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CELEBRATING FORESTRY ACHIEVEMNETS WITH FRIENDS OF KARURA CFA

By Benedetta Wasonga

 

Kenya Forest Service (KFS) joined the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association (FKF CFA) in marking its 10th anniversary to celebrate their achievements since inception in 2009 by organizing a marathon run within the forest to coincide with the INEOS159 Eliud Kipchoge Keino marathon run in Viena Austria.

 

FKF CFA has transformed the 1,000 ha urban water catchment from a no-go danger zone with literally zero visitors a year, to a prime upland forest attraction with nearly 30,000 visitors a month, 75% of whom are Kenya citizens and continues to attract more visitors with the beautiful features and sceneries with the forest.

 

Working hand-in-hand with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), FKF aims at returning one of the world’s largest urban forests to an original upland forest ecosystem (achieving already an increase from 25% indigenous tree cover to nearly 50% today), setting an anti-pollution example by banning plastic in the forest (in step with the Kenya-wide ban on plastic bags), hosting the world’s most successful reintroduction of arboreal primates (a remnant Aberdare Mountain population of a threatened black and white colobus monkey sub-species), and giving visitors (from the Kenya Olympic runners to families with babies in strollers) some 50 km of secure trails to exercise.

 

Under the Kenya's Forest Conservation and Management Act (2016), community participation is provided for through formation of Community Forest Associations (CFAs). Management and conservation of forest resources involve the communities around the forest resource. Participatory Forest management requires that local communities be engaged in the management and conservation activities through Community Forest Associations (CFAs. Major activities of the Community-based organizations under the umbrella CFAS include public awareness, tree planting, bee keeping, and ecotourism among others. Given the level of engagement of the local communities in forest management and conservation activities, there has been a significant improvement in forest cover. 

CFAs is a sure way of conserving of our water towers and increasing forest cover to the recommended 10per cent as stipulated in the new constitution and to help Mitigate against the effects of climate change. 

 

Participants were treated with a series of entertainment, food, and drinks as they watched the Eliud Kipchoge run on a big

screen.

Participants taking part in a race during the celebrations of the Friends of Karura 10th Anniversary

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