Woody Weeds Plus

Based on the research results of CABI Switzerland and the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Berne, the Kenyan government implements the national Prosopis strategy aiming at sustainable management of this fast spreading invasive species. The Woody Weeds Plus project coaches this effort and implements a multi-stakeholder approach to address pastoralist livelihoods and to restore pastures and ecosystem services in arid and semi-arid lands. 

Pays/région Thème Période Budget
Agriculture et sécurité alimentaire
Changement climatique & environnement
Emploi & développement économique
Ressources en terres cultivables
Développement rural
01.12.2020 - 30.09.2024
CHF  800’000
Contexte Invasive trees can have massive impact on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being and present a major factor for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Prosopis, a thorny shrub or small tree native to Central America, is considered the most important invasive species in East Africa. Introduced in 1970s it is spreading fast and has severe impacts: loss of grazing land, loss of access to water, declining biodiversity, reduced soil organic carbon, reduced human and animal health, increased human-wildlife and human-human conflicts. Kenya is implementing a National Prosopis Management Strategy, contributing to achieving several targets of SDG 15. Swiss research was the basis of this strategy making Switzerland a natural partner in this endeavour. Switzerland has a major interest in contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as restoring ecosystem services. 
Objectifs Strengthening livelihood security and environment integrity in areas affected or threatened by Prosopis invasion in Kenya 
Groupes cibles

-    County governments and the respective Community Based Organisations that champion the implementation of the national strategy; 

-    The new Centre of Excellence for Prosopis management.

Indirect: livelihoods of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist.


Effets à moyen terme

1.    Prosopis management is integrated in land use planning and government, ecosystem restoration, and rural development efforts; 

2.    Awareness about sustainable Prosopis management and land restoration is enhanced and leads to tangible behaviour change in land use and governance; 

3.    Implementation of Prosopis management is accelerating in a strategically coordinated way;

4.    The bankability of sustainable Prosopis management is demonstrated.


Principaux résultats attendus:  

Establish Prosopis  management involving leadership of Community Based Organisations, county authorities and central government:

-    Dedicated multi-sector Prosopis Management Units are established and functional at county level. County governments adapt national strategy to local context;

-    Prosopis Management is adopted as key function of society rooted Natural Resource Management organisations;

-    Relevant technologies and approaches are made accessible on global WOCAT and Plantwise open access databases;

-    The farmbetter mobile app is adapted to enable land users to select most appropriate management practices;

-    Extension agents and other frontline actors trained to effectively support land users with Prosopis management;

-    Monitoring protocol established and indicators identifies for invasion cover change; 

-    A national Prosopis fund is established through publicprivate partnership.

Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

Findings of the ‘Research for Development’ research project “Woody Weeds” funded by Swiss National Science Foundation and SDC (2015-2020):

a)    30% of the land use/land cover has changed due to exponential increase in Prosopis invasions in the last 18 years;

b)    Utilization of Prosopis as a resource (firewood) has not worked as a method of management and control. Sustainable management has to be addressed in a holistic manner;

c)    Prosopis has caused significant impacts on various indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, including plant species richness, herbaceous biomass, invertebrate abundance as well as soil parameters. It also affects numerous ecosystem services. While it increases availability of wood, it decreases the availability of fodder for livestock, of natural enemies of invertebrate crop pests, of medicinal plants and of water; 

d)    Individual Prosopis trees consume between 1-20 litres of water per day, which is potentially more than half of the total amount of annual rainfall received in the invaded area. Livestock numbers have also reduced significantly with increased Prosopis cover in all the study areas.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Crédit Coopération au développement
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
Autre organisation internationale
  • Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International

Autres partenaires
CABI Schweiz
Coordination avec d'autres projets et acteurs

The generated results of this project can leverage synergies to the following projects in the Horn of Africa programme working in arid and semi-arid lands: ‘FCDC-ASAL’, ‘K-Rapid’, ‘SDR-SNRS’, ‘HEAL’, ‘NRM-Borena’, ‘IGAD land governance’;

Other GPFS projects: Plantwise and WOCAT

Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    800’000 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    750’000
Phases du projet Phase 1 01.12.2020 - 30.09.2024   (Phase en cours)