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2.4Institutional and Governance Context

2.4.1Cross-sectoral Planning and Coordination

  1. Policy and programme coordination is achieved through numerous inter-sectoral bodies, involving Ministries and departments, NGOs and civil society and the private sector.The following diagram provides an illustration of the institutional framework for environmental management.

  1. GoK Institutional Framework for Environmental Management

2.4.2Ministerial Level Governance

  1. Government institutional roles and responsibilities in Kenya’s PAs and reserves are largely vested in four government institutions that are directly involved in biodiversity management and conservation: the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and the National Museums of Kenya all under the coordination of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), through the Protected Areas Taskforce.

  2. The Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources (MEMR) is the government agency charged with principal responsibility for safeguarding Kenya’s environmental resources. The MEMR also has overall responsibility for coordinating the work of all Lead Agencies whose work directly impacts on environment through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). Specific responsibilities for MEMR are to initiate environmental policies; co-ordinate the activities of sectoral agencies; and advise government on environmental issues; administer the Mining Act; and regulate the mining sectors.

  3. The following ministries and their constituent departments play a major role in supplementing the role played by the MEMR in PAs management and the conservation of Kenya’s biodiversity:

  • Ministry of Tourism is responsible for oversight of the tourism industry. The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife is responsible for the country’s forest and wildlife resources through the Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service, two parastatal financial and operational autonomous bodies. While KFS is relatively new, KWS was set up in 1989.

  • Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage is the parent ministry for the National Museums of Kenya, which has an extensive biological resources programme focussed on protecting Kenya’s indigenous flora and fauna through education, research, curation and both ex-situ and in-situ conservation.

  • Ministry of Local Government is the parent ministry for local authorities. Many of them are responsible for administering National Reserves and Forest Reserves and regulating land-use through appropriate by-laws within their areas of jurisdiction. They also have responsibilities for water conservation and pollution control under both the Public Health Act and the Local Government Act. Resources, capacity and knowledge to engage in constructive conservation work are seriously lacking.

  • Ministry of Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 is responsible for integrating environmental management objectives into national development planning.

  • Ministry of Agriculture administers the Agriculture Act and the Pest Control Act, through which it has established District Conservation Committees responsible for ensuring proper land-use practices.

  • Ministry of Water and Irrigation is responsible for the planning, development and utilisation of the country’s water resources, conservation of water catchment areas and water pollution control.

2.4.3National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)

  1. The National Environment Management Authority was established by an act of parliament, the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) of 1999, and has overall responsibility for coordinating environmental management issues in Kenya.

  2. With respect to forests and forest conservation, EMCA gives every Kenyan locus standi; provides for protection of forests; allows the Director General to enter into contractual agreement with private land owners with a view to declaring such land forest land (section 44 and 47) and provides for EIA of forestry related developments. However, the role of NEMA is limited until the many guidelines and procedures are developed. In light of this, speedy capacity building for NEMA to be able to implement this important mandate is critical.

2.4.4Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)

  1. The KWS is a parastatal established under Sessional Paper No. 3 of 1975 to promote the conservation and management of Kenya’s wildlife for consumptive and non consumptive uses while harmonising environmental and development goals. KWS is responsible for implementing KWS is responsible for conserving and managing wildlife in the country and for enforcing related laws and regulations.

  2. KWS has developed a Strategic Plan (2005-2010) and has key strategic priorities that are in line and supportive of this proposed project. These are: to achieve policy, legal and regulatory framework and stability to effectively discharge KWS mandate; enhance wildlife conservation, protection and management; strengthen institutional capacity; improve KWS recognition, linkages and relationships with stakeholders; and ensure that KWS set objectives are met.

2.4.5Kenya Forest Service (KFS)

  1. The Kenya Forest Service has the major mandate for: formulation of policies for management and conservation of forests; preparation and implementation of management plans; management and protection of Kenya's gazetted forests; establishment and management of forest plantations; promotion of on-farm forestry; and promotion of environmental awareness.

  2. KFS operates forest stations, reporting to District Forest Offices which in turn report to the Provincial Forest Office. In each district there are forest officers responsible for managing industrial plantations and those at divisional level are responsible for forestry extension.

  3. On December 5th 1991, the directors of KWS and the KFS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), covering the management of selected indigenous forest reserves. Within this MoU, the major responsibilities of KWS are the management of tourism, problem animals and wildlife protection. The MoU is currently being renewed.

