The forests of coastal Kenya are rich in natural resources and as such have become a biodiversity hot spot of global importance. Recognised as a conservation priority, the small forest remnants that make up the coastal forests of Eastern Africa cover less than 2% of the total land area of the region yet contain remarkable levels of biodiversity. The coastal forests also play an important role in storing carbon and enhancing local resilience to the impact of climate change. The Eastern Africa coastal forest is under threat from illegal logging, fires, poorly planned development and unsustainable charcoal production.
The forests of Eastern Africa provide a vital base for the livelihoods and economic and socio-cultural activities serving a population of more than 3 million. Local communities rely heavily on the natural resources provided by the forests, oceans and freshwater lakes including fishing, agriculture and tourism. Furthermore, as with many other forest dwelling communities, it has an important cultural value to the community. The forests and people are historically and spiritually bound.
Having partnered with WWF for this project, we are aiming to tackle the threats posed to this vital area of land by improving management practices to secure key ecosystems, reducing illegal activity and positively influencing development. We’re helping to create the capacity for local communities to help manage their environment and helping to diversify livelihoods, reduce poverty pressure, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources whilst ensuring equal opportunities for both men and women.
This project will primarily address initial causes of deforestation and to help preserve forests. Size of Wales funding is going towards securing the ecological safety of priority areas and rich natural resources in coastal Kenya for nature, people and the economy by improving forest management, enhancing local livelihoods through sustainable business, planting trees, and enabling people to live in and from the forest in a less destructive manner. The project will also secure environmentally and socially sustainable agricultural and fishing practises and production systems.
• Clearing of forests for agriculture, building materials or fuel inc charcoal production
• Poorly planned infrastructure projects
• 6,000 trees planted
• Positive impacts to reduce human-wildlife conflicts (inc. game moats and chilli planting)
• Local governments (Kwale & Kilifi) are increasing investment in conservation work.
• Significant progress in efforts to legally protect Aweer sacred sites
• Local community members voice being heard at local and national management meetings
• Freshwater/marine/terrestrial ecosystems secured and populations of priority wildlife species in target places are stable/increasing.