The Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes-Kenya (ISLA) has launched the Stawisha Mau Trust in an effort restore and conserve 60,000 hectares of the South West Mau Forest by 2030, which have been lost as a result of deforestation and degradation.
Members of the trust include;
- Local governments: Kericho County, Bomet County, Nakuru County.
- National government agencies: Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Water Resources Management Authority, Nyayo Tea Zones Development, Kenya Water Towers Agency.
- Ministries: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
- Private sector: Unilever Tea Kenya Ltd, James Finlay (K) Ltd, Kenya Tea Development Agency, Safaricom Foundation, KENGEN, Timber Manufacturers Association.
- Community Groups: Community Forest Associations, Water Resource Users Associations, Ogiek Council of Elders,
- International partners: IDH, GIZ, Rhino Ark, CIFOR, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
One of their main initiatives will be to co-ordinate with local communities to educate them on sustainable economic activities that are not harmful to the forest and engage in tree planting activities.
The Mau Forest Complex in western Kenya covers an area of over 400,000 hectares and is ecologically and economically critical for Kenya and other parts of East Africa as it influences the region’s micro-climate and rainfall patterns. It is also one of Kenya’s main water towers and a significant amount of hydroelectric power is generated from its rivers.
Over the last 15 years, the Mau Forests Complex has lost over 107,000 hectares representing approximately 25 per cent of its forest cover due to encroachment, ill‐planned and irregular settlements, as well as deforestation. Of the 107,000 hectares destroyed, approximately 46,122 hectares of it was indigenous forest cover.