FAO and the GEF

Partnering for Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment

Strengthening Forest Management for Improved Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Resilience in the Southern Rangelands of Kenya

Kenya is an agricultural nation with over 12 million people residing in areas with degraded lands. Food crop productivity growth in the country has failed to exceed the population growth. The growth of agricultural output in southern rangelands of Kenya is constrained by many challenges, including soil erosion, low productivity, agro-biodiversity loss, soil nutrient depletion and climate change related issues. Institutional and governance barriers, lack of information to support decision-making, and poor returns to livestock and crop production are barriers to effective rangelands and biodiversity management in the southern Kenya drylands.

The project aims to support a functioning and resilient dryland forest landscape that supports a sustainable economic/food production through integrated natural management. This project will improve sustainability by first ensuring effective institutional and governance structures, technical and social innovations and scaling out positive results. The project will enhance  functionality of local institutions and provide the appropriate linkages to resources in order to sustain ecological integrity and improve local household livelihoods. 

The project's holistic approach will link income-generating activities (e.g. livestock marketing, horticulture value chain, eco-tourism) with sustainable environmental management activities. The project plans to create a bridge between development needs and environmental activities. By building the communities’ capacities and supporting them to derive more benefits from sustainable activities, the project will pave the way for innovations at local or landscape level in terms of natural resources management and conservation.

The project will acheive this through three components:

  • Component 1: Strengthening the enabling environment for the sustainable management of the natural resources in the drylands
    The project will improve the effectiveness of governance of land resources through strengthening the technical and institutional capacities at community and county levels for sustainable land and resources management

  • Component 2: Investment in scaling up sustainable dryland management
    The project will develop and strengthen the linkages along the value chain and enhance the use of the environment in a sustainable manner to create profitable products, thereby providing opportunities for people to generate improved income while ensuring that the environment is secure.

  • Component 3: Programmatic coordination, monitoring and knowledge management
    The project will establish  and  institutionalize  robust  and integrated  monitoring  systems  to determine  the  status  of  land  degradation,  climate  change  trends,  forest  cover  change  and connectivity,  the  status  of  wildlife  populations,  and  the  socio-economic  status  of  the  people  that use the landscape. The project will also build  on existing  platforms  and  knowledge  hubs to  implement  dynamic knowledge  management.

Project’s Target Contributions to GEF-7 Core Indicators

Project Core Indicators

Expected Results


Area of land restored (Hectares)

400 000


Area of landscapes under improved practices (excluding protected areas)(Hectares)

200 000


Total area under improved management (Hectares)

1 026 000 ha


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigated (metric tons of CO2e)  

1 500 000 tCO2e


Number of direct beneficiaries disaggregated by gender as co-benefit of GEF investment

200 000 (36% female)

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