Mount Kenya’s forests suffered considerably in the past decades when large areas were cleared to provide timber and land for rapid population growth and urbanization. At Mount Kenya Trust, we've taken bold strides, employing diverse strategies and influencing policy shifts to restore the region's lush landscapes. Over the past decade, our efforts have seen the planting of over 2 million trees, symbolizing a remarkable solution towards rekindling the mountain's natural vitality.
The Trees Establishment Livelihood Improvement Scheme (TELIS) is a collaborative effort involving the Kenya Forest Service and local Community Forest Assocaiations, designed to achieve dual objectives – reforestation and community benefit.
This innovative agroforestry system employs a strategic approach. Over a span of 4-5 years, communities engage in cultivating crops within earmarked reforestation areas. With plots of around 0.5 to 1 acre, CFA members nurture crops, particularly favoring potatoes, alongside growing tree seedlings. This practice not only safeguards crops but also shields these young trees from wildlife and livestock grazing.
After a successful establishment phase of five years, cultivation ceases. Farmers who have excelled in this endeavor are rewarded with new plots within the National Reserve, demonstrating the program's long-term commitment to both forest regeneration and community well-being. TELIS exemplifies a harmonious coexistence between sustainable farming and environmental restoration, fostering a resilient ecosystem for generations to come.
MKT Tree Nursery
The Mount Kenya Trust tree nursery stands as a testament to our commitment to reforestation. The nursery plays a vital role in cultivating indigenous seedlings that serve a dual purpose – they are either sold to the local community or utilized for planting across various sites on Mt Kenya. This dynamic approach fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between ecological renewal and community participation.
Beyond its primary function, the nursery serves as a hub for education and knowledge dissemination. It welcomes school groups and community gatherings, showcasing 'best practice' examples in tree nurturing. This interactive platform instills a sense of stewardship and awareness, echoing our mission to nurture both the land and the minds that inhabit it.
The inception of the Mugumo Regenerative Agriculture demonstration plot serves as a beacon of sustainable farming innovation and harmony with nature.
Designed to exemplify responsible land management, this plot highlights practices that prioritize ecosystem health. By minimizing soil disturbance, optimizing water consumption, and fostering coexistence with wildlife, it becomes a model for balanced and resilient agricultural methods.
This living example underscores the profound impact of conscious agricultural practices on the environment. As an educational platform, the plot offers insights into the delicate equilibrium between human needs and ecological wellbeing. It underscores our dedication to cultivating a future where the land thrives alongside its inhabitants.
Enrichment planting, a strategic reforestation technique, addresses the restoration needs of Mt Kenya's diverse landscapes. This method is employed when TELIS isn't viable due to challenging terrains like steep slopes or river banks.
Enrichment planting involves introducing valuable tree species into degraded forests while carefully retaining the valuable individuals already thriving there. This labor-intensive process engages local community members who dig and plant trees across various sites, sustaining Mount Kenya's ecosystem.
Community members contributing to this effort receive compensation for their invaluable work, forging a harmonious relationship between environmental renewal and local well-being. Enrichment planting signifies a commitment to both ecological health and community prosperity, shaping a sustainable future for Mt Kenya's cherished natural surroundings.
Community Tree Nursery
A cornerstone of our reforestation strategy, the sourcing of seedlings from women’s and self-help group tree nurseries, exemplifies a holistic approach to both conservation and community empowerment.
The dedicated effort of our Forestry Officer in collaboration with these groups yields indigenous seedlings. These meticulously nurtured seedlings are subsequently procured for planting across the mountain's landscapes. This method reinforces the local communities' role in safeguarding their natural heritage.
Beyond tree planting, these groups foster micro-financing initiatives for local livelihood projects. The impact resonates deeply – empowering individuals to establish shops, enhance livestock herds, support education, and invest in essential resources like chaff cutters. The symbiotic relationship between ecological revitalization and community prosperity lies at the heart of our mission, cultivating a legacy of sustainable coexistence.