Articles in Category: About Ngong Forest Sanctuary

A Community Environment Project

To protect, conserve and effectively manage an existing urban forest of over 500 hectares within Nairobi’s City boundaries

The Ngong Forest Sanctuary comprises 538 hectares of forest, 80% indigenous forest and the rest exotic Eucalyptus plantations, located within the larger Ngong Road Forest Reserve. It is rich in biodiversity as compared to other nearby forests and is home to over 120 bird species, over 35 mammals and numerous insects, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

The Sanctuary lies about 6 kilometres from Nairobi City Centre right on the doorstep of 4 million Nairobi residents. Few natural areas remain in Nairobi due to development pressures and ‘land grabbing’. As one of the last tracts of indigenous forest and a green belt within the city, there is an urgent need to protect this indigenous forest from ongoing unsustainable degradation and destruction from illegal harvesting activities.

This is an opportunity to support an unusual and exceptionally dynamic move on the part of the Government of Kenya which has entrusted the management of this area of public land to the Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary Trust, a private charitable trust. If successful there is an opportunity to use this as a dynamic new model for community environmental management of other areas of public land in Kenya. It is possibly the first time the Government of Kenya has empowered, through a ground-breaking Memorandum of Agreement between the Trust, Kenya Wildlife Services and the Forestry Department, a charitable trust to manage an area of public land on their behalf and for the Kenyan public.

This project aims to transform a vulnerable, under-utilised forest into a secure amenity, that not only protects and conserves this valuable resource, but introduces a new and exciting venue that all Kenyans can enjoy.

The Trust’s overall goal is to protect in perpetuity the forest’s natural environment through wise conservation management and to create a self-sustaining and multi-functional reserve, which will serve the social, educational and economic needs of the surrounding communities through the following objectives;

  • Create a safe income-generating multi-purpose amenity accessible to the public for both Kenyan and overseas visitors.
  • Establish productive fuel-wood and timber plantations for production of inexpensive forest materials.
  • Develop environmental education programmes and facilities to promote the sustainable use and understanding of biodiversity and the environment at large.
  • Develop recreational activities and facilities such as nature walks and jogging paths, cycling trails, camping and picnic sites and horse riding.

The donor consortium for the development of this project include Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Pipeline Ltd., the Jockey Club, a private Estate, Ford Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme.