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4.3Project Risks and Assumptions

  1. The identification of risks was initiated at a very early stage of project development. The main risks, risk rankings and mitigation measures are presented below.

  1. Risk Analysis



Risk Mitigation Measure

Significant increases in externally driven pressure on forest protected areas leading to increased forest loss and fragmentation.


This is the crux of the project – demonstrating the importance of natural forest ecosystems for sustaining ecological goods and services vital to the development agenda. Implementation arrangements will seek to involve local communities and the private sector in PA management. Distributional assessments will be undertaken to ensure there is an equitable spread of benefits and to provide a utilitarian incentive for conservation. Anecdotal evidence suggests that areas with broad based stakeholder ‘ownership’ have suffered less degradation than areas without such stakeholder involvement.

The newly created Kenya Forest Service may receive little support and funding.


Indications from government and donor suggest that operational funding will be sufficient to enable KFS to meet its new mandates.

The KFS - KWS partnership on managing PAs for Biodiversity Conservation does not function properly, undermining PA governance.


The developing KFS and KWS policies and strategic plans all stress the need for partnership. The project will provide support for the institutionalization of co-operative PA governance between conservation authorities, but also districts and village institutions.

Land pressure and short term gain seekers reduce attempts for rational landscape level conservation.


Feasibility studies will be undertaken as part of the Systematic Conservation Plan. The project will seek to manage trade-offs between real development needs and conservation actions within the PA system. Improved enforcement will serve as a deterrent against rent seeking; the project will therefore strengthen enforcement capabilities.

Climate change could lead to changed distributions of BD components, and changes in community and private sector demands on forest resources.


A focus on landscapes (as opposed to small patches), with sufficient buffer zone protection militates against short-term change. The maintenance of forest cover is good adaptation policy in the face of uncertainty (because rainfall in this region is expected to increase; the maintenance of watershed integrity is critical to avoid major floods).

*Risk rating – High (High Risk), Med (Modest Risk), and Low (Low Risk). Risks refer to the possibility that assumptions, defined in the logical framework, may not hold.

4.4Alternative Strategies Considered

  1. The option of investing project resources in other conservation strategies were considered during the development of this project. The PAs system in Kenya should cover alpha, beta and gamma biodiversity. Two alternatives are described in as follows

  2. Option 1 – Integrated Conservation and Development Project. In the past GEF investment has been used to fund Integrated Conservation and Development Projects managed by project implementation units, often through NGOs. The broad lessons learned about these kinds of projects is that they fail to deliver long term solutions as they are not sufficiently embedded in the local systems of governance, and also do not focus on delivery of outcomes that will outlast the project interventions. In this project the emphasis is on the government agencies managing the forests as well as engaging community involvement and co-management. Emphasis is also placed enhancing the protected area network on the ground in an operational sense. These will deliver tangible outcomes that will be recognised in law, and will therefore survive potentially for the next century, or more.

  3. Option 2 – Trust Fund. The option of using the GEF funding for the Montane Forests to establish a parallel structure for forest management was considered. Whilst attractive, the level of funding available and the need for rapid results on the ground to improve the protected area network and mitigate critical threats overruled that as a useful option for this particular GEF project. Further, the policy and institutional framework of the Kenyan Government should be sufficiently robust to manage the process without recourse to a trust fund. Further still, funding will be better placed, as far as is appropriate, at a ground level where it is sorely required.

  4. The only viable option and alternative is to engage local communities to protect, conserve and benefit from biodiversity in their lands. Fortunately, this option is viable in all areas and provides an opportunity not only to protect biodiversity per se but also to contribute to sustainable living and human development.

4.5Country Ownership and Eligibility

  1. Kenya ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity on 26th July 1994 along with the Framework Convention on Climate Change on 30th August 1994. Kenya is eligible for technical assistance from UNDP.

  2. This project is in line with stated national priorities, including Kenya's obligations under the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2000). The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (1999), which is the national umbrella environmental legislation, spells out the role of local communities in sustainable utilisation of biodiversity resources. The Forest Act (2005), presents an opportunity for local communities to co-manage forest resources with the government, while the Agriculture Act provides for river valley protection and conservation. The Land Act provides for sound land use practices. Unfortunately, government and local capacity to implement these pieces of legislation and policy is either lacking or inadequate.

  3. The project is in line with Kenya’s Forest Master Plan that requires the effective management of the forest estate with local communities as development partners. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) strategic plan (2005-2010) has recognised the need to expand the protected areas network; need to work with all partners; and the need to ensure local community involvement and collaboration in the management of protected areas. KWS recognises that there is biodiversity outside formal PAs hence the posting of District based wardens. NEMA recognises the need for wider environmental conservation given the increasing environmental degradation partly due to low public awareness; poor agro-production systems; low ownership of the environment as a significant contributor of people’s livelihoods and low human capacity to engage in constrictive environmental conservation initiatives.

  4. The World Parks Congress (2003) and IUCN Congress highlighted the importance of expansion of protected areas networks and the need to improve the status of protected areas as priorities over the next decade. The Kenya government has also articulated these needs through District Development Plans, national policy papers, and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2000). The Kenya Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper outlines the role of grassroots participation in eradicating poverty, the most important threat to national and global biodiversity in the developing world. The Kenya government has also shown concern for conserving global biodiversity by ratifying all key conventions and treaties, notably the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994, Convention on Migratory Species in 1999, Convention on Wetlands in 1990, and the Climate Change and Desertification conventions.

  5. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) considers protected areas as cornerstones for biodiversity conservation and as critical tools for reducing the current rate of loss of species and habitats in all types of ecosystems (2010 biodiversity target, decision VI/26).

  6. Recognizing the unsatisfactory spatial coverage of protected areas, the expanded Programme of Work on Forest Biodiversity (decision VI/22) calls for Parties to “assess the representativeness of protected areas relative to forest types” and to “establish biologically and geographically representative networks of protected areas” (programme element 1, goal 3, objective 3). In addition, the framework for monitoring implementation of the achievement of the 2010 target states that “at least 10% of the world’s forest types” should be effectively conserved (decision VIII/15).

  7. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the main funding mechanism for providing assistance to developing countries to facilitate them to achieve the targets set out within the CBD – to which they are signatories. This project will address the 2010 target related to protected areas and the conservation of the world’s forests. It will also seek to ensure that the protected areas in these areas are effectively managed.
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