Restoring the Kakamega Tropical Rainforest by Catalyzing Women’s Leadership in Community Forest Management

In Kenya, 90% of the land is arid or semi-arid. A warming climate, dwindling water resources, and severe drought and flood threaten food security, livelihoods, and ecosystems. As crises intensify, women are the most vulnerable, facing daily threats to their health, security, and earnings.

Women are also the best positioned to generate solutions. Still, their participation is often stifled due to limited access to education, social networks, financial resources, and reproductive health -- all of which affect their ability to enact solutions to critical climate challenges.

The Kenya Women and Forests project in Western Kenya is advancing the restoration and protection of the Kakamega Tropical Rainforest by catalyzing women’s leadership in community forest management.

The 2022 goals are to:

  1. Train 45 grassroots women leaders to plant, manage, and protect native trees and monitor the forest and forest ecosystems.
  2. Launch three new tree nurseries to supply indigenous tree saplings.
  3. Plant 20000 indigenous trees in Kakamega Tropical Rainforest in western Kenya.

This project will ensure ecological integrity and biological diversity for local and global benefits, including community-based climate adaptation measures and climate resilience. The project will focus on Indigenous tree species already threatened, such as Prunus Africana, Olea capensis, Kaya, and others.

Currently, the project is launching one tree nursery and training 20 grassroots women leaders, but expansion is needed.

The Kenya Women's Earth Alliance Accelerator convenes cohorts of Kenyan women leaders to catalyze their efforts to protect their communities and the environment from climate threats like drought, coastal biodiversity collapse, and food insecurity. Through this project, grassroots women leaders throughout Kenya launch and scale climate resilience initiatives with far-reaching impacts.

The Accelerator aims to amplify women’s leadership through:

  1. Impact: Generating quantifiable impact through restoring ecosystems, transforming food systems, building green economies, and protecting people’s health, rights, and safety.
  2. Awareness: Growing public awareness and visibility for critical women-led environmental campaigns and causes via WEA’s international network.
  3. Access: Bolstering women’s environmental leadership nationally and internationally by strengthening women’s networks, spheres of influence, and access to resources.
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