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Ecosystem Services Under REDD Initiatives – Potential in Kenya

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Ecosystem Services Under REDD Initiatives – Potential in Kenya. Kingiri Senelwa & Balozi B. Kirongo. Alfred Gichu & Kepha Wamichwe. Agenda. Overview of the Forest Sector in Kenya Initiatives, Potential and Experiences Related to Ecosystem Services in Kenya

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ecosystem services under redd initiatives potential in kenya
Ecosystem Services Under REDD Initiatives – Potential in Kenya

Kingiri Senelwa &

Balozi B. Kirongo

Alfred Gichu &

Kepha Wamichwe


Overview of the Forest Sector in Kenya

Initiatives, Potential and Experiences Related to Ecosystem Services in Kenya

Some thoughts and the way forward


Concluding Observations

overview of the forest sector in kenya
Overview of the Forest Sector in Kenya
  • Kenya’s gazetted forest cover has declined to about 1.7 % of land area
  • Forest and tree stocks generate a range of wood and NWFP&S
  • Overall, tree cover is not good

Land cover change analysis shows declining forest cover (1970’s-2000)

  • Land being converted to agric.
  • In 2000, 15,500 km2 was covered by tree-closed vegetation; 30,600 km2 was tree-open; 3,300 km2 was woody closed vegetation.
    • The forest loss in the period 1970’s-2000 is equal to 1150 km2: almost 7% of the total tree closed area of 1970’s.
    • 1990-2005 annual rate of deforestation was 0.3%.
    • 1990-2005 forest growing stocks decreased (forest degradation) by 0.08 m3/ha/yr
  • Remnant forests are degraded
    • Deforestation & degradation is continuing

Kapchemutwa Forest Reserve

Open canopy – degraded indigenous forests


Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve

Failed Shamba-system; fragmented forest plantations


Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve

Shamba-system areas not planted


Kaptagat Forest Reserve

Shamba-system areas not planted with tree seedlings


Encroachments along the eastern boundary of Maasai Mau (“B – E" on Map 1)

  • Ogiek settlements
  • Logging of indigenous trees mostly Podo

Extensive encroachments on the south west corner of Ol Pusimoru ("F" on Map 1)

Forest corridor connecting the Maasai Mau/Ol Pusimoru block with the South West Mau/Transmara block.


Encroachments deep into South West Mau emanating from the 2001 excision ("G“ on Map 1)

Almost completely settled including the indigenous forest blocks.


Completely cleared and settled forest area in the south western part of Maasai Mau ("E" on Map 1)

causes of deforestation forest degradation
Causes of deforestation & forest degradation?
  • Unsustainable utilization - Wasteful harvesting & utilization
  • Institutional failures - weak governance structures, inadequate capacity for law enforcement, inadequate community participation in managt.
  • Poverty and inadequate resource mobilization - forestry sector has been marginalized with inadequate budgetary allocation for forestry
  • Property rights in forest resources - most woodlands in Kenya are still on trust-land and are still lacking a clear legal management framework
  • Shifting cultivation system still exists on trust-land in semi-arid regions
  • Pressure for expansion of agriculture land, settlement, and development
  • Unsustainable charcoal production and marketing
  • Overgrazing, wildlife damage and forest fires
  • Replacement of superior forest cover types in privately owned high-conservation natural forests are being converted to coconut plantations.
there are questions that need answers1
There are questions that need answers
  • What are the implications of the degradation of ecosystems on the well being of Kenyans?
  • Floods, erosion, siltation, land degradation, hydro power problems, droughts, diseases and pests, declining agricultural productivity & food scarcity, portable water availability, conflicts over land resources, biodiversity destruction, ……….
  • Can we articulate and express the services and values of these forest ecosystems for economics and livelihoods?
  • What are the costs of not considering ecosystems to be economic parts of livelihood infrastructure, or of failing to invest funds to maintain them?
  • Can these values actually make a difference to land use decisions, livelihood planning, infrastructure development, investment appraisals and financial flows, etc?
  • What is the potential of REDD, and what are the attendant benefits?
without attempting to address the questions
Without attempting to address the questions
  • Potential of forest & tree cover recovery/restoration (REDD) is high
  • Political noise notwithstanding, Kenyans recognise the value of forests, forest ecosystems and their services
  • Options to reverse deforestation and forest degradation exist
    • Potential for tree cover expansion is largest on farms
      • The Forests Act (2005) spells out a number of incentives
        • Farmers have taken up tree planting as viable farm enterprise
      • Tree cover on farms is on the rise
        • Need to formalise how people are planting trees, how they are managing, etc
    • Reforestation in government / gazetted forests
    • Reversing forest degradation
      • Water catchments rehabilitation efforts – Mau, Mt. Kenya, Mt. Elgon, Cherengani Escarpments
  • This provides entry points for REDD for additional benefits and incentives

Greenbelt Movement Reforestation Project

  • Located in Aberdare Ranges and Mt. Kenya

Mt. Kenya

Aberdare Ranges

  • These are catchment areas of river Tana (hydro, water, irrigation)
  • Portfolio of Small Scale Reforestation CDM project.
greenbelt movement reforestation project
Greenbelt Movement Reforestation Project

Carbon pools selected

Above ground biomass.

