Kenya’s Kijabe Forest is a highland mosaic ‘Afro-alpine’ forest that was once dominated by trees, such as the East African pencil-cedar and African olive. Roughly one-third of the original high-canopy forest still stands and provides important habitat for biodiversity. The forest is only about 5,000 hectares, but a community of almost 200,000 people depend on it for water, wood, and agriculture. Increasing pressure for land poses significant threats to the region, leading to the over-extraction of resources and illegal timber harvesting. Planting trees here will help protect this vital ecosystem, promote environmental education, and foster sustainable livelihoods through seed collection and ecotourism.
Our partner, The Kijabe Forest Trust, is committed to restoring 5,000 hectares of primary forests in Kijabe. This project will work directly with communities to protect, conserve, and restore the forest, helping to safeguard water and other ecosystem services. Planting trees here will improve access to sustainable livelihoods by employing community members, promoting ecotourism and non-timber forest products, and providing environmental education and advocacy.
The species we are planting are highly dependent on the altitudinal zones of the escarpment area. The mix will include climax species (such as Juniperus procera, Olea europaea ssp. africana, and Warburgia ugandensis), and faster growing cover species such as Croton megalocarpus, Dombeya rotundifolia, and Sesbania sesben.