Our approaches seek to promote and undertake conservation and restoration in equal breath, as well as sustainable management of terrestrial forests in Kwale by addressing drivers of ecosystem degradation and destruction. These we seek to achieve by working with local communities residing next to the forests and particularly through the respective community forest associations (CFAs), strengthening the CFAs’ capacities to engage and influence decision-making, public institutions mandated with overseeing forest protection, private sector to ensure the sector’s led development and growth is sustainable.
Forests and forest reserves in Kwale county consist of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems (mangrove). Both these are under constant threat from human activities, including charcoal production, farming and logging, sand harvesting and quarrying;
activities which only destroy the forests and forest reserves as natural resources as well as expose the area to extensive soil erosion, water pollution, declining fish-resources.
Kwale County has up to 32 forested areas. Many of these are indigenous forests which hold sentimental traditional religious value to the local communities. Kaya Gandini for instance is an international bird area (IBA), and hold some of the only surviving endangered tree species in Kenya. Shimba Hills on the other hand is the water catchment of Kwale County. Most rivers, streams and wells are fed by Shimba Hills Forest. Over the decades, forest stocks have been on the decline, which has impacted negatively on the natural resources, biodiversity and livelihoods. A reverse of these is essential to ensure a balance between nature and humanity.