Lari-Kijabe, Kenya

Challenges · Biodiversity · Livelihoods

Landscape Profile

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Lari-Kijabe, Kenya

Approximate size (hectares)





Tropical Wet & Dry

Production Systems

Horticulture, Livestock, Tea


Interview with Leah Mwangi of KENVO

Recently, EcoAgriculture Partners’ Krista Heiner sat down with Leah Mwangi of KENVO in Kenya to discuss KENVO's relationship with the Kenyan government, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future.

Listen to the Audio


Lari Landscape is one of the focal areas for the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature (LPFN) Initiative in Kenya. Located between 0°50’ and 1°40’ S and 36°35’ and 36°43’ E in Kiambu County, the Lari Landscape is part of the larger Kikuyu Escarpment landscape that lies on the eastern slopes of the Aberdare Mountains of Central Kenya. Environmental and natural resources in the landscape such as forests, land, wildlife and water, contribute significantly to the quality of life. The landscape is known for its horticultural potential and is one of the main suppliers of agricultural products to Nairobi. Forest covers about 37,000 ha, the highest percentage of which is natural indigenous forest. A small section of the forest consists of exotic tree plantations for timber production. It hosts a variety of important global species and is particularly rich in bird life. The forest is an important community asset which has been a main source of forest products including water, fuel wood, herbal medicine, fodder for livestock, building materials as well as leisure space. The forest is an important catchment area that supply water to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Voices From The Field

I am a graduate from the University of Nairobi where I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology in 2000 and am currently a master’s student at the Mount Kenya University pursuing a Master’s Degree in Development Studies. I have also undertaken a postgraduate course in project management at the Kenya Institute of Management in addition to other short courses like Ecoagriculture leadership course, Participatory Forest Management, resource mobilization and grant management among others. I have over ten years working experience in the landscape. I have always been passionate in environmental issues and community development and KENVO offered me the space and opportunity to practice. The landscape is very unique in terms of biodiversity, climate and its location thus offering various dimensions in addressing various issues.  Seeing people benefit from the available natural resources while contributing to conservation gives me the strength to work in the landscape. There has been great transformation in terms of change of attitude among the residents especially towards the conservation of the forest which is a major provider of ecosystem services as well as in adopting new farming practices as well as working together. Though we are yet to achieve the target, we are in the right direction.

Leah Waruguru Mwangi Project Manager, Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO)

Major Successes


Landscape Management Approach

Lari landscape is one of the pioneer landscapes in Kenya where the landscape management approach has been practiced. This approach has strengthened the partnership and collaboration between KENVO and various stakeholders, including various government agents within the landscape. Many of the stakeholders have come on board and this has helped in information sharing as well as knowledge transfer mainly from the technical officers from the government agents to the farmers. This has further enhanced service provision to the farmers due to linkages created among farmers and government officer during meetings, workshops and field days. Such meetings also create a platform for the government officers to disseminate information including government plans and projects targeting farmers. For example, through the Ministry of Agriculture, the Lari Agricultural Stakeholders Forum was established in 2010. This forum brings various stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector including the private sector together. The Forum mainly organised Field days for farmers within the landscape thus enabling farmers to access important information.

Working Together

Stakeholders include representatives of civil society, the private sector, and government agencies. All these stakeholders meet, though not in a regularly organised meetings but in various events like the Field days, workshops and meetings organised by KENVO or Ministry of Agriculture. Field days are normally organised on a quarterly basis with a maximum of 4 held per year. The Ministry of Agriculture through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been recognising and awarding Certicates to both farmers and organizations who are contributing greatly to environmental conservation and food security in the landscape. This is normally done during the World Food Day marked on 16th October every year. For the last four years this event has been organised jointly by Ministry of Agriculture, KENVO and the Stakeholders Forum, where majority of the other stakeholders participate.

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