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4.PART II: Project Strategy

4.1Project Rationale and Policy Conformity

  1. This proposed project in the Montane Forests of Kenya satisfies the requirements for GEF financing under Strategic Programme three in the Biodiversity Focal Area SP3 – “Strengthening Terrestrial Protected Area Networks”. The project will directly bring an additional 95,000 ha of land into PA categories designed to conserve biodiversity, including unprotected forest lands and reserve forests being managed for production. The systemic interventions planned will indirectly improve the status of the entire western forest estate. This will be achieved by improving accountability for decision making, monitoring and adaptive management. The project takes a comprehensive approach towards strengthening the management effectiveness of PAs in conserving biodiversity.

  2. This will lead to the constitution of new PAs and reclassification of Forest Reserves established for productive purposes under higher PA management categories, managed expressly for biodiversity conservation. In order to ensure that existing management capacities and finances are not stretched unduly in the process, the project addresses capacity needs at the systemic level--- particularly the need to improve institutional coordination of PA management, and integrate PAs into local area development frameworks. In addition, research is proposed to assess means of sustainable financing for an expanded PA system can be financed through government funding, private sector investment in tourism, and the development of PES schemes with tea plantations and other businesses.

  3. This project aims to demonstrate that all sectors can work together through an integrated approach and that co-management/participatory approaches that involve local communities in decision making can lead to better conservation and sustainable livelihoods. A model will be produced for conserving biodiversity in co-managed PAs. Since this project is the first of its kind in Kenya, there is a knowledge gap on implementing such a co-management arrangement. By design, the project will demonstrate a model of participatory approaches in different ecosystems and will promote broad stakeholder participation among the public, private sector and local communities focusing on conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits accrued in line with the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The project will provide for systematic and institutional strengthening through building capacity in both government and local communities to ensure models for long-term sustainability are in place and provide a strategy and plan for the replication of best practices and lessons that can be used to create similar co-managed protected areas across the country.

  4. The project will work in the following sites:

  • Cherangani Hills Forest Landscape

  • Kakamega Forest Landscape

  • North and South Nandi Forest Landscape

  1. Lessons learnt at the landscape scale will be widely disseminated across districts and up to the national level for strategic planning work. This aims to assist scaling up of the approaches used throughout the Montane Forests of Kenya - thereby contributing even more to the development of a national system of community managed protected areas.

  2. The activities planned as part of the project will last five years. During this time local communities will learn how to manage their forest resources in a sustainable manner. This project is formulated so as to build on the lessons learnt from previous projects.

4.2Project Goal, Objective, Outcome, Components and Outputs

  1. The Goal of this Integrated Ecosystem Management Programme is: The Montane Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Values are Conserved and Provide Sustainable Benefit Flows at Local, National and Global Levels.

  2. The project will be responsible for achieving the following project objective: The spatial coverage and management effectiveness of the Montane Forest PA sub system is expanded and strengthened.

COMPONENT 1. Systemic and Institutional Capacities for Managing an Expanded and Rationalized PA Estate

COMPONENT 2. Community management of PAs (JFM/CBNRM)

COMPONENT 3. Operational Capacities for PA Site Management

  1. The proposed project is designed to lift the barriers to establishment of a representative and well managed PA system in the western part of the Eastern Afro Montane Hotspot, specifically constituted for the purpose of biodiversity conservation. The project will comprise three complementary components which will be cost shared by the GEF and co-financing. Each addresses a different barrier and has discrete outcomes.

  2. Component 1: Systemic Capacities for PA Management. The project will provide funding to develop a Systematic Conservation Plan for PAs in the Hotspot, providing a blueprint for reclassifying PA categories, adding unprotected sites to the System and providing management guidelines. A monitoring and reporting framework will be established to gauge the effectiveness of PA management at systems level, feeding into the decision making systems circumscribing development planning and budgeting. The Plan will define the management objectives and arrangements for different PAs. In tandem, the institutional capacities for coordinating PA planning and operations will be strengthened among central government institutions, decentralised government organs, civil society, and the private sector. A business case for PA management will be framed, including of new sites and Forest Reserves reclassified as National Reserves. This will provide an economic case for PA finance, elaborate cost coefficients for the delivery of PA functions, and prepare a budgeted action plan for PA operations, with an accompanying revenue framework. This improved Governance framework will result in: (a) Priority Forest Reserves reclassified as National Reserves or Nature Reserves60, accountable to a higher management standard, and the incorporation of unprotected forest blocks as PAs; (b) governance frameworks that allow for the effective administration of the PA system as part of the development framework; and (c) financial sustainability plans developed and implemented with partner support.

  3. Specific outcomes of the first component are expected to be:

  • New PAs established: 20,000 ha; threatened forest reserves forests reclassified to higher management category: National Reserve (20,000 ha.)/Nature Reserve ( 25,000 ha): a total of 65,000 ha under improved PA management regimes.

  • Of the 20,000 ha, reclassified, the majority will be the smaller forest patches currently unprotected. Of the 45,000 ha to be reclassified, these will be divided between the three focal landscapes of the Cherangani Hills, Kakamega Forest and the North and South Nandi Forests, proportionally.

  • Governance systems provide for the effective administration of the PA system as part of the regional development agenda by effective mainstreaming into local planning (measured by the PA Systems Scorecard).

  • Increase in PA budget of >50 % over baseline of USD >5 mill$ p.a. covers recurrent costs of forest protected area system (PA Finance Score Card).

