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FORESTS AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The Enablers and Barriers to Effective Implementation of Forest Policy in Kenya

Abstract: The Kenyan forest sector persistently grapples with structural policy failures that impede the attainment of its strategic goal for sustainable forest conservation and management. The impediments in essence degrades the forest's functional vitality to the allied sectors of socioeconomic growth and development of the Country. The objective of the article aimed at identifying and analyzing factors that hinders effective implementation of Kenya’s Forest Policy 2014 thence proffering interventions for the attainment of the policy's strategic goal. The methodology of this study involved quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection based on stratified random sampling for the administration of questionnaire and literature review of books, published articles, periodicals and official publications. The findings established that the Kenya’s Forest Policy is moderately relevant and moderately effective in delivering its strategic goals. In conclusion, the study has identified key barriers that impede the effective forestry policy implementation that encompasses a weak link of Annual Work Plan and the strategic political objectives, resource mobilization and distribution as well as human resource development. Based on the findings and need to address the impediments, the study makes the following policy and administrative recommendations: Enhancing involvement of fieldworkers and stakeholders in the policy formulation and design architectures; embracing collaborative approach in developing and implementing work plans and action plans; institutionalizing fair distributive factor on fieldworkers training and competency development; and revamping the internal and external forest policy operating mechanisms in enhancing growth of Wood and Non-Wood Forest Based enterprises for delivery of the socioeconomic outcomes envisaged in the Vision 2030 and the national development Agenda.

Keywords: Policy implementation effectiveness; Policy design: Policy instruments; Strategic Policy goals


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