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The Challenge

One of the greatest challenges that endangered species face is the loss of their natural habitat.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN estimates that 4 million hectares of forest cover in Africa disappear annually.

“Despite our efforts, every year more forest disappears, costing the continent a 3 percent loss of GDP. Degraded forest landscapes intensify the effects of climate change and are a barrier to building resilient and prosperous communities when 60 percent of Africans depend on their land and their forests,” noted Abebe Haile-Gabriel, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa.

The primary drivers of forest degradation are the development of agricultural land and rapid population growth.

Our Response

We are working with our neighbours to protect the forest cover found in our ecosystem. We are supporting and strengthening Community Forest Associations to ensure that they remain robust, community-driven institutions that spearhead the protection and management of forests.  

We also support local communities in adopting environmentally sound agricultural practicesto promote sustainable economic opportunities (learn more about how Lewa is building farmers’ capacity for sustainable agriculture here).

Lewa oversees six tree nurseries that produce approximately 6,000 seedlings per year. These young saplings are planted throughout the conservancy grounds or often sold to small-scale farmers at a significantly discounted price. In addition, our team works with local farmers to safeguard the environment where wildlife reside, while ensuring that agricultural production is sufficiently sustaining communities.

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