[KENYA-JICA] Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management in the Republic of Kenya (CADEP-SFM)

# Forestry, #Farmer Field School, #REDD+, # Tree Breeding, #Regional Cooperation, #Technical Manuals


Comprehensive approach to develop capacity for sustainable forest management with the aim of achieving 10% forest cover in Kenya

1. Project Background

Arid and semi-arid lands in Kenya
(Source: CADEP Project Summary)

Over 80% of Kenya’s land area is classified as arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) inhabited by over 10 million people who are mainly pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. Due to rapid increase in population, high demand for fuel wood by industries and households, overexploitation of forests and woodlands, agricultural expansion, and overgrazing, the country has experienced accelerated degradation of vegetation and loss of soil. To address these challenges particularly in the ASALs, the Government of Kenya has developed policies, strategies and plans (e.g., Vision 2030), which require the country to work towards achieving a forest cover of at least 10%. Kenya’s current forest cover, however, is just about 5.9%.

In the past 20 years, Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) have collaborated with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in social forestry development in the ASALs of eastern Kenya. The collaboration includes “Development of Drought-Tolerant Trees for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Drylands of Kenya,” a project that provided the first experience of breeding indigenous trees in Africa. Through years of collaboration, various farm forestry techniques and extension methodologies have been developed and disseminated widely in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dissemination within the region has been done mainly by KEFRI through the Third Country Training Programme, a platform that enables KEFRI to acquire more skills and experience to undertake regional fora and trainings.


2. Project Activities

The Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management in the Republic of Kenya (CADEP-SFM) has been implemented since 2016 with the aim of enhancing the capacity of institutions that formulate and implement forest-related policies and strategies in sustainable forest management. CADEP-SFM is implemented under a multi-institutional approach with collaboration among the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), KFS and KEFRI. Each institution undertakes distinctive activity towards the project goal to contribute in achieving a forest cover of 10% in Kenya. CADEP-SFM consists of five components, namely: Policy Support, Pilot Implementation at County Level, REDD+ Readiness, Tree Breeding for Drought Tolerance, and Regional Cooperation.

Figure 1 Framework of the Project


2-1. Component 1/ Forestry Policy Support

Component 1 aims to enhance the implementing and monitoring capacities of forest-related policies/strategies for the Government of Kenya. The activities include the identification of gaps between the existing policies/strategies and the actual situation at the field level. To do this, one of the project teams (called Comp. 1 Team) conducted survey on six county governments (CGs).

CGs have important role in the decentralisation process of the forestry sector in Kenya. They are expected to formulate their own forestry legislations consistent with the Constitution and the Forest Conservation and Management Act (FCMA) 2016. Comp.1 Team found out that not all CGs have already formulated forestry legislations. Even CGs whose forestry legislations are already established need to improve on some areas.

Comp.1 Team also has started supporting the process of FCMA implementation in 2021. To give effect to provisions under FCMA, rules regulating the export and import of forest products needed to be published by the Cabinet Secretary, by the notice in the Gazette.

Outline of Comp. 1 Team Activities

Expected Output Implementing and monitoring capacities of forest-related policies/strategies at the national level are enhanced.
Activities Review existing/planned forest-related policies/strategies.
Conduct gap analysis between the existing forest-related policies/strategies and their actual implementation at field level.
Support planning and monitoring of the National Forest Programme and other forest-related policies/laws.
Prepare policy briefs based on project activities.


2-2. Component 2/ Pilot Implementation in ASALs

Component 2 aims at strengthening extension approach of growing trees in ASALs with focus on Melia volkensii. Forestry extension is one of the functions devolved from the national government to the CGs under the devolution policy of the Constitution. In order to accelerate the devolution process in the forestry sector, one of the project teams, called Comp. 2 Team, has conducted capacity development in two pilot counties, Embu and Taita Taveta, through joint formulation of Participatory Forest Management Plans (PFMP) of the community forests and implementation of Farmer Field Schools (FFS). Comp. 2 Team also has promoted collaboration among different stakeholders, namely, the public sector, the private sector and NGOs/CBOs.

Outline of Comp. 2 Team Activities

Expected Output Capacities of public and private sectors, and NGOs/CBOs to promote tree growing in ASALs are enhanced through forestry extension activities.
Activities Conduct a feasibility study and examine the approach for pilot implementation and select pilot counties.
Assist formulation and implementation of Participatory Forest Management Plan (PFMP) in the pilot counties.
Support farmers to conduct Farmer Field School (FFS) in strategic collaboration with implementation of PFMP in the pilot counties.
Encourage collaboration among government institutions, private entities and NGOs/CBOs in enhancing tree growing, and promoting the growing of improved Melia volkensii in ASALs.

Participants of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in Embu County successfully graduated from one-year FFS programme. In high spirits, they are ready to apply what they have learned from FFS in their own farms.


2-3. Component 3/ REDD+ Readiness (Forest Monitoring)

Component 3 mainly aims at developing a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) and a Forest Reference Level (FRL) as the REDD+ Readiness process in Kenya. To achieve these objectives, another project team, called Comp. 3 Team, is supporting capacity development of KFS through the implementation of REDD+ Readiness and the training on Measurement Reporting Verification (MRV).

