About 1.5 hours from Kenya’s capitol, the forest grows on the steep edges of the Great Rift Valley. Once home to herds of buffalo, leopard, and elephant, this forest is an important home and corridor for wildlife. Animals use this area to move between the dry floor of the Rift Valley and the protected, lush forests of the Kenyan highlands. As part of one of Kenya’s five nationally-important water towers, the forest channels water to surrounding communities and the country as a whole. Over the past 15 years, the forest has been cleared for charcoal and timber, reducing the number of permanent rivers flowing from this forest from eight to one. Additionally, catastrophic landslides have taken lives and damaged important infrastructure, rains have become unreliable, and peoples’ livelihood options have suffered. Ask anyone around the forest—the impacts of deforestation are clear.
An estimated 200,000 people live around the forest, and depend on it for food, fuel, medicine, and water. In such a dynamic landscape, the pressure on the forest is great and the management is complicated.
Eden partners with a local forest trust, the Kijabe Forest Trust, local and national government institutions, and the surrounding agricultural and pastoral communities to restore this important forest. Eden Project proposes to plant 1,000,000 trees in the Kijabe Forest and surrounding communities. We will be working to re-establish a sustainable water supply through protecting and replanting around springs and rivers, restoring habitat for wildlife, stabilizing steep slopes prone to landslides, and securing livelihoods..