Ecological restoration in the sub-afromontane region of Kenya
The project aims to maintain the largest collection of cultivated native plant species in East Africa and to be a source of both restoration expertise and propagative material for other reforestation projects in the sub-afromontane region of Kenya. Plants for Life International, an NGO with over 17 years of experience of ecological restoration and preservation of the species diversity of East African uplands, is aiming to create a unique example of a model indigenous forest for the region with increased plant biodiversity.
The project will support replanting of new areas of forest with native trees, clearing of invasive species, and expansion onto nearby public and private land. Collection trips to remote locations will be conducted to obtain new species, specimens and propagative material from protected & unprotected degraded areas.
The project will address the lack of botanical knowledge by NGO and state actors in the planning and implementation of restoration projects in Kenya and in the region, which is a major constraint to successful restoration. Training courses will be held for national and regional trainees, aimed at NGO and governmental workers that are involved in native tree planting reforestation. Finally, the project will demonstrate to local communities in and around the project site that substantial economic and social benefits can be derived from mature, diverse forests of indigenous species, without compromising their ecological integrity.
By March 2019, the model forest site is expected to be largely free of invasive species. The area will show increased biodiversity as a result of additional specimen collection. Forty to fifty restoration workers will be trained with increased ecological and botanical knowledge, and course material on ecological restoration will be made available in free-access electronic format. Finally, a report on the financial value derived from the harvesting and sale of natural products will provide quantitative information on the economic benefits that can be expected from a mature indigenous forest after 15 years of ecological restoration.
This project is carried out by Kenyan NGO Plants for Life International.