An Evaluation of the Implementation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve Co-management Approach in Kenya

DOI: 10.1080/00128325.2018.1436842
Author(s): Felix Lamech Mogambi Ming’ateDepartment of Environmental Studies and Community Development, Kenya


Several studies have been conducted on the implementation of co-management of forests. There is a significant gap in the current literature regarding the extent to which the implementation of co-management regimes is having an effect. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the implementation of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve (ASFR) co-management approach in Kenya with the aim of understanding its current status and what needs to be done to improve the co-management approach in developing countries. The paper also provides insights into policy options for implementing a co-management approach. The ASFR has been in operation for over two decades thus making it an important example for evaluating implementation, as one could expect it to have established discernible criteria for evaluation. Information was gathered from a combination of participant observations and interviews with key players in the Arabuko-Sokoke co-management team. To analyse data, all audio-recorded interviews were checked for audibility prior to transcribing and transcripts were then quality checked by comparing them with the original interview recordings. Similar themes were grouped together to answer the study objectives. The results highlight six areas that are critical for the successful implementation of a co-management approach: legalizing co-management; adequate involvement of communities in the enforcement of co-management rules; provision of adequate safety for community members threatened by illegal operations; establishment of clear individual household boundaries; designing long-term income-generating activities; and strongly supporting the establishment of co-management for the entire forest. It is concluded that co-management is viable but requires adjustments as new issues emerge.

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