Strategic Goal D:Target 15:By 2020, ecosystem contribution to carbon stocks enhanced

Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services

Target 15: By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.

The National Forest Programme, 2016-2030, analysis of change in forest cover over the last 25 years revealed improved afforestation activities. Forest land has decreased by 311,000 ha while crop land increased by 1,018,000 ha between 1990 and 2015. B However, there is a remarkable increase in forest cover from 6.01% in 2000 to the predicted 7.46% in 2015. This is equivalent to an annual increase of 0.1%.[1]

Kenya has enacted the Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016, the Environmental Management and Coordination Act 2015 and developed the National Forest Programme (2016-2030) which have helped to increase areas under conservation.

The moratorium by the Government of Kenya on logging in public and community forests in February 2018 is aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing regeneration and replanting for sustainable forest management and ecosystems protection through access to genetic materials such as the non- timber products.

Kenya has developed and enacted several policy and legal instruments related to reduce habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. Key policy responses include the National Environment Policy 2013, National Strategy and Action Plan for the Management of Invasive Species in Kenya, The Plant Health Protection Act Cap 324, Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority Act. No. 13 of 2013, Environmental Management and Coordination Act 1999 (amendment 2015), Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013, Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016 and Fisheries Management and Development Act 2016. Others include the National Forest Programme 2016-2030 and Wetlands Conservation and Management Policy.

Further the Government has formulated the ASAL Development Policy, 2019, to guide coordinated development of ASALs; formulated National Irrigation Policy, 2017 and enacted Irrigation Act, 2019 to promote development, management and regulation of irrigation; initiated formulation of Draft Land Reclamation Policy, 2018; and the Land Reclamation Bill, 2018. The Land Reclamation Policy and Bill formulation are ongoing concurrently. The draft policy is at the regional consultative stage and will be submitted to the Cabinet alongside the bill thereafter.

The Government institutionalized Drought Management by enacting the National Drought Management Act, 2016, creating the National Drought Management Authority to coordinate and manage drought in the country. In addition, the State Department for Development of ASALs is undertaking programmes to enhance community resilience against drought through sustainable resource management of Natural Resources and livelihood diversification. The Government has integrated Ending Drought Emergencies (EDE) in National Development Plans through the EDE Sector Plans for MTP III 2018–2022.

The National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan covers all gazetted mangrove forest reserves in Kenya and is implemented over 10-year period (2017 – 2027). This management plan addresses the lack of ecosystem-based management approaches for mangroves in Kenya and supports sustainable utilization of mangrove resources while enhancing biodiversity conservation and ecosystem integrity. The Plan has taken cognizance of other existing policies relating to land and land use, tenure, agriculture, fisheries, energy, environment, mining, wildlife, and water. It also embraces collaborative and participatory approaches in natural resources governance that leads to ownership of the initiatives by the stakeholders.

Further, Integrated Coastal Zone Management Policy, 2015 guides actions and policies which are related to the management and use of Kenya’s coastal zone resources. This also covers the restoration of the degraded areas and the protection of the resources, the development a legal framework for the purpose of ensuring sustainable conservation and management of the deltas and estuaries; and development of comprehensive research information to aid in the proper conservation and management of said ecosystems.[1]

The Government of Kenya supported by the World Bank through the Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Sustainable Land Management Project (KAPSLMP)[2],carried out the Land Degradation Assessment (LADA)[1]  in 2015 to assess the causes, extent and types of land degradation in Kenya.  Remote Sensing/GIS analyses were used to determine the extent of land degradation, the major determinants, the areas undergoing most serious land degradation and the severity of land degradation. Spatial analysis of the LULC changes showed an overall deterioration of vegetation cover over the last 20-year period. There was declining vegetation cover as depicted by NDVI, increasing bare lands, conversion of natural vegetation into agricultural lands and soil erosion. Generally, agricultural/cultivated areas increased by 7.3% and bare lands increased by 2.6%. The lower levels of land degradation in the since 2000 also coincides with the policy change. The study showed at least 61% the total area of Kenya is at high risk of land degradation, while very high degradation affects 27% of the land. Land degradation is especially severe in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs)

[1] Ministry Of Environment And Natural Resources. 2016. Report Of The: Land Degradation Assessment (Lada) In Kenya: Based on a Study of Land Degradation Assessment (LADA) with Remote Sensing and GIS, for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Kenya. Kenya Agricultural Productivity And Sustainable Land Management Project (KASLMP).

Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Strategy and Implementation Plan  to reverse impact of land degradation that has been exacerbated by unsustainable agricultural practices (over grazing, over cropping etc.)

The Climate Change Act 2016 which identifies forest conservation and management as key to realizing Target 15 of the Aichi Strategic Plan.

In the NDC Sectoral Analysis Report 2017, these mitigation actions were further analysed to determine the sectors’ potential to contribute to Kenya’s NDC mitigation target. It was determined that relative to the proportionate mitigation reduction target for the sector of 20.1 MtCO2e by 2030, the sector’s mitigation potential was between 11.3 and 20.1 MtCO2e per year, with a technical maximum potential of 40.2 MtCO2e per year by 2030. The government is taking action to address climate change in the forestry sector, including through tree planting initiatives and preparatory activities to enable the country participate in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus (REDD+) role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, as a climate change mitigation process[1].

In NCCAP 2013-2017, it was estimated that total GHG emissions from the LULUCF sector was 21 MtCO2e per year, which was 30% of total national emissions in 2010, and was projected to increase to 26 MtCO2e, which is 32.5% of the total national emissions by 2015 before reducing to 22 MtCO2e per year