The WWF is run at a local level by the following offices...
- WWF Global
- Central African Republic
- Central America
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- European Policy Office
“Conservation pays. But it takes patience hard work and commitment. I am a member of Gogoni Forest Group; we started off back in 1997. Originally we were a total of 52 members. Two decades later, only seven remain. In spite of this, our individual resolve to protect our environment and bequeath our next generation a healthy forest cover is strengthened every day. There is no doubt that most of our members abandoned the mission of the forest conservation group simply because their expectations of a quick sell of tree seedlings were never met. They grew impatient and opted out.” There is no doubt that most of our members abandoned the mission of the forest conservation group simply because their expectations of a quick sell of tree seedlings were never met. They grew impatient and opted out.”
Our Journey to Success
“Initially we concentrated on growing the normal exotic tree species of casuarina, neem and eucalyptus. We quickly realized that these seedlings would not help us break even. We were selling a mature seedling of the exotic species at a paltry amount of between Ksh. 3-5. It would take thousands of seedlings in order for us to make profit. Lack of demand for the tree species compounded our problems. Our turning point was in mid-2000, an orgnisation donated seedlings bags, tents and implements. We jointly made a decision to concentrate all our resources on growing indigenous tree species whose ecosystem services were much better, with the hope that we shall earn more by selling the tree seedlings.
Naturally, indigenous tree species take much longer in the nursery beds. They also have a low survival rate and intense maintenance. This was yet another test to the group. Triggering another exodus from the group yet again. Additionally, finding market for our new products was tough. The few times we got to sell the seedlings at between Ksh. 200-300 which is 100 times the price of exotic species.
The Wind Fall
“The tide finally turned in our favor after the start of the forest restoration programme within Kwale county by WWF-Kenya supported by IKI-BMU in early 2019. Our patience finally paid off. Our group joyfully received a request to supply 3,500 indigenous tree seedlings towards the restoration of Gogoni Forest Block. This I must say was life changing. In the life of the project, we had never imagined selling such a huge number of tree seedlings at one go. The timing was perfect. We had all the mature seedlings the project had requested from us. We have finally started to reap the fruits of our conservation work.
We banked a huge chunk of the money received in order to plan adequately on how best to expand our project. The remainder of the money was divided equally among all the members. The 7 members are now adequately empowered economically to comfortably pay school fees for their children, provide medical care and put food on the table.”
“I love to protect the environment. This is my motivation. For this reason, I chose to stick with Gogoni Forest Conservation Group. Trees prevent soil erosion. They attract rainfall and clearly from our experience have a direct economic value. Our livelihoods depend on forests. As part of giving back to the mother earth, I am applying the knowledge I have gathered over time in forest conservation to transform my community and my life. I would like to encourage all communities and individuals to be actively engaged in tree planting activities. It is in no doubt painstaking, but with patience the fruits are sweet.” Samuel Benzi Karisa - Secretary, Gogoni Forest Conservation Group
Samuel Benzi Karisa is a founding member and the current secretary of Gogoni Forest Conservation Group who are one of the key beneficiaries of the Public-Private-People Partnerships Project to save Coastal Kenya Forests.
This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.