The Laikipia ecosystem contains unique, dry highland forests with unusual features and biodiversity. There are only two substantial forest formations in the Laikipia landscape: the Ngare Ndare and Mukugodo Forests. Both serve as important strongholds for water, wildlife and livelihoods and help to capture much of the water flowing into Laikipia County.
These forests are rich in biodiversity with a range of indigenous tree species that include cedar, podocarpus, olive, and sandalwood. We work closely with key partners in these forested areas, as our water supply is dependent upon these relationships.
Community Forest Associations
We support a combination of devolved governance of natural resources that include the important roles communities play in natural resource management; and the connection between local resource use and sustainable natural resource management. Our support is manifested in local Community Forest Associations (CFAs) that come together to combat the destruction of their forests through improved management and sustainable use.
CFAs and LWF work closely with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and other local partners (private and public sectors) in the development and implementation of participatory forest management plans.
CFAs work towards indigenous forest restoration by replanting degraded patches in the forest and along riverbanks (riparian land).
LWF’s forestry team often uses the celebration of international events, field trips and open days to build awareness of the importance of forests and river catchment conservation.
Community Forest Association scouts help KFS minimise forest degradation through active policing of the forest. These scouts also patrol for other illegal activities such as poaching. We help equip these scouts and support their essential training.
Linking beekeeping to forest conservation
Beekeepers in Laikipia are ambassadors for forest conservation. We support their training which includes the development and care of tree nurseries; management of forest fires; management of the use of pesticides and herbicides, and wild animal control. The key is to allow communities to take proactive measures and realise the link between conservation, food production and other livelihood activities.
Supporting on farm forestry
LWF supports farmers in planting fast-growing multipurpose trees from a variety of species that meet their needs and also reduce the pressure on public forests. Farmers we support now provide firewood, building materials and fodder to other households that do not have the capacity to produce the raw materials on their own land.
We also provide advice on wood fuel conservation, climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration, and tree species selection for our membership.