The Mau Forest Complex forms the largest closed-canopy forest ecosystem of Kenya, as large as the forests of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares combined. Standing at 400,000 hectares, it is the single most important water catchment in Rift Valley and western Kenya, and is natural asset of national importance whose condition has a major impact on the tea, energy and tourism sectors. This critical ecosystem helps secure the provision of water supply to urban areas for domestic and industrial use and supports to the livelihoods of millions of people living in the rural areas, not only in Kenya, but also in neighbouring countries. Despite its critical importance for sustaining current and future economic development, the Mau Forest Complex has been impacted by extensive irregular and ill-planned settlements, as well as illegal forest resources extraction that have reduced cover by more than 25% in the past 15 years. Since 2008, the Office of the Prime Minister has cultivated a sense of public urgency and political awareness to conserve and rehabilitate the Mau Forest Complex which has permeated all aspects of Kenyan society.
LTS was part of a small project design team to deliver a fully-fledged project document for submission to strategic partners worth $81 million. Working alongside the Interim Coordinating Secretariat within the Office of the Prime Minister, the team provided technical and facilitation support services needed to deliver a highly participatory project preparation process. Key design issues included: