Local poverty alleviation lies at the heart of the reforestation efforts of Mount Kenya's forests. Livelihood activities including beekeeping, horticulture, biofuel production and agroforestry technologies empowered local communities in sustainable economic initiatives as an alternative to charcoal production. Tree species were selected for their economic, culinary and medicinal benefits. Planting took place along riverbanks and water courses to promote access to clean water. The planting activities were carried out by local people themselves, who were engaged in forest policing and, in the long-term, caring for the seedlings and reporting on any illegal activities like firewood collection, charcoal burning, logging and illegal cultivation. Through community-based reforestation, the project served to improve the livelihoods of local Kenyan communities while restoring the area's forests and providing important habitat for local wildlife.
Restore native forest and promote biodiversity
Promote sustainable exploitation of natural resources
Promote economic development
Increase food security and clean water availability
Why is intervention needed?
Kenya's forest once measured a mere 2% of the country's total land cover. Some of the most significant reserves of forest habitat reside in Mount Kenya national park. Yet Mount Kenya is also facing severe deforestation rates, losing about 30% of its forest cover through illegal activities such as timber harvesting, shamba systems (where agricultural crops are grown together with forest tree species) and charcoal burning. Such alarming rates threaten local wildlife and the liveilhoods of local communities. Most communities living in the area are poor because of unsustainable methods of farming, which have caused massive soil erosion and infertility, and brought about diminishing food availability, yet they rely on these forests for their natural resource-based economy. Even the water cycle is under strain from the deforestation of Mount Kenya's forests, which serve as water catchment areas to many rivers.