The NFMS to be established in Kenya is composed of two mutually related functions: monitoring function and data management function. The monitoring function is to be performed according to methodology of “how forests are monitored.” The data management function is to be performed on the basis of a database called Forest Information Platform (FIP), in which information/data collected through monitoring are loaded.

As recent achievement, a national FRL had been developed by the Government of Kenya with support from JICA. The FRL report was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2020*1.

*1 The document on FCCC/TAR/2020/KEN can be accessed through URL: https://unfccc.int/documents/267566

Outline of Comp. 3 Team Activities

Expected Output Technical capacities for REDD+ readiness activities and forest monitoring for sustainable forest management in KFS are strengthened.
Activities Design, develop and test the NFMS for Kenya.
Operationalise the Forest Information Platform.
Conduct accuracy assessment of 2014 Land Cover/Land Use Map developed by SLEEK (System for Land-Based Emission Estimation in Kenya).
Create land cover/land use change maps using 4 historical data of land cover/land use maps.
Collect information on emission factors, set emission factors and develop 2014 Carbon Map.
Analyse the land cover/land use changes based on 4 time historical data of land cover/land use maps.
Develop and evaluate Forest Reference Level (FRL) with stakeholders.
Strengthen capacities for creating 2020 Land Cover/Land Use Map.
Train counterpart for new technology or methodology of MRV (Measurement Reporting Verification) and test it for future development of MRV system in Kenya.
Land cover/land use change map created under Comp. 3
Top page of FIP
Counterpart training on new technology/ methodology of MRV


2-4. Component 4/ Tree Breeding

Component 4 succeeds the preceding drought-tolerant tree breeding programme. It aims at developing capacity on tree breeding techniques for drought-tolerant and good growth trees, specifically Melia volkensii (Melia) and Acacia tortilis (Acacia). Melia is endemic to east African semi-arid lands, with natural distribution range in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. It is fast-growing, drought-tolerant tree with a rotation age of 10 to15 years, producing quality timber with high demand. On the other hand, Acacia is common in most parts of dry Africa (i.e., North and West to South). It is being used for fuel, as fence material, source of shade, etc.

Comp. 4 Team that includes KEFRI established two (2) clonal seed orchards of Melia and four (4) seed stands of Acacia in Kitui and Kibwezi, and twelve (12) progeny test sites of Melia from Gaciongo to Kasigau.

The main activity in tree breeding is to provide guidance on how to get appropriate data from the progeny test sites and analyse them accurately to select excellent trees, then proceed to make the second-generation trees. This can contribute to establish research ability and fulfil one research cycle of tree breeding.

Through these activities, Melia second-generation trees are selected based on data from the progeny test sites.

Outline of Comp. 4 Team Activities

Expected Output The capacity of breeding techniques for drought-tolerant trees in KEFRI is improved.
Activities Improve the quality of clonal seed orchards of Melia volkensii.
Study of artificial crossing toward development of second generation of Melia volkensii.
Improve the seed stands of Acacia tortilis.

History of developing improved Melia orchard in Kitui
Site clearing and planting in the clonal seed orchard started in December 2012.
3,000 Melia trees (100 families, 30 trees per family) planted in Kitui clonal seed orchard.
Now, the orchard produces tons of improved Melia fruits per year.


2-5. Component 5 /Regional Cooperation

Component 5 is harmonised with the objectives of AI-CD through capacity development in knowledge sharing, building networks and access to finance. KEFRI takes a lead role in the following:

  • Building the capacity of participating seven Horn of Africa countries (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan) in identifying, collecting, documenting and sharing good practices; building networks; and access to finance
  • Developing tools for identifying, collecting, documenting and sharing of good practices
  • Designing and developing a CADEP–SFM web portal within KEFRI Knowledge Management System for sharing of knowledge and information
  • Developing a database for accumulating and sharing knowledge and information

The participating countries have roles in identifying, collecting, documenting and sharing of good practices; building networks; and accessing finance.

Outline of Comp. 5 Team Activities

Expected Output Capacity of regional cooperation in KEFRI is intensified by promoting knowledge sharing and transfer of technologies for strengthening the resilience to climate change and drought in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Activities Design the scope and prepare a TOR of regional cooperation by networking with related countries.
Hold regional cooperation meetings and fora.
Collect good practice information from Kenya and surrounding countries for strengthening the resilience to climate change and drought in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Collect information, establish the database on KEFRI’s website, and accumulate the information in it.
Share the collected knowledge and technologies with other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Improve access to finance to combat desertification.

Participants in the 3rd Regional Forum for Horn of Africa

Participants of the 4th Regional Forum for Horn of Africa held virtually in 2020

KEFRI/CADEP Good Practices Web Portal

UNCCD COP14 in India – Side event to deliver progress and achievement

All of the pictures in this article are provided by CADEP-SFM Team


3. Project Outputs – Guidelines and Manuals

CADEP-SFM developed a wide range of materials that include tools, leaflets, guidelines and manuals that provide information on addressing common challenges in many African countries, especially drylands. The resources are available as soft copies that can be accessed through the CADEP portal (can be downloaded from each link).

[Guideline, Manuals]

[Brochures ]

[KEFRI/CADEP Good Practices]


Written by CADEP-SFM Team