The goal of this research is to explore co-management in the forest and water resources in Kenya and how extent to which it contributes to sustainable resource management.
Worldwide, co-management is recognized as a management approach with considerable benefits across many natural resources. The approach offers great promise about what it can accomplish. However in the recent years, concerns have emerged regarding its effectiveness in delivering sustainable resource management and increasing benefit flows to the target communities. In Kenya, co-management was central in the reforms undertaken in the water and forest sectors in the last one decade. The intention was to progressively shift some responsibilities from government to local resource users to strengthen resource sustainability and improve benefit sharing. This study seeks to review the extent to which co-management has actually worked in Kenya’s forestry sectors and associated outcomes.The study area will be based in Cherangani hills and Aberdare ranges, two of Kenya’s water towers. The specific objectives are to analyse the effects of co-management on sustainable resource management in Cherangani hills and Aberdare range; estimate the Willingness to Pay (WTP) for water resources, and disseminate the findings to stakeholders.A structured and semi-structuredquestionnaire will be used to collect data from 752 households randomly sampled in the two study area, 252 of which will represent non-treated. A sample of 65 will also be drawn from non-participants in the community Forest Association and Water Resource Users Association as a control group. In addition, a total of eight FGDs will be carried out to gain further insights and seek clarifications on information collected from the household survey. Propensity Score Matching and Contingent Valuation techniques will be used to analyse the data. The findings will be important in informing policy decisions on the relevance of Comanagement framework in Kenya in a devolved system of government and contribute to knoweldge on the effetcivenes of this apporch in sustainable resource management.