Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve: Racing for Conservation, Kenya
The project objective is to raise awareness of the beauty and value of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest – the largest remaining fragment of coastal forest that once spanned East Africa. Arabuko-Sokoke is home to 28 Red Listed species including the Sokoke Scops Owl and a population of 200+ elephants. However, illegal logging for house construction, charcoal production and hunting are all threatening this unique ecosystem. A Rocha works with forest adjacent communities by providing eco-bursaries to secondary school students with funds raised from eco-tourism that are closely linked to conservation action for the forest. This project will improve biking trails through the forest to enhance the Sokoke Forest MTB Challenge. All race proceeds go to eco-bursaries for the community. Furthermore, 20 young community members will be trained as guides and visitor information updated to raise awareness with tourists and improve their forest experience. Six de-snaring events will be held with community members and 16,000 trees planted in degraded parts of the forest and on adjacent farms and school grounds.