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4.6Program Designation and Conformity

4.6.1The Fit with GEF Focal Area Strategy

  1. This proposed project in the Montane Forests of Kenya is consistent with GEF Strategic Program 3: Strengthening Terrestrial Protected Areas. The project will directly address GEF Strategic Priority 1 on Biodiversity: Strengthening National Protected Area Systems. The Project contributes to the following Indicators of BD-Strategic Objective 1:

  1. Project Contribution to BD-1 Indicators

Strategic Objective


Project’s contribution


To catalyze

sustainability of

protected area


• Extent of habitat cover (hectares) by biome type maintained, as measured by cover and fragmentation in protected area systems

• Extent and percentage increase of new habitat protected (hectares) by biome type in protected area systems that enhances ecosystem representation

• Protected area management effectiveness as measured by protected area scorecards that assess site management, financial sustainability, and capacity

95,000 ha of forests in Western Kenya under new or improved PA management systems with a marked increase in financial scorecards results

An increase in METT scores across the three landscapes whereby monitoring indicates species diversity either unaffected or increased

  1. The project is aligned with the National Forest Policy, the Wildlife Policy and Environmental Policy and Strategies. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2000) stresses the importance of conserving natural forests within a representative and effectively managed national protected area estate in order to maintain species diversity and endemism. The NBSAP further stresses the need to develop a representative and sustainable national PA system. The Environmental Management & Coordination Act, 1999, and Forest Act, 2005 provide for the establishment of Community Conservation Areas (CCAs) with the intention that such areas be co-managed by the Government, local communities and, where feasible, the private sector (for example Land Trusts).

  2. The importance of the Eastern Montane Forest Ecoregion is under-scribed in Kenya’s Joint Assistance Strategy and Vision 2030, which provides a long term cross-sectoral development framework for the nation. The Government has placed forest management at the top of its development agenda. This has led the Kenya Wildlife and Forest Services to place the strengthening of the Forest PA systems in Western Kenya as priorities within their Work Plans. 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.

  3. Through its second component, the project responds to a national gap and a need to create new community-managed conservation areas in productive landscapes, and to test and adapt new joint management systems for such areas. This will be complemented by building an appropriate enabling environment that will facilitate replication of these demonstrations throughout Kenya. It is expected that the number of community-managed conservation areas will increase over time and will be under sound management.

4.6.2Linkages to UNDP Country Programme

  1. UNDP has a long history supporting forest management in Kenya, having invested heavily in the management of forest protected areas in East Africa with GEF funded and other initiatives in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania as well as in Kenya. Strengthening Protected Area Management constitutes one of UNDP’s two Signature Programmes in the Biodiversity Focal area. UNDP is in a good position to ensure inter-project learning.

  2. UNDP is a founder member of the Kenya Protected Areas Planning Committee, whose members include NEMA, PA authorities and the donor community. UNDP’s Country Programme in Kenya places emphasis on environmental governance and associated capacity building and institutional support. Weak governance is ultimately responsible for forest degradation and efforts to improve governance will be essential if biodiversity is to be conserved.

  3. UNDP has played a lead role in supporting reform in the forest sector, in particular through the creation of the Kenya Forest Service and the promulgation of the Forest Act. The project builds on this work—addressing capacity shortcomings that are undermining conservation.

  4. The project will contribute to meeting the objectives as set out in the UNDP Country Programme and is consistent with the agreed terms in the UNDP Country Programme. The strategies to be adopted under the project are consistent with UNDP’s mandates in the development arena, and will complement UNDP’s work on strengthening governance, in particular improving institutional effectiveness in public institutions.

  5. Building on existing initiatives and networks in Kenya this approach will encourage coordinated and collaborative UN support to Kenya, thus maximizing efficiencies and effectiveness of the organizations’ collective input.

  6. The programme will be guided by the five inter-related principles of the UN Development Group (UNDG):

  • Human-rights-based approach to programming, with particular reference to the UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues,

  • Gender equality;

  • Environmental sustainability;

  • Results-based management;

  • Capacity development.

  1. In addition, the project will:

  • Facilitate partnerships, drawing on expertise from a range of national and international organizations acting as executing agencies to ensure well coordinated and timely action;

  • Actively contribute to coordination and mainstreaming in-country, while avoiding duplication of effort with other initiatives.

  1. The project is also in line with other international activities and regional programmes. It is in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by Kenya, especially MDG-7 on “Environmental Sustainability”.

4.6.3Linkages with GEF Financed Projects

  1. This project satisfies the requirements for GEF financing under the Strategic Priorities for the recently approved Strategy for Sustainable Forest Management; biodiversity sub program namely, SOI: “Conservation of Globally Significant Forest Biodiversity”, and within this SO, SP3 – “Extending and Strengthening Terrestrial Protected Area Networks”. This will include gazettement of new Forest Nature Reserves, and re classification of priority Forest Reserves under insecure District administration as priority National Forest Reserves, under the administration of the National Forest Service. Collectively, these measures will serve to increase the area under effective PA administration for biodiversity conservation and improve forest security.

  2. Substantively, the project will benefit from UNDP’s past work in supporting the creation of the Kenya Forest Service.

  3. The project is highly complementary with a number of national and regional GEF projects. The Project development team has worked in close collaboration with other project teams to avoid any duplication and overlap between the initiatives, and to optimise synergies.

  4. The project will collaborate closely with other related initiatives in Kenya and more broadly in Eastern Africa. A number of GEF projects have sought to improve forest management in Kenya, but none have focused specifically on strengthening the PA network in West Evergreen/ Hill forests. The project builds on the joint forest management systems pioneered under the GEF-UNDP Cross Borders Project, which involved Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Commercial Insects Project has developed sustainable use management systems for butterfly husbandry and apiculture adjacent to the Kakamega Forest; this work provides an example of buffer zone management that integrates conservation with community livelihood needs, which has informed the project strategy. An agro-biodiversity project in western Kenya (GEF / WB) generated important lessons on tree cover restoration, pertinent to corridor establishment plans. A GEF- UNEP/ IFAD initiative is addressing forest degradation on the Mount Kenya Massif. Though within the Eastern African Montane Hotspot, this initiative is outside the West Evergreen/ Hill Forests that are targeted under this project and which are a conservation priority as they are comparatively under protected.

  5. The GEF-UNDP Coastal Forests Project is strengthening management of protected areas in the globally important coastal forests, another Biodiversity Hotspot. That effort complements this initiative in seeking to improve the bio-geographic representation of Kenya’s PAs. Finally, the GEF has approved funding under the GEF IV RAF allocation to Kenya for an initiative to strengthen management of Nairobi National Park and its surrounds. While this will work with KWS, it targets savannah ecosystems rather than moist forest habitats. The Kenya GEF Operational Focal Point is seeking to improve synergies between GEF projects; while each have discrete objectives, efforts are being made to cross fertilize good practices between these initiatives.
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