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Mau Watershed Landscape Restoration, Kenya

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Open to Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

As one of the most important wetlands in Kenya, the Mau wetlands are rich in biodiversity and provide ecosystem services that underpin key economic sectors such as agriculture, energy, and tourism. It links forest, land, energy, and water resources, allowing all living things to coexist harmoniously. These ecologically functioning wetlands in the Mau highlands regulate river flow, serve as groundwater recharge areas and enable key wildlife habitats to exist. 

However, in recent years, livelihood activities have significantly undermined and threatened local ecosystems, including these wetlands. To sustain the natural balance and simultaneously meet the local community’s needs, concerted efforts are needed. reNature and Biofarm Alternatives will work together to establish a Model Farm to promulgate regenerative agriculture practices that work with, not against, nature. 

Engaging the local community

Unsustainable agricultural practices and land use change have led to devastating deforestation and ecosystem degradation. The regional rivers watershed system is also already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change. This deterioration at the local level and on a wider scale has resulted in insecure food systems, a lack of viable livelihood opportunities, and less water for people, crops, livestock, and wildlife. This project will establish a pathway toward building healthy, resilient landscapes and a sustainable future by engaging the local community in actively embracing regenerative agroforestry.

The project will begin with establishing a Model Farm. The design of one or multiple Model Farms will optimize the production of each of the primary commodities in the region: livestock, tea, coffee, fruit, and vegetables. The initial Model Farm in Kericho will be used as a knowledge exchange hub and training center for the local community. It will be designed to be replicated in other parts of the region.

More than nature conservation

As an integral part of ecosystem service provision in Kenya, preserving the Mau Watershed region is vital for the local community’s future. Deforestation and ecosystem degradation has been driven by the search for viable livelihoods. Regenerative practices will not only ensure nature conservation but will also provide new, more sustainable livelihood opportunities. The Model Farm will increase biodiversity, improve water quantity, quality, and catchment, sequester more carbon, and increase soil fertility and crop productivity.

Photo by Patrick Shepherd/CIFOR

The incorporation of regenerative agroforestry into local livelihoods will also result in beneficial impacts on the socio-economic level. Putting people at the center of conservation whilst also providing a diversified income will create a healthy, well-functioning ecosystem for all. 

Benefiting thousands of people

Up to 500 beneficiaries will be impacted during the first phase, extending to 2,500 in a subsequent Model School phase. The potential number of indirect beneficiaries impacted by this project is around 14,000 people.

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