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Advancing and Balancing Ecological Conservation, Agricultural Production and Local Livelihood Goals in Kenya’s Kikuyu Escarpment Landscape

Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Case Study

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Date

December 1, 2014

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Short Summary

This case study characterizes the Kikuyu Escarpment landscape and describes the ways in which an integrated landscape management approach has enabled local communities to define and pursue their goals related to agricultural development and profitability while conserving the area’s critical natural capital.

KuriaTalkswithSheep_Herring

Audio

A Conversation with KENVO's Leah Mwangi

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.

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Summary

Critical Habitat and Water Source

Central Kenya’s Kikuyu Escarpment is host to rich wild biodiversity and a strong cultural heritage. It is also an important agricultural production area and the catchment for much of Nairobi’s water supply. Increasing human population has put pressure on the natural resource base that most of the region’s residents rely upon.

Local Organization Leads the Way

The local organization, Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO), has mobilized communities and adopted a landscape perspective to sustainably manage natural resources and balance the multiple functions of the landscape. This case study characterizes the Kikuyu Escarpment landscape and describes the ways in which an integrated landscape management approach has enabled local communities to define and pursue their goals related to agricultural development and profitability while conserving the area’s critical natural capital.

New Economic Opportunities that Preserve the Forest

KENVO has helped diversify the local economy, helping increase economic opportunities for smallholders through projects like beekeeping and egg and poultry production, that reduce pressure on forest land. They have also begun to develop the area’s rich tourism potential.

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