Enhancing tree conservation and forest restoration in Kenya

  • Status of project

  • Region

  • Country

  • Topic

    Ecological Restoration

As forest degradation continues at a rapid rate across Africa, the need for skilled tree conservation and forest restoration practitioners, an increased supply of native planting material, and forest restoration demonstration sites to provide training and outreach, remains an important priority.

Since 2012, BGCI has been supporting the upland forest restoration work of Brackenhurst Botanic Garden near Nairobi, Kenya. It is the most diverse example of forest restoration in Kenya and serves as a model for East African habitat restoration initiatives. One hundred acres (40 hectares) of Afromontane forest have now been replanted. In just 15 years, the project has replaced exotic tree plantations with a 30-foot tall native forest that shelters lianas, orchids and a species-rich understory. The forest restoration plots of varying ages include around 1,500 species of East African plants, providing an excellent setting for training on how to implement species diverse forest restoration.

Participants of a forest restoration training course held at Brackenhurst Botanic Garden

BGCI is working with the International Tree Foundation (ITF) to increase the variety of native trees planted and monitor growth rates across ITF planting sites in Kenya. ITF’s Centenary Campaign aims to plant 20 million trees in Kenya. BGCI is a Centenary Campaign partner.

Tree conservation, through a combination of in situ and ex situ work is another important component of BGCI’s work in Kenya. BGCI runs training courses in collaboration with the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) to build capacity for sustainable seed collection from threatened trees. A number of training course participants have now been registered as KEFRI seed suppliers enabling them to collect seed (within designation areas) and sell seeds to KEFRI to from the National Tree Seed Centre. BGCI also works with trained seed collectors to initiate conservation projects for threatened trees that involve monitoring populations in situ, seed collection and recovery programmes.

For more information on our work in Kenya please contact: Kirsty.shaw@bgci.org.