  1. Component 2: Community Management of Forest PAs. The project will develop a system for management of PAs by local communities and where feasible, the private sector. This will result in the creation of Community Conservation Areas in which government, communities and the local private sector participate in management, where benefits arising are equitably distributed. The CCAs will include new PAs, established on unprotected lands as needed to protect small forest patches with high conservation values. The project will also institute joint forest management systems with government, in the buffer areas of Forest Reserves that are being reclassified as National Reserves. The project will build on the existing supportive policy and legislative framework for CCAs and JFM by providing support for the enactment of bylaws, development of site management plans, setting up village site support groups, and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the role players. Training will be provided to operationalize PA functions in all sites, in particular enforcement. These areas will be managed to support sustainable community livelihoods from sustainable forest harvests that are compatible with the overarching biodiversity conservation needs. The project will provide funding for the development of sustainable use management systems in forest corridors; agro-forestry on cultivated land supported with co-financing will seek to enhance biological connectivity. A monitoring and enforcement system will be put in place once sustainable off-takes and management arrangements have been defined for resources to ensure that such utilization does not threaten biodiversity.

  2. Specific outcomes of the second component are expected to be:

  • Reduction in forest loss in small unprotected forest blocks. CCAs established covering a target area of 10,000 ha. These will be likely be on average 1,000ha in size each if 10 area created.

  • Reduction in forest degradation at the forest edge through the creation of JFM buffer zones in Forest Pas in the three landscapes (20,000 ha of existing forest, focusing on the buffer zones and likely to be divided proportionally between the three landscapes according to area – to be confirmed at project inception)

  • Cost drivers for PAs are reduced as community acceptance of PAs leads to a reduction of PA incursions

  • PA management system effectively integrates conservation needs and local livelihoods.

  1. Component 3 Operational Capacities for PA Site Management: The project will provide funding to strengthen PA functions in National Reserves and Nature Reserves, including by improving institutional capacities to deploy funds, staff and equipment to address threats to biodiversity, and to deliver PA functions such as community liaison, enforcement, and reporting. A PA monitoring system will be established that will assess the effectiveness of PA management in mitigating threats to biodiversity; this will be tied to the operational planning and budgeting system to facilitate adaptive PA management. The System will, amongst other things, set controls to assess the efficacy of management systems against sites without such management—in particular Forest Reserves with production related functions. PA operations will be tied to district and community enforcement schemes, to improve their cost effectiveness.

  2. Specific outcomes of the third component are expected to be:

  • Protected Areas are managed to generate effective global and national and local environmental benefits, by agencies with functional capacity (measured by site level Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool).

  • Reduction in forest loss and degradation in forest blocks covering an area of 175,000 ha. in western Kenya.

  1. The project will deliver 15 Outputs, organized within the four components and summarised here (see Project Logical Framework for detailed outputs under each component).

4.2.1Component 1. Systemic and Institutional Capacities for Managing an Expanded and Rationalized PA Estate

  1. Output 1.1 Create a Systematic Conservation Plan for PA Coverage in the Eastern Montane landscape which provides the framework for upgrading reserve forest to higher status PAs (IUCN Category 1I/II/ or IV PAs) and incorporating unprotected forest into the PA system.

  2. Output 1.2 Regulations provided under the Forest Act established that formalize a new category of Forest Reserve managed for biodiversity conservation: to be termed ‘Nature Reserve’.

  3. Output 1.3 At least 6 Forest Blocks gazetted as new PAs: boundary demarcation into core & buffer areas; site registration]; Areas of at least 5 Forest Reserves upgraded to Higher PA category [gazettal and boundary demarcation completed] as National / Nature Reserve.

  4. Output 1.4 Management Plans developed for three PA clusters in major Forest Habitat Blocks: Cherangani Hills, Kakamega Forest and Nandi Forests (North and South Nandi blocks).

  5. Output 1.5 Upgraded institutional capacities for coordinating PA planning and operations at central, regional and local government levels.

  6. Output 1.6 PA management objectives are integrated into district development plans/ programs.

  7. Output 1.7 Business case for Forest PA sub system is made through research, documenting economic benefits, likely partners, cost coefficients for PA functions, budgets and revenue options (PES, tourism concessions, government/ donor budget appropriations).

4.2.2Component 2: Community management of PAs (JFM/CBNRM).

  1. Output 2.1 At least 10 Community Conservation Areas established as new PAs to protect small forest patches with high conservation value and at least 10 Joint Forest Management systems established in the buffer areas to National Reserve Nature Reserves Forest Reserves and managed to reduce pressures on core areas [boundary marking/ area zoning].

  2. Output 2.2 Village Site Support Groups established and registered; roles and responsibilities for CCA/ JFM are defined, management rules developed, bylaws enacted and site management plans are developed for all sites Capacity emplaced to administer PA functions in all sites (enforcement and monitoring).

  3. Output 2.3 Business plans define income generation opportunities from sustainable use of forests. Sustainable use management system invoked in areas zoned for forest extraction (resource inventories, sustainable off-takes defined, monitoring and enforcement system in place).

4.2.3Component 3: Operational Capacities for PA Site Management

  1. Output 3.1 Improved systems level operations capacity ensures deployment of funds, staff, and equipment) to address threats to forest PAs established expressly to conserve biodiversity (National Reserves and Nature Reserves).

  2. Output 3.2 PA core infrastructure in place (boundary posts, fire breaks, and ranger stations, and visitor interpretation) in focal PAs /buffer zones.

  3. Output 3.3 PA staff skills sets cover all conservation functions (enforcement, policing, reporting, survey/ monitoring work, participatory management).

  4. Output 3.4 Systems in place (reporting, records and action) to improve the coordination of PA enforcement functions with districts and communities.

  5. Output 3.5 Partnership Coordination and Lessons Learning, Mau Forest Complex.
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