Community members from Mukogodo Forest landscape this week validated and adopted the 2020 to 2026 participatory Forest Management Plan for implementation. The Management Plan forms the basis of the subsequent Forest Management Agreement (FMA) governing Mukogodo forest that is to be signed between Kenya Forest Service and ILMAMUSI Mukogodo Forest Association.
The Plan is expected to provide more opportunities for the creation and expansion of bio enterprises in the Forest and will guide the CFA’s tourism development activities within the forest. The Plan will also act as an ILMAMUSI fundraising tool, with the needs of the CFA and its objectives well-captured in the plan.
This plan will provide a roadmap for enterprises such as ecotourism, bee keeping, herbal medicine, with more research and education geared towards enhanced livelihoods of the communities living adjacent to the Forest.
This Participatory Forest Management Plan will be followed by negotiations and signing of a 5–year Forest Management Agreement between ILMAMUSI Mukogodo Forest Association and Kenya Forest Service. This management agreement will specify the roles and responsibilities of both parties related to the development, activities and enterprises within the National Forest Reserve.
ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association conducted reviews of their previous plan through a stream of community and stakeholder engagement forums to develop this most recent plan. Financial assistance was provided by the Laikipia Conservancies Association.
Additional partners support other aspects of the CFA include the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Laikipia Forum, Borana Conservancy, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, as well as the Northern Rangeland Trust.
The Kenya Forest Service also played a major role in this process.
The Forum provided the first baseline of the socio-economic parameters in and around in the Forest in 2010, and it was followed by development of the Forest’s first PFMP in 2014. Both the first PFMP and forest management agreement are expired. Hence the need for a new Plan.
The development of this Plan was kicked off by a review of the expired plan and forest management agreement. It involved the CFA members, Members of the community lands and conservancies, private conservancies, Kenya Forest Service, other National Government institutions, the County Government of Laikipia, and other partners.