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Ilmamusi Mukogodo Community Forest Association Growing Stronger!

On May 15th 2020, Ilmamusi hosted a team of Kenya Forest Service senior officials that included the Chairperson of KFS, Mr. Peter Kinyua; Chief Conservator of Forests in Kenya, Mr. Julius Kamau; and Ecosystem Conservator, Mr. Samuel Mukundi, among others. The team, along with FAO representatives met at Nadungoro area of Mukogodo Forest. Ilmamusi was supported and represented at the meeting by long-term partners Laikipia Forum, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Borana Conservancy, and Northern Rangelands Trust.

Community Forest Associations play a pivotal role in conservation and sustainable management of forest resources in Kenya. The CFAs’ function complements the work of Kenya Forest Service.

With all  the good intentions, many CFAs remain weak in the areas of governance and financing.  Ilmamusi is no different. Despite these challenges, they  have been actively engaged in conservation of Mukogodo Forest Reserve for a period spanning over 13 years.

During the meeting, the Ilmamusi Board members were taken through Community Forest Association structure and compliance requirements,  as prescribed in the Forest Management and Conservation Act 2016.

The Chief Conservator of Forests appreciated the work done by Ilmamusi CFA in conserving Mukogodo Forest, and encouraged them to continue working closely with the communities surrounding the forest in the four group ranches (Makurian, Il Ngwesi, Kurikuri and Lekurruki). Josyline Thambu of the Kenya Forest Service, was superb in her presentation.

Board members present had plenty of questions on some of the elements of the new Act given that Ilmamusi was established under the old Forest Act of 2005.

The team came up with a plan of action for Ilmamusi CFA to be fully compliant with Forest Conservation and Management Act of 2016, as they finalize the constitution review process currently ongoing under FAO funding.

The KFS team will be back in June to review the final draft of the Ilmamusi CFA constitution, and to endorse its adoption by group ranches.

Mukogodo is Laikipia’s largest national forest reserve, and is a designated water tower. It’s conservation is considered a priority for biodiversity, indigenous culture, and wildlife corridors.

This process is being supported by FAO through the GEF-6 Restoration of Arid and Semi-arid Lands of Kenya through Bio-enterprise Development and Other Incentives

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