An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Africa
P.O. 49 00221
444.1 Square Kilometres
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
The Project will have the following components and activities Component 1: Capacity Building, Environmental education and awareness ? Capacity building activities will include training the Community Forest Associations on how to implement the soil and conservation activities in their farms. Conduct 5 trainings targeting 250 farmers (50 farmers per training) on better farming methods, formation of farmers? networks and marketing blocks. The networks will be support with seed support to help the members with equipment needed or material including seeds to boast their innovations like growing of fruit trees. Attempts will be made to link the farmers to extension officers ? Climate change awareness workshops, involving local leaders, farmers and other stakeholders will be organized out across the ecosystem. The key targets for these meetings will be governing committees of the Community Associations, field staff from Kenya Forest Services and other field practitioners working in the ecosystem. Key discussion will include the effects of climate on the local livelihoods and some adaptation mechanism. Efforts will to hold in-situ meetings where effects and impacts of the climate change can be seen and future ones be visualized ? Awareness materials to be developed will include a newsletter, a poster and fact sheets about the impact of climate changes and their possible solutions These posters and factsheet will contains striking messages like the importance of the forest, products of the forest such as medicinal and food trees, better farming methods amongst others. Component 2: Forest conservation and rehabilitation activities Key activities for this component will include ? Implementation of least two Micro catchment management plans for the two locations. Already KENVO in partnership of will Green Global Consortium with some support from Ministry of agriculture has helped develop more than six micro catchment management plans in the entire landscape. The plans have identified a number spots (dubbed hotspots) within landscape that are heavily impacted by climate change and need urgent attentions. The process will involve working with communities to prioritize activities and develop actions plans. ? Supporting KENVO to expand its tree nurseries to raise at least 50,000 indigenous seedlings trees and 100,000 agro forestry trees including fruits trees. This will enable the project establish about 100 hectares of forest land and plant 100,000 agro forestry trees in the neighborhood farms ? Protection of two rivers and their tributaries through planting of bamboo, Vetiva grass and water friendly seedlings. The seedlings will be grown by CBOs and farmers already involved in past planting. Grass and bamboo will help strengthen the river bank and avoid soil erosion during the long rains. Component 3: Promotion of eco agriculture innovations, biogas production and income generating activities: Activities to be supported in this component will include; ? Promotion of zero grazing and biogas production. This will be achieved by supporting at least 10 households (early) adaptors of Zero grazing with bio gas unit. These farmers will serve as demonstration units for bio-gas production. Another group of active farmers will be loaned some money for developing domestic bio-gas production. The Intermediate Technology Group (ITDG) will provide training and overall expertise in this initiative. ? The project will support disadvantaged women groups (single mothers, landless) with start capital for up grading their stock or starting investment like poultry and kitchen gardening. Those already involved in orphaned cropping farming will be supported to expand their farming activities
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
- Number of acreage of forestland and vegetative cover - Increased on volumes of water - Length in meters of river line and riparian areas protected - Number of community households practicing sustainable land management
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
- Protection costs of forest - Planting cost - Awareness and capacity building costs
- Increased income among the families as generated by other sources - New employment opportunities within the landscape - Increased land productivity
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
- Number of people employed by the new opportunities - Businesses reports and other projects? reports - CBOs and network records - Records of income at farm level - Ability for families to meet basic needs including educating their children and paying for hospital bills among others
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
First, starting of a community led innovations have being a challenges. Local communities have over the time changed their social styles with most of them embracing an individualistic and capitalistic life style. It was thus hard to bring together different members communities and agreed on common activities. Further, the area is vast with most rural poor populations. Most of the farmers were not eager to volunteer their time with most of them opting to work in their farms. Second, the most of the government policies were developed by central government and they were largely devoid of community?s contributions. Most of the residents tended to view local natural resources like forests as government owned which only existed to be explicated. It was thus hard to initially win the hearts of many farmers on to our side. Third, the land tenure impeded participation of women in most of the activities. Women could not make decision on how to implementation some of sustainable land management activities like tree planting and other soil and water conservation measures in male owned farms. These problems were solved by using youths and already existing groups and the entry points into the community. Members of KENVO were all from the landscape and understood the local issues. So it was easy to reach their families as the starters of the solution. After establishing rapports with community, intensive awareness campaigns were conducted on the importance of the forests and other natural resources. The founder emphasized on the need for joint meeting and planning to address common problems including security, deforestation landslides and other social issues that were commonly affecting farmers and the entire community. Local practitioners and governments? official were involved in training and explaining/interpreting policies to the farmers and local residents. To involve women, several forums some involving women only and others of mixed gender were held. The need to include women in planning and executing projects were discussed and consensus reached. Currently, farmers of mixed gender are involved in sustainable land management activities at household level.
