· Naturefund Press release

Reforestation on the edge of the African rainforest

With the Forest Network, Naturefund would like to conserve one of the last rainforest areas in Kenya, the Kakamega forest. Together with TREIN, Naturefund will plant a protective ring of trees around the Kakamega forest, in what is a densely populated region.

Earlier large areas of Africa were covered in rainforest. These forests stretched from the Congo, through Uganda all the way to western Kenya. However just a few small areas of rainforest remain in Kenya. One last rainforest area is the Kakamega forest.

The Kakamega forest is a sanctuary for many native species. Monkeys, reptiles and many species of bird bring this forest alive. The diversity of the forest is however severely threatened by the high population density of the surrounding area. People go into the forest to collect firewood, medicine and food.

Naturefund, together with the local nature conservation organisation TREIN (Tree Enrichment Initiative, a project of KEEP), will plant a protective ring of trees around the Kakamega forest in order to reduce pressure on the forest and to provide an alternative source of wood for the local inhabitants.

In a primary pilot project, seedlings will be planted and looked after by school pupils from four different schools. The school that has the most success in growing the trees will win a prize at the end of the year. Alongside this, an awareness of forest protection should also be developed step by step.

TREIN is a local nature conservation organisation that is active in and around the Kakmega forest. TREIN concentrates on environmental education and the promotion of nature awareness in young residents around the Kakamega forest.

In the northern part of the Kakamega forest, TREIN has established a tree nursery. Attached to this is a teaching garden, which gives an insight into the pollination of flowers by bees and butterflies.

Denis Shitandayi, member of TREIN comments on the reforestation project with Naturefund: "We want to plant more trees in the area around the Kakamega forest, so that people don't need to go into the forest anymore to collect firewood and medicine". He is also dreaming of the future, "one day, many newspapers will report on our reforestation project!"

Naturefund is a nature conservation organisation, whose aim is to buy land for nature and protect habitat for the great variety of species. With climate change in mind, Naturefund buys forests and replenishes them. Naturefund created the Forest Network, to finance and provide long-term support to local conservation and reforestation projects. Furthermore, a worldwide network of companies, sponsors and NGOs should emerge, who are able to exchange information on the subject of environment and climate protection, think ahead together and create new ideas.

The conservation of the Kakamega forest is one of the first projects of the Naturefund Forest Network.

More information on Naturefund vision: www.naturefund.net/vision

More information on Naturefund Forest Network: www.naturefund.net/forest-network

Contact Germany:
Naturefund e. V.
Sonnenberger Straße 20a
65193 Wiesbaden

Press contact:
Katja Wiese
phone: +49 611 50 45 810 19

Contact Kenya:
Box 143
50100 Kakamega

Press contact:
Dennis  Shitandayi
phone: + 254 725 99 16 46

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