept of green energy is thus well captured at the global, regional and national levels. The International Energy Agency notes that the rate of adoption of green energy sources such as renewable energy is expected to rise with the world set to add as much renewable power in the next 5 years as it did in the past 20 years. It further observes that renewables have grown rapidly in recent years, driven by policy support and sharp cost reductions for solar photovoltaics and wind power in particular. In addition, it has been asserted that the electricity sector remains the brightest spot for renewables with the strong growth of solar photovoltaics and wind in recent years, building on the already significant contribution of hydropower in the transition towards green energy.

In Africa, the African Energy Forum is geared towards driving Africa’s green energy transition. It notes that Africa’s vast renewable resources give it a distinct advantage in the move towards a green hydrogen future. Among the key themes of its 2023 agenda is to increasing pace and scale of Africa’s renewable energy projects towards adoption of green energy. Further in Kenya, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation is mandated to develop, promote and manage in collaboration with other agencies, the use of renewable energy and technologies. The Corporation has undertaken projects towards implementing this mandate including installation of solar power plants, electrification of public facilities and schools and transformer maximization projects to enhance electricity access and connectivity in areas with large populations. Thus, there are immense opportunities for adoption of green energy at the global, regional and national levels.

However, despite the viability of green energy sources including renewable energy, several concerns have hindered their effective adoption. These include inadequate funding, lack of political goodwill and ignorance among consumers. Further, the threat of climate change can hinder adoption of green energy sources such as hydroelectricity due to the depletion of forests and water catchment areas which act as a source for water used in their generation. There is need to address these concerns in order to foster the adoption of green energy and fast track the transition to a less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy system.

*This is an extract from the Book: Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood Publishers, Nairobi, October 2023) by Hon. Dr. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhDSenior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2022) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Dr. Kariuki Muigua is a Senior Lecturer of Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law and The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP). He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Dr. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Dr. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2022 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023. 

References

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Begashaw. B., ‘Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals: A long Way to go.’ Available at https://www.brookings.edu/articles/africa-and-the-sustainable-developmentgoals-a-long-way-to-go/ (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Behuria. P., ‘Ban the (plastic) Bag? Explaining Variation in the Implementation of Plastic Bag Bans in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.’ EPC: Politics and Space, 2021, P 1-18 52.

Climate Champions. ‘How Regenerative Agriculture Can Increase Africa’s Food Production.’ Available at https://climatechampions.unfccc.int/call-to-action-for-climateresilient-sustainable-food-systems-in-africa/ (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Conrow. J., ‘Borlaug’s Dream is Being Realized.’ Available at https://allianceforscience.org/blog/2017/04/borlaugs-dream-is-being-realized/ (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Constitution of Kenya, 2010., Government Printer, Nairobi.

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Crane. D., ‘My Clean-Energy Green Dream.’ Available at https://www.greenbiz.com/article/myclean-energy-green-dream (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Davis. L.R et al., ‘Farmer Led Regenerative Agriculture for Africa.’ Available at https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10106717/1/LunnRockliffe%2C%20Davies%20et%20al. %202020%20RA%20report.pdf (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Economic Commission for Africa., ‘African Countries Urged to Prioritize Green Value Chains for Minerals.’ Available at https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/february-2023/african-countries-urgedprioritize-green-value-chains-minerals (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

EN: Former., ‘North Africa’s Hydrogen Potential.’ Available at https://www.enformer.com/en/northafricashydrogenpotential/?etcc_med=SEA&etcc_par=Google&etcc_cmp=Energysystems&etc c_grp=135634609600&etcc_bky=hydrogen%20africa&etcc_mty=p&etcc_plc=&etcc_ctv=58 0888668376&etcc_bde=c&etcc_var=CjwKCAjw44mlBhAQEiwAqP3eViMmP67xkwkqMl4 FIRbBPvWOgaNcBckR9BJMhu0bOUf1sOG4JKuwhoCga4QAvD_BwE&gad=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw44mlBhAQEiwAqP3eViMmP67 xkwkqMl4FIRbBPvWOgaNcBckR9BJMhu0bOUf1s-OG4JKuwhoCga4QAvD_BwE (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Energy Act, No.1 of 2019, Government Printer, Nairobi.

Energy Charter., ‘Members and Observers to the Energy Charter Conference.’ Available at https://www.energycharter.org/who-we-are/members-observers/ (Accessed on 26/06/2023).

