2015 - 2016


Review of Governance of the Forest Sector in Kenya

Key Staff:

Scott Geller

This governance study aims at providing a clear picture on how governance aspects of the forest reform agenda in Kenya (initiated in 2007 following enactment of a new law – Forests Act 2005) have taken shape since 2011 when a similar study was undertaken.

  • Contracted by the Finnish Government, this assignment supports efforts to ensure future forestry incorporates good governance for development in Kenya.
  • The review provides forest sector public and private institutions and a broad set of stakeholders with analysis and recommendations to inform implementation of the National Forest Programme.
  • The analysis is organised along the five major building blocks of good forest governance as defined by the World Bank 2009 “Roots for Good Forest Outcomes: An Analytical Framework for Governance Reforms”.


Unprecedented deforestation in Kenya between 1980s and early 2002 relating to poor forest governance led to a public dissent and a sustained civil society campaign to reform the forest sector. As a result, forest sector reforms driven by the Forests Act 2005 have been ongoing since 2007.  Good forest governance is fundamental to achieving positive and sustained development outcomes in the sector, including efficiency of resource management, increased contribution to economic growth and to environmental services, and equitable distribution of benefits.


LTS’ work included:

  • an assessment of the current situation of the Kenyan forest sector based on recent trends and actions at different levels,
  • an overall understanding on progress or lack of progress made in forest governance,
  • an opinion on the progress made based on the 2011 proposed indicators regarding the implementation of governance reforms, and concrete recommendations for further action to improve forest governance addressed to specific institutions and stakeholders.

Value and Benefits

The recommendations of the review informed the National Forest Programme (NFP). The proposed actions are expected to be integrated into the operational activities of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR) – charged with overseeing the implementation of NFP, KFS and other stakeholders, and the forest sector devolution process.

Clients: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

NIRAS has been working in PFM for the last 15 years, supporting national decentralisation processes and applying pa…
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