Forests provide several ecological, economic and social functions which are fundamental for the well-being of society. In Kwale County, local communities depend on forests for income, medicine and food. Additionally, Kaya forests are a source of cultural identity for the Mijikenda community. Although kayas have been sustainably managed through traditional systems that have been achieved largely through in-depth knowledge of the local environment, the forest cover has continued to decline largely as a result of agriculture und settlement development, illegal logging, charcoal burning and mining. This is further aggravated by the systematic dismantling of traditional institutions and practices of forest conservation.
In a bid to curb forest loss and degradation, Kwale County has established Charcoal Producers Associations. The County has also allocated some of its budget to awareness creation, tree planting and capacity building for charcoal producers. Despite these measures, it is evident from the previous V-LED Good Practice Exchange Workshop that the forest sector continues to face threats from charcoal producers, rapid population growth and conversion of forest land to other uses.
ILEG is taking up this critical issue in a Good Practice Exchange followed by a Vertical Dialogue Event in Kwale, Kenya, to raise awareness and understanding for sustainable action in the forestry sector.
On May 22nd the Good Practice Exchange will bring together Community Forests Associations (CFAs), Charcoal Producers’ Associations, policy makers in the forestry sector at the county level and other interest groups including civil society and the private sector in Kwale and neighbouring counties of Mombasa and Kilifi. The GPE aims to motivate relevant stakeholders to take up best-fit options to improve forest conservation in the face of climate change. Specifically, the workshop seeks:
- To effectively engage key stakeholders in planning and budgeting for forests and forest-related goods and services in the face of climate change.
- To foster learning through peer-to-peer and information exchange on forest conservation, management and governance for resilience in the face of climate change
- To provide opportunities for participants to showcase their innovations in forest conservation and management.
Following the GPE, ILEG is hosting a Vertical Dialogue Event on May 23rd that will also focus on the forestry sector, this time bringing together community based associations and national and local level government representatives to focus on forestry policy issues and multi-level coordination gaps.
22 May 2017: Good Practice Exchange on Forest Conservation, Management and Governance in Kwale County
23 May 2017: Vertical Dialogue on Forest Conservation, Management and Governance in Kwale County
Where? Pride Inn Hotel, Ukunda, Kwale County