Forbes., ‘Meet The African Green Entrepreneurs Showing the West How It’s Done.’ Available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrvetter/2021/12/14/meet-the-african-greenentrepreneurs-showing-the-west-how-its-done/?sh=6d46b5bf51cb (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Hafner. M et al., ‘Prospects for Renewable Energy in Africa.’ Energy in Africa, 2018, pp 47-75.

International Energy Agency., ‘Renewables.’ Available at https://www.iea.org/fuelsand-technologies/renewables (Accessed on 27/06/2023).

International Renewable Energy Agency., ‘Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Africa and its Regions.’ Available at https://www.irena.org/publications/2022/Jan/Renewable-Energy-Market-Analysis-Africa (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Konoplyanik. A & Walde. T., ‘Energy Charter Treaty and its Role in International Energy.’ Available at http://konoplyanik.ru/ru/publications/articles/417_Energy_Charter_Treaty_and_its_Role_in _International_Energy.pdf (Accessed on 26/06/2023).

Koudstaal.R et al., ‘Water and Sustainable Development’ available at https://www.ircwash.org/sites/default/files/210-92WA-11000.pdf (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Ministry of Energy., ‘National Energy Policy.’ Available at https://repository.kippra.or.ke/bitstream/handle/123456789/1947/BL4PdOqKtxFT_National %20Energy%20Policy%20October%20%202018.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y (Accessed on 26/06/2023).

MTD., ‘Green Dream Rwanda.’ Available at https://www.mtdls.nl/en/news/newsarchive/q/nid/337/title/green-dream-rwanda (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

Muchiri. L., ‘Gender and Equity in Bioenergy Access and Delivery in Kenya’ Practical Action East Africa, 2008, available at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8 &ved=2ahU KEwiy2P29z6PnAhUEiFwKHQlyCLoQFjAAegQIBRAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cas. ed.ac.uk%2F__d ata%2Fassets%2Fword_doc%2F0007%2F24793%2FGender_and_Equity_in_Bio_energy_A ccess_and_Deliv ery_in_Kenya_final.doc&usg=AOvVaw2AKp1mvTSC9tafkIKJ-36 (Accessed on 27/06/2023).

Mugagga. F, & Nabaasa. B., ‘The Centrality of Water Resources to the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). A Review of Potentials and Constraints on the African Continent.’ International Soil and Water Conservation Research, Volume 4, No. 3, 2016.

Muigua. K., ‘Nurturing Our Environment for Sustainable Development.’ Glenwood Publishers Limited, 2016.

Muigua. K., ‘Towards Energy Justice in Kenya.’ Op Cit 108 Ibid 109 Muigua. K., ‘Access to Energy as a Constitutional Right in Kenya’ Op Cit 110 Centurion., ‘Renewable Energy Growth in Kenya.’ Available at https://centurionlg.com/2022/02/01/renewable-energy-growth-in-kenya/ (Accessed on 27/06/2023).

Owusu. P. & Asumadu-Sarkodie. S., ‘A Review of Renewable Energy Sources, Sustainability Issues and Climate Change Mitigation.’ Cogent Engineering (2016).

Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation., Available at https://www.rerec.co.ke/our-work.php (Accessed on 27/06/2023).

Taghizadeh-Hesary. F & Yoshino. N., ‘Sustainable Solutions for Green Financing and Investment in Renewable Energy Projects.’ Available at https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/4/788 (Accessed on 27/06/2023).

The Energy Charter Treaty., Available at https://www.energycharter.org/fileadmin/DocumentsMedia/Legal/ECTC-en.pdf (Accessed on 26/06/2023).

UNDP., ‘New Africa SDGs Report shows Slow Progress, Calls for Greater Action to Meet Targets.’ Available at https://www.undp.org/africa/press-releases/new-africa-sdgsreport-shows-slow-progress-calls-greater-action-meet-targets (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

United Nations Development Programme., ‘Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.’ Op Cit 74 Ibid 75 Treaty Establishing the East African Community., Available at https://investmentpolicy.unctad.org/international-investment-agreements/treatyfiles/2487/download (Accessed on 26/06/2023).

