Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Fire Management in Mt. Kenya – case study of Gathiuru Forest Station

Version 1 : Received: 14 March 2018 / Approved: 14 March 2018 / Online: 14 March 2018 (14:39:57 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 11 June 2018 / Approved: 12 June 2018 / Online: 12 June 2018 (11:20:43 CEST)

How to cite: Nyongesa, K.W.; Vacik, H. Fire Management in Mt. Kenya – case study of Gathiuru Forest Station. Preprints 2018, 2018030107 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0107.v1). Nyongesa, K.W.; Vacik, H. Fire Management in Mt. Kenya – case study of Gathiuru Forest Station. Preprints 2018, 2018030107 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201803.0107.v1).

Abstract

This paper proposes an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) framework to address the challenges posed by both damaging and beneficial fires. Designing and implementing IFM approaches in Kenya calls for a systematic understanding of the various uses of fire and the underlying perceptions and traditional ecological knowledge of the local people. The proposed IFM framework allows evaluating the risks posed by fires, balancing them with the beneficial ecological and economic effects and developing effective fire management approaches. The IFM framework is applied in the case study Gathiuru forest that is part of the larger Mt. Kenya forest ecosystem. Focus group discussions were held with key resource persons, primary and secondary data on socio-economic activities were studied, fire and weather records were analysed and the current fire management plans were observed. Questionnaires were used to assess how the IFM is implemented in the Gathiuru forest station. The results show that the proposed IFM framework is scalable and can be applied in places with fire-dependent ecosystems as well as in places with fire-sensitive ecosystems in Kenya. The effectiveness is dependent on the active participation, formulation and implementation of the IFM activities by the main stakeholder groups (KFS, KWS, and CFA). The proposed IFM framework helps in implementing cost-effective approaches to prevent damaging fires and maintain desirable fire regimes in Kenya.

Subject Areas

fire management; human activities; participation; firewood; charcoal; grazing; water; honey; farming; community forest association

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