Grassroot communities taking action for resilient ecosystems in the Mukogodo forest
The Il Ng’wesi community’s land in Kenya is an important ecosystem with grazing areas that support wildlife and livestock, as well as native forest areas that are important water sources. The IKI Small Grants project aims to increase the climate adaptation and mitigation capacity of the Mukogodo forest and rangelands, build community resilience and restore its landscape. With 10,000 seedlings it replants 100 hectares of previously degraded forest. To conserve the Mukogodo community forest and build resilience, the project trains 400 community members on nature-based solutions and engages in adaptation activities.
The land of the Il Ng’wesi community in Kenya is inhabited by pastoralists and forest communities. It includes more than 10,000 hectares of grazing land, indigenous forest, river basins, grazing reserves and a core wildlife conservation area. The local community residing in this area, consisting of 8,000 people, inhabits a small portion of the land, used among others for wildlife conservation and grazing. Land tenure is under community ownership as part of a newly established tenure system. A climate risk integrated management planning assessment found that climate-induced weather variability and increasing drought are affecting the socio-ecological resilience of the community and the landscape, leading to degradation of rangelands, loss of biodiversity and stress on livestock and wildlife.
The project primarily targets community members who are predominantly pastoralists and hunter-gatherers. At least 400 beneficiaries are trained in adaptation techniques and natural resources management while another 200 are reached by trainings for green business development. The targeted communities and relevant ministries at the county level work in collaboration in the implementation of activities.
APPROACH AND ACTIVITIES
The IKI Small Grants project rehabilitates and protects the damaged parts of the Mukogodo community forest by establishing three tree nurseries. Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation (IMPACT) identifies and maps the degraded parts of the Mukogodo forest and procures nursery stocks, equipment, and seeds. To ensure the longevity, the project trains community forest associations members on seed, nursery, and seedlings management in the selected areas before afforesting the area through replanting and protection of 10,000 seedlings.
The project further aims to train 150 community members in improved natural resource management. IMPACT organises several joint trainings of water resources and community forest user associations. The first training addresses integrated community-based natural resource management. The second training initiates innovative, nature-based solutions that increase climate resilience and promote the integration of climate-smart traditional knowledge and technologies. The organisation also trains the Ng’wesi community and neighbouring stakeholders in the development of a climate-resilient integrated water resource management plan to strengthen water resource management and mobilise donors. Further trainings aim to develop an integrated plan for livestock grazing and wildlife conservation, and to build capacity for integrated climate risk management.
The IKI Small Grants project helps 200 community members to start small businesses for nature-based products. To do so, the organisation buys 100 beehives and their accessories for community-organised groups around the forest. 100 community members receive trainings on honeybee production, economics, and marketing. As a further measure, the organisation installs fences to protect identified water sources. IMPACT procures and installs a solar water pumping system to support pumping of water for domestic use in an environmentally friendly way. After the project is completed, the local communities continue to own and manage the solar water pumping system. Finally, ten young people are trained as trainers for further capacity building and for the provision of important services such as solar system maintenance.
IKI Small Grants supports IMPACT in their organisational capacity development through:
- Training in website design, maintenance, and digital tools
- Training in resource mobilisation and proposal writing
ABOUT THE ORGANISATION
Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation is a community development organisation that was founded in 2002. It aims to address deep underlying causes of social exclusion, marginalisation and poverty that are undermining the indigenous peoples’ rights to livelihoods, healthy environments, and social cultural rights. IMPACT exists to build, support, and strengthen grassroots social movements through institutional capacity building, community-led and evidence-based research and documentation, strengthening community climate change adaptation, ecosystem resilience and landscape management and restoration.