United Nations Development Programme., ‘Sustainable Development Goals.’ Available at https://www.google.com/search?q=undp&oq=UNDP&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUqDwgAEAA YQxjjAhixAxiKBTIPCAAQABhDGOMCGLEDGIoFMhIIARAuGEMYxwEYsQMY0QM YigUyCQgCEAAYQxiKBTIJCAMQABhDGIoFMgYIBBBFGDwyBggFEEUYPDIGCAYQ RRg8MgYIBxBFGDzSAQgyNzM2ajFqN6gCALACAA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

United Nations Environment Programme, ‘Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation’ available at https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/sustainable-development-goals/why-dosustainable-development-goals-matter/goal-6 (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

United Nations General Assembly., ‘Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development’ 1992’ A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. I).

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sustainable Development goal 6- clean water and sanitation, available at https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal6 (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

United Nations., ‘Climate Action.’ Available at https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/how-communities-are-embracing-renewable-energy (Accessed on 27/06/2023).

United Nations., ‘The Future We Want: Outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 20–22 June 2012.’ Available at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/733FutureWeWant.pdf (Accessed on 03/07/2023).

News & Analysis

Review: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Journal, Volume 12(3), 2024

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The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Journal, Volume. 12, No.3, 2024 covers pertinent and emerging issues across all ADR mechanisms. This volume exposes our readers to a variety of salient topics and concerns in ADR including Building Peace in Africa, Public Policy as a Ground of Setting-Aside an Arbitral Award, Ethics, Integrity and Best Practice in Mediation, Accessing Justice in Kenya, Sports Arbitration, ESG Arbitration, Arbitration of Investor-State Dispute in Kenya, Article 159(2) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and issuance of interim measures by Arbitral Tribunals. The ADR Journal is a publication of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Kenya Branch. It provides a platform for scholarly debate and in-depth investigations into both theoretical and practical questions in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The journal is edited by Professor of Law at the University of Nairobi, Faculty of Law Hon Prof. Kariuki Muigua, a distinguished law scholar, an accomplished mediator and arbitrator with a Ph.D. in law from the University of Nairobi and widespread training and experience in both international and national commercial arbitration and mediation. Prof. Muigua is a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)- Kenya chapter and also a Chartered Arbitrator. He is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague. He also serves as a member of the National Environment Tribunal. He has served as the Chartered Institute of Arbitrator’s (CIArb- UK) Regional Trustee for Africa from 2019 -2022.

In the paper “Building Peace in Africa through Alternative Dispute Resolution”  Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua critically discusses the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in peace building in Africa. The paper argues that ADR mechanisms can play a fundamental role in building peace in Africa. The paper further posits that ADR mechanisms are able to enhance sustainable peace in Africa due to their focus on reconciliation and restorative justice. It proposes solutions towards building peace in Africa through ADR.

In “the Emergence of the International Commercial Court: A Threat to Arbitration of Investor-State Dispute in Kenya” Marion Injendi Wasike and Dr. Kenneth W. Mutuma argue that the proliferation of international commercial courts, including their introduction in Kenya, necessitates a thorough analysis of their implications on arbitration’s role in investor-state disputes. By juxtaposing these emerging judicial entities against traditional arbitration paradigms, the discussion aims to unravel the complexities and potential shifts in dispute resolution preferences, highlighting the balance between innovation in legal adjudication and the sustenance of arbitration’s revered position in the international legal order.

Kamau Karori SC, MBS in “Striking a Balance: A Delicate Dance Between Sanctity and Scrutiny” notes that the continuing debate —between upholding the inviolability of arbitral awards and judicial intervention in cases of egregious injustice points to the need for delicate balancing between non-interference and the need to correct unmistakably unjust awards. The urgency of this discourse is informed by the need to prevent consumers or potential consumers of arbitration services opting to exclude arbitration clauses due to perceived deficiencies. The article seeks to navigate the genesis of the debate, delicately dissect the different perspectives, and draw comparisons with global practices.

The article “Reforming Kenya’s Law on Probation and Aftercare Services to Promote Alternative Dispute Resolution” by Michael Sang engages in a comprehensive exploration of Kenya’s Probation of Offenders Act within the context of the growing role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) principles in the nation’s criminal justice system. Drawing inspiration from international legal instruments such as “The Beijing Rules,” “Bangkok Rules,” and “Tokyo Rules,” the study evaluates the Act’s provisions, strengths, and limitations. It concludes with a call for thoughtful reforms that align Kenya’s criminal justice system with international standards, emphasizing a balanced and compassionate approach to justice.

