ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association is in full gear preparing for the inaugural Walk Wild experience, slated to take place on the 19th of November this year. The event entails a 10 km walk inside the forest accompanied by ILMAMUSI CFA rangers, and guests will experience walking in the wild and help to plant 1,000 indigenous tree seedlings as part of the Forest Restoration Initiative.
The event seeks to attract at least 500 people to create awareness on the hidden gems within Mukogodo Forest, while at the same time solicit support for landscape restoration efforts in the Mukogodo ecosystem. The CFA strongly believes that this experience will not only highlight Mukogodo Forest as a potential eco-tourism site but will as well increase the visibility and knowledge of project activities implemented by ILMAMUSI CFA and its partners within the landscape. The event will also act as a marketing event that will help raise funds to for their Forest Landscape Restoration works within the Mukogodo Ecosystem.
To make this inaugural event a success, ILMAMUSI CFA has brought on board conservation partners within the landscape and in the sector ranging from Laikipia Forum, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Borana Conservancy, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, County Government of Laikipia, African Nature Investors (ANI), Laikipia Conservancies Association (LCA), Northern Rangeland Trust, community lands, and others.
It is estimated that the total value of Mukogodo ecosystem is Kenya Shillings 9.1 billion. This ecosystem provides a whole range of ecosystem services which serve as the anchor to local livelihoods. It contributes to honey production, livestock keeping (small scale herding and beef ranching), ecotourism, conservation, and sand collection.
Mukogodo forest is an important water tower for the landscape and is threatened by vegetation loss, while the surrounding landscape is threatened by land degradation. The biodiverse natural resources are under pressure from insecurity and illegal extraction. The Mukogodo landscape is also amongst the most vulnerable to climate change. Rangelands productivity has been decreasing steadily too. This adverse state of our forest and rangelands can be gradually reversed through Forest and Land Restoration (FLR) – the aim of the FAO/GEF project implemented in concert with the Forum.
Restoration focuses on bringing back natural processes which contribute to the forests and rangelands productivity, like how water interacts with soil, streams, and plants. Mukogodo forest has borne the sustained pressure from overgrazing on available pasture, vegetation destruction (especially of Olea Africana) to provide fodder for livestock during the dry season, habitat loss due to the increasing population inside the forest, infrastructure development, the brunt of invasive plant species (Opuntia stricta, Senna spp., Lantana spp.) and from the challenges of climate change.
ILMAMUSI Mukogodo Forest Association is a registered Community Forest Association (CFA) responsible for the management of the Mukogodo Forest Reserve under agreement with the Kenya Forest Service. Mukogodo Forest is the largest forest in Laikipia County, covering 30,189 hectares of natural forest.
With Laikipia County receiving over 152,890 visitors (tourists) annually and generating an annual gross revenue of over KSh 1.5 billion, the “Walk Wild” initiative is an ideal opportunity to connect to the tourism market and to celebrate its value locally.
The Walk Wild event is largely supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization through the Restoration Initiative project that is currently being implemented by ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association.
For more details on the Walk Wild experience, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to network with you during the Walk