Forests in East Africa are vanishing due to pressure from rising populations and agricultural land use. Millions of urban residents still use fuel wood and charcoal, which means that African nations are still burning their forests for daily survival. This threatens ecosystems that support millions of people, while contributing to climate change. It’s also adding to the pressure on endangered species.
The University of Leeds found that 9.3 percent of forests in East Africa were destroyed from 2001-09. The problem is accelerating today. The greatest losses took place in Uganda and Rwanda, but forest lines continue receding, water quality is deteriorating and biodiversity is vanishing at an alarming rate across the region. Among East African nations, Uganda still has reasonable forest cover, while Kenya’s forests are almost gone.
Unfortunately, people who rely on forests to survive are being hit the hardest by the unfolding climate change. The livelihoods of small farmers are worsening as land and water resources are degraded. As their income declines, their contributions to deforestation and wildlife poaching rise.
To address these problems, we’re collaborating with regional NGOs, governments, community-based leaders and others to implement several comprehensive efforts to promote economic development and sustainability simultaneously in East Africa. These comprehensive plans have been developed by local stakeholders to promote sustainability and resiliency in the region, while fighting climate change globally and regionally.
Thanks to the leadership of NGOs and stakeholders in East Africa, we now have 14 comprehensive plans that can fight global climate change, while defending cultures, communities and entire ecosystems. We need your help.
In addition to carbon capture, these conservation plans promote:
East Africa Conservation Plan
The Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania will plant more than 10 million trees throughout the region to benefit watersheds, wildlife and communities. Mellowswan Foundation plans to expand its first project across all of Tanzania. This multi-faceted economic development program has been approved by The United Republic of Tanzania. The project also will include aquaculture, beekeeping, agroforestry, ecotourism, conferences, training, awards and community education. It also will promote strategies to reduce human-wildlife conflicts, including safekeeping livestock from predators and safeguarding crops from elephants.
The Megabridge Foundation will help reverse the negative deforestation trend in Kenya by planting at least one million indigenous and agroforestry trees each year. The Foundation and its partners will train locals about agroforestry techniques and deforestation, while motivating them to help with reforestation.
Youth Link Kenya will plant 3.5 million indigenous trees over a two-year span. The project will also support community-based anti-poaching operations and informer networks within the region to generate more community support for wildlife conservation.
Earth Keepers Centre of Kenya will carry out tree planting and promote conservation to rural villagers. It will encompass children and youth participation drives involving schools and colleges. The project will establish 100 small, local nurseries and plant 500,000-2,000,000 trees per year.
The Eco-Schools project in Tanzania will engage 20 schools, including students, teachers and parents in Muleba District. Eco-Schools will plant at least 720,000 trees (fruit trees and multi-purpose trees for firewood, poles and shade) over 12 months. With full funding, we will plant two million trees over two years. More than 10,000 people will benefit from the project through improved food security, nutrition and income.
Ahero and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plan to introduce solar power to 20 villages across Kenya. The power will supply street lighting, schools, community centers, health centers and water supplies.
The Regional Research Center For Integrated Development (RCID) will integrate agroforestry and soil fertility technologies for Improved Food Security for Smallholder Farmers in Flood and drought Prone Areas of Rwanda. Other partners include ICRAF, Rwanda Natural Resources management Authority (RNRA) and Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB).
The integrated project will help reduce flooding and drought, while improving food security. It also will reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
The Mwangaza Support Group plans to help conserve Arabuko Forest and wildlife in coastal Kenya. Human activities, including agricultural expansion, road construction, urbanization and other developmental activities are major threats to biodiversity and wildlife in the region.
Agriculture is an important sector in the economy of Uganda. But farmers are already facing the new challenges posed by climate change. Uganda’s Environmental Concern project is a grassroots, humanitarian, NGO founded to promote sustainable development through public education and empowerment. Our program is based on a strong social network, where community groups can learn about sustainable agriculture and economic diversity to minimize their impact on land and water resources. We will build the capacity of rural farmers to organize and market collectively. They also will learn about financial management and agroforestry.