2.4.6Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI)

  1. The Kenya Forestry Research Institute was established in 1986. Its mission is to enhance the social and economic welfare of Kenyans through user-oriented research for sustainable development of forests and allied natural resources. In 2002, it had 94 university graduate research scientists at PhD, MSc and BSc level, in 17 research centres in various ecological zones of Kenya. The role of KEFRI, KFS, KWS, and NMK need to be better integrated to promote synergies for the conservation of biodiversity outside formal protected areas.

2.4.7Civil Society (NGOs and CBOs)

  1. Kenya has many environmental and conservation NGOs, many of which have been or are involved in PA management. NGO interventions complement and supplement on-going government PA conservation and development initiatives in Kenya. In the recent past, NGOs have greatly assisted KFS during periods when donor funding was difficult to get for government departments.

  2. International environmental and conservation NGOs working or contributing to PA management in Kenya are varied. These include African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), African Conservation Centre (ACC), BirdLife International, CARE International, Environmental Liaison Centre International, Friends of Conservation (FoC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) East and Southern Africa Regional Office, TRAFFIC and World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) East and Southern Africa Regional Programme.

  3. IUCN, WWF, TRAFFIC, BirdLife International and CARE International are global organizations with regional and national offices or bases in Kenya. AWF, ACC and FoC operate throughout Africa, but are linked with parent institutions abroad. All of these organizations have carried out significant activities within Kenya.

  4. The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) and the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) operate only in East Africa, although their membership is international. The EANHS is composed of two partner NGOs: Nature Kenya (NK) and Nature Uganda (NU), both of which are the national partners of BirdLife International in Kenya and Uganda.

  5. Nature Kenya is Africa’s oldest scientific society, founded in 1909. NK is the Bird-Life International partner for Kenya, through which it has access to the huge store of knowledge and expertise that exists within the other partner organisations and Bird-Life International’s central secretariat. The African Bird-Life partners meet annually as the Council for African Partners (CAP). The Council is supportive of the proposed project and expects that the experience Nature Kenya gains from it will be of considerable benefit to other members in Africa. NK is leading in the development and implementation of a nation-wide IBA monitoring framework with strong emphasis on government and local community capacity building.

  6. EAWLS is host to the Kenya Forests Working Group (KFWG), which is a coalition of NGOs and of anyone interested in forests and which has been an extremely important focus for civil society action against government policies that have threatened Kenyan forests.

  7. Other National NGOs in Kenya include A Rocha Kenya (ARK) in Watamu and the Forest Action Network (FAN) in Nairobi. FAN has been active on matters on forest policy and legislation. It is critical that NGOs continue to receive institutional strengthening to continue playing these key government supplementary and complementary roles and to act as avenues for new knowledge and tools and to provide timely response to emerging PA issues and crises.

  8. In the Cherangani Hills, there are currently no forest user groups that have been organized into a Community Forestry Association and the formation of water resource users associations is still in its infancy. Thus in order to address the environmental/biodiversity conservation issues affecting Cherangani hills, CBOs have formed a Cherangani Hills CBOs Consortium which undertakes conservation activities of the forest patches on the hills.

  9. The Consortium works with various line ministries in the implementation of their activities, which are currently funded by the Community Environment Facility with Nature Kenya as the strategic partner. The purpose is to enhance the integration of the environmental dimensions of poverty reduction into local development planning and implementation. In order to achieve this purpose the Consortium is undertaking the following conservation related interventions: public education and awareness, tree nursery establishment, on farm woodlot promotion, forest policing, fire fighting, apiculture, and forest rehabilitation.

  10. In North and South Nandi, Civil Society organizations are present in three categories. Under the Nandi North Environmental Forum (NEF) there are various community based organizations (CBOs). There are two Community Forest Associations (Kimondi and Kobujoy for North and South respectively) and Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) are still in the development stage.

  11. NEF is an umbrella CSO and also sits in the District Environmental Committee. In order to address the conservation/environmental issues, NEF carries out the following activities financed by CEF with Nature Kenya as the strategic partner: establishment of tree nurseries, rehabilitation of degraded areas, commercial tea growing, public awareness and environmental education, apiculture, aquaculture, gravitational water supply, river bank management, promotion of environmental governance, energy conservation, the formation of commercial tree growing associations, and accommodation.

