Bamboo Training and Capacity Building

Building Block 5 focuses on the provision of various bamboo trainings by Forests4Future to support different aspects of the bamboo value chain in their intervention zone. These trainings are essential as enabling factors for the success and sustainability of the bamboo-related activities undertaken by the project. Forests4Future provides both financial and technical assistance in organizing and implementing these trainings. Since the start of the project, Forests4Future has conducted multiple bamboo trainings tailored to specific needs, for example:

  1. Bamboo propagation: Trainings on bamboo propagation are provided to tree nurseries to ensure the successful propagation of bamboo seedlings for plantation establishment.
  2. Bamboo plantation/stand management and harvesting: These trainings cover various aspects of bamboo plantation management, including planting techniques, maintenance practices, pest and disease management, and sustainable harvesting methods.
  3. Bamboo hot water treatment: This training is essential for bamboo processing units to learn proper techniques for treating bamboo with hot water, enhancing its durability and quality for further processing into products
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By offering these diverse trainings, Forests4Future aims to build the capacity and skills of local stakeholders involved in the bamboo value chain. This contributes to improved productivity, product quality, and overall sustainability of bamboo-related activities. Moreover, these trainings empower local communities to actively participate in and benefit from the economic and environmental opportunities presented by bamboo cultivation and utilization.

  1. Training Resources: Access to qualified trainers, materials, and facilities is crucial for effective bamboo trainings.
  2. Community Engagement: Involvement of local stakeholders enhances learning outcomes and ownership of skills.
  3. Continuous Learning: Follow-up sessions and peer networks reinforce training impact.
  4. Local Adaptation: Customizing content to suit local needs improves training effectiveness.
  5. Monitoring: Regular evaluation and participant feedback inform program improvements.
  1. Tailored Training Programs: Designing training programs that are tailored to the specific needs and skill levels of participants enhances learning outcomes and practical application of knowledge.
  2. Hands-on Training: Incorporating hands-on, practical exercises and demonstrations in training sessions improves engagement and retention of learning.
  3. Community Empowerment: Empowering local communities to take ownership of training initiatives and become trainers themselves fosters sustainability and scalability of capacity-building efforts.
  4. Partnerships and Collaboration: Collaborating with local institutions, organizations, and experts in bamboo-related fields enhances the quality and reach of training programs.
  5. Feedback Mechanisms: Establishing effective feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, focus groups, and evaluation forms, enables continuous improvement of training content, delivery methods, and overall impact.
Local Bamboo Value-Added Processing Units

Building Block 4 focuses on the establishment and support of bamboo processing units by Forests4Future in their intervention zone. The primary purpose of these units is to create associated business opportunities that focus on sustainable income generation and job creation for the local community. Raw bamboo material is predominantly sourced from local farmers in the area, including those supported by the project as group planters as detailed in Building Block 2. These units process raw bamboo material into valuable products, with a focus on furniture such as chairs, tables, beds, shelves, and various kitchen items. One significant success factor is the chemical treatment of bamboo against termites, ensuring product durability and quality. Additionally, bamboo products are affordable for poorer people, making items like wooden beds, which would otherwise be expensive, accessible. This affordability has clear benefits for the local population. Moreover, bamboo serves as an alternative or substitute for timber, reducing the pressure on natural forests in the area. By promoting the use of bamboo as a sustainable resource, the bamboo processing units contribute to environmental conservation and resource utilization efficiency. 

  1. Technical Expertise: Access to skills in bamboo processing, product design, and quality control is crucial for high-quality products.
  2. Market Access: Developing strong distribution channels is vital for sales and customer reach.
  3. Supply Chain Management: Efficient logistics and inventory control ensure smooth operations.
  4. Financial Support: Adequate funding is necessary for establishing and scaling up processing units.
  5. Easy Adoption: Unlike timber processing, bamboo techniques are simpler and require fewer resources, making them accessible to local communities.
  1. Product Diversification: Diversifying product offerings beyond furniture, such as flooring or construction materials, can expand market opportunities and revenue streams.
  2. Quality Control: Implementing rigorous quality control measures throughout the production process is essential for maintaining product standards and customer satisfaction.
  3. Partnerships and Collaboration: Collaborating with local artisans, designers, and industry experts can enhance product innovation, market positioning, and competitiveness.
  4. Market Research: Conducting thorough market research and customer feedback analysis helps in understanding market trends, consumer preferences, and product demand, guiding business strategy and product development.
  5. Market Linkages: Maintaining strong market linkages and distribution channels is critical for sustaining market presence and ensuring timely delivery of products to customers. Regularly engaging with market stakeholders and adapting to market changes can help in maintaining competitiveness and meeting customer expectations.
Eco-hydrological Concept for Gully Rehabilitation

Building Block 3 discusses the eco-hydrological concept implemented by Forests4Future for erosion gully rehabilitation using bamboo raw material. This low-cost erosion measure has been successfully piloted and upscaled. Next to selling bamboo raw material to local processing units (PU) as described in Building Block 2, it can also be utilized to construct eco-hydrological measures. These green infrastructure units consist of a series of semipermeable wooden barriers placed in erosion gullies, forming a surface run-off regulating system that sequentially controls the flow of surface water. This unit plays a crucial role in regulating key hydrological parameters such as flow concentration and velocity, which in turn regulate hydro-logical and biological processes like runoff and infiltration. By mitigating erosion in gullies, these measures contribute to long-term gully restoration efforts. This technique and the skills required can be easily replicated by other farmers due to its relatively straightforward construction method, making it accessible for widespread adoption.

  1. Technical Expertise: Access to expertise in eco-hydrology, erosion control, and bamboo construction is crucial for effective eco-hydrological projects.
  2. Community Engagement: Involving local communities in project planning fosters ownership and sustainability.
  3. Resource Availability: Adequate bamboo and other resources are essential for project implementation.
  4. Monitoring and Evaluation: Robust evaluation mechanisms ensure the effectiveness of measures and enable adjustments for long-term success.
  1. Site Selection: Careful site (i.e. gully) selection considering factors such as slope, soil type, and vegetation cover is crucial for the effectiveness of eco-hydrological measures.
  2. Design Considerations: Proper design of wooden barriers and water flow control structures based on site-specific conditions and hydrological modeling enhances the performance of eco-hydrological measures.
  3. Maintenance and Upkeep: Regular maintenance and upkeep of eco-hydrological infrastructure, including repairing damaged barriers and clearing sediment buildup, are necessary for ensuring continued effectiveness.
  4. Community Involvement: Involving local communities experience and knowledge in project planning and implementation as well as monitoring and maintenance activities to increases awareness and ensures sustainability of eco-hydrological projects.
  5. Adaptive Management: Implementing adaptive management strategies based on monitoring data and feedback from local stakeholders helps in addressing challenges and improving project outcomes over time.
Bamboo Plantation Establishment and Restoration

Forests4Future's Building Block 2 focuses on supporting associated groups in communal land with erosion gullies to establish bamboo plantations. The seedlings for the plantations are sourced from local nurseries, as detailed in Building Block 1. As the bamboo reaches a certain growth stage, it can be harvested and sold to local bamboo processing units (PU), which then transform the raw material into valuable products, as discussed in Building Block 4. This approach not only promotes sustainable income generation for the community but also contributes to the restoration of degraded land. Bamboo's soil-protecting capacity plays a crucial role in long-term restoration efforts, particularly in areas vulnerable to erosion or already highly degraded like the Lake Abaya and Chamo catchment areas. Erosion and sedimentation pose significant threats to local farmers and fishers, making the restoration efforts with bamboo essential for protecting soils and ensuring future income opportunities for the communities.  

  1. Community Engagement: Raising awareness and local support for bamboo plantations.
  2. Technical Assistance: Essential expertise in bamboo cultivation and management.
  3. Market Access: Building strong value chains for steady income from bamboo products.
  4. Policy Support: Favorable policies for sustainable forestry and income generation.
  1. Site Selection: Careful consideration of site conditions, such as soil type, water availability, and slope, is crucial for successful bamboo plantation establishment.
  2. Species Selection: Choosing appropriate bamboo species that are well-suited to local climatic and soil conditions is important for achieving optimal growth and productivity.
  3. Training and Capacity Building: Continuous training and capacity-building programs for farmers and plantation workers are essential for enhancing skills and knowledge in bamboo cultivation and management.
  4. Land Use Rights: Securing land use rights is essential for sustainability and effective resource management in the restored area.
  5. Monitoring and Evaluation: Regular monitoring and evaluation of plantation performance, including growth rates, yield, and environmental impacts, are necessary for making informed management decisions and optimizing outcomes (as part of the post-planting management activities).
Sustainable Bamboo Nursery Development

The purpose of this building block is to showcase the successful establishment of bamboo nurseries by the Forests4Future initiative in its intervention zone. These nurseries play a crucial role in the local economy by selling young bamboo plants to generate income for the community. These plants are primarily used to create bamboo plantations, aiding in the rehabilitation of degraded land in the catchment area. Forests4Future specifically focuses on working with indigenous bamboo species, for example the Ethiopian highland bamboo (Yushania alpina k.) leveraging their rapid growth and ability to absorb greenhouse gases as an effective tool for carbon sequestration, aligning with global climate goals. Furthermore, the establishment of bamboo plantations not only contributes to land restoration but also provides a sustainable source of raw material for various industries, thereby enhancing economic opportunities in the region.

  1. Community Engagement: Local community involvement is crucial for sustainable bamboo nursery operations.
  2. Technical Expertise: Access to knowledge and expertise in bamboo cultivation and nursery management ensures healthy growth and productivity.
  3. Market Access: Strong market linkages for selling bamboo products are necessary for income generation and sustainability.
  4. Policy Support: Favorable policies promoting sustainable forestry and supporting SMEs benefit the long-term viability of bamboo nurseries.
  1. Community Ownership: Involving local communities in decision-making processes and ensuring they have a stake in the project's success fosters a sense of ownership and commitment.
  2. Capacity Building: Continuous training and capacity building programs for nursery operators and bamboo growers are crucial for improving productivity and quality standards.
  3. Market Diversification: Exploring diverse market opportunities beyond local sales, such as export markets or value-added products, can enhance revenue streams and market resilience.
Disseminate CBEMR knowledge through awareness initiatives by CBEMR Champions

Kuto/Cherono/Elizabeth, please add a description of this step 

Local Knowledge and Participation: CBEMR champions create awareness, assist in capacity building, undertake actual restoration activities, monitor restoration activities, and conduct ecological and social assessments, among other roles. 

Establishment of a CBEMR demonstration site for learning and research purposes in Lamu

Using data from the Global Mangrove Watch platform, we’ve been working with the KFS to identify 93.2 ha of potential restoration sites in Lamu. In partnership with the KFS we launched a demonstration site in the Kitangani area to address the underlying hydrological challenges which hinder natural mangrove regeneration and restore the environmental conditions such as soil, oxygen and nutrient quality, allowing for natural regeneration. 

Monitoring after six months showed clear improvement, with free-flowing water and visible signs of regrowth. This shows how successful correctly applied Ecological Mangrove Restoration approaches can be. This impactful restoration effort holds great promise for the revival of the degraded Kitangani mangrove ecosystem.

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Resource Gaps: Restoring mangroves requires significant investment in terms of time and financial resources, particularly in areas that have changed considerably. Stakeholders therefore need to take a long-term view of restoration initiatives and consolidate their resources and efforts. 

Awareness raising and capacity building on CBEMR amongst stakeholders in Lamu

Wetlands International commenced restoration efforts in Kitangani by bringing together a wide group of stakeholders. We engaged local communities through civil society organisations and the Lamu Community Forest Association (CFA), as well as Kenya Forest Service (KFS), the Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI), the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), and the Lamu County Government. 

[Kuto/Cherono/Elizabeth, please add more details on our engagement activities with these groups. E.g. did we collect socio-economic information from the site and wider landscape?  Did we discuss alternative livelihoods? Did we discuss the values of mangroves and benefits of restoration? Did we discuss why previous restoration attempts failed, etc?] 

These efforts resulted in a group of CBEMR champions that throughout the full process helped in creating further awareness, assisted in capacity building, in conducting ecological and social assessments, implementation and monitoring of restoration activities.   

Stakeholders were then trained on best mangrove restoration techniques, using the CBEMR approach. In collaboration with the Mangrove Action Project (MAP) and KFS, Wetlands International trained community organisations, government and county officials, forest managers, research institutions, academia from several universities, media and civil society from Lamu, Tana River, and Mombasa counties. From the communities, women had a 50 per cent representation, as it is them who are mainly involved in actual restoration efforts. 

Participatory and Holistic Approaches: The CBEMR approach is participatory and provides a holistic view of the landscape and the restoration process. It connects resource users with research institutions, the local government, national conservation and law enforcement agencies, and civil society and build on their local and expert knowledge. 

Gender Roles and Social Groupings: Women are key in mangrove restoration and conservation activities. Men, who are mostly breadwinners, spend most of their time fishing or pursuing other livelihood or economic activities and are therefore not keen on engaging in conservation initiatives. Gender roles and social groupings are therefore critical when planning mangrove conservation and restoration initiatives. 

Local Knowledge and Participation: CBEMR champions create awareness, assist in capacity building, undertake actual restoration activities, monitor restoration activities, and conduct ecological and social assessments, among other roles. 

Lamu has relatively well-established community-based organisations that have a growing interest in mangrove restoration. 

Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing: There exist knowledge gaps in mangrove conservation and restoration within communities, conservation institutions, and research organisations. There is therefore need for continuous capacity building and knowledge sharing.

 

One Health Task Force (OHTF)

The One Health Task Force (OHTF) is a collaborative platform for the local government. It usually mirrors the structure of the One Health platform at the national level. The OHFT generally consists of 5-7 people representing the local administration and the core line ministries (Health, Agriculture and Livestock, Environment and Natural Resource or equivalent). Other members may include representatives from the Women and Social Affairs, Education, and Disaster Risk Prevention and Management. The OHTF oversees the organization and delivery of the integrated health services via the OHU and guarantees the monitoring of its performance. OHTF members are trained on the concept of One Health and the Standard Operating Procedures for the establishment of the OHU. Selected OHTF members are trained as trainers to support cascading the training to service providers and other government staff. By taking increasing ownership and responsibility, the OHTF ensures the sustainability of the OHU and its gradual recognition and funding as effective service delivery model for pastoralist communities. 

  • National One Health structure in place to ease operationalisation at the community level

The OHTF can facilitate the communication with One Health institutions at the sub-national and national level, promoting the recognition of the OHU in national development and strategic plans.

Multi-Stakeholders Innovation Platform (MSIP)

The Multi-Stakeholders Innovation Platform (MSIP) is a collaborative platform for community members. It includes about 15-20 women and men selected by the community and representing different community groups (e.g., traditional and religious leaders, community-based service providers, traditional healers, teachers, businessmen/women, representatives from the local rangeland institution). Where possible, MSIPs build on already established and functional groups that work at the community level on a voluntary basis. MSIP members are trained on the concept of One Health, leadership and management. Other training activities can be organised to enhance their skills and competencies and ensure their active engagement in specific community-based interventions. The MSIPs meet on monthly basis to discuss local issues and jointly identify suitable solutions to, for example, disease outbreaks and other health threats, livestock densities and movements, pasture availability, and water access.

  • Initial engagement of traditional and local leaders to increase community ownership  
  • Balanced representation of all groups to ensure participation of the entire local community

Non-financial incentives (e.g., training, clean-up kits, visibility items) motivate the voluntary-basis group and can support its active engagement in the long-run.