A number of programmes and activities have also been started to improve the livelihoods of communities living adjacent to the forest and address the situation of the forest-dwelling communities, in particular the Ogiek. With a view to expanding efforts to all water towers, the Government of Kenya gazetted the Kenya Water Towers Agency on 13 April 2012.
The agency will take over the responsibilities of the Mau Secretariat and will be responsible for coordinating and supervising the rehabilitation, conservation and management of Kenyan water towers.
However, the report finds that there is a great deal of room for more activities, and makes the following recommendations:
1. Sustainable Forest Management contributes to national development with a ratio of more than four times that of the poor forest management that leads to deforestation, and should be incorporated. Sustainable actions include:
(i) Selective thinning regimes
(ii) Protection against uncontrolled settlements;
(iii) Adequate allocation and policing of water withdrawals;
(iv) Improved management of degraded land;
2. Ensure that Kenya has in place a fully functioning forest resource account in order to capture the various benefits provided by forests;
3. Stronger regulation of forest use. For instance, the enacting of farm forestry, forest harvesting and charcoal regulations in 2009 represent an important step in the right direction and needs to be pursued;
4. Encourage investment in the forestry sector in order to increase the efficiency in production, especially in sawn timber and charcoal production;
5. Address the growing trend of dependence on imports of forest products, which constituted more than 50 per cent of domestic output for the year 2009;
6. Ensure adequate regeneration after harvest and an increased forest plantation growth in the long term, together with a better coordination of regulating institutions, producers and consumers of forest products;
7. Mainstream instruments and incentives such as payment for ecosystem services, trading and insurance schemes.