Farming with Nature in the Highlands of Kenya

Helping smallholder farmers reduce forest loss and grow sustainable incomes

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Farming with Nature in the Highlands of Kenya

Where
Our Partners

KENVOTerrAfricaSANREM-AfricaRainforest Alliance

Project Contact

Issues

Urban Pressures, Opportunities

Pressures from the growing metropolis of Nairobi on the forests and farmlands of this area provide both challenges and opportunities for conservation. The landscape is known for its horticultural potential and is one of the main local food sources for Nairobi. It hosts a variety of important global species and is particularly rich in bird life.

Landscape as Community Asset

The forest is an important community asset as a source for water, fuel wood, herbal medicine, fodder for livestock, building materials and leisure space. It is also a major catchment area for Nairobi’s water supply. These strong pressures on the forest and surrounding farmland and towns can make sustainable management difficult to negotiate.

Our Role

EcoAgriculture Partners builds the capacity of community-based organizations to empower farmers, plan integrated landscape interventions, monitor landscape change, recruit investment in sustainable agriculture enterprises, and advocate for supportive regulations and policies at the county and national government level.

How We Do It

We partner with a local community based organization called Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO) to train farmer leaders, influence key local and national policies, and develop new initiatives as part of their strategy to protect the valuable indigenous forest from illegal encroachment. Local leadership has led to the introduction of a variety of sustainable agriculture initiatives, including egg and poultry operations, improved dairy production practices, and tea agroforestry systems.

We monitor landscapes’ progress, together with local stakeholders, using our Landscape Measures tool, and we help them plan new interventions based on this regular feedback.

We connect landscapes in the Kenyan highlands with other landscapes and important policy and business leaders through national and international networks like the Kenya National Landscape Policy Working Group and the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative.

Our Partner

KuriaMap

EcoAgriculture Partners has been working with us in Lari Landscape for nearly 10 years, and has helped to build the capacity of our organization to integrate the concept of sustainable land management into our activities. Recently, I was a finalist for the Tusk Conservation Award. The strength of my nomination was largely due to community empowerment and our contribution to the conservation of the local wildlife. EcoAgriculture Partners has been one of our pillars in empowering our stakeholders.

David Kuria Director, Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO)

Our Impact

  • Deforestation, forest conversion and degradation have virtually ceased since 2007.
  • Farmer incomes are rising steadily.
  • KENVO recently opened an ecotourism lodge, employing an entirely local workforce.
  • Other sustainable income diversification programs are growing rapidly, like beekeeping and poultry-raising.

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