Mukogodo Forest: Making Strides Towards Management of Laikipia’s Biggest Forest Reserve The ILMAMUSI Mukogodo Community Forest Association (CFA)

Grace Korosian, Makurian CBO chairlady, addresses community members during Makurian community public participation in the review of the new constitution for the ILMAMUSI CFA

ILMAMUSI CFA was a pioneer in 2008 when it developed one of the first CFA constitutions for the newly recognized mandates of forest associations in Kenya.

Since that time, new Acts of government for natural resources management and governance have been developed, the most impactful being the Kenya Forest Service Act 2016.

Twelve years later, the CFA needs a new constitution to guide its organization and management.

It needs a new team of board members to guide development of a new management plan, to guide investments, and to take renewed responsibility for the future of the forest.  The CFA is an instrument of the national government for the operations and management of forest-based activities in national forest reserves.

With the leadership from the existing CFA board and assisted by key partners (who have been working closely with the CFA – NRT, LEWA, BORANA, and LWF), group ranch members have been working to draft a new constitution over the last six months. The constitutional review process must include community participation. Hence the Board held community discussions in the four group ranches responsible for Mukogodo Forest (Makurian, IIngwesi, Kurikuri and Lekurruki).

The new constitution marks a new beginning. There is renewed interest, hopes and expectations from the community towards the ILMAMUSI CFA as an instrument for the management and monitoring of forest resources.

A big part of the Forest’s future lies with different user groups. Their leaders have committed to rejuvenate the work of the different user groups and Community-Based Organizations.

The ILMAMUSI CFA Board is committed to work with the Community-Based Organizations to ensure there is improved capacity at the CBO level for leadership, governance and financial management. These CBOs are part of the ILMAMUSI CFA board, and are the focal members of a management committee which will provide advice to the CFA on priorities for each community area.

There is increased representation of women on the ILMAMUSI CFA Board and in the other committees (Management Committee, Security and Grazing Committee, Tourism and Enterprise Committee)

The final draft of the constitution includes the feedback from these community meetings, and will be presented at an ILMAMUSI CFA Special General Meeting for further comments and final endorsement.

The Food and Agriculture Organization  have provided financial support in support of this constitutional review, reform and public engagement. They will continue to support the operationalization of the reformed ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association and its constitution as part of the “Restoration of arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) of Kenya through bio-enterprise development and other incentives under The Restoration Initiative”.

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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