The “Upholding Ethics, Integrity and Best Practice in Mediation” by Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW critically discusses the need for standardization of mediation practice in Kenya by adopting best practices. It examines some of the challenges facing mediation practice in Kenya. It is also explores measures adopted towards fostering best practices in mediation at both the global and national level. The paper further suggests recommendations aimed at upholding ethics, integrity and best practice in mediation. In “Exploring the Role of Mediation in Promoting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Fostering Economic Growth in Kenya” Atundo Wambare offers an in-depth analysis of the use of mediation in promoting the growth of small and medium enterprises (SME’s). He makes recommendations on how best mediation can be harnessed as a tool for economic growth in Kenya.

James Njuguna and Nyamboga George Nyanaro in “Compulsory Resolution or Autonomy Erosion? The Debate on Mandatory Sports Arbitration delve into the contentious issue of mandatory sports arbitration, questioning its role as a potential future pathway for dispute resolution. Their research examines the implications of compulsory arbitration on athletes’ autonomy, juxtaposing it with the benefits of expedited dispute resolution.

Paul Ngotho in “Constitution of Kenya 2010 Article 159.2.(c): Ancestry, Anatomy, Efficacy & Legacy” traces the rather odd origin and everlasting effect of the often-cited Article 159.2.(c) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. It acknowledges the central role played by two members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Kenya Branch, quietly and privately, away from the mainstream constitution making process. One of them chairman of the Branch, the other the Minister of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs.

David Onsare in “Navigating The ESG Maze: Emerging Trends in Arbitration and Corporate Accountability” embarks on a timely exploration of the dynamic interplay between Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors and arbitration, a field gaining critical importance in the realm of corporate accountability. By offering a comprehensive view of the complexities and practical implications of ESG in arbitration, the article serves as a crucial guide for legal professionals navigating the evolving landscape of corporate responsibility and arbitration. In “Public Policy as a Ground of Setting-Aside an Arbitral Award: Musings on the Centurion Engineers Civil Appeal Judgment”

Ibrahim Kitoo argues a case for upholding of public policy as a ground for the nonrecognition, non-enforcement and setting aside of an arbitral award in cases where to recognise and enforce such awards proves to be a clear violation of the law and against the public good. Juvenalis Ngowi in “Arbitral Tribunals: Do they have the power to issue interim measures during the proceedings?” discusses the powers of the Arbitral Tribunal to grant such orders and examines some procedural rules which empower arbitrators to issue such orders, the scope of those powers, and the factors to be considered when granting interim measures in the arbitral proceedings.

In “Examining the Efficacy of Mediation as A Tool for Accessing Justice in Kenya: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Perspectives” Murithi Antony undertakes a thorough examination of mediation as a form of ADR in the Kenyan context. He identifies opportunities arising from the integration of mediation into the country’s legal system and explores barriers impeding its widespread adoption. The article concludes with a resounding call to action for all stakeholders to champion the use of mediation collaboratively and proactively, given its proven efficacy in dispute resolution.

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Way Forward in Applying Collaborative Approaches Towards Conflict Management

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By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is the Academic Champion of ADR 2024, the African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) and Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, March 2024)*

It is necessary to embrace and utilize collaborative approaches in managing conflicts. These techniques include mediation, negotiation, and facilitation. These mechanisms are effective in managing conflicts since they encourage parties to embrace and address disagreements through empathy and listening towards mutually beneficial solutions. Collaborative approaches also have the potential to preserve relationships, build trust, and promote long term positive change. They also ensure a win-win solution is found so that everyone is satisfied which creates the condition for peace and sustainability. These approaches are therefore ideal in managing conflicts. It is therefore important to embrace collaborative approaches in order to ensure effective management of conflicts.

In addition, it is necessary for third parties including mediators and facilitators to develop their skills and techniques in order to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative approaches towards conflict management. For example, it has correctly been observed that mediators and facilitators should listen actively and empathetically in order to assist parties to collaborate towards managing their dispute. Therefore, when a dispute arises, the first step should involve listening to all parties involved with an open mind and without judgment. This should entail active listening, which means paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues and acknowledging the emotions and perceptions involved.

It has been observed that by listening empathetically, a third party such as a mediator of facilitator can understand each person’s perspective and start to build a foundation for resolving the conflict through collaboration. In addition, while collaborating towards conflict management, it is necessary to encourage and help parties to focus on interests and not positions. It has been pointed out that focusing positions can result in a standstill which can delay or even defeat the conflict management process. However, by identifying and addressing the underlying interests parties can find common ground and collaborate towards coming up with creative solutions towards their conflict.

