Securing Forest Tenure in Kilifi County, Kenya: Learnings from participatory prospective analysis (PPA)

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A multi-stakeholder consultative process known as Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA) proved successful in bringing together stakeholders to find ways to enhance forest tenure security (FTS) in Kilifi County, which was formed in 2010 after a merger of Kilifi and Malindi districts, and is located on the Kenyan coast north of Mombasa. A workshop held in Mombasa in October 2018 brought together actors from government, NGOs, the private sector, community members organized in community forest associations (CFAs), and indigenous leaders.
  • The participants identified 32 potential "forces of change" for FTS in Kilifi through to 2023. From these, five "driving forces" were identified: partnerships in forest management; benefit-sharing mechanisms; implementation of policies; management of forest resources; and knowledge management. The process revealed that while clear policies to enhance FTS were already in place, many of these were poorly or negligibly implemented.
  • Three potential scenarios for 2023 were developed - one desirable and two undesirable - based on different "states" of the driving forces. In the desirable scenario, both indigenous and conventional bodies of knowledge are well-integrated into forest management, and supported by a clear legal framework and an effective enforcement mechanism. Communities and other stakeholders play an active role in forest management, decision-making and monitoring, and there are strong partnerships between governing bodies. As a result, forest management has improved and there is enhanced forest cover.
  • In the undesirable scenarios, a corrupt, inept and self-interested regime leads to dysfunctional partnerships between organizations and to the exclusion of communities and other stakeholders from forest resource management and decision-making. Indigenous knowledge is not valued or managed effectively, leading to a loss of this information and of culturally- and ecologically-significant areas of forest. As a result, forests are encroached upon and destroyed at increased rates, leading to a decrease in forest cover and increase in poverty levels.
  • The PPA then identified potential actions to be undertaken by different stakeholders to improve FTS over the next decade, which participants felt were directly or indirectly linked to forest tenure security. These included: strengthening forest management partnerships through capacity-building and improved frameworks; developing a strategy for more equitable sharing of forest products and services by doing inventories of these and developing appropriate policies; enhancing the integration of indigenous and conventional knowledge in forest management through improved documentation, outreach and education; strengthening the rule of law in forestry management; and managing forest resources better, including restoring degraded areas through massive tree-planting campaigns.
  • While women's representation was fair during the workshops, the issue of gender did not feature in the scenarios or actions, probably due to cultural factors that inhibit women's ability to freely express themselves in the presence of men. It was therefore recommended that a women-only PPA be organized to capture gendered concerns.


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