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The Dakatcha Forest in Kenya is one of the ten most endangered forests in the world. Dakatcha's ecosystem and biodiversity are at great risk. Unfortunately, much of this forest has been lost in recent years, while it is also home to many different endangered species.
Parts of the forest have been cut down to be used for agriculture or burning charcoal. There is an urgent need to secure the remaining forest before further destruction.
At CARU we like to contribute to the protection of nature, that's how we came into contact with A Rocha Kenya. This organization works on nature conservation in many ways. One of those ways is by buying the available land in Dakatcha and turning it into a protected area. This protects the parts of the forest that are still intact and at the same time contributes to biodiversity.
At CARU Containers, we aim to be climate neutral by 2030. To achieve this goal, we focus on reducing CO₂, but we also want to compensate for our emissions. By purchasing 51 hectares of forest in collaboration with A Rocha Kenya, we prevent the CO₂ emissions that occur when the Dakatcha forest is destroyed. In addition, we think it is important that the ecosystem in Dakatcha remains protected.
A Rocha Kenya is directly involved in the entire operation. We are in close contact with Colin Jackson and regularly receive footage of the Dakatcha forest. When you have no contact for a few days, you know that he and his team can be found in the woods. Take a look at the forest in this video.
Grow food or protect the forest?
“Protecting the forest. There is already a lot of land for agriculture, but it is not used efficiently. Many buyers cut down the forest and use the land for agriculture, but that only provides a good harvest for 2 to 3 years due to the drought in the country. They then look for another piece of land to repeat this process and so little nature remains intact. It is of course important to grow vegetables as well, but no existing forest has to be cut down. We should use existing land more efficiently for this instead.”.
Plant new trees or save existing forests?
“Saving existing forests. It takes an average of 150 years to grow trees nicely and large, but it only takes 15 minutes to cut them down. I would therefore prefer to see that we save existing trees and that the forest remains as it is now.”.
Inform government policies or educate communities?
“Educate communities. When you inform the communities and explain the importance of preserving the forest, I expect them to make different choices. Government policy already exists, but enforcement is difficult. For example, you are not allowed to export charcoal to neighboring countries of Kenya, but it still happens. By educating local communities about the importance of forest conservation, we hope it will have a positive effect on forest conservation.”.
Protecting forests or protecting animals?
“Protecting forests. The most important thing is that the forest will continue to exist and will be protected, also for the animals. Without a forest they have no home. Dakatcha is now home to the Sokoke Scops owl, Gold-rumped Proboscis Dog, 140 species of butterflies and many other insects and animals. With A Rocha Kenya we also hope to protect endangered species.”.
One of the main goals of A Rocha Kenya is to protect the Dakatcha forest. They have now bought almost 2,000 hectares of land and are well on their way to achieve that goal. Do you want to contribute to the preservation of these forests? Visit their website for information about A Rocha Kenya.