This project run for about 7 years in Kenya. The project provided valuable lessons on the do’s and dont’s in project development, management and execution. The best practice from this project and the global education dimension can be found at this CTA Website. The Sri Lanka project is in a position to absorb theses lessons and learnings.
Technology and Traditional Knowledge for Better Forest Management
GISEEM stands for Geographical Information Systems for Enhanced Ecological Mapping for improved governance of natural resources. The project uses GIS technology to create platforms and forums for communication across a range of levels. It is aimed at empowering marginalised groups with valuable knowledge and skills about their natural environment and to use that knowledge to promote their agenda. GISEEM evolved from the prospects, challenges, opportunities and threats that the forest policy in Kenya presented to local forest dependent groups.
Groups that participated in the project:
GISEEM in Kasipul district Chris Kajo, Project Officer, KAFOMA:
KAFOMA – Kasipul Forest Management Association is currently working with 18 CBOs (Community Based Organization) in Kasipul Division. Each of the 18 CBO’s have members who are affiliated members of KAFOMA. Kafoma is a Community Forest Association (CFA) basically adressing poverty through friendly environmental activities.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Kasipul Division was laden with foodstuffs from the nearby farms. The rains were stable and the rivers were flowing throughout the year. The cattle had enough to eat and they were very healthy and high milk yields were realized. The villages had enough to eat from small pieces of land and majorities were healthy. Due to this, there was very close family ties and crime rate was minimal. This has changed and we are experiencing the reverse.
KAFOMA became the 1st Community Forest Association in November 2007 by registration with the Registrar of the Societies. Our registration came at the time when mass destruction of Kenyan forests was at its peak. WIRE Forest was a victim of total destruction followed by the post election violence that reduced the forest to further into untold damage. The 120,000 residents of Rachuonyo District were faced with famine and abject poverty.Looting of the forest products went on unchecked and sensitization programmes had no impact. The KAFOMA team then chose to be bold enough and staged forums to sensitize the communities and the leaders.
KAFOMA has also done Participatory Rural Appraisal on Poverty on Index in the Kachien, West Kamagak and North Kamagak.The three locations share the WIRE hills. Today, in a household of 6 people, an average of 2 months food is harvested each year. This means the balance 10 months are months of suffering. KAFOMA intends to work with communities to bring back the lost glory.
KAFOMA has planted over 250,000 seedlings on farmland, churches, schools and WIRE forest. We have arranged to produce enough seeds in our seedbank supported by Shalin through ERMIS-Africa. These seeds will be used to set up proper tree nurseries in more than 18 CBOs working on raising of seedlings.
GISEEM in Karima district
Sini Pellinen, Project Evaluator: The current coordinator of the Sri Lanka Project.
The community members have been encouraged to form interest groups that are registered by the council of elders of Karima. So far about 13 groups have been identified and each is required to have a clear plan of activities. Some groups rely on temporary resources which won’t be available after forest has been rehabilitated (e.g. firewood and timber merchants), while some others look at activities that can be carried out only after forest has been rehabilitated (e.g. ecotourism, fishpond, carpark). Each interest group should have a representative in the CFA.
Forests of Mukodogo and Giitune.