Kereita Forest, Kenya
June 2021 - 500 trees
Partner and project history
ITF are implementing this project with Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO), a community-based organization engaged in developing nature conservation programs in the Kikuyu Escarpment Forest where Kereita is situated. KENVO was formed in 1994 and officially registered in 1996. The major goal of KENVO has always been to promote conservation of the Kikuyu Escarpment ecosystems, while supporting community livelihoods. KENVO has a number of key aims including capacity building, forest restoration, youth empowerment, promoting ecotourism and research.
Project aims and benefits
The project aims to reduce major threats to biodiversity while benefitting local communities. Projects like this are run collaboratively by local communities, ensuring there are a variety of livelihood benefits for those that rely on the local environment. This project aims to conserve the water catchment, increase opportunity for sustainable income, and gives youth opportunities to develop their leadership skills. Collaborating with key stakeholders such as government departments, research institutions, private sector, and other development agencies, KENVO has educated and informed countless organisations and individuals about how to embrace appropriate conservation practices in a sustainable way. The project also aims to continue this.
Benefit to wildlife
The indigenous forest is an integral habitat for diverse wildlife. Planting these trees will not only safe guard the existing forest, but will work to expand this vital habitat. Kereita is an outstanding place of natural beauty, 75% of which is indigenous trees.
Wildlife includes African elephants (Loxodonta Africana); black and white colobus monkey (Colobus guereza); sykes’s monkey (Cercopithecus albogulari); forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni); antelopes such as duikers (Cephalophinae); bush babies (Galagidae), porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) and mongoose (Herpestidae). It is also a classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) with 138 species of bird, 31 of which are from the forest and 20 of which are considered rare.
Achievements so far
In the last year of partnership with ITF, KENVO has planted 7950 trees in the forest and on farmland. These are made up of indigenous seedlings planted in the forest, as well as avocado and other exotic seedling species supplied to local farmers. 20 local community members and two KENVO staff have also been trained in propagating local avocado species so that this planting may continue for years to come.