Changes in forest cover in Kenya's five water towers 2003 - 2005

Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS), Kenya Forests Working Group (KFWG), Royal Netherlands Embassy (2006)

This report is the second volume of a series of biennial assessments of major forest cover changes in Kenya's five main forest areas, namely Mt. Kenya, the Aberdare Range, the Mau Complex, Mt. Elgon and the Cherangani Hills. The first report covered the period 2000-2003. This second report covers the period 2003-2005. Based on satellite imagery (Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper) with a resolution of 30 metres, the analysis of changes enables the detection of major forest cover changes, in particular encroachment. Such analysis, undertaken every two years, aim at providing all concerned stakeholders with an early warning system that will enable them: 1) to identify threatened forest areas in time

and, 2) to prioritize their interventions in these areas to reverse detrimental forest cover changes. The findings are mapped and overlaid with the constituency and