Below ground biomass.

Project expected to sequester ≈ 400,000tco2e in the first 10 yrs (2017)

Sites eligible for CDM AR projects were selected based on remote sensing time series analysis.

Non-forest areas were detected on Landsat images from February 25th, 1987 and February 21st, 2000 to meet pre 1990 criterion.

The project will:

Reforest 2000ha of degraded land with indigenous tree species ONLY.

Use 20 year crediting period with the option of renewal twice (to a maximum of 60 yrs).

Communities have exclusive user rights for NTFP.

mau forest complex
Mau Forest Complex
  • The largest remaining block of moist indigenous forests in East Africa, covering approximately 900 km2.
  • One of the 5 major water towers and catchments in Kenya
  • The destruction of Mau has been systematic over time:
    • The State systematically degazetted the forest and allocated the land
    • Corruption infiltrated the process - big parcels of forestlands to elites;
    • Logging companies – PPM, Timsales licensed, enhanced deforestation.
  • A number of calamities have been associated with the destruction
  • Government efforts to rehabilitate the forest
    • Taskforce to study the issues last year
    • Evict settlers – some are legal, others are illegal
    • Compensate legal settlers (1,900??) only
    • Re-forestation efforts by Government
  • The efforts are being met with of hurdles
    • Majority of Kenyans support Government efforts
forestry based carbon offset project
Forestry-Based Carbon Offset Project

Located in Kakamega Forest, which represents the eastern-most edge of the Congolean forest belt that covered equatorial Africa

Almost 50% of the forest area lost since 1933 when the forest was gazetted

Numbers are estimated hectares of each site. Dark grey- current indigenous forest Light grey - original gazetted forest boundary.

Kakamega Forest

forestry based carbon offset project kakamega contd
Forestry-Based Carbon Offset Project, Kakamega (contd)

Three broad goals of the project includes

Promote and/or maintain forest biodiversity;

Sequester carbon equal to mature forest; and

Enhance local communities in sustainable ways.

The project includes four components

Reforestation of native tree species to connect forest islands,;

Mechanisms to reduce forest use through on-farm tree planting and energy efficient stove production and dissemination;

Education and outreach; and

Strategies to provide sources of income based on sustainable use of forest biodiversity.

Project expected to reforest up to 500 hectares in the next 5 years with high diversity indigenous species to sequester ≈ 422,003 tco2e in the anticipated 40yrs of the project.

Planting Strategies:

1000 seedlings/ha, thinned to 500-600 trees/ha within 5 yrs of growth.

Nursery and seedling production by CFA’s and communities

Start planting adjacent to natural forest to promote early use of sites by wildlife.


Western Kenya Integrated Ecosystems Management Program

Western Kenya are lands west of the Mau with four main river basins


If you super-impose the population structure of the region on these picture, you get a very interesting scenario

  • Western Kenya has some of the highest rural based population concentration spots in the country (up to 1000/km2).
    • These has specific effects on a number of effects on peoples’ livelihood and the environment
western kenya integrated ecosystems management contd
Western Kenya Integrated Ecosystems Management (contd)

Western Kenya's rich biodiversity has suffered due to of land degradation, deforestation and loss of vegetative.

WKIEM Project aim to improve productivity and sustainability of land use systems in Nzoia, Yala & Nyando watersheds by:

Supporting on and off farm conservation strategies; and

Improve the capacity of local communities and institutions to identify, formulate and implement integrated ecosystem management activities capturing local and global environmental benefits.

The objectives were to be community driven with communities deciding on resources for infrastructure investments, technical assistance & implementation of ecosystem management activities.

The benefits include:

Reduced land degradation;

Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) accumulation in the atmosphere;

Improved on and off farm biodiversity; and

Decreased erosion in watersheds

wildlife works redd carbon offset project
Wildlife Works REDD Carbon Offset Project

This is a carbon Offset project designed to take advantage of the emerging Global Carbon markets covering REDD

Located in Rukinga, Kenya, the project is seeking to

Employ the voluntary Carbon Standards (VCS) to carry out its activities

Create jobs for communities that were destroying their magnificent wilderness for survival


A Joint Venture of Wildlife Works Inc. and Colin Wiel Enterprises established to pursue the use of emerging marketplace for REDD Carbon Offsets as a sustainable and scalable funding mechanism for biodiverse forest protection.

