Reforming the Institution of Community Trusts (Community Trusts as a Mechanism for CBNRM)

The management of natural resources is critical to the economy of Kenya as it impacts on inter alia, food security, poverty alleviation and climate change.

It is therefore essential that the best methods of natural resource management be adopted to guarantee sustainable development. It is in this light that ILEG sought to strengthen principles of CBNRM in the management of community trusts.

Community participation in the management of natural resources is a concept that is rapidly gaining acceptance in Kenya and in the whole world. One of the commonly used instruments for Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in Kenya is the Community Trust.

ILEG took on the challenge of evaluating the Community Trust to determine its suitability as an instrument for spearheading community development and involvement in natural resource management. At the conclusion of this project, ILEG produced a report which detailed its findings and made proposals for strengthening the institution of community trusts so as to make them better and to serve the interests of local communities in undertaking conservation and development activities.

Research was conducted within selected Community Trusts across the country to find success stories as well as challenges faced by these existing trusts. Detailed study of the legal and policy framework for community trusts however, formed the greater part of the research with the aim of determining whether the current law as it stands is suitable for promulgating the trust as an instrument that will ensure people centered development and sustainable use of natural resources, or whether changes to the laws are required.