Here is Esther Wakesho’s second guest post on conservation and life at the coast of Kenya in Diani. Hope it inspires you to go green and be conscious about your surroundings. Pictures are mine.
The coastal forests of Kenya form part of the coastal forests of Eastern Africa Global Biodiversity Hotspot, an internationally recognized priority area for conservation activity.
These forests are rich in biodiversity and very important for both human and wildlife. They maintain many species of flora and fauna that are not found anywhere else in the world.
This includes 1,750 plants, 11 birds and more than 50 reptile, 6 amphibians and 11 mammal species.
Those forests provide communities with a wealth of resources such as building materials, fuel, wood and medicine plants. It is an important area for cultural practices with certain forests patches, kayas, held as sacred areas by the local mijikenda people.
Currently, 90% of vegetation within the hotspot has been lost to communities that have changed to become agricultural and urban. The forests on the South-coast of Kenya have been reduced to scattered patches.
The forest in Diani is a Coral Rag Forest. .There are only 3 remaining patches in the world. The vegetation is sustained by a thin layer of soil which overlays fossilized coral reef.
The growing tourist industry in Diani has meant a huge increase in the human population forest has been cleared and the remaining forest fragments have been degraded by timber removal for construction, wood curving, charcoal and firewood.
As the forest disappears unfortunately, the wildlife disappears as well. There are still some patches of forest in Diani which provide vital habitat for many species, you an find the rare Angolan black & white colobus monkey.