The country’s commitment to restore 5.1 million hectares of degraded forests and drylands into productivity adds to a growing, global movement.
NAIROBI, KENYA (September 8, 2016) – The African continent has the largest landscape restoration opportunity of any in the world – but each country has to lead the way and drive action on the ground. Today, Kenya announced a significant commitment to restore 5.1 million hectares of land, nearly 9 percent of its total landmass. The amount of land Kenya committed today represents an area roughly the size of Costa Rica.
NAIROBI (September 2, 2016)— On September 8, the Kenya Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities, and the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) will host an official event and press briefing to announce Kenya’s national restoration commitment, as well as launch new restoration opportunity maps, a technical report and website.
Scaling forest restoration to deliver environmental and financial returns.
Communities in Kenya face several disparate climate change impacts, from severe droughts in some areas to flooding in others. CARE International Adaptation Planner Phillip Oyoo explains some of the challenges and solutions to building resilience.
The Turkana area of Kenya, one of the poorest in Africa, is undergoing major changes, primarily linked to the discovery of oil in the region. These maps start to uncover some of the potential impacts of these changes on people and the environment.
One of the most far-reaching of the commitments from the recent UN Climate Summit is the New York Declaration on Forests, which includes a plan restore 350 million hectares of degraded forest landscapes into productivity by 2030. While restoration holds great promise for many countries, this ambitious new target is especially important for Africa. As we’re already seeing, if done right, restoration could boost food and water security, improve livelihoods, and curb climate change in some of the most vulnerable regions on Earth.
Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in often ignored and neglected rural areas. National systems for education and health care, for example, don’t always reach the most needy. In many cases, national governments do not clearly know where their poor populations reside. WRI’s poverty maps are providing governments with powerful visual information about where the poor live and where their federal resources are being spent. With these maps, governments can see the problems and better direct scarce financial resources to where they are needed most. Kenya’s Constituency Development Fund was created in early 2005 to channel development funds to the grassroots level through locally-based initiatives. Relying on poverty maps that WRI helped create, a Poverty Index has been developed by the Kenyan government to ensure that funds are guided to areas that will have immediate gains for the poor.
Poverty maps not only identify the distribution of poor populations, but pinpoint places where development lags and highlight the location and condition of infrastructure and natural resource assets that are critical to poverty reduction programs.
WRI has helped design and support poverty mapping efforts in Kenya and Uganda. Kenya has used the maps to distribute critical budget resources to its Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which has allocated a total of approximately US$475 million for development and poverty reduction efforts. Before the maps, funds were based on population rather than on need. That has changed, with a greater share of funds going to formerly neglected rural areas.
Poverty maps were also used by the Kenya Water and Sanitation Program, a five-year, US$65.3 million effort to ensure resources reached poor communities with low access to safe water and sanitation.
The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), one of the world’s largest dedicated funding facilities for climate change mitigation/adaptation projects, have now been in operation for five years. It’s a good time to step back and evaluate what lessons we’re learning from these important sources of climate finance.
WRI recently did just that, inviting a group of representatives from countries accessing CIFs funding to speak at our offices. It became clear from the discussions that while some valuable progress has been made, there is still plenty of room for improvement. In particular, lending institutions involved with the CIFs could deploy climate finance more effectively by fostering a stronger sense of country ownership over mitigation/adaptation projects.
The Good News: Climate Investment Funds Are Contributing to Change on the Ground
We’re starting to see some countries make progress on implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation projects with funds from CIFs programs (see text box). Panelists at the WRI event highlighted a few examples: