Implementing Partners of the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Restoration Initiative project last month met in Nanyuki to review previous year’s activity implementation and milestones achieved.
The meeting also focused on the alignment of project activities to avoid duplication of efforts, identifying bottlenecks, suggesting solutions and planning for the next year of implementation while adopting good practices. This meeting also provided learning opportunities for all partners implementing the Restoration Initiative Project.
The Food and Agriculture Organization convened the meeting and was attended by project partners namely; National Museums of Kenya, Northern Rangelands Trust, Mukogodo CFA, County Government of Laikipia, Kenya Forest Service , Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Narupa Community Conservancy, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Marsabit County Government and Isiolo County Government.
Among the Key achievements from the project as highlighted by the implementing partners and FAO were;
- Assessment and characterization of Ecosystem services in the two landscapes has been carried out and reported.
- A draft National Forest and Landscape Restoration Action plan and a monitoring framework developed and consultations with key stakeholders carried out.
- A report on domestication of the Forest Landscape Restoration policies in the devolved units finalized
- A draft Forest (equitable and benefit sharing) regulations produced, engagement with Community Forest Assignations – public participation planned and stakeholder consultations done.
- 3 annual Project Steering Committee meetings held, and reports and work plans shared and approved, 4 Project Progress Reports (PPRs) and 2 Project Implementation reports (PIRs) prepared and uploaded in FMIS system.
- Synergies and complementarities have been initiated with various actors/projects such as CIFOR-ICRAF, NACOFA, ILMAMUSI CFA, Nature Kenya among others
- A total of 18,718 (9,837 Males and 8,881 Females ) have benefited from the project in one way or the other.
Moving Forward some of the key recommendations were;
- Direct engagement with Local community groups (Conservancies, CFAs) have quick and visible results with strong ownership.
- It is critical to involve, engage, capacity-build, support and sensitize the county governments and the Council of Governors for sustainability of the initiatives beyond the project period.
- Synergies and complementarities with other partners working on FLR in the same Ecosystems are critical for greater impact.
- Supporting the development of Bio-enterprises and other livelihood alternatives as driver for FLR.
- Long and extended dry spells in the project sites may affect realization of the target. There should be a remedy to ensure resilience
- Innovations can support FLR eg; micro-catchments in large areas, should be considered to help meet the restoration targets.
- There is need to sensitize the local communities on protection of worked sites through social fencing
Partners affirmed to continue working together to ensure that the plight to restore the Mukogodo landscape and greater Laikipia region at large is realized.