The ProjectThe Mount Kenya area is popular with mountaineers, climbers, cavers, kayakers and bikers and a vitally important water source for wildlife and inhabitants alike. However it is threatened around its 450km boundary by issues such as illegal logging, livestock grazing, charcoal production, poaching, honey harvesting, marijuana farming and fires. The area proposed for restoration is Karuri, 3,000 hectares that was illegally cultivated and settled on for many years and is now a bare open grassland area within the National Forest, representing a severe fire hazard. Over the 2 years of the project, 120 hectares of this area will be planted with 120,000 trees. This area will be enclosed within the Mount Kenya Rhino Ark perimeter fence in the next few years ensuring long-term and permanent protection of the restored forest. The forest will bring welfare benefit giving landless farmers in the forest-adjacent communities the right to cultivate agricultural crops amongst the trees during early stages of forest plantation establishment, in return for them protecting the trees during their early establishment from grazing and elephants. The project will:
- restore 120 hectares of indigenous forest for people and wildlife by planting 120,000 trees
- provide employment for up to 600 people for 5 years for forest-adjacent communities
- employ women in tree seedling nurseries for 2 years to grow the seedlings for replanting.