Factors Influencing Good Governance in Forest Management and Protection: A Case Study of Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve, Kenya

Gatama Stella Muthoni, Omondi Stephen Fredrick


Despite the socio-economic and environmental benefits of forests globally, these ecosystems have been degraded due to poor governance. Effective governance in the forest sector calls for the identification of concrete elements within the administrative sector by systematically analysing the current situation and direct efforts towards improving the systems. A functional governing system would promote positive changes and progress by identifying challenges and gaps and come up with guidelines geared towards strengthening global co-operation. Our study explored the various factors influencing effective governance in forest management and protection in Kenya, using the case of Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve. Purposive sampling design was used to collect data through structured questionnaires and interactive interviews among forest managers, forest adjacent communities and other relevant stakeholders. The study shows that majority of the local communities living adjacent to the forest have been sensitized about forest conservation, however, the capacity building did not entail technical forestry operations. This has hampered effective involvement of the communities in forest management. Majority of the forest management staff are well trained in forest management and therefore could implement sustainable management strategies, however, due to insufficient fund, these strategies could not be fully implemented. Most of the members of the local communities are not economically empowered and mainly derive their livelihood from the forest leading to overexploitation.  This strains sustainable utilization of the forest resources. Cultural practices such as livestock grazing and living within the forest are hampering sustainable management of the forest. The study suggests that successful management of the forest is limited by inadequate involvement of local communities. This has led to apathy and degradation of the forest by members who feel that their views are not sort in the management of the forest. The study recommends multi-sectoral planning and representation of sectors involved in forest management and conservation

Keywords: participatory forest management, forest adjacent communities, forest products, sustainable forest management

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-12-06

Publication date:June 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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