The essential problem facing the Arabuko-Sokoke forest is the ongoing degradation of the forest biodiversity by the forest adjacent communities. As long as the demand for forest and wildlife-related products exists, the forest biodiversity will be under constant threat. We must continually adapt to this evolving threat of illegal logging, charcoal production or poaching in order to protect the Arabuko-Sokoke forest biodiversity. The main cause of forest exploitation is due to poverty and limited livelihood options. Pressure due to population growth and inadequate government service provision is the greatest threat to the forest and species within it. If the forest is to become sustainable for the long-term, its security is a prerequisite for poverty alleviation, economic development, and for providing safety for all wildlife and their habitats.
As a natural resource, the forest has attracted a lot of interest, some regrettably deleterious, and as a result, Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest have come up to aid in its protection. We currently operate our law enforcement teams in partnership with the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Our law enforcement provides the much-needed protection for the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest ecosystem which is threatened by chronic habitat destruction and bushmeat poaching.
We employ team of dedicated community scouts to patrol the forest day and night to keep the forest safe. They employ various techniques to investigate and follow-up on potential threats and liaise with Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service to achieve maximum results.
Together with community forest associations we organise de-snaring actions with objective to remove maximum number of snares from one area. Snaring is a cheap and indiscriminate method of poaching threatening several wildlife species in the forest.
Our teams collect data using CyberTracker and SMART interface to provide clear visuals of the illegal activities hotspots and these are used to target areas for foot patrols and investigative actions.
Training and equipment
All our scouts underwent thorough training on field operations and related skills and additional refresher training is provided when needed. Proper and frequent training is one of the most important elements of creating an able and well-disciplined law enforcement team to counter illegal activities.
Support to our government partners
Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Service are our main partners in the forest, and we work together every day! Our scouts’ teams are usually accompanied by their rangers, they handle suspects and transport confiscated material. We support their field operations by providing fuel and sometimes maintenance for their vehicles.
KM patrolled on foot