Field Trips

The National Organizing Committee is organizing three field trips for the conference participants. All trips relate to the conference theme 'Ecosystem Services and SDGs in Africa", and will provide unique opportunities to experience diverse Kenyan ecosystems and beauty.

Field trips are scheduled for Wednesday, 23 November 2016. They will all serve to help learn about local conservation efforts that also aim to improve livelihoods of the farmers.

The three field trips you can choose from are:

  1. Community based conservation of Ndakaini Dam catchment, Muranga
  2. Market based PES scheme for protecting Lake Naivasha Basin, Naivasha
  3. F3 life green finance systems for smallholder farmers to protect Nairobi city water source



1. Community based conservation of Ndakaini Dam catchment, Muranga

Organised by: Ndakaini Dam Environmental Conservation Association

This site combines ecosystem service provision with Kenya’s number one fame - running. Want to see and experience the place that brings together Kenya’s famed athletes, locals and tourists to run for conservation? Hundreds of people participate in the Ndakaini Half Marathon every year to raise funds and create awareness on conservation efforts.

The picturesque landscape with meandering valleys is part of the slopes of the Aberdare ranges that surround Ndakaini dam, a manmade lake supplying 80% of Nairobi City’s water. The catchment is defined by a chain of hills that seem to provide a protective ring around the dam, with tall beautiful trees forming a canopy in the middle of the dam to create an island effect to the water body. The hills are covered by lush tea plantations, broken in parts by homes, stretches of trees and smaller farms with subsistence crops.

The community of about 13,000 inhabitants implements various conservation activities and benefits from newly introduced sustainable livelihood activities such as goat rearing, fish farming, apiculture, agroforestry, fruit farming and cottage industry.

Our host is a community-based organization, Ndakaini Dam Environmental Conservation Association (NDEKA) whose main objective is to support the conservation efforts and empower the local community to develop viable socioeconomic enterprises.

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Photo credit: Ahero Dala;

2.Market based PES scheme for protecting Lake Naivasha Basin, Naivasha

Organised by: WWF (Max 20 persons)

This trip provides an opportunity to explore a payment for environmental services (PES) scheme in operation at Naivasha, home to some of Kenya’s natural beauty and wildlife. Lake Naivasha is the only inland fresh water lake of economic importance to Kenya, providing water for irrigation for an expansive horticulture industry that is among the biggest foreign exchange earners for the country. If you received a bunch of fragrant roses last Valentine's Day, it's likely that they came from around Lake Naivasha as roughly half of the country's 127 flower farms are located here. The Lake is part of the Great Rift Valley and has been designated by UNESCO as a RAMSAR (Wetlands of International importance) site. Enroute you also get to view the Great Rift Valley attractions such as Mt. Longonot, hot water springs and others.

The market based PES scheme you will visit was put in place to support the improvement of water and land management by enabling downstream beneficiaries of ecosystem services to provide incentives to upstream landowners for their voluntary conservation efforts. This scheme was introduced in 2006 by WWF and CARE in Kenya, who partner with the private sector, key Government bodies and the Water Resource Users Associations (WRUAs) within the lake basin. The current buyers of ES are Horticulture farms and Hoteliers, while aiming also to engage Geothermal power plants, land development groups and Water Service Providers. The sellers are mostly upstream smallholder farmers. The water and land conservation efforts are implemented through farm practices that reduce of on-farm soil erosion, reversal of forest cover loss, and improvement of livelihoods.

This trip will require light walking occasionally in order to reach the farmers on steep hillsides of the basin. You are therefore advised to come prepared for rain and mud in case the day is rainy (November is part of the short rain season in Kenya).

The trip is limited to a maximum of 20 participants on first registration priority basis.

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3.F3 life green finance systems for smallholder farmers to protect Nairobi city water source

Organised by: Farmers (F3) Life

The Sasumua watershed is located in the upper ridges of the Aberdare ranges, which form a section of the eastern rim of the Great Rift Valley. The Aberdare Mountain Ranges, located about 150km from Nairobi, offer spectacular waterfalls and views and are a great place for camping, hiking and bird watching. The Aberdare national park is host to a huge population of wildlife. You will experience a scenic drive to a beautiful landscape with clean fresh air away from the noise and buzz of Nairobi city.

The Sasumua watershed is home to Sasumua dam, which supplies 12% of the water used in Nairobi, and is subject to several conservation initiatives including the recently inaugurated Sasumua Half Marathon.

A visit to the Sasumua water resources users association will introduce us to conservation and rehabilitation projects including a ‘payments for ecosystem services’ project on Kenya agricultural productivity & sustainable land management.

You will also learn from the F3 life project that provides green finance systems for farming, fisheries and forestry. The green finance systems, “the F3 Life Toolkit”, comprises a credit product design, a credit-scoring tool, loan tracking software, and an environmental compliance monitoring tool. These are designed for companies, NGOs and financial institutions which want to use green credit to cost-effectively improve the way in which farming, fisheries and forests are managed.  F3 Life developed a demonstration site for its systems in partnership with Farmer’s Life East Africa and in collaboration with World Agroforesrty Centre (ICRAF) at Sasumua in Kenya’s southern Aberdares.  The demonstration site contributed to the protection of Nairobi City water source and provided a proof of concept for F3 Life’s systems.

You will visit Farmer’s Life green loan initiative for smallholder farmers, where green credit is used as incentive for ecosystem protection. The green loan consists of an agricultural loan with loan term requirements for on-farm soil and water management improvements supported by technical advice. The aim has been to develop and test a sustainable and highly scalable financial model for improving natural resource management by smallholders.

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