Joy planting a sapling on her shamba

Support For Women In Conservation

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This is a lovely article by Cyprian Ogoti, environmental journalist and passionate conservationist in Kenya, about why inclusivity is important and the difference supporting women as well as men can make.

Support for women in conservation often arises from a recognition of historical gender imbalances and a desire to promote diversity and inclusivity in the field. Women have sometimes been underrepresented in conservation due to societal norms and traditional roles. Supporting women in conservation helps address this imbalance, brings diverse perspectives, and fosters collaboration. 

However, it’s important to note that both men and women play crucial roles in conservation, and efforts should aim for equal opportunities and recognition for all. I salute Word Forest for the wonderful effort they are putting into striking the gender balance by supporting both men and women in conservation matters. 

The organisation, through its wonderful leadership of Tracey West and Simon West, has put together a great team of men and women who are helping carry the dream of the organisation in Kenya. Down at the coast region, Garashi, Malindi, Kilifi County, they are supporting a program of Mothers of the Forest, run and managed by women. The program focuses on tree planting, women’s economic empowerment and permaculture programs. 

The same is mirrored in Rusinga Island, Homabay County where Word Forest is supporting Joy Maseno to lead a second Mothers of the Forest group who are planting trees, participating in financial empowerment programs and also permaculture programs. On the same Island, men are not left behind, Solomon Owiti carries the mantle of the Organisation, he has been involved in tree planting and permaculture activities across the Island. 

In Ngong area of Kajiado county, Word Forest is keen on planting trees in schools by tirelessly supporting Cyprian Ogoti, myself, to run the project. In future plans, the organisation intends to start a Mothers of the Forest program for Maasai Women staying at the slopes of Ngong Hills. 

In Aberdares Forest region, Nyandarua County, the Word Forest Organisation has supported the planting of trees to rehabilitate the forest which is threatened by massive deforestation. Mary Jones is tasked with the responsibility. In the same place, Word Forest is supporting planting of fruit trees in schools and has also registered 12 schools to join Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. This is an opportunity for students to learn about conservation matters as they also enjoy nature through tours and nature expeditions. 

Truly,  Word Forest is keen on meeting the UN goals of SDG5, SDG13 and SDG 17*.

Cyprian Ogoti

* The UN Sustainable Development Goals 5 – Gender Equality, 13 – Climate Action, 17 – Partnerships For The Goals 
Original article

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