Saving a key water supply in Kenya: Restoring trees for biodiversity and people

MT Kenya_tree planting
Saving a key water supply in Kenya: Restoring trees for biodiversity and people
Mount Kenya

Help us restore a biodiversity hotspot that is globally recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA), Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), and a World Heritage site

We're restoring trees and reversing degradation that threatens rich biodiversity and livelihoods
By bringing together diverse stakeholders to restore these forests, we can save a vital water tower and ensure that nature and people can thrive
Challenge
We've identified 6200 hectares in need of urgent restoration and an additional 1740 hectares of wrongly-sited plantation that need to be converted to indigenous forest

The degradation of Mount Kenya Forest is a major threat to the survival of the rich biodiversity heritage in Mount Kenya ecosystem and in the larger Ewaso Nyiro and Tana River Basins. 

MT Kenya_tree planting
Solution
The restoration initiative is being supported by diverse local stakeholders, who are mobilizing resources towards raising the USD 15 million needed.

In Mt. Kenya, Nature Kenya has catalyzed the development of a restoration strategy which targets restoration sites inside the forest and buffer areas outside the forest. This work was informed by an Ecosystem Services Assessment (ESA) which looked at issues of carbon, water, culture, recreation, harvestable goods, and cultivated goods services provided by the forest. This ESA was an initial step towards the quantification of services from the forest. These sites are under the jurisdiction of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Community Forest Associations (CFAs). The work undertaken by Nature Kenya (BirdLife in Kenya) demonstrates best practice and provides a pilot for scaling up to the total goal. Mt Kenya is constantly under threat from farming and grazing, logging, and even some negative impacts from tourism. 

Photo credit banner: © Nature Kenya
Photo credit page: © Nature Kenya
Scale of opportunity
55 hectares restored over 3 years, with further hope to restore all 6200 hectares within the reserves is in urgent need of restoration
Trees target
Restoration of at least 800 trees per hectare at maturity, totalling 44,000 trees restored
Flagship biodiversity
Rich montane bird diversity, and at least 15 species of endemic flora and fauna
Community contribution
Nature Kenya is convening stakeholders to raise funds and plant locally sourced trees to restore forests in Mt Kenya