The expansive Mau Forest Complex in Kenya is set to get fresh breath after it was admitted to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC).
This will boost efforts by the Kenya government to conserve the water tower which had been encroached on by human inhabitants and loggers.
The admission of the Mau Forest comes via a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta from Queen Elizabeth.
The QCC project was launched in 2015 during the 24th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.
An appeal was made to all 53 Commonwealth nations to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.
Since then, around 35 Commonwealth countries are planting new forests, with another ten countries in the process of finalizing their submissions.
Her Majesty the Queen’s stated that the conservation and protection of Mau complex will be profiled to harness unity of purpose from the commonwealth countries and globally to enhance awareness creation as well as greatly contribute to the fulfilment of achieving Kenya’s national target of 10 per cent forest cover
The Mau Forest Complex is the largest forest ecosystem and the most important Water Tower in Kenya, covering approximately 455,000ha.
It comprises of 22 forest blocks and is a key water catchment area, with 12 rivers feeding into major lakes in Kenya and parts of Western Kenya. It is a globally recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.
BY ODINDO AYIEKO