Publication Details

Integrated Landscape Investment in Kenya

The state of the policy environment and financing innovations



March 18, 2016

Short Summary

A snapshot of the successes, challenges, and innovations in investment in ILM in Kenya.


In this paper we provide a snapshot of the successes, challenges, and innovations in investment in ILM in Kenya. Our assessment focuses on three key areas: 1) analyzing the enabling policy and legal context for ILM; 2) understanding investors in ILM and their roles; and 3) describing different modalities of investment in ILIs.

Integration for success

Policymakers and land managers are increasingly challenged by the inter-related impacts of ecosystem degradation, climate change, resource scarcity, poverty and food insecurity. In many cases, these risks cannot be mitigated only through on-farm management or supply chain programs, and must be dealt with at the landscape scale through partnerships in which all relevant stakeholders collaborate to achieve inter-related objectives.

This type of coordinated partnership at a landscape scale is referred to broadly as Integrated Landscape Management (ILM).

A positive example with room for improvement

Kenya is a leader within Africa on ILM, with 15 integrated landscape initiatives identified in a continent-wide review. However, as the country’s economy grows and resource conflicts increase, even more investments will need to be made within an integrated landscape context. Moreover, the adoption of Kenya’s new Constitution in 2010 has resulted in many changes to the public institutional structure, which may enhance the coordination of investments for multiple landscape benefits.

Investment coordination that works

Economic growth and investment have also been associated with conflicts over natural resources in some parts of the country. While Kenya’s ecological footprint per person is low by global standards, the country continues to move into a state of ‘ecological overshoot’ in which natural resources are depleted faster than they are regenerated (GFN 2015; Goldfinger et al. 2008).

To reduce this pressure from development, far more investments will need to be deployed within an integrated landscape context. Understanding how to facilitate and coordinate these investments at a landscape scale will be important to ensure that growth occurs in a way that maintains ecosystem services and supports the lives and livelihoods of smallholder producers


National government

  • Improve inter-ministerial and agency coordination
  • Catalyze asset investment
  • Clarify policy and law on relevant financial mechanisms

County government

  • Build capacity for intergovernmental coordination at county level
  • Use integrated planning processes as a means of coordinating investments

Private sector

  • Include landscape criteria when designing investments
  • Engage with landscape stakeholders when investing

Landscape initiative leaders

  • Clarify the business case for landscape investment
  • Seek sustainable financing for multi-stakeholder platform
  • Develop a long-term financing strategy


  • Improve donor coordination at landscape and county levels
  • Provide catalytic financing to attract appropriate private sector investment
  • Increase funding for integrated programs

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