Mediators and facilitators should also assist parties to look for areas of agreement or shared goals. Identifying a common ground can build momentum and create a positive environment for resolving the conflict. Further, in order to ensure the effectiveness of collaborative approaches in conflict management, it is necessary to build strong collaboration. It has been asserted that strong collaboration can be achieved by establishing a shared purpose, cultivating trust among parties, encouraging active participation by all parties, and promoting effective communication.

Strong collaboration enables parties to develop trust between and among themselves and strengthen communication channels between the various parties. It also helps to generate inclusive solutions that arise from wider stakeholders’ views. Therefore while applying collaborative approaches, it is necessary for parties to foster strong collaboration by identifying common goals, building trust, ensuring that all stakeholders are involved, and communicating effectively in order to come up with win-win outcomes.

Finally, while embracing collaborative approaches in conflict management, it is necessary for parties to consider seeking help from third parties if need arises. For example, negotiation is always the first point of call whenever a conflict arises whereby parties attempt to manage their conflict without the involvement of third parties. It has been described as the most effective collaborative approach towards conflict management since it starts with an understanding by both parties that they must search for solutions that satisfy everyone.

It enables parties to a dispute to come together to openly discuss the issue causing tension, actively listen to each other, and come up with mutually satisfactory solutions. However, it has been correctly observed that negotiation may fail especially if the conflict is particularly complex or involves multiple parties due to challenges in collaborating. In such circumstances, where negotiation fails, parties should consider resorting to other collaborative approaches such as mediation and facilitation where they attempt to manage the conflict with the help of a third party. A mediator or facilitator can assist parties to collaborate and continue with the negotiations and ultimately break the deadlock.

*This is an extract from Kenya’s First Clean and Healthy Environment Book: Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya and Academic Champion of ADR 2024. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

References

Bercovitch. J., ‘Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizations: A Framework for Analysis.’ Available at https://ocd.lcwu.edu.pk/cfiles/International%20Relations/EC/IR403/Conflict.ConflictManagementinOrga nizations.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Bercovitch. J., ‘Mediation Success or Failure: A Search for the Elusive Criteria.’ Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 7, p 289.

Bloomfield. D., ‘Towards Complementarity in Conflict Management: Resolution and Settlement in Northern Ireland,’ Journal of Peace Research., Volume 32, Issue 2.

Burrell. B., ‘The Five Conflict Styles’ Available at https://web.mit.edu/collaboration/mainsite/ modules/module1/1.11.5.html (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Demmers. J., ‘Theories of Violent Conflict: An Introduction’ (Routledge, New York, 2012).

Diana. M., ‘From Conflict to Collaboration’ Available at https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/conflict-collaboration-beyond-projectsuccess-1899 (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Food and Agriculture Organization., ‘Collaborative Conflict Management for Enhanced National Forest Programmes (NFPs)’ Available at https://www.fao.org/3/i2604e/i2604e00.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

International Organization for Peace Building., ‘Natural Resources and Conflict: A Path to Mediation.’ Available at https://www.interpeace.org/2015/11/naturalresources-and-conflict-a-path-to-mediation/ (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Isenhart. M.W., & Spangle. M., ‘Summary of “Collaborative Approaches to Resolving Conflict” ‘ Available at https://www.beyondintractability.org/bksum/isenhart-collaborative (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Kaushal. R., & Kwantes. C., ‘The Role of Culture and Personality in Choice of Conflict Management Strategy.’ International Journal of Intercultural Relations 30 (2006) 579– 603.

Leeds. C.A., ‘Managing Conflicts across Cultures: Challenges to Practitioners.’ International Journal of Peace Studies, Volume 2, No. 2, 1997.

May. E., ‘Collaborating Conflict Style Explained In 4 Minutes’ Available at https://www.niagara institute.com/blog/collaborating-conflict-style/ (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Miroslavov. M., ‘Mastering the Collaborating Conflict Style In 2024’ Available at https://www.officernd.com/blog/collaborating-conflictstyle/#:~:text=It’s%20one%20of%20the%20strat egies,their%20underlying%20needs %20and%20interests. (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Muigua. K & Kariuki. F., ‘ADR, Access to Justice and Development in Kenya.’ Available at http://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ADR-access-tojustice-and-development-inKenyaRevised-version-of-20.10.14.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Muigua. K., ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice in Kenya.’ Glenwood Publishers Limited, 2015.

