Habitat Restoration Initiative for Eastern Africa

Why an initiative on habitat restoration?

Our natural heritage is being threatened, forests are disappearing at an unprecedented rate, lakes, rivers and water catchments are being polluted. Our landscapes are being disfigured through human activities like quarrying, mining, industrialization, etc, all these causing irreversible damage to the habitats of our indigenous plants and animals. Our battle to protect what is left of the biological diversity in Eastern Africa has never been more urgent.

Despite the efforts of nature lovers and conservationists in trying to protect and conserve indigenous plant and animal life, the destruction of the natural habitats is continuing to put into peril their very existence on earth. In many cases we are left with derelict and degraded sites which require replacement of lost elements of the original ecosystem.

Habitat restoration techniques can now be employed to repair the damage caused by humans to the diversity and dynamics of original ecosystem processes that sustain life on earth. The need for habitats restoration is one of the key areas of activities recommended in the Convention on Biological Diversity.

It is for these reasons that HARI was initiated by a group of scientists in East Africa concerned with the fate of our land and its valuable biological resources, which are vital for economic growth and development of our region.

HARI was initiated on December 2, 1998, and became a committee of the East Africa Natural History Society on June 14th, 2000. The Secretariat is based at the Nature Kenya office at the National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi. Later two branches will be opened in Uganda and Tanzania.

 Aims

To enhance biodiversity conservation through the restoration of degraded habitats and through species re-introductions in the Eastern Africa region.

Objectives

To assess, plan, implement and monitor HARI's projects in the Eastern Africa region. To promote networking, collaborative partnership, raising of awareness, information dissemination and capacity building on habitat restoration.

Core Activities

  • Networking with NGO's, government organisations, local communities, institutions and individuals interested in habitat restoration.
  • Conducting and promoting restoration projects through research, planning and implementation.
  • Fundraising.
  • Establishment of an information centre on restoration.
  • Degraded habitats especially in water catchments,centres of endemism, biodiversity hot spots, sites with rare or threatened species, abandoned quarries, mines and construction sites in Eastern Africa.

Focal areas of activity

A baseline survey on habitat restoration requirements has been carried out in Ngangao forest (Taita Hills). A proposal for a similar survey for Oloolua forest in Nairobi is being developed.

Support for restoration activities will be appreciated and acknowledged.