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
This initiative has being developed from information gathered by Kijabe Environment Volunteers, in partnership with a number of other community serving organizations including community forest associations and government institutions. Community Forest Associations provided information about forest on; drivers of deforestation, and uses of the forest and views of community on how to sustainably manage the forest. The government institutions including Kenya Forest Series and Ministry of Agriculture provided backstopping and technical knowledge. They also were key in interpreting government laws to the community. On voluntary basis, KENVO have been undertaking a number of micro activities including researches on socio- economic opportunities about the forest. After several focused meetings hosted by KENVO, stakeholders decided to work jointly and address the issues in a holistically manner using ecosystem based approach. This was in the consideration that landscapes include forest ecosystems that were being targeted were in one ecological zone with similar characteristic and common issues. Each of the participating stakeholders developed a list of issues that they consider a priority in the area. On its part KENVO researched on issues related to environmental pollution, catchment area restoration youths and disadvantaged groups. Then in a common meeting, a pair wise ranking excise was done to come up with a list of the most common problems and the solutions across the ecosystem. And to be gender representative, several focused group discussions were held for women and youth groups. More than 250 women participated in these discussions while more than 100 youths were involved in collecting information on social and waste management/pollution issues. Most of women pointed out biogas, water harvesting and zero grazing as key priority, while youth suggested income generating and capacity building for their groups. Therefore this initiative will be implemented in a participatory manner and will be led by a steering Implementation committee. Under this committee there will be there sub committees each in charge of a specific component. The committee will include sustainable land management and conservation committee, outreach and school committee, and climate change committee. The project will be coordinated by field staff. Efforts will be made to have technical persons from the lead government agencies sit in relevant committees for offer advises when need arises. All committees will be gender inclusive. It important to point out the project will closely work with all stakeholders and government agencies already working in the area. As mentioned earlier some government departments are carrying some activities like including reforestation, protection of riparian sites, upgrading of crops and animals among others. Thus this project will linkages to these innovations help reach a wide constituents and particularly those the government does not reach. The initiative is envisioned to last for over 18 months but most of the activities will be continuous
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
The area is prune serious soil erosion and landslide during heavy rains. This initiative seeks to assist in creating, rehabilitating, conserving and enhancing the management of land and its natural resources in Lari Landscape and its environs. This component will support community subprojects with activities to address land degradation such as soil and water conservation measures, water harvesting, rehabilitating degraded lands, soil fertility maintenance practices, de-stocking, sustainable use of wetlands, riverbank and catchment protection. The project further attempt to provide information about the opportunities presented by the forest, sharing of information about other agriculture innovation that can help improve their livelihoods and offload some pressure on the forest. Research has shown that most of the rural communities in Lari are heavily dependent on natural resources in terms of both subsistence and income. This is the situation in this Landscape where most of the residents depend on forests for provision of timber, fuel wood and non-timber products for their livelihoods. These innovations are poorly developed and some of them have contributed to deforestation upstream. Thus the project will endeavor to address some of these challenges. Another key issue that the project will address is promotion of networking and collaboration among different stakeholders. It is envisaged that the project will address inadequate governance and management of natural resources as a key priority since this is a major contributor to the problem of environmental degradation and poverty. Access and right over natural resources will be addressed to increase benefit from natural resources among different groups especially the disadvantaged ones. Local communities will be able engage in some income generating activities like ecotourism, bee keeping, climate change and carbon projects, among others. Most importantly the local communities will be able to lobby the government to better manage the forest. This is a key step toward addressing poverty and unemployment among some youthful population. The project will help to mainstream sustainable land management into rural agricultural programs through local investments and capacity building, and to strengthen the policy, regulatory and economic incentive framework to facilitate wider adoption of sustainable land management practices. It will also: (i) provide tangible and measurable local and global environmental benefits at the farm and catchment levels through the promotion of sustainable land management practices that have local, national and global benefits (global benefits will accrue in agrobiodiversity and secured services from freshwater systems), as well as in adapting production systems to climate change; (ii) contribute to income generation and poverty reduction by improving productivity. The project will help secure some sensitive catchment sites on the upstream where some farmers are extending their farming activities thus affecting people on the downstream. This will be mainly through planting of water friendly tree species, grass planting and intensive campaign awareness. The awareness will also include component of climate change and waste management. This project will also help promote eco agriculture practices and income generating activities on the neighboring farms (intervention zones) and provide some alternatives. The project will mainly support locally driven agricultural innovations that have maximum benefits to the community in terms of nutritional value, orphaned cropped for climate change adaptation, marketability and able to address the food insecurity in the area. Energy alternatives like biogas and energy saving stoves will be promoted.
