EMERGING ROLES OF COMMUNITY FOREST ASSOCIATIONS IN KENYA: THE CASES OF ARABUKO – SOKOKE FOREST ADJACENT DWELLERS ASSOCIATION (ASFADA) AND MERU FOREST ENVIROMENTAL AND PROTECTION COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (MEFECAP) Ongugo, P.O; Mbuvi, M.T.E; Obonyo. E, Mogoi, J, Maua, J.O; ‘Koech C.K and Othim R.A Paper presented to the International Conference on Poverty Reduction and Forests: Tenure, Market and Policy Reforms. 3rd to 7th September, 2007 Bangkok, Thailand. INTRODUCTION PFM is being adopted in developing countries as an alternative method of sustainably managing forestry resources Community Forest Management is the most emphasized approach of implementing PFM. Objectives are equity, conflict resolution, awareness, forest production, poverty reduction and sustainable utilization. INTRODUCTION cont’d Government has recognized role played by FACs in ensuring that tree cover in Kenya increases from 2% to recommended 10% New Forest Act a positive move for local communities and this has begun to catalyze their involvement in management of forest resources. Local communities must join CFAs for them enter into co-management arrangements. FORMATION OF COMMUNITY FOREST ASSOCIATIONS Forest Act 2005, section 46 (1): member of forest community may together 12 No. of Associations with other members or 10 8 persons resident in the 6 same area, register a 4 2 CFA under the Society’s 0 Act. n a ny l au ya s ta s go eg er re ga as en M El th m da Co an K O ka er t. t. M er Ka Ab M Ch Forest Region All important forest regions in Kenya have at least a registered CFA CHALLENGES FACING CFAS Lack of transparency Organization complexity among officials Conflict of interests Failure of some Group historical members to problems contribute funds Emergent problems Sharing of benefits Capacity: inability to Dictatorial tendency follow sustainable among some of the utilization patterns leaders. STUDY METHODS Study involved the collection of records of the annual meetings of CFAs operating in major forest ecosystems in Kenya. Additional information obtained from the results of the Action Research in Poverty and Participation (ARPIP) program carried out in Arabuko-Sokoke and Meru forests. Above data sources were reinforced from IFRI research which has gone on in the two forests for a period of nearly ten years. About MEFECAP Was established to form an umbrella body for the groups within the Meru forest. Membership consists of the existing community groups The objectives of the CFA are as follows: To protect the forest through patrols and reporting illegal activities To plant and maintain plantations To protect water catchment areas by planting appropriate tree species To uplift the standards of living of members by starting income generating projects To educate members on the importance of forests and environmental conservation. About ASFADA ASFADA started as a pilot under the name Dida Forest Adjacent Area Forest Association (DIFAAFA) to represent the dwellers adjacent Dida block of the Arabuko-Sokoke forest. The association was formed by three village forest development and conservation committees (VDFCC). The association later changed its name to The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Dwellers Association (ASFADA) to include the whole forest. This is the umbrella association responsible for all forestry activities in the area. The major aim of the association is to police and protect the forest. It also ensures that all the projects in the forest are run transparently. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 1. Participation by Gender among CFAs Women manage 74% of Kenya’s smallholding 70 60 farms; thus they hold the 50 power to sustainable % Composition 40 production of the 30 20 country’s land resources. 10 0 KEEP MEFECAP KINNAFA ASFADA CFAs The presence of youth Men Women Youth men and women in forest associations is vital to the success and sustainability of the associations. 2. Capacity building role CFAs have people who have worked in the forestry and agricultural sectors; they have knowledge of tree planting and management which they pass to others. There’s potential in the indigenous knowledge of CFAs since they have lived in the forests for a long period of time. 3. Benefits sharing role Community involvement in forest management and environmental conservation has often been based on the principle that forests provides intangible/indirect benefits to those communities thus discouraging their involvement. Tangible benefits available to studied CFAs from the forests contributed to the cohesiveness of the CFA members There is need to strengthen the principle of benefit sharing among CFA members. 4. Management role In plantation forests, the Forest Act provides for CFAs to enter into concession to manage forests adjacent to them. Need for CFAs to train their members in silvicultural practices, forestry business and improve knowledge on the intricate management of food/cash crops together with trees. 5. Conflict Resolution role Several foreseeable conflict areas that might hinder efficiency of CFAs: Conflict between individuals and corporate decisions Communities have short term focus due to poverty in contrast to long term focus for them to accrue benefits Problem of conservation versus exploitation of the forest Prevailing attitude of community CFAs are involved in solving such conflicts CONCLUSION CFAs present opportunity to reduce the current pressure on forests Communities to be sensitized by CFAs on other sources of livelihood to diversify their income bases Forest communities to be mainstreamed among the vulnerable groups such as women, youth, the disabled etc Efficient implementation of CFAs require elaborate framework and coordinated efforts rather than isolated efforts by different agencies and supporters RECOMMENDATIONS The CFAs to be supported by government and other NRM agencies through training in conflict resolution, leadership, management skills and financial management. Farm forestry and establishment of botanical gardens for medicinal plants to be encouraged for communities to benefit. The national alliance (NACOFA) is to be strengthened to harmonize the activities of the different CFAs and be a centre of dissemination of information for the CFAs and the member communities to improve their roles in PFM implementation.
Pages to are hidden for
"EMERGING-ROLES-OF-COMMUNITY-FOREST-ASSOCIATIONS-IN-KENYA-THE-"Please download to view full document