Environmental sustainability is a critical component in addressing livelihood concerns and an essential pillar alongside economic and social sustainability. Kenya’s coastal forests though fragmented and small are of critical importance to the country since they provide much needed ecosystems services. These forests are important water catchment areas for rivers and streams used by local communities, provide herbal and medicinal trees including moringa, neem and other medicinal plants, enable the conservation of globally threatened indigenous varieties of flora and fauna and attract local and international tourists and visitors.
However, they are under immense threat due to population pressure leading to unsustainable actions including uncontrolled tree felling, over-exploitation of forest produce, overgrazing and charcoal burning, among others. Therefore, there is an urgent need to entrench a culture of tree growing and forest protection among Kenyan coastal communities.
It is against this backdrop that LES continues to grow and manage forest plantations and ecosystems in both rehabilitated quarries and reserve lands (which occupy over 700 hectares) for sustainable utilization, protection and conservation.