MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF MOUNT KENYA FOREST PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE RESTORATION Payment for Ecosystem Services Guidelines for Communities to Engage in Forest Restoration The Mount Kenya Business Case Mount Kenya is a critical biodiversity hotspot-Important Bird Area, World Heritage Site, National Park and National reserve. Mt. Kenya is critical for ameliorating the impacts of climate change by acting as a carbon sink. The Mt. Kenya ecosystem feeds into the Upper Tana River ecosystem, and the hydrologic (water storage and flow) services provided by the Mt. Kenya and Upper Tana River ecosystems are extremely important for the Kenyan economy and environment. The Upper Tana basin provides water for one of the most productive agricultural areas in Kenya and key national parks and generates half of the countryâ€™s total hydropower. Rain-fed smallholder agriculture uses about onethird of the water budget.
The Problem The Mt. Kenya ecosystem is being seriously degraded. Deforestation remains the greatest
threat facing the ecosystem; over the years there has been a decrease in water volume and quality due to loss of forest cover. Hydropower and domestic water reservoirs are getting silted with sediments from the degraded landscape, significantly raising water treatment costs. Rapid urban population growth and unprecedented industrial activity has given rise to increased water stress. Demand for drinking and industrial water use cannot be met. Furthermore, downstream water users, including hydropower producers, crop irrigation schemes, water abstraction and distribution companies, industries and others are not contributing sufficiently towards upper catchment restoration. As a result local people represented by Community Forest Associations (CFAs), community based organisations engaged in nature conservation and responsible government agencies do not have sufficient financial resources to restore Mt. Kenya.
The Intervention Taking immediate action is not a choice but an obligation. Downstream water users including business, hydropower producers, crop farmers and water transfer companies need to provide incentives for upstream stakeholders and forest protectors. Funding is needed to halt forest loss, restore degraded areas and promote sustainable land management and production.
Benefits to Participating Business Companies • • • • • •
Benefits to Government
Public and private sector partnership to sustain water flows from Mt. Kenya forest to meet the domestic and commercial needs of stakeholders.
• • • •
Strategic commitment and support from the business sector to enhance water quantity and quality from Mt. Kenya through sustained water catchment management by and for stakeholders.
Target Annually provide Ksh 140 million to plant and nurture 2 million trees to restore 2,000 ha of Mt. Kenya and Upper Tana catchment landscapes. The tree cover will increase quantity and quality of water and keep clean water flowing for access and use by downstream users and ecology.
Business sustainability Reduced costs of operation Sustained raw materials: water, electricity Greening the economy Social responsibility and equity Visibility, branding and image - nature friendly Implement National Forest program Reduce impacts of climate change Promote Vision 2030 and reduce poverty Sustain water for industry, drinking, food production and downstream ecology Conserve biodiversity
Benefit to Community • • • • •
Business sustainability for longer term job opportunities Market for local produce in the tourism and hotel industry Direct income through production and sale of tree seedlings Longer term supply of forest ecosystem services e.g. water, medicinal plants, fuel wood and construction timber Education of local children i.e. Use of Community Resource Centers and schools.
Guide in Achieving the Forest Restoration Targets 1. Organisational Capacity Building
Local institutions, such as Community Forest Associations and Community Based Organisations, need to have sufficient capacity to engage with the private sector. This can be achieved by: a. Training of community groups on leadership, governance, financial and institutional management b. Developing a constitution with a clear institutional structure that ensures accountability and proper rules and regulations. For instance, have a clear governance structure (democratically elected committee members) and clear communication channels c. Equipping local institutions such as CFAs with negotiation and communication skills to enable them engage with the water buyers
2. Identification of what Ecosystem Service
It’s important to identify the ecosystem service being targeted, since there is a wide array of services provided by the Mt Kenya ecosystem. Some ecosystem services, such as cultural services, are difficult to put a monetary value on. Other services can be given monetary values, for instance provision services: water quantity and quality are measurable; forest carbon stock can be valued, etc.
3. Planning for Implementation
An action plan is a way to make the community vision become concrete. It describes the way community groups will use their strategies to meet their objectives. An action plan consists of a number of action steps or changes to be brought about in the community. The action plan needs to identify what are the threats to the continued supply of the marketable ecosystem services. This will help in choosing the necessary actions to achieve the desired results in the planned restoration activities. For example:
a. Carry out a rapid need assessment of the community organisation b. Prepare action plans, building on existing conservation frameworks such as Participatory Forest Management Plans, River Catchment Management Plans, National Parks Management Plans, etc. c. Ensure that the action plans contain realistic and achievable conservation targets and goals d. Prepare a Business Case, highlighting tangible ecosystem services derived from the forest area to be restored. Explain how these services are linked to the chain of production of targeted consumers. e. Indentify the target stakeholders for engagement
4. Communication, Advocacy and Outreach
a. Decide on the best approach to use to communicate your work i.e. Do you need to call for a meeting? Then agree on the ideal date for this meeting b. Prepare invitation letters outlining the meeting objectives and send them to the targeted stakeholders i.e. The invitation can be read out in public forums like churches or local administrators meetings c. Prepare presentations outlining; • The community organisation background information and history • Objectives of the Community organisation • Activities the organisation has carried out in the area • Successes achieved • Challenges facing the forest restoration initiatives • Ecosystem services derived from the forest • Engagement or the entry point of the stakeholders – “How will the stakeholders you have invited can be involved?” d. Hold the meeting as planned and outlined in the invitation letter e. Offer opportunity for the stakeholders to give feedback f. f. Plan for follow up meetings with individual stakeholders on their commitments towards planned restoration activities
5. How to Satisfy Financiers
100 Meeting the requirements 0 of stakeholders who have committed to your 100 0 work is an important part of maintaining and strengthening the relationship. Community groups need to: a. Open and maintain a bank account b. Keep proper records and evidence such as bank slips, bank statements, vouchers, receipts, etc. c. Work with transparency and accountability
6. Reporting and Communicating Progress
Financiers want to know how their money is being spent and what it has achieved! If they are satisfied they may continue their support. a. Ensure all restoration activities carried out are documented b. Share reports and photographs with stakeholders supporting the restoration initiatives c. Report to members and supporters often and regularly; rumours arise in the absence of news
d. Convene periodic review meetings to evaluate the engagement with the stakeholders. This will give guidance on areas that can be improved while implementing the restoration activities. e. Posters or sign boards can be developed and placed in strategic places to acknowledge the contribution of stakeholders
7. Create Awareness on Payment for Ecosystem Services
Community groups can recruit all the households adjacent to the forest blocks to ensure that user groups present a united front for forest conservation. Community groups can also raise environmental awareness in the wider community on the importance of forest conservation. Promote ownership of the restoration of Mt.Kenya by the communities themselves. Private companies extracting resources from the forest should use this opportunity to lead by example and make their businesses sustainable. By ensuring that a continuous flow of ecosystem services from the forest is achieved for the benefit of all, businesses can collaborate and partner to raise awareness on forest conservation and restoration.
Nature Kenya - The East Africa Natural History Society Tel: +254 (0) 02 3537568, +254 (0) 739 200216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.naturekenya.org
Published on Jan 3, 2018