In Our Nature is a not-for-profit organisation which is working on the Kitobo Colobus Project. Located in southern Kenya near the border with Tanzania, Kitobo Forest is made of around 160 acres of tropical rainforest created by underground water emanating from the melting snows of nearby Mt Kilimanjaro. We are working to support both the community's efforts to preserve the forest and the community itself.
In Our Nature
Our aim is to help the developing world preserve the natural world. Poor communities around the globe often degrade their surrounding ecosystems in order to develop and improve their quality of life. We realise that this is not necessarily because such communities don't care about the environment, but because they lack the resources to interact with the natural environment in a way that is sustainable. We want to help these communities protect their local wilderness areas.
In Our Nature is a not-for-profit organisation registered under the Associations Incorporation Act, 1984. We have no religious or political affiliation; we simply believe in two principles:
- nature is of fundamental importance, both for its intrinsic value and for its value as a life-support system;
- all people have the right to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions (pursuant to Article 11, section 1 of the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).
We aim to assist developing communities in preserving the ecosystems that they interact with and in enhancing the quality of life of their members. We pursue these goals through: environmental research and monitoring, to ensure informed and sustainable interactions with the environment, and environmentally sustainable approaches to socioeconomic development.
- To promote and encourage environmentally sustainable approaches to socioeconomic development.
- To monitor and assess the effects of community activities and development on their surrounding ecosystems.
- To reduce the negative impacts of community development on surrounding ecosystems.
- To empower people and enhance their quality of life through cultural exchange, environmental education, and opportunities for sustainable socioeconomic development.
Our current focus is on the Kitobo Colobus Project. Located in southern Kenya near the border with Tanzania, Kitobo Forest is made of around 160 acres of tropical rainforest created by underground water emanating from the melting snows of nearby Mt Kilimanjaro.
The forest is rich in flora and fauna. It is a marvel for bird life and there are various fish species in the forest streams. There are forest dwelling antelope, and leopards and hippopotamuses are occasionally sighted. There are at least 5 primate species in Kitobo forest including; olive baboons, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and bush babies.
Kitobo forest is surrounded by 10 villages with a combined human population of approximately 3000. The villagers use water from the rivers of the forest for irrigation agriculture as well as for domestic consumption. They use trees from the forest as a source of firewood and building materials.
In the past, uncontrolled logging and the poaching of wild animals has occurred in the forest. Current threats to the forest include; human encroachment, the spread of fires from adjacent land use, soil erosion and vegetation degradation from livestock, tree removal for energy production, and wildlife/human conflicts. A local community conservation group has recently taken on the task of managing the forest sustainably, but the community needs support if it is to be successful in protecting this unique forest.
In Our Nature aims to integrate conservation and community development by supporting both the Kitobo community's efforts to preserve the forest and the community itself. As well as providing financial and technical support for the community conservation group, we are providing a field site from which monitoring of the forest ecosystem can be conducted by local staff and volunteers. The information gathered through these activities will be used to ensure that Kitobo forest remains in its natural state of health. Furthermore, we want to improve the quality of life of the Kitobo community members themselves in three important ways; by enhancing the community's access to education through a scholarship program for Kitobo kids and building classrooms, by providing the opportunity for community members to develop wealth through a system of micro-finance, and helping the community to develop its infrastructure.
For further information please visit http://ionature.org/
or contact Julian Brown email@example.com