The Ngong Forest Conservation Trust: Saving the Forest, One Tree at a Time

The Ngong Forest outside Nairobi, Kenya currently lacks the necessary funding to fully protect it from threats. In April of 2018, XPO2 worked with local stakeholders to form the Ngong Forest Conservation Trust to raise funds to protect and restore this important ecosystem.

Located in Western Nairobi, Kenya the Ngong Forest covers roughly 1200 acres. To understand the extent of the damage done by deforestation, you must look to the past. Around 80 years ago it covered approximately 3000 acres. Since 2005 when a ruling to divide up the core of the forest into plots for development was rejected because of fierce campaigning, protecting what remained of the forest became a high priority.

Those campaigning for its protection have compared it to Karura Forest which was also under threat in the 1990’s. Thanks to the intense opposition thrown out against the deforestation of Karura Forest, it is now a beautiful and thriving urban forest for all to enjoy.

The end result of Karura Forest shows that the challenges facing the Ngong Forest can be overcome. This threatened forest can be saved by individual people and organizations working together against deforestation by encouraging a sustainable way of living in harmony with the forest.

Ngong Forest in Kenya is sacred to the Masai.

Students plant trees in the Ngong Forest outside Nairobi, Kenya.

Taking action

By working alongside other organizations based in Kenya who are also focused on protecting this land, the Ngong Forest Conservation Trust has been established to provide funds to ensure the restoration and ongoing protection of the Ngong Forest.

XPO² is leading these fundraising efforts. We will ensure that the funds go straight to the heart of the cause, to protect the natural landscape and bring together the local communities to teach them how to look after and care for this natural wonder at their doorstep.

One such example of the help the Ngong Forest Conservation Trust is providing is getting children involved in helping replanting trees.

The Ngong Forest Conservation Trust aims to spread knowledge of the effects of deforestation and engage the community by working with them to ensure no further damage is done. Through this education, everyone can learn more about the forest they live next to and also remind them that a forest can be used for more than just its resources.

The Ngong Forest is threatened due to aggressive deforestation.

By securing the future of the Ngong Forest through planting new trees in zones that have suffered from harsh deforestation, and by taking Karura forest as an example, local communities can find new employment opportunities. Both directly helping to care for the forest and also through sustainable commercial jobs, such as beekeeping, and offering recreational activities to visitors from outside the region.

The future of the Ngong Forest can be saved with the help of funding given to people who are passionate and determined to this cause. With the support and backing of non-profit organizations and charities like the Ngong Forest Conservation Trust everyone has a chance to play a part in protecting the future of a special forest. Without the support needed, this forest could be completely gone within 10 years! All support given to the cause will be another step to ensure that this does not happen.

 

Help us protect nature

Like many forests around the world, the Ngong Forest is home to many different kinds of animals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, including a pair of Crowned Eagles which are classed as being near threatened. Sadly, poaching still takes place here, but it can be prevented with protection and careful observation of the native species, making sure that their numbers are thriving.

With such a varied and colourful population of flora and fauna it is crucial to protect this forest from being taken away by aggressive land snatching and deforestation. The soil found in the forest is perfect for thick and dense tree growth, which helped it to become such a great resource for the local population before it became a prime choice for land development.

There is a large opening for scientific research to be done on this forest. It provides a fantastic opportunity for outside visitors to discover the wildlife here, as well as give local schools a place to study and get involved in learning about their native environment.

A view of deforestation in the Ngong Forest.

Working against the threats together

The Ngong  Forest currently lacks the necessary funding to fully protect it from threats. These different threats require different solutions as they come from outside forces as well as from within.

Such examples of the dangers are:

  •         Intense urbanisation and demand for land.
  •         Lack of security making the forest a refuge for criminals
  •         A risk of forest fires during long dry seasons
  •         Unstable deforestation
  •         Invasive weeds & untamed plantations

Delivering support to this forest can ensure that there are patrols, watch towers and security fences established to watch and monitor all activity while protecting the forest from threats while it is recovering.

The communities surrounding the Ngong Forest are just as diverse as the animals that live within it, from affluent suburban neighborhoods to slums including one of the largest in Africa. The different sides have opposing opinions on the use and the future of the forest. It is necessary to bring together the communities and encourage them to understand the importance of protecting and caring for the forest.

A detailed path to ensure that the community is involved with each step of restoring the forest has been set up. The people fighting to protect this forest are ready to take the right steps. They have the methods and they have the right ideas, they just need the backing and support to make their goal a reality.

All funding gathered by XPO² will go to the Ngong Forest Conservation Trust and will be used solely for the preservation and protection of the Ngong Forest. XPO²’s aim is to support small to medium sized organisations and charities with the goal of raising funds that will stay within the country they are needed in.

By doing so, we can make a difference in protecting the natural world and bring much needed education to local communities on how to live in harmony with the world around them.

 

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