Queen offers helping hand in Mau forest conservation efforts

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 00:00 |
Security officers plant trees in the Maasai Mau Forest recently. Queen Elizabeth II will support Mau restoration efforts. Photo/PD/FILE

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Queen Elizabeth II has offered to support the Mau Forest Complex conservation efforts as the government scales up measures to protect the water tower. 

The Queen wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta informing him that the forest had been admitted to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC), an initiative started in 2015 as a network of forest conservation programmes in Commonwealth nations.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo said the Queen’s offer comes at a time the Mau complex is facing “tremendous human-induced pressures and destruction”, leading to environmental disasters, loss of livelihoods, drought, water crisis, food shortage, reduced river flows, poor land productivity among others. 

The Maasai Mau Forest block is the most threatened and degraded of the 22 forest blocks in the complex.

 “Mau’s admission to the QCC will heighten efforts to protect, restore and rehabilitate some of its degraded areas while improving the general status of the water towers as well as creating and promoting alternative livelihood options to the surrounding communities. It also presents an active link to climate action agenda,” Kanze said in a statement.

She said Kenya hopes to accelerate revival of not only the most extensive ecosystem but also a critical water tower in the country. 

Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko welcomed the Queen’s move.

 “This is great news. It is a clear confirmation by Her Majesty of Mau’s importance as a vital ecological and biodiversity asset, not just for Kenya and the region but for the world,” said the CS. 

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