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Who Gets to Use the Resources of Mukogodo Forest?

ERROR – We apologize for the omission of Northern Rangeland Trust in our partnership round-up. 

As Laikipia Forum, we strongly believe in the values of partnerships as a pillar in our all programs. Partnership has the real value to influence change and improve livelihoods for the communities and people that we serve across this landscape.

Ilmamusi Forest Association is a membership organization bringing together the local Maasai community living adjacent to Mukogodo Forest. Since its inception in 2008, the Community Forest Association has depended on group ranch registers of residents from Ilngwesi, Makurian, Kurikuri and Lekurruki to define its membership.

As part of the constitutional reform of the CFA, we have embarked on a new registry to define the members who have access and use rights in the Forest. As a starting point, every individual on the register must belong to a USER GROUP, the USER GROUP must be registered with the CFA, and everyone must live within 5 km of the Forest boundary.

So far, a total of 2069 people have been registered. 1009 are male and 1060 are female. Ilngwesi location has 512 members, Makurian location has 698 members, Mukogodo location has 579 members and Sieku location has 280 members.

ILMAMUSI has made notable strides in streamlining forest user groups. We held meetings with representatives drawn from CFA Board. We agreed on resource use rights in the Forest. These would be restricted to harvesting of honey, collection of medicinal herbs, grazing and water access, ecotourism, tree nurseries and tree planting, and fuel wood collection.

User groups are the foundation on which the CFA stands; therefore these groups will be re-organized to reflect the user rights defined above. The next big step in our development will be to build the capacity of these USER GROUPS to organize and manage their operations in support of these six thematic uses of the Forest.

All Forest USER GROUPS must be duly registered. They must provide the list of members to the CFA and share reports on their functions on a regular basis. This register will also inform the authorities of who is a legal user of the Forest, and who is not.

ILMAMUSI will develop a database of all these USER GROUPS. This documentation is imperative as the CFA prepares for a review and revision of its Participatory Forest Management Plan, and Forest Management with the Kenya Forest Service.

Special thanks to our Partners for their support, and to LWF for their leadership, in helping us organize this important step in our growth as a CFA.

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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