Prospects of scenario planning for Kenya's protected ecosystems: An example of Mount Marsabit

Caroline Achieng, Richard Mulwa, Richard Kibugi, Jessica Paula Rose Thorn, Nicholas Oguge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Place-based scenario planning can systematically explore and anticipate future uncertainties regarding interactions between human and the environment. However, to date, few studies explicitly link scenarios at different social-ecological scales, particularly, for forests and Protected Areas (PA) in Eastern Africa. To address this gap, we developed scenario narratives to illuminate how divergent futures may unfold and what opportunities exist to improve future management of Mount Marsabit forest PA in northern Kenya. This ecosystem is under unprecedented degradation, and with use by multiple stakeholders, exhibits a complex governance arrangement. We compared local participants' perspectives on change with predetermined global scenarios from the literature. Thirty-six key informant interviews were conducted to identify drivers of change and potential impacts. Twenty-six participants partook the scenario development process (SDP), from which four divergent but plausible exploratory scenarios were generated namely: a) land use conflicts resolution in the context of traditional governance systems b) strategic advisory group-led governance of Mt. Marsabit PA c) community-led governance of Mt. Marsabit PA, and d) addressing climate change and drought effects in forest through policy development and community inclusion. Results were then compared with themes from global scenario group archetypes. Local stakeholders, as in the global archetypes, emphasized social values, market forces, and policy reform as major influencers in determining the future (2070) of Mt. Marsabit forest PA. However, stakeholders were less concerned with institutional breakdown, an important theme from the global scenario's perspectives. Our findings offer a new approach to analyzing similarities and differences between scenarios' narratives and local perspectives, and contributes to the growing body of place-based scenario studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Research in Environmental Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


  • Scenarios
  • Governance
  • Multi-scalar
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Archetypes


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