By Benedetta Wasonga


The Green Zones Development Support Project-Phase II builds on the success of the concluded GZDSP-1 project. GZDSP-1 contributed to the rehabilitation and protection for regeneration of 309,000ha of degraded forest land translating to 0.54% increase in the national forest cover and significantly increased (by 25%) the annual incomes of 375,912 households (40% female-headed) through direct employment, and income generating activities. The proposed project will provide new and more efficient ways of increasing forest cover, increasing food security, improve community livelihood through sustainable and inclusive commodity value chain and market development. Specifically, the project’s intervention in water catchment conservation will contribute to improved water availability and decreased soil loss through erosion. In addition, the project will contribute to adaptation and mitigation to climate change through increased carbon sequestration.

The proposed Green Zones Development Support Project-Phase II will be implemented in fifteen counties; Embu, Meru, Machakos, Tharaka-Nithi, Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Nakuru, Baringo, Kericho, Bomet, Nyamira and Kisii. These counties cover four forest conservancies and three out of five Kenya’s water towers including Mt. Kenya, Aberdares, and the Mau complex. The counties were selected based on levels of forest degradation, social economic and environmental vulnerability. The project comprises three main components namely Forest Conservation and Livelihood Support, Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains Development and Project Management and Coordination. The project will focus on increasing the national forest cover and household incomes through rehabilitation of degraded forests, improvement of forest infrastructure and community capacities and livelihoods in the target counties. The project will be implemented over a period of 6 years (2018-2024) and will be executed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) through the Kenya Forest Service (KFS). The KFS was one of the implementing agencies for the completed Bank-funded Green Zones Development Support Project-Phase 1 (2006-2014).

The project specific objectives are to enhance forest conservation and livelihood support for climate change resilience and to develop timber, bamboo, potato, cereals and pulses value chains for improved household incomes. Project implementation to achieve these objectives will be through the three project components:-

Component 1 

Forest Conservation and Livelihood Support for Climate Change Resilience: This component aims to increase the forest cover through forest rehabilitation and enhanced management, promotion of bamboo for conservation and commercialization, forest infrastructure development and enhanced community livelihoods through income generation activities. This component will have four outputs namely rehabilitation of degraded forest areas,  bamboo production for conservation and commercialization, development and rehabilitation of forest infrastructure and community capacities and livelihoods improvement. 


Component 2 

Sustainable and inclusive value chain development. This component will support the use of efficient production, processing and utilization of technologies, development of marketing infrastructure and capacity enhancement along value chains. The project will concentrate on several value chain streams including timber, bamboo, horticulture (potato), and selected cereals and pulses value chains, whose production systems will be through agroforestry. This component will support the development of three model community processing centres for maize, potato and timber and build linkages with private sector and other actors in processing technologies and marketing. This component will have two outputs namely improved value addition of timber and bamboo products and value addition for selected food security crops. 


Component 3

 Project Management and coordination: This component will oversee the effective implementation and management of the project activities. This will provide support to project infrastructure, technical support, staff capacity development as well as ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the project. 


Kenya with a total land area of 582,645 km2 has the least forest cover in the East Africa region estimated at 7.40 % as at 2017. This includes the indigenous closed canopy forest, open woodlands, on-farm forests, industrial plantations and mangroves. Kenya’s dependence on the natural environment is profound and underpins most sectors, including agriculture and horticulture, tourism, wildlife, and energy. In some rural areas, the forest contributes three quarters of the cash income to forest-adjacent households. The low forest cover in the country has been linked to inadequate water supplies and adverse climatic changes that have negatively impacted on agricultural production. In attempting to stem the decline in environmental resources, the Government, in Kenya’s Constitution of 2010, Vision 2030 and Medium Term Plans (MTPs), has emphasized the need to protect and conserve forests as a base for water, wood, food and nutritional security among others. It is in this context that Government of Kenya requested the Bank to finance the proposed GZDSP-II. Accordingly, the proposed Kenya-Green Zones Development Support Project-II (GZDSP-2) is in line with Kenya Constitution 2010, Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Economic Pillar of the Third Medium Term Plan (MTP III 2018-2022) which place emphasis on attaining sustainable environment through protecting and increasing forest cover. The project is also anchored in the National Forest Programme (NFP, 2016-2030), the Kenya’s Agriculture Sector Development Strategy (ASDS, 2010-2020) and will contribute to the Government of Kenya’s objectives to significantly achieve the SDG 1 and SDG 5.


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