“In an ideal forest, people do not live inside the forest.” These are the words of Samuel Mukundi, the Ecosystem Conservator for Laikipia County. He supervises the KFS responsibilities in Mukogodo Forest.
“We must therefore make a concerted effort from all stakeholders to see that community projects are in developed in tandem with sustainable conservation of this vital forest resource. Mukogodo Forest is the largest forest reserve in Laikipia County, covering over 30,000 hectares, and one of the largest community forest reserves in the Country. “
25 participants, drawn from Kenya Forest Service, ILMAMUSI CFA, the Laikipia Forum, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Borana Conservancy, RESILIENCE, Lokusero Secondary School, Ilngwesi Conservancy and Lekurruki Conservancy, met at ILMAMUSI CFA headquarters on 14th January 2020 to agree on the protocols for any infrastructure projects in Mukogodo forest.
“The indigenous people who live in some parts of the forest require basic facilities for education and health care, which involve the construction of permanent structures for schools, dispensaries, boreholes, and water springs protection. Mukogodo, being a gazetted forest, requires relevant approval from the Kenya Forest Service on all infrastructural projects undertaken locally by NGOs and Government Agencies.
The Head of Conservancy for Central Highlands, Mr. Samuel Ihure, emphasized the importance of all stakeholders to observe the guidelines for construction projects in
Mukogodo forest. He urged the stakeholders to continue supporting the Kenya Forest Service in conserving the Mukogodo Forest and share information with the goal of sustainable management of our critical dryland forest.
The stakeholders affirmed their support for the protocols for community development projects. The stakeholders meeting will be a quarterly activity aimed at reviewing the conservation status of Mukogodo Forest and improving forest conservation.
Here’s what was agreed:
Mukogodo Forest Reserve is a gazetted national forest and therefore the construction of roads, buildings, boreholes, electricity and communication network, fencing and other infrastructure should be accompanied with the requisite authorization/approval from the Kenya Forest Service.
- ILMAMUSI MUKOGODO FOREST ASSOCIATION Management together with the Forest Station Manager (representing KENYA FOREST SERVICE) for Mukogodo Forest Reserve shall be the first point of contact for any organization or individual intending to establish infrastructural project (s) in Mukogodo forest. The project would be discussed at the community level and relevant records kept to verify the engagement of the project sponsor/donor with the Community Forest Association. Where possible, the proposed project should be discussed at the CFA Management Committee meeting.
- A formal letter shall be written by ILMAMUSI CFA to the Chief Conservator of Forests at Kenya Forest Service, through Forest Station Manager for Mukogodo Forest Reserve, Ecosystem Conservator for Laikipia County and Head of Conservancies for Central Highlands. The letter will give a brief outline of the project, the anticipated benefit (s) to CFA members and the contribution to forest conservation. The letter’s subject will be to request for approval of the stated project in Mukogodo Forest Reserve.
- The project will be taken through standard assessment of infrastructural projects by Kenya Forest Service – this forms part of the approval process.
- The results of the project approval request shall be communicated promptly.
- Any infrastructure which involves uprooting of trees within the forest MUST be approved by the Cabinet Secretary of Environment and Forestry.
- ILMAMUSI CFA Management and Local Administration will share information and reports on ongoing and potential infrastructure projects in the forest with Kenya Forest Service – Forest Station Manager, Ecosystem Conservator and Head of Conservancy. This will include government-funded projects such as roads (under Kenya Rural Roads Authority) and electrification (under Rural Electrification Authority).
- An updated list of infrastructure inventories in Mukogodo Forest shall be developed. It will be forwarded to Kenya Forest Service.
- Information sharing across the stakeholders in Mukogodo Forest and monitoring of the ecological status will be a continuous process
- The Local Administration in the 4 locations in Mukogodo Forest would also assist in the implementation of these protocols.
A full record of the meeting can be accessed here: