The Role and Contribution of Montane Forests and Related Ecosystem Services to the Kenyan Economy
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The montane forests of Kenya, better known as Kenya’s “Water Towers”, produce direct economic value for its citizens. This value accrues not only from the production of various timber- and non-timber forest products, but also from a range of regulating ecosystem services that provide an insurance value to several key economic sectors. There is also a secondary or indirect multiplier effect associated with the direct economic value of the Water Towers.
This report estimates these economic values, by means of best international analytical practices and environmental and economic evidence from Kenya, and shows that montane forests have consistently been undervalued in conventional national accounting. The findings underline the need for better management, increased investment in montane forests and innovative policy instruments (such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+)).