Muigua. K., ‘Reframing Conflict Management in the East African Community: Moving from Alternative to ‘Appropriate’ Dispute Resolution.’ Available at https://kmco.co.ke/wpcontent/uploads/2023/06/ Reframing-ConflictManagement-in-the-East-African-CommunityMoving-from-Alternative-toAppropriate-Dispute-Resolution (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Muigua. K., ‘Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya.’ Glenwood Publishers Limited, 2nd Edition., 2017.

Quain. S., ‘The Advantages & Disadvantages of Collaborating Conflict Management’ Available at https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantagesdisadvantages-collaborating-conflict-management-36052.html (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Samuel. A., ‘Is the Collaborative Style of Conflict Management the Best Approach?’ Available at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/collaborative-style-conflictmanagement-best-approach-samuel-ansah (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

United Nations., ‘Land and Conflict’ Available at https://www.un.org/en/landnatural-resources-conflict/pdfs/GN_ExeS_Land%20and%20Conflict.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Weiss. J., & Hughes. J., ‘Want Collaboration?: Accept—and Actively Manage— Conflict’ Available at https://hbr.org/2005/03/want-collaboration-accept-andactively-manage-conflict (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

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Opportunities and Challenges of Collaborative Conflict Management

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By Hon. Prof. Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, C.Arb, FCIArb is a Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution at the University of Nairobi, Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration, Leading Environmental Law Scholar, Respected Sustainable Development Policy Advisor, Top Natural Resources Lawyer, Highly-Regarded Dispute Resolution Expert and Awardee of the Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) of Kenya by H.E. the President of Republic of Kenya. He is the Academic Champion of ADR 2024, the African ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, the African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, ADR Practitioner of the Year in Kenya 2021, CIArb (Kenya) Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 and ADR Publisher of the Year 2021 and Author of the Kenya’s First ESG Book: Embracing Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) tenets for Sustainable Development” (Glenwood, Nairobi, July 2023) and Kenya’s First Two Climate Change Law Book: Combating Climate Change for Sustainability (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Achieving Climate Justice for Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, October 2023), Promoting Rule of Law for Sustainable Development (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) and Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, March 2024)*

One of the key collaborative approaches that can be applied in conflict management is mediation. Mediation has been defined as a method of conflict management where conflicting parties gather to seek solutions to the conflict, with the assistance of a third party who facilitates discussions and the flow of information, and thus aiding in the process of reaching an agreement.

Mediation is usually a continuation of the negotiation process since it arises where parties to a conflict have attempted negotiations, but have reached a deadlock. Parties therefore involve a third party known as a mediator to assist them continue with the negotiations and ultimately break the deadlock. A mediator does not have the power to impose a solution upon the parties but rather facilitates communication, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests, and uses creative problem solving to enable the parties to reach their own agreement.

Some of the core values and principles guiding mediation as a collaborative approach towards conflict management include impartiality, empathy, valued reputation, and confidentiality. It has also been pointed out that mediation has certain attributes which include informality, flexibility, efficiency, confidentiality, party autonomy and the ability to promote expeditious and cost effective management of dispute which makes it an ideal mechanism for managing disputes.

Mediation is an effective mechanism that can foster collaboration due to its potential to build peace and bring people together, binding them towards a common goal. Mediation can also foster effective management of conflicts by building consensus and collaboration. It has been argued that mediation can enhance collaboration towards conflict management due to its emphasis on the need for a mediator who listen to the wants, needs, fears, and concerns of all sides. Therefore, for mediation to be effective in fostering collaboration, the approach must be mild and non-confrontational because the goal is to make all parties feel comfortable expressing their views and opinions.

Another key collaborative approach towards conflict management is negotiation. It has been defined as an informal process that involves parties to a conflict meeting to identify and discuss the issues at hand so as to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution without the help of a third party. Negotiation is one of the most fundamental methods of managing conflicts which offers parties maximum control over the process66. It aims at harmonizing the interests of the parties concerned amicably. Negotiation has been described as the process that creates and fuels collaboration.

