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Kenya Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest

Arabuko-Sokoke forest is under threat from illegal logging and poaching, unregulated development, and possible mineral and oil exploration.

(Left) Mature Cynometra (Cynometra webberi), locally called Mufunda, cut down in the forest. (Middle) Poaching snare used to trap large herbivores (such as buffalo) found in the forest.

The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is a 420km2 remnant of the coastal forest that stretched from Somalia to Mozambique. It is home to species that are found nowhere else on earth, including four endemic butterfly species and 50 plant species. According to UNESCO, it ranks as the second most important Biosphere Reserve in Africa for the conservation of birds. The forest is also home to three threatened species of mammal and about 200 elephants. Currently, the forest is fenced, and approximately 250,000 people live around its borders.

Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest are playing a pivotal role in protecting this special forest by lobbying government agencies and undertaking vital conservation activities on the ground.

These activities include: Employing a team of community scouts to patrol the forest daily and record illegal activity using SMART patrol software. This data is used to lobby government agencies and other conservation organisations to protect the forest and to produce monthly reports for forest stakeholders. Conservation education projects including creating and showing educational films to local schools neighbouring the forest to bring ownership of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest to the future generation adjacent to the forest. Community engagement projects which include paying the Jilore Community Forest Association to conduct de-snaring activities. Alternative livelihood investments, including a cassava plantation that provides an alternative means of living for the neighbouring forest communities to reduce their need to capitalise on illegal products from the forest. They are also working to improve the infrastructure for tourism (trails, roads and signs and education centre in Gede).

 

If you would like to know more about what Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke forest is doing to secure the future of this irreplaceable ecosystem, please contact us. 

If you would like to donate to this project please click here. Your donation to our registered 501(c)(3) organisation is tax-deductible as provided by law.

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