The Value of Forest Ecosystem Services of Mau Compalex, Cherangang and Mt. Elgon, Kenya

  • Langat D Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Cheboiwo J Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Okoth S Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Kiprop J Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Kisiwa A Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Guzha A Center for International Forest Research
  • Smith N 3United States Forest Service –International Programs
  • DeMeo T United States Forest Service –International Programs
  • Kagombe J Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Gatama S Kenya Forestry Research Institute

Abstract

Ecosystem services from Kenya’s forests have remained largely unmeasured and undervalued. Consequently, the benefits they provide are ignored in most forest management investment decisions. This has led to degradation and conversion of these forest ecosytems to alternative uses. This study was undertaken to value ecosystem services provided by the Mau, Cherangany hills and Mt. Elgon forest ecosystems. Primary data was collected from 1206 households and 148 forest product industry players using structured and semi- structured interviews. Secondary information was obtained from service providers,  other  published/ unpublished sources and from discussions with experts. Market prices, Contingent valuation, Cost-based and Benefit Transfer (BT) techniques were applied in estimating total economic values. Total Economic Value of the three ecosystems is about KES 339 billion (US$ 3.4 billion) per annum. Mau, Cherangany and Mt. Elgon ecosystems contributedKES 184 billion (US$ 1.84 billion), KES 42 billion (US$ 420million) and KES 115 billlion (US$1.15billion) respectively. In the three water towers, regulating services contributed the bulk of Total Economic Value (TEV) with 84 % (Mau), 66 % (Cherangany) and 93 %  9Mt Kenya) underscoring the importance of indirect use values in forest ecosystems. Mau forest ecosystem had the highest regulation value of KES 162 billion followed by Mt. Elgon with KES 109 billion per annum and Cherangany at KES 30.6 billion per annum. Provisioning services contributed 10%, 23% and 4 % of TEV for Mau, Cherangany and Mt. Elgon respectively. The TEV estimate from this study is very conservative because it did not encompass of all ecosystem service values. However, this study has provided vital that can assist conservation and management of the three water towers for enhanced livelihood and flow of ecosystem services.

 

Published
2021-03-31
How to Cite
D, L., J, C., S, O., J, K., A, K., A, G., N, S., T, D., J, K., & S, G. (2021). The Value of Forest Ecosystem Services of Mau Compalex, Cherangang and Mt. Elgon, Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 84(1). Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/301