The Friends of Arabuko Sokoke Forest (FoASF) is a working group that advocates for the conservation of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest through participatory approaches. The organisation trained fifteen community scouts in 2017 with support from Minara to patrol the forest to ensure better protection of the forest (logging and charcoal) and the wildlife through anti-poaching efforts (de-snaring).
The motivations behind assisting FoASF are numerous. The forest is one of the most biodiverse in East Africa and therefore its conservation is vital. Furthermore, previous FoASF measures, such as building fences, had proven successful in increasing wildlife numbers, notably elephants. FoASF may have lacked financial support to achieve its aims but, in addition to being strongly committed to its cause, has attracting the interest of the Kenyan Forest Service (KFS) and the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) in mobilising its efforts.
After one year FoASF are recognized by the communities living around the forest as the protector of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest. FoASF is also setting up a structure (company limited by guarantee), and is developing benchmark data through a data tracking system (SMART). FoASF is also committed to long term results and is currently increasing its outreach and fundraising efforts.
photos taken by Nesta Wigan