  12. In the Kakamega forest, KWS, WRMA, NEMA, KFS and NEMA are in the process of developing an integrated management plan which seeks to implement an ecosystem approach43 to biodiversity management for the different forest blocks. There are many civil society organisations surrounding the forest which are engaged in a range of conservation activities including: environmental education, butterfly farming, accommodation facilities, tour guiding, silk processing, energy conservation, herbal medicine, apiculture, the establishment of tree nurseries and bamboo furniture making.

2.4.8 Land Tenure and Management

  1. There are wide-ranging legal provisions for the management of land under the framework of the Kenya National Environmental Plan.44 These are scattered among a variety of statutes. Government land is land owned by the Government of Kenya under the Government Lands Act (Cap. 280)45. This includes, for example, gazetted National Parks and Forest Reserves. The Government Lands Act allows the President, through the Commissioner of Lands, to allocate unalienated Government land to any individual. In practice, such allocations have often been made without proper regard to social and environmental factors and the lack of capacity at the local level mean that local communities are not usually consulted when such decisions are taken. Gazette notices for excisions are only read by a few affluent members of the Society normally in urban areas. Without a local population that understands and cares for the environment, such notices tend to pass unchallenged by local communities.

  2. Trust Land is land held and administered by various local government authorities as trustees under the constitution of Kenya and the Trust Land Act (Cap. 288). National Reserves and local sanctuaries, as well as County Council forest reserves, fall on Trust Land. Individuals may acquire leasehold interest for a specific number of years in Trust Land, though the land can (in theory) be repossessed by the local authorities should the need arise. Local authorities also retain certain regulatory powers over it.

  3. Private land is land owned by private individuals under the Registered Land Act (Cap. 300). On registration as the land owner, an individual acquires absolute ownership on a freehold basis. The use of private land may, however, be limited by provisions made in other legislation, such as the Agriculture Act (Cap. 318). For instance, to protect soils the clearing of vegetation may be prohibited or the planting of trees required. Land preservation orders issued by the Director of Agriculture can cover a whole range of other measures.

2.4.9Tourism Development

  1. Kenya’s Vision 2030 promotes the expansion of the tourism industry in the Western part of the country. The “niche products initiative” promotes the provision of 3,000 beds in high cost accommodation for tourists interested in cultural and eco-tourism as well as water based sports and related activities in four key sites in Western Kenya to be identified. It also commits itself to the certification of 1,000 home stay sites to promote cultural tourism in Kenyan homes.

  2. According to the Tourism Policy 2007 tourism currently accounts for about 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the third largest contributor after agriculture and manufacturing. In the last five years, the country witnessed a gradual rise in both the number of international visitor arrivals and tourism earnings. The number of visitor arrivals to the country grew by 13.5%, from about 1.6 million recorded in 2006 to slightly more than 1.8 million in 2007. Total earnings from tourism rose from KES. 25.8 billion in 2003 to KES. 65.4 billion in 2007. This was as a result of continued efforts in product development and diversification, aggressive marketing, opening up of new tourism circuits and the introduction of new long haul routes and growth in conferencing and sporting activities.

  3. The tourism sector is a major source of employment. During the period between 2003 and 2007, the sector’s contribution to employment generation grew at a rate of 3 per cent annually, while earnings per employee rose by 18 per cent. The wide spatial distribution of tourist attractions also contributes to equity in the distribution of economic and infrastructural development.

  4. The national tourism policy promotes public-private partnerships in the tourism sector with a view to attracting investments in existing tourism facilities as well as in establishing new ones and enhancing community participation in tourism activities, improving the quality and breadth of the country’s tourist offerings in ecotourism, rural and agro-tourism amongst others. In addition it seeks to ensure that tourism private sector operators and communities form umbrella associations with appropriate codes of practice that enhance self-regulation.

  5. Western Kenya has huge untapped potential for tourism. The government, despite launching a blue print to promote the Western circuit, has not invested in this circuit or enticed the private sector in investing in the Western circuit. Investments are still concentrated in the traditional circuits (i.e. national parks and the coast). Some of the attractions in the Western circuit that have not been fully exploited are: hot-air ballooning, gliding, nature hikes, mountain bike riding, mountain climbing, cultural tourism, butterfly farming, ancient caves, homestays, sports tourism and domestic tourism. A proposal is in circulation to build canopy walkways in Kakamega Forest, allowing tourists to see the canopy in a manner that is not destructive. Fly camps are an option for areas of forest where permanent buildings will not be appropriate or allowed.
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