Enchroachment on Mau Forests Complex, Kenya

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The Mau Forest Complex is the largest remaining true forest in Kenya. It is the source of water for the farmlands of western Kenya and the vast drylands of northwestern Kenya. It supports the livelihood of millions of people, and the most famous wildlife parks in the world including Masai Mara National Reserve. Degazettement of forest reserves and continuous widespread encroachments have led to the destruction of over 107,000 ha over the last two decades, representing over 25 percent of the Mau. The government of Kenya under previous regimes did so much to exacerbate the forest's destruction by handing out land for votes in the run up to multiparty elections, making the conflict more political than environmental. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> In 2005, the government begun to take steps towards addressing the threat of rapid degradation of its forest resources. A Task Force was also established in 2008 whose responsibility was to study and make recommendations to the government on the immediate, short‐ and long‐term options for restoring the entire Mau Forests Complex. <br/><br/> Apart from the government, international and national institutions have been involved in conservation programmes aimed at restoring the Mau complex. World Bank NORAD and USAID funded projects aimed at improving water quality / quantity and to conserve biodiversity in the Mara River basin. <br/><br/> Reafforestation, rehabilitation and livelihood improvement programmes were also initiated and have continued to be implemented by various organizations such as: African Wildlife Foundation , East African Wildlife Society, UNEP, Kenya Forest Working Group, Rhino Ark, Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority (ENSDA) Department for Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS) Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service since 2000. <br/><br/> In July 2013 further encroachment into the Mau Forests, following the change of government,created additional concern among conservationists, who claimed that more settlements had sprung up within 100 days after the new government had taken over. <br/><br/> Kenya Forest Service officials also complained that though they had stepped up efforts to save the forest, there was no political will. They further claimed that when they arrested or evicted squatters, politicians intervened, making their work difficult. There were also instances when forest invaders and loggers were taken to court only for them to be given fines that are not commensurate with what they have destroyed. <br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Enchroachment on Mau Forests Complex, Kenya</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/kenya">Kenya</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Rift Valley</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Deforestation<br /> Other</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/land'>Land</a><br />Indigenous Forests</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>40,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>1,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Kenya Forest Service; Kenya Wildlife Service;Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development; Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources; Department for Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/world-bank'>The World Bank <small>(WB)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/us-agency-for-international-development'>US Agency for International Development <small>(USAID)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Rhino Ark; African Wildlife Foundation ; Nature Kenya; Kenya Forest Working Group; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority (ENSDA) and the East African Wild Life Society</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>Mobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Recreational users</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Development of a network/collective action<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Reduced volume of Rivers as a result of deforestation.<br/><br/>Increased siltation of rivers and lakes as a result of deforestation and cultivation in the upper catchment.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area<br /> </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>An effective management structure to stop any further degradation in the Mau Forests Complex through; <br/><br/>Providing for the relocation of the people currently residing in the forests; <br/><br/>The restoration of all degraded forests and critical water catchment areas in the Mau Forests Complex; and Mobilizing resources to implement the above mentioned objectives and secure the sustainability of the entire ecosystem.<br/><br/>Immediate livelihood support is also critical for the families relocated from the Mau Forests Complex. <br/><br/></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Though the government through Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service as well as several NGOs have been implementing programmes aimed at restoring the Mau, conservationists have expressed the challenge of lack of political will.<br/><br/>Politicians have always interfered with restoration efforts by giving away land in return for votes and making eviction of people who have settled in the forest and land grabbers difficult.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Forest Act; Wildlife Conservation and Management Act; National Environmental Management Act; Land Act; National Land Policy<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/kenya/090723/kenyas-mau-forest-under-threat?page=0" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://www.kws.org/export/sites/kws/info/maurestoration/maupublications/Mau_Forest_Complex_Concept_paper.pdf" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="http://kenyaforests.org/index.php/sample-sites-2/gorvernance.html" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Serah Munguti</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>24/06/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>