The roles and perspectives of forest
   communities in the forest reform
      process: The case of Kenya


A presentation...
Preamble

           Presentation:
           Presentation:

              Extent of forest cover and trends in Kenya.
   ...
Location and extent
                                           n
                                       a
                ...
Forest Cover: Historical trends

• At the time of the first European settlement in
  Kenya, there were substantially more ...
Forest Management: a historical sketch

•   Forest resource management has largely been a command and control
    system u...
Provisions of the Act
• A member of a forest community may,
  together with other members or
  persons resident in the sam...
Functions of the associations
• Protect, conserve and manage such forest or part
  thereof pursuant to an approved managem...
Functions of the association
• Keep the Service informed of any
  developments, changes and occurrences
  within the fores...
Forest Management Agreement
• The management agreement
  between the Director and the
  association may confer on the
  as...
Possible User rights

• Collection of medicinal herbs;
• Harvesting of honey;
• Harvesting of timber or fuel
  wood;
• Gra...
Possible User rights cont..

• Collection of forest produce for
  community based industries;
• Ecotourism and recreationa...
Possible User rights cont..
• Plantation establishment through non-
  resident cultivation;
• Contracts to assist in carry...
Status of forest reforms in Kenya
• Since 2007, few little changes has taken place, mostly on
  institutional settings.
• ...
Community perspective on forest sector
              reforms
• High expectations on benefits to be accrued. If not met it ...
Challenges
• The requirement that an application by CFA should be
  accompanied by a forest management plan has made the
 ...
Challenges
• Different players in the reform process still have
  inadequate understanding of the roles each
  stakeholder...
Recommendations
• There is need for government, NGOs, grassroots
  organisations and the private sector to provide
  relev...
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Michael Gachanja: The roles and perspectives of forest communities in the forest reform process: The case of Kenya

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Day 2, Session 3: The role and perspectives of forest communities in the forest reform process

Presentation by Michael Gachanja, Coordinator, Kenya Forests Working Group

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Michael Gachanja: The roles and perspectives of forest communities in the forest reform process: The case of Kenya

  1. 1. The roles and perspectives of forest communities in the forest reform process: The case of Kenya A presentation by: Michael Gachanja KENYA FORESTS WORKING GROUP
  2. 2. Preamble Presentation: Presentation: Extent of forest cover and trends in Kenya. Extent of forest cover and trends in Kenya. The Forests Act provisions on community involvement. Preamble The Forests Act provisions on community involvement. Status of forest reforms as regards community involvement. Status of forest reforms as regards community involvement. Community perspectives/views on forest sector reforms. Community perspectives/views on forest sector reforms. Challenges and opportunities in forest sector reforms. Challenges and opportunities in forest sector reforms. Recommendations. Recommendations.
  3. 3. Location and extent n a d u S E t h i o p i a Forest Tenure Types Forest Tenure Types U g a n d a An overview •Closed forests (tree •Closed forests (tree cover >>40 %) cover 1.7 cover 40 %) cover 1.7 S o m a l i a % of Kenya total land % of Kenya total land area. area. They are mainly located They are mainly located in the highlands of in the highlands of central and western central and western Kenya. Kenya. T The largest forest blocks The largest forest blocks n a a n z are montane forests. are montane forests. a e c n i a O n i a d Forests I n
  4. 4. Forest Cover: Historical trends • At the time of the first European settlement in Kenya, there were substantially more closed forests than there is today. • The total area of closed forests, in 1962, was 6,500 square miles(1,683,500 Ha.), excluding internal grasslands, • This covered 2.7% of the total land area, • Today, this has reduced to 1.7% and is going down.
  5. 5. Forest Management: a historical sketch • Forest resource management has largely been a command and control system under the old forests law. • Under the old Act, timber production was the key driver of forest management. • The old legislation had many shortcomings including lack of a comprehensive mechanism for involving local communities in forest management. • Clamour for change resulted to the review of the old act. A New Act came into force on 1st February 2007. • The Act upholds the principle of public participation in forest management.
  6. 6. Provisions of the Act • A member of a forest community may, together with other members or persons resident in the same area, register a community forest association under the Societies Act. • The registered association may apply to the Director for permission to participate in the conservation and management of a state forest or local authority forest.
  7. 7. Functions of the associations • Protect, conserve and manage such forest or part thereof pursuant to an approved management agreement entered into under the Act and the provisions of the management plan for the forest; • Formulate and implement forest programmes consistent with the traditional forest user rights of the community concerned in accordance with sustainable use criteria;
  8. 8. Functions of the association • Keep the Service informed of any developments, changes and occurrences within the forest which are critical for the conservation of biodiversity; • Help in fire fighting; and • Do any other act that is necessary for the efficient conservation and management of the forest.
  9. 9. Forest Management Agreement • The management agreement between the Director and the association may confer on the association all or any of the following forest user rights-
  10. 10. Possible User rights • Collection of medicinal herbs; • Harvesting of honey; • Harvesting of timber or fuel wood; • Grass harvesting and grazing;
  11. 11. Possible User rights cont.. • Collection of forest produce for community based industries; • Ecotourism and recreational activities; • Scientific and education activities;
  12. 12. Possible User rights cont.. • Plantation establishment through non- resident cultivation; • Contracts to assist in carrying out specified silvicultural operations; • Development of community wood and non-wood forest based industries;
  13. 13. Status of forest reforms in Kenya • Since 2007, few little changes has taken place, mostly on institutional settings. • Many CFAs have been formed most on adhoc basis. A guideline on their formation and others on PFM in place. • Nine forest management plans have been prepared, all through donor support. • No forest management agreement has been negotiated and signed between CFAs and KFS. • Management agreement supportive legislation (rules and regulation) not gazetted though finalised over one year ago. • Political situation (Grand coalition government) contributing to slow paced forest sector reforms.
  14. 14. Community perspective on forest sector reforms • High expectations on benefits to be accrued. If not met it may be counter productive to the reforms. • Community involvement wrongly interpreted in certain cases. • In absence of signed management agreements, community is still not sure of what lies ahead. • Government not interested in real community forest management BUT would like to use communities to contain illegal activities. • The New law shifts the governments function as a regulator, manager and owner to that of being a regulator. Having controlled forests for decades, the government is reluctant to confer most of the user rights to communities. • This is compounded by government policies requirement that semi autonomous institutions should be financially self reliant. • Community feeling cheated in bidding of forest ecotourism sites. The requirements are a hindrance to most CFAs.
  15. 15. Challenges • The requirement that an application by CFA should be accompanied by a forest management plan has made the process expensive beyond the capacity of local communities. • Capacity to prepare forest management plans is lacking in CFAs. • Inadequate advice during formation of CFAs has led to formation of associations that may not be appropriate for forest management. • The forest user rights being conferred to communities are limited and inadequate. • This is as a result of the forestland tenure - most of the forests are owned by the central government (forest land reserve or trust land forests). Access, rights and benefits are therefore limited.
  16. 16. Challenges • Different players in the reform process still have inadequate understanding of the roles each stakeholder is expected to play in the implementation of the Act. • Community, government and other stakeholders’ expectations do not seem to converge. • Forest benefit sharing poses a challenge in forest sector reforms • Most of the foresters will take time to embrace Participatory Forest Management approaches
  17. 17. Recommendations • There is need for government, NGOs, grassroots organisations and the private sector to provide relevant and cost effective financial, marketing and technical services to CFAs, • There should be an initiative aimed at enhancing the capacity of CFAs, • The government should provide for tangible forest benefits to CFAs. • There is need to draw experiences from other countries such as Nepal.

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