Mount Kenya is an internationally significant protected area inscribed in 1997 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Commission recognised Mount Kenya as “one of the most impressive landscapes of Eastern Africa, with its rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests, which illustrate outstanding ecological processes”. Mount Kenya is also a gazetted National Park and National Reserve and the protected area is some 2,100 square kilometers. To the people of Kenya it holds immense cultural value and is a vital and irreplaceable lifeline.
The forest zone is the largest remaining in Kenya and its ecosystem as a whole plays a critical role in water catchment for two main rivers in the country, the Tana and Ewaso Ngiro. Millions of Kenyan’s depend directly on these rivers for their livelihoods. The Tana also supplies over 55% of Kenya’s power to the national grid. Varying geographical conditions on Mount Kenya contribute to a diverse range of flora including the Afro-alpine moorlands, giant heath, extensive stands of East African bamboo and major forest types including mixed closed canopy forest. Mount Kenya also hosts several wildlife species dwelling mainly within the natural forest including mammals of international conservation interest such as bongo, elephant, black rhino, giant forest hog and leopard.
A group of concerned Kenyans established the Mount Kenya Trust following a detailed 1999 report that shocked the nation by concluding that “Mount Kenya’s forests are under extreme threat from human induced illegal activities such as extensive poaching of wildlife, devastating logging of indigenous tree species, charcoal production, over-grazing, and large scale growing of marijuana.”
The Mount Kenya Trust was established to help preserve and protect this important heritage. Named in memory of Bill Woodley, a dedicated conservationist who together with his team successfully protected the mountain and the surrounding forest for 20 years of the 44 years he served in National Parks, the Trust hopes to continue this legacy.
The Mount Kenya Trust works closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Forest Department to ensure that its projects address the issues of highest priority.
Our mission is:
- To concentrate preservation efforts at the field level for maximum impact.
- To fence critical forest areas in order to minimize human-wildlife conflict.
- To support existing Government and Law Enforcement agencies and assist them in stemming illegal activities that threaten Mount Kenya’s ecosystem.
- To initiate reafforestation programs and establish nurseries for indigenous trees.
- To develop and implement local education and research programs.