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7.2GEF Alternative: Expected Global and National Benefits

  1. The Kenyan PA estate does not completely represent the country’s biodiversity endowment. Although numerous Forest Reserves have been established, many of these were created to provide timber and non timber forest products and unlike National Parks and National Reserves do not necessarily serve an overarching biodiversity conservation purpose.

  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. In tandem, the institutional capacities for coordinating PA planning and operations will be strengthened. 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 future 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 component will address a crucial gap in the baseline, namely providing the policy framework, the legal basis and associated knowledge and practice for governance and financial management.

  3. 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. 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. This component will address a fundamental gap in the baseline, namely providing a realistic and engaging basis for communities to be involved in the management of their local forest areas, a factor which is currently missing from the baseline situation and without which will provide no incentive locally for forest conservation and sustainable utilisation.

  4. 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. PA operations will be tied to district and community enforcement schemes, to improve their cost effectiveness. Doing so addresses a gap in the baseline of major significance, that even with governance and policy measures supported (component 1) and local benefits and ownership (component 2), that the skills levels and degree of equipment provision are required to be able to improve the baseline situation.

  5. The project will deliver global benefits through the protection of globally significant biodiversity that might otherwise be extirpated. These benefits include the maintenance of biodiversity patterns in a Biodiversity Hotspot and the processes needed to sustain them. The project will also secure forest carbon reservoirs, through avoided deforestation and forest degradation. Carbon inventories undertaken in similarly structured forests in East Africa show that significant carbon emissions reductions are obtainable by avoiding forest loss and degradation. The benefits of these activities are described in further detail below:

  6. Ecosystem services derived from Montane Forests provide a wide variety of benefits for people, such as the protection of fisheries, watersheds and soils. Furthermore, forests constitute an important source of raw materials for both the rural poor who depend on forest products to meet basic livelihood needs, and for industry’s demand for timber and non-timber products.

  7. Carbon storage The world’s forests are globally important carbon store,62 but this carbon is lost when forests are cleared or degraded. Work with the organisation Forest Again to share lessons is expecting to bring opportunities to engage communities into expected benefits from carbon financing.

  8. Contribution to Carbon Sequestration. The sustainable management of forests can contribute to terrestrial carbon sequestration, or uptake from the atmosphere. The poor management of the Montane Forests of Kenya, including within protected areas, means that they have been losing carbon. Better management would mean that trees could grow again and take up carbon from the atmosphere and store it for extended periods of time.

  9. Biodiversity At the global level, forests contain as much as 90% of terrestrial biodiversity, with tropical forests being particularly important in terms of both species richness and their concentration of endemic species.63 Forests are also important for scientific research and education. The diversity of species within the Eastern Montane Forests of Kenya means that there is a high rate of genetic diversity here. As many species are unique, they have bio-prospecting potential and there may be benefits to the world and to Kenya from detailed investigation of the medicinal and other properties for these species.

  10. Ecotourism remains under-developed in the Montane Forest habitats. If there was a diversified and enhanced tourism product, including home stays, cultural tourism and agro-tourism in the Western circuit, this could create alternative forms of incomes for local communities, and may relieve a great amount of pressure currently being placed on the natural resources. As the capacity of the tourism sector increases in these regions, the overall tourism profile for Kenya will increase as well. On a national level, with the strengthening of the ecotourism sector, there will be many opportunities to establish linkages as well as replicate strategies. Research into ascertaining the business case for potential ecotourism opportunities will provide a necessary stepping stone for future tourism interventions.

  1. Summary of Global and National Benefits





Global benefits

Weak enforcement of existing regulations and minimal management of forest landscapes.

GOK has limited capacity to achieve biodiversity conservation and maintain quality of forests.

Agreed PA management strategy that provides a framework for conservation action by all players

Joint-management resulting in increased role of local communities in managing forest resource use and access.

Communities have incentives to regulate forest use and access for their own benefit.

Improved PA governance and status focuses efforts by many stakeholders to solve conservation problems in the Montane Forests

Co-management results in improved management and monitoring of biodiversity and forest resources.

Ecological stability of forests is increased, biodiversity is less threatened, and watertowers are secured.

National and local benefits

Open access to Montane Forests is endangering their functions in biodiversity conservation, watershed protection and local economic and cultural uses.

Communities within the forest landscapes are poor and use unsustainable farming and forest resource harvesting practices.

Social transformation of forest dependent communities through effective partnerships in co-management of forests and increased security of resource tenure.
Enhanced alternative livelihood options reduce unsustainable use of land and forest resources.

Forest cover is retained, globally significant biodiversity is protected and ecosystem services are maintained

Increased income for households through nature based enterprises and incentives for sustainable forest resource management and protection.

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