A Rocha Kenya has been working to create a nature reserve to protect what remains of the coastal forest of Dakatcha. Home to 13 IUCN Red Listed species, this habitat has been stripped for charcoal, planted with pineapples and heavily grazed by cattle, camels, goats and sheep. The forest is recognized as a Key Biodiversity Area and yet remains one of the ten most threatened forest hotspots in the world.
On a recent Habitat Assessment exercise, an A Rocha volunteer named Eric Kinoti, along with a reserve scout from a local community, came across a group of Somali herders who asked why grazing was not allowed in the reserve. Eric recounts what happened next:
‘We took the initiative to show them how God has given the responsibility to humans to care for the earth, and why it’s everyone’s responsibility no matter the religion. We also showed them pictures of birds in Dakatcha. They recognized some and even taught us some of the birds’ names in the Somali language. In the end they were happy and quite satisfied and vowed to spread the word to their fellow herdsmen. It’s amazing to see the great work our scouts do. Despite the language barrier between them and the herders, they eventually sing the same tune, of conservation and hope.’
Read more about A Rocha’s vital work in the Dakatcha Nature Reserve here.