Challenges to Actualization of Decentralization Forest Management Functions: Experiences and Lessons on Devolving Forestry Management Functions in Kenya

Musingo T.E. Mbuvi, Leila Ndalilo, J. Cheboiwo


The first attempts to devolve forest management operation in Kenya started in 1997 when piloting of participatory forest management (PFM) was introduced. However, the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that entrenched public consultation and creation of two level of government at national and county levels that provided sound legal framework for devolution of natural resources management in the country. Several pieces of forestry legislation and transitional implementation plans on last forest management including devolution guidelines have been launched since then. However, there has been limited work on performance of forest devolution processes and associated challenges.  In 2017, KEFRI initiated a study in Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, Lamu and Taita Taveta Counties in the Coast region of Kenya to determine how forest devolution was being undertaken and propose intervention actions to enhance devolution framework. The study was done through literature reviews on policy and legislative instruments, questionnaires, Key informant interviews and Focus group discussion. The study revealed that Kenya Forest Service has operationalized devolution of forest activities through development of devolution framework the Transitional Implementation Plans that have been signed with couple of counties. The transition process according to the findings was done without adequate consultation with county governments most of which were not prepared legally, financially and management capacity to handle forest management matters. Therefore most counties that had signed the transitional implementation plans with Kenya Forest Service had actualized their forest management operations. The study recommends that the transitional process from national to county levels should be gradual with Kenya Forest Service providing technical backstopping to the counties until they are able to effectively manage the devolved forestry functions. The counties need to build their capacity on forest management and access to financial resources to fund forest operations.

Keywords: Devolution of forest management, National government and County government

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©