Final appraisal of the Mt. Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP)

Final appraisal of the Mt. Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP)

Providing sustainable biodiversity management and livelihood security activities, Kenya

This report is an appraisal of the programme document brief "Mt. Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme" (MERECP) in Kenya, prepared by International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Eastern Africa Regional Office (IUCN-EARO). The programme aims at providing sustainable biodiversity management and livelihood security activities in a trans-boundary setting and as such aims at forming a novel pilot and demonstration initiative of far more than regional and national interest.

Features of the project include:

  • the inception phase process has been pronounced participatory and open in its embracement of stakeholders at various levels, securing good and legitimate activities, insight, and support for the programme
  • coherence and consistency between goals, purpose and activities are placed within a well-designed logframe, developed through participatory workshops with all stakeholders
  • crosscutting issues of gender, socio-cultural aspects and HIV/AIDS should be more explicitly dealt with in the programme document
  • corruption and other issues of (good) governance are not raised explicitly in the programme document, and this should be rectified
  • the programme’s organisational complexity has been discussed, and it must be seen as a risk factor, also in a sustainability context
  • the programme’s strong policy support at different levels is conducive to long term sustainability, even if the present economic expenditures in the programme is most likely clearly beyond what national or even regional institutions would or could cater for.

The report concludes that the programme holds important pilot and demonstration qualities for the difficult task of merging environment and development concerns. The trans-boundary dimensions enhance the pilot and demonstration values, but also complicate structural and organisational design.