Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry

Sat, 07/17/2010 - 00:25

Land tenure in Kenya has a direct impact on the use and management of the natural resources. When tenure rights are certain, they provide incentives to use land in a sustainable manner or invest in resource conservation whether for the individual or group of individuals (Ogolla, Mugabe
1996). Kenya having an agricultural based economy has majority of her people deriving their
livelihood from various forms of agriculture. Different communities practice various forms of
land used based on their social-economic needs and cultural practices and determined mainly
by weather patterns, soil fertility, ecology and level of social development.

Wetland areas play an important role as water filters, fish nurseries and endemic bird’s
habitats. Forest fragments; grasslands and wetlands are critical natural habitats for endemic
and threatened species. Whereas grasslands are scrublands are easy targets for conversions to
farmlands; the pressure to settle landless had lately targeted forested areas due to its
In the high-populated areas i.e. Central Kenya, Nyanza and Western Kenya, agroforestry
systems contribute to satisfying the demands for fuel wood, leading to low encroachment into
forests and woodlands. In these systems IPCC estimates CO2 accumulations rates range from
2 to 9 MT/ha/year. In other areas however poor land management and high population
density contributed to land degradation. This was particularly evident in the river estuaries
(Yala, Nyando and Nzoia) in the lake region. The increase in population has also resulted in
massive land sub divisions in the high and medium potential areas. The units of such
subdivisions have been uneconomical (0.25 ha) contributing to impoverishment of the land
Intensification of land use in urban areas for informal settlements has led to a number of
environmental problems such as outbreak of diseases, and dumping of both liquid and solid
wastes. Likewise increase of horticultural farming near water sources have led to pollution of
water sources by fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. This is evident along Lake Naivasha
where for decades the lucrative flower farms have consistently affected the entire lake
ecosystem through high intensive production for largely export market.

Responsible party
Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI)
Attachment Size
land use change and climate.pdf 156.4 KB