At the start of 2023, Plan Vivo conducted project visits, attended workshops, and hosted capacity strengthening sessions across Kenya. This forms part of our wider strategy to strengthen Plan Vivo's regional presence and provide further support to existing and nascent projects.

Biodiversity Workshop, Limiru, Kenya 

In Limuru, Kenya, Toral Shah (Plan Vivo's Biodiversity Coordinator) and Caroline Stillman (our Capacity Development Coordinator) attended a weeklong workshop to contribute to the development of the Global Biodiversity Standard. The initiative is led and coordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and Plan Vivo is a technical partner.


The aim of the project is to provide assurance that tree planting, habitat restoration, and agroforestry practices are having a positive impact on biodiversity. When finalised, tree-planting, restoration and other land use projects will be able to apply to the scheme and be awarded with the robust accreditation.


At the workshop, Plan Vivo and BGCI were joined by other technical partners including Ecosia, Society for Ecological Restoration and ICRAF. Each day started with morning walks in the restored forest within Brackenhurst Botanic Gardens - part of the Centre for Ecosystem Restoration- Kenya (CER-K). The afternoons were dedicated to workshop sessions that focused on developing the accreditation methodology. As a technical partner, Plan Vivo’s focus has been to ensure the needs of local communities and Indigenous Peoples are incorporated into the framework.  


Plan Vivo and friends relax after a day at the Global Biodiversity Standard workshop in Limuru, Kenya

Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund Project Visit & Training, Murang'a & Nyeri, Kenya 

The team then headed north to Murang’a and were joined by Plan Vivo’s recently appointed Regional Projects Officer, Lilian Mwihaki.

In Murang’a and Nyeri Plan Vivo hosted training sessions on carbon markets, biodiversity, and participatory techniques with thirty of the Upper Tana project’s extension staff. The extension staff then had the opportunity to put their training into practice, delivering sessions to farmers within the Upper Tana programme.  

The Upper Tana Programme is a recently certified Plan Vivo project that engages local communities in conservation, particularly through the promotion of agroforestry and tree growing for carbon sequestration. The water fund is working with tens of thousands of farmers across four counties - Laikipia, Nyeri, Murang’a, and Nyandarua, conserving over 330,000 hectares of land. The trees planted are designed to provide long-term cover, reduce soil erosion, and provide livelihood benefits to communities. 

Whilst there, the Plan Vivo team witnessed some of work the Upper Tana team carry out in the watershed. They met local farmers who were carrying out necessary conservation work on their farms and visited reservoirs that provide the bulk of Nairobi’s water. They then headed to the source of the Upper Tana River in the Aberdares. 


Plan Vivo and the Upper Tana Water Fund staff visit a farmer in Muranga, Kenya. 

Mikoko Pamoja & Vanga Project Visits, Gazi & Vanga, Kenya 

Back on the south coast of Kenya, the team were joined by Carrie Kretzer, Plan Vivo’s Operations Manager, where they conducted visits to Vanga Blue Forest and Mikoko Pamoja – two Plan Vivo certified community-led mangrove projects. Plan Vivo held community sessions with each of the project’s staff, committee, and youth forest scholars. Information about Plan Vivo, Vanga and Mikoka Pamoja was shared, and key questions were answered.

Caroline and Carrie then visited a local school’s refurbished science lab, funded through the sale of Vanga credits, as well as a local secondary girl’s school and a community water tank, funded by Mikoka Pamoja credit sales. The team were delighted to see and hear more about the impact that carbon finance is having within the five project villages.   


Carrie and Caroline are joined by Kai, Vanga's village chairman, and the principal from the local school to see one of the community development projects funded by Vanga Blue Forest.

Training with Solidaridad, Bungoma, Kenya 

As the first rains of the season began to fall, the team headed west to Bungoma. Here they met with Solidaridad who coordinate the Acorn programme in the region alongside other initiatives.

As part of our Capacity Strengthening strategy, the Plan Vivo team conducted training sessions with the Solidaridad team, focusing on carbon markets, climate change, and using participatory tools to engage farmers. This culminated in Solidaridad’s extension staff using these participatory approaches to train farmers at a coffee cooperative at the foothills of Mt Elgon, where the Plan Vivo staff got to see the extension staff’s training skills first-hand. 


The Solidaridad and Plan Vivo team with local farmers interested in joining the programme, Bungoma, Kenya.


The Plan Vivo team would like to thank all who hosted us throughout this trip, and all who took part in the relevant meetings, training sessions and workshops. In particular, asanteni sana to the CER-K and the BGCI teams, Anthony, George, and the rest of the team at Upper Tana, the Mikoko Pamoja and Vanga Blue Forest teams, the Solidaridad team, and all the extension staff who joined us in Bungoma and Kenol town.