Ogiek Peoples’ Development Program has partnered with Kenya Forest Service (KFS), a state statutory body managing forests; in rehabilitating 20 hectares of Logoman Forest, Nessuit block within the expansive Mau Forest Complex.
The three-year project ‘Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ Natural Resources Rights and Community Led Forest Conservation’ which started off in 2016 is funded by American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
It entails engaging the community in replanting indigenous trees in areas where exotic trees have been harvested or indigenous trees illegally logged.
OPDP Is taking advantage of Forest Conservation and Management Act (2015) which guarantees communities’ participation in the management of forests and profiting from benefits accruing from the forests.
OPDP strives towards rehabilitating 20 hectares of Logoman Forest.So far, we have planted 10,000 seedlings of seven different species of indigenous trees in 10 hectares.They include Dombeya torrida,Olea capensi,Olea europaea,African podo, Croton megalocarpus, Juniperus procera and Prunus africana.
While locals from Ogiek community take part in planting the trees, they are also incorporated into the Plantation Establishment and Livelihood Improvement Scheme under which they are apportioned plots to grow short term crops for a period of three years.
This project contributes to Kenya’s efforts of achieving a 10 percent forest cover by 2030 as stipulated in the Constitution and national development blueprint Vision 2030, thereby meeting the UN’s requirement of minimum coverage.
Kenya’s forest cover currently stands at 7 percent of the total land according to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
Mau Forest Complex has been hit with massive degradation caused by human settlements, illegal logging and charcoal burning.
Under the ‘Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ Natural Resources Rights and Community Led Forest Conservation’ project, locals have been trained on land and environment laws and policies.
The sensitization has yielded into formation of a 18-member volunteer scouts group-Logoman Forest Scouts –which is actively engaged in mobilizing the community to take part in rehabilitation activities.
OPDP is promoting the locals to do tree nursery projects by supporting the establishments of their tree nurseries and linking them with market.