Project seeks to help communities, private individuals etc to monetize forest and biodiversity assets

The project has already restored huge piece of land to a healthy vibrant ecosystem full of elephants, lions and 50 other species of large mammals.

Social benefits todate include the development of class rooms for local schools, community health care, organic farming greenhouse to promote income generating activities;

other related activities initiatives
Other related Activities / Initiatives

The Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund is supporting activities to reduce deforestation & forest degradation in Taita Hills, Kenya.

The forest area is about 250 km² and part of a global biodiversity hot-spot.

In 2004 a 5-year UNDP supported project started on reducing illegal logging in Kenya dryland forests and woodlands through improved governance.

Its objectives are to determine the scale of illegal logging. promote multiple use and alternative livelihoods, build the capacity of local communities and government agencies, etc

The 2nd Phase of the “Miti Mingi, Maisha Bora” Project supported by Government of Finland could support the preparation of a national forest inventory as a baseline for a REDD program.

The World Bank Natural Resource Management Project supported the rapid assessment of forest resources, forest boundary demarcation, and implementation of guidelines for community forestry associations.

projects benefits cycle
Projects benefits cycle


Reduced global

Capacity building



Direct jobs (paid labour for



tree planting, weeding...)



Reduction of CO2

in atmosphere



Sale of non wood


goods and services


forest products

Carbon credits








Some thoughts and the way forward

  • Numerous site-specific efforts, minimal nationally consolidated studies
    • These are isolated activities formulated with different aims. The efforts need to be consolidated, to provide learning experiences for REDD national strategy
  • Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Readiness Plan Idea Note (FCPF R-PIN) has been prepared, submitted and approved (World Bank)
  • Kenya has undertaken some policy reforms (e.g. Forests Act 2005)
  • Although Kenya has very low forest cover, the forests are important for water catchments, biodiversity conservation and peoples’ livelihoods.
    • A strong link between water catchments, PES, community forestry, etc
    • Efforts to entrench PES in forestry sector – KWS, Ken Gen, Water, etc
  • Innovative approaches, with activities “outside forests” (agriculture & energy) are important in addressing issues of deforestation, degradation and promotion of PES schemes
    • Support afforestation and reforestation to reduce the national timber deficit

Four Broad Challenges

  • Policy and legislative
    • Lack of national climate change policy and strategy with regards to land-use projects
    • Lack of subsidiary legislations to operationalise the Forests Act 2005
    • Sectoral instruments which currently fall under several statutes and ministries
    • Insecurity or lack of land tenure rights on Trust lands
  • Institutional
    • Weak capacity for law enforcement; coordination of multi sectoral approaches and participation among stakeholders to implement REDD program; establish REDD baseline inventory and to monitor changes in carbon stocks; and exploit PES opportunities
    • Weak forest governance (evident illegal logging, political interference in use of forest land, and degradation in the forest resource base)
  • Sustainable forest management
    • Poor state of forest management
    • Lack of management information, inadequate inventory data to guide planning
  • Information
    • Lack of harmonized standards, methods, procedures and guidelines for natural resource data and information collection, management and dissemination guidelines
    • Natural resource data is currently scattered in different institutions and in different formats, making its access cumbersome
    • Lack of Carbon Finance information and an understanding about realistic revenue streams in the future

Concluding Observations

  • Kenya has some experiences with carbon finance projects.
    • But initial investment to develop and implement a national REDD program is substantial.
    • In the short-term, Kenya requires that initial foundations are laid to establish the institutional environment for a REDD program, baselines and monitoring procedures.
  • Small-scale farmers and poor communities involved in forest utilisation need tangible incentives to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
    • REDD co-benefits might provide incentives to engage farmers
    • An integrated rural development approach reducing deforestation pressure and providing alternative income generation for the youth is required to implement a REDD project.
    • A REDD strategy with additional revenue streams and benefits (eco-tourism, NWFP&S, biodiversity offsets and/or water services) is required.
  • A REDD project will strengthen the awareness at the political level to support forest conservation in a multi-sectoral approach.
    • However, REDD cannot be successful as a stand alone project.
  • Kenya has recognized the policy momentum of REDD and CC and is ready to develop and implement national REDD projects in partnership with civil society, research and other government agencies.

As I finish Mr. Chairman, I want to leave us with a question:

Would this arrangement, where trees are paying more than tea qualify under REDD?