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
KENVO has in the past provided information to the farmers and the entire population on the importance of the available resources. Farming community is the largest percentage of the population and the users of the lands. If their actions are detrimental, then entire landscape will be degraded and environmental system services negatively affected. Thus as the ?main actors and resources?, they (farmers) need to be motivated to take actions. More than 3000 farmers have been reached and are slowly adopting some sustainable land management technologies/Innovations. A good number of these farmers are harvesting and storing water for irrigation, while others have improved on protection of river line and riparian areas within their farmers. Some portions of riparian areas are covered with water friendly species and are showing signs resiliency during the heavy rains. Further, the forests within the landscape have played significant roles in providing fresh water and regulating other environmental services. The landscape is known to have the cleanest and reliable water that used by the entire population and it neighbors. Past efforts have seen protection of more than 5000 hectares of forestland and further 500 hectares rehabilitated.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
KENVO and partners have empowered some local farmers to practice modern agriculture. A great number of farmers that are working with KENVO are practicing zero grazing and rearing of small animals (hen and sheep). The intention here is to reduce impacts of livestock in the forest while improving incomes at households. On the other hand, the orphaned crops have helped some families from the local community get over hard times particularly during the drought periods. Further, by providing information to the farmers (early warning system), they are able to improve their drainage system at farm level hence reducing flooding and soil erosion. Protection of forests has contributed to amelioration of micro climate of the neighborhood farms, a situation that contributed improvement of farm productivity.
How does your solution reduce the sensitivity of the communities affected?
The work by KENVO has led to starting of a number of eco agriculture innovations among the farmers. Some farmers have diversified their farming activities including growing of fast growing crops and livestock. Poultry and rabbit rearing have of late gained appreciation and are being practiced by a number of farmers within the landscape. There is also increased joint planning among farmers and their partner organizations. The recent embracement of participatory natural resources management approaches have seen mushrooming of community institutions like community forest associations, water resources user associations among others. These institutions are playing key role in sharing of information and drawing up of joint actions plan to address issues as they occur.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
Socially, local communities are able to come together and share information of how they can address individual and common problems. A good example is existence of several community networks that are addressing different issues including food insecurity, community development and protection of forest and other natural resources.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
Yes, the solution can be replicated elsewhere and this already happening. Due to the success of some activities, a number of farmer groups/networks and institutions have been visiting KENVO and the landscape to get firsthand experience and share information on how to implement these activities. Community Forest associations from a number of forests across the country have benefited from experiences of KENVO in developing management plans and implementing conservation projects. Bee keeping and community ecotourism are some of innovations that have attracted attention of other region and they are now being replicated in places with similar climatical conditions. UNEP and three National NGOs (Nature Kenya, Kenya Forest Working Group and East African Wild Life Society) have used KENVO?s experiences of working with local community and private sector in reforestation efforts to start a national programme rehabilitation initiative. The initiative target peri-forest communities to plant trees and protect water sources in sensitive catchment sites. Further, some women have formed a grass root network that enables members to share information on new innovates and mobilize resources to support their activities. Members come from a number of landscapes in and outside the Kiambu County, the project area.