Kenya’s engagement with international initiatives such as the REDD+ mechanism of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Draft Nairobi Resolution (IUFRO and FORNESSA, 2012) and the Gaborone Declaration (Summit for Sustainability in Africa, 2012) stands as proof of the valuation of the national natural resources. Kenya is developing a multi sectoral National REDD+ Strategy. Kenya recognises that its main opportunities lie under the scope of Sustainable Forest Management and Enhancement of Carbon stocks of REDD+ as it is a Low Forest Low Deforestation (LFLD) country. Other main objectives include reducing pressure to clear forests and improving forest governance.
There are several notable national plans relevant to the protection of forest landscapes and forest governance, the Vision 2030, which is a long-term development strategy, the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) with which Kenya plans to align its REDD+ Policy, Land Policy, Draft Environment Policy, Draft Forest Policy and the Energy Policy. A key forest related provision of the Vision 2030 is the protection of forests in water catchment areas whilst the NCCRS has been developed to steer Kenya onto a climate-proofed and low carbon development path, identifying the forestry sector as one of the key sectors in which to implement climate change mitigation actions. The Land Policy is particularly important for REDD+ in Kenya, as it provides guidance on issues relating to land utilization, and there are ongoing efforts to develop the rules and regulations for it's implementation.
Kenya has a Draft Forest Policy that provides directions for the sustainable development of the forest sector and for sustainable forest conservation by integrating local communities in conservation and management of forest resources (Ludeki, et al., 2006). The Energy Policy supports the development of renewable sources of energy, mainly via more sustainable agroforestry systems, as fuel wood, charcoal and biomass, which remain both a key energy source and a key driver of deforestation and degradation in Kenya. The Draft National Environmental Policy of 2012 is another instrumental tool, which aims to achieve the sustainable management of natural resources of Kenya. The policy proposes seven government actions to prevent this, including the development of forest-based development mechanisms in the emerging carbon markets.
KENYA FOREST SERVICE. 2010. Revised REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal. Kenya. Submitted to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Available here.
LUDEKI, J. V., WAMUKOYA, G. M. and WALUBENGO, D. 2006. Understanding the New Forest Policy and Forests Act, 2005. Available here.
SUMMIT FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN AFRICA. 2012. The Gaborone Declaration. Available here.
THE GLOBAL NETWORK FOR FOREST SCIENCE COOPERATION and FORESTRY RESEARCH NETWORK OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA. 2012. The Nairobi Declaration. Available here.