Negotiation fosters collaboration since it involves all parties sitting down together, talking through the conflict and working towards a solution together. Negotiation has been described as the most effective collaborative approach towards conflict management since it starts with an understanding by both parties that they must search for solutions that satisfy everyone. It enables parties to a dispute to come together to openly discuss the issue causing tension, actively listen to each other, and come up with mutually satisfactory solutions. If negotiation fails, parties may resort to other collaborative approaches such as mediation and facilitation where they attempt to manage the conflict with the help of a third party.

Facilitation is another key collaborative approach towards conflict management. Facilitation entails a third party known as a facilitator who helps parties to a conflict to understand their common objectives and achieve them without while remaining objective in the discussion. A facilitator assists conflicting parties in achieving consensus on any disagreements so that they have a strong basis for future action.

It has been pointed out that facilitation is effective in fostering collaboration in conflict management particularly in conflicts which are complex in nature or those that involve multiple parties. In such conflicts, it is necessary to seek outside help from a neutral third party to facilitate the discussion as parties work towards mutually acceptable outcomes.

Applying collaborative approaches towards conflict management offers several advantages. It has been pointed out that collaborating results in mutually acceptable solutions. Such solutions can therefore be effective and long lasting negating the likelihood of conflicts reemerging in future. Collaborating signifies joint efforts, gain for both parties and integrated solutions arrived at by consensual decisions.

Collaborating is also very effective when it is necessary to build or maintain relationships since it focuses on the needs and interests of all parties in a dispute. It has been observed that collaborative approaches emphasize trust-building, open communication, and empathizing with each other’s perspectives which goes beyond resolving conflicts to facilitate deeper understandings of each other. Collaborative approaches can therefore lead to better interpersonal connections.

Collaborating can also result in constructive decision-making since encouraging active engagement and open dialogue helps others think outside of the box and explore innovative paths towards conflict management. Further, by encouraging the participation and involvement of all stakeholders, collaboration ensures that everyone feels heard, valued and understood which is very essential in managing conflicts.

In addition, collaborating sets the tone for future conflict resolutions since it gives those involved the shared responsibility to resolve their problems. However, collaborative approaches towards conflict management have also been associated with several drawbacks. For example, it has been observed that collaborative approaches may not be easy to implement since they involve a lot of effort to get an actionable solution. It has been observed that thorough discussions, active participation, and exploring multiple perspectives as envisaged by collaborative approaches take time.

Collaborating may therefore require patience and dedication to ensure all voices are heard and meaningful resolutions are reached. Achieving consensus through collaborative approaches can also be difficult since conflicting opinions, varying conflict goals, and emotional variables can make the consensus-building process challenging and time-consuming. As a result of these challenges, it has been asserted that collaborative approaches towards conflict management are frequently the most difficult and time-consuming to achieve.

Further, it has been argued that over use of collaboration and consensual decision-making may reflect risk aversion tendencies or an inclination to defuse responsibility. Despite these challenges, collaborative approaches towards conflict management are ideal in ensuring win-win and long lasting outcomes. It is therefore necessary to embrace and apply collaborative approaches towards conflict management.

*This is an extract from Kenya’s First Clean and Healthy Environment Book: Actualizing the Right to a Clean and Healthy Environment (Glenwood, Nairobi, January 2024) by Hon. Prof.  Kariuki Muigua, OGW, PhD, Professor of Environmental Law and Dispute Resolution, Senior Advocate of Kenya, Chartered Arbitrator, Kenya’s ADR Practitioner of the Year 2021 (Nairobi Legal Awards), ADR Lifetime Achievement Award 2021 (CIArb Kenya), African Arbitrator of the Year 2022, Africa ADR Practitioner of the Year 2022, Member of National Environment Tribunal (NET) Emeritus (2017 to 2023) and Member of Permanent Court of Arbitration nominated by Republic of Kenya and Academic Champion of ADR 2024. Prof. Kariuki Muigua is a foremost Environmental Law and Natural Resources Lawyer and Scholar, Sustainable Development Advocate and Conflict Management Expert in Kenya. Prof. Kariuki Muigua teaches Environmental Law and Dispute resolution at the University of Nairobi School of Law, The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) and Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies. He has published numerous books and articles on Environmental Law, Environmental Justice Conflict Management, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development. Prof. Muigua is also a Chartered Arbitrator, an Accredited Mediator, the Managing Partner of Kariuki Muigua & Co. Advocates and Africa Trustee Emeritus of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators 2019-2022. Prof. Muigua is a 2023 recipient of President of the Republic of Kenya Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) Award for his service to the Nation as a Distinguished Expert, Academic and Scholar in Dispute Resolution and recognized among the top 5 leading lawyers and dispute resolution experts in Band 1 in Kenya by the Chambers Global Guide 2024 and was listed in the Inaugural THE LAWYER AFRICA Litigation Hall of Fame 2023 as one of the Top 50 Most Distinguished Litigation Lawyers in Kenya and the Top Arbitrator in Kenya in 2023.

References

Bercovitch. J., ‘Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizations: A Framework for Analysis.’ Available at https://ocd.lcwu.edu.pk/cfiles/International%20Relations/EC/IR403/Conflict.ConflictManagementinOrga nizations.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Bercovitch. J., ‘Mediation Success or Failure: A Search for the Elusive Criteria.’ Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 7, p 289.

Bloomfield. D., ‘Towards Complementarity in Conflict Management: Resolution and Settlement in Northern Ireland,’ Journal of Peace Research., Volume 32, Issue 2.

Burrell. B., ‘The Five Conflict Styles’ Available at https://web.mit.edu/collaboration/mainsite/ modules/module1/1.11.5.html (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Demmers. J., ‘Theories of Violent Conflict: An Introduction’ (Routledge, New York, 2012).

Diana. M., ‘From Conflict to Collaboration’ Available at https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/conflict-collaboration-beyond-projectsuccess-1899 (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Food and Agriculture Organization., ‘Collaborative Conflict Management for Enhanced National Forest Programmes (NFPs)’ Available at https://www.fao.org/3/i2604e/i2604e00.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

International Organization for Peace Building., ‘Natural Resources and Conflict: A Path to Mediation.’ Available at https://www.interpeace.org/2015/11/naturalresources-and-conflict-a-path-to-mediation/ (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Isenhart. M.W., & Spangle. M., ‘Summary of “Collaborative Approaches to Resolving Conflict” ‘ Available at https://www.beyondintractability.org/bksum/isenhart-collaborative (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Kaushal. R., & Kwantes. C., ‘The Role of Culture and Personality in Choice of Conflict Management Strategy.’ International Journal of Intercultural Relations 30 (2006) 579– 603.

Leeds. C.A., ‘Managing Conflicts across Cultures: Challenges to Practitioners.’ International Journal of Peace Studies, Volume 2, No. 2, 1997.

May. E., ‘Collaborating Conflict Style Explained In 4 Minutes’ Available at https://www.niagara institute.com/blog/collaborating-conflict-style/ (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Miroslavov. M., ‘Mastering the Collaborating Conflict Style In 2024’ Available at https://www.officernd.com/blog/collaborating-conflictstyle/#:~:text=It’s%20one%20of%20the%20strat egies,their%20underlying%20needs %20and%20interests. (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Muigua. K & Kariuki. F., ‘ADR, Access to Justice and Development in Kenya.’ Available at http://kmco.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/ADR-access-tojustice-and-development-inKenyaRevised-version-of-20.10.14.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Muigua. K., ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice in Kenya.’ Glenwood Publishers Limited, 2015.

Muigua. K., ‘Reframing Conflict Management in the East African Community: Moving from Alternative to ‘Appropriate’ Dispute Resolution.’ Available at https://kmco.co.ke/wpcontent/uploads/2023/06/ Reframing-ConflictManagement-in-the-East-African-CommunityMoving-from-Alternative-toAppropriate-Dispute-Resolution (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Muigua. K., ‘Resolving Conflicts through Mediation in Kenya.’ Glenwood Publishers Limited, 2nd Edition., 2017.

Quain. S., ‘The Advantages & Disadvantages of Collaborating Conflict Management’ Available at https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantagesdisadvantages-collaborating-conflict-management-36052.html (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Samuel. A., ‘Is the Collaborative Style of Conflict Management the Best Approach?’ Available at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/collaborative-style-conflictmanagement-best-approach-samuel-ansah (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

United Nations., ‘Land and Conflict’ Available at https://www.un.org/en/landnatural-resources-conflict/pdfs/GN_ExeS_Land%20and%20Conflict.pdf (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

Weiss. J., & Hughes. J., ‘Want Collaboration?: Accept—and Actively Manage— Conflict’ Available at https://hbr.org/2005/03/want-collaboration-accept-andactively-manage-conflict (Accessed on 01/03/2024).

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