CBD COP11: Grassroots social enterprise protects Kenyan forest

Rio Conventions Pavilion TV, CBD COP11 (12/10/2012) – James Ligare of the Muliru Farmers Conservation Group (Kenya) explains the work of his organisation to ensure the survival and wellbeing of one of Kenya’s few remaining forests, the Kakamega.

Ligare explains that the forest is slowly degrading as poverty-stricken families seek homes and livelihoods in the area. He emphasises the critical need to improve their livelihoods so that the natural wealth of the forest is not depleted through over-foraging.

Ligare describes the measures his group have taken. He tells of training carried out through schools and churches on how to recognise and protect endangered plants. Ligare also describes the group’s cornerstone project, which has domesticated an endangered forest plants on local families’ smallholdings, creating a community enterprise in the process.

Ligare affirms how challenging it was to train families to domesticate plants but is quick to tell of MFCG’s solution of using certain families as role models and providing cash incentives to the early adopters. He also quotes securing funding as an issue, but that this was reduced after being awarded $45000 by the UNDP.