The Mau Forest Complex in western Kenya covers an area of over 400,000 ha and is ecologically and economically critical for Kenya and parts of East Africa. More than 10 million people depend on its rivers. The forest also influences region’s micro-climate such as rainfall patterns, creating ideal conditions for the production of crops including tea. Furthermore, the area is one of Kenya’s main water towers and most of its hydroelectric power is generated here.
In the recent decades, more than 25% of the forest has either been cut down or degraded. This is caused by growing populations, livestock grazing, charcoal burning and timber extraction from the forest.
To date, we have built a strong coalition made up of the county governments; tea, energy and timber companies as well as a range of civil society and knowledge institutions.
In close collaboration with the coalition, we have now developed an integrated action plan based on three thematic building blocks:
- Forest conservation
- Improvement of water flow & access
- Sustainable energy
- Alternative livelihoods for communities is an important cross cutting issue to be considered under each building block.
IDH has put in place a multi-stakeholder coalition that governs the ISLA Kenya activities. The coalition is made up of companies from tea, energy and other industries, the county governments of Kericho, Nakuru and Bomet, Kenya Forest Services and other agencies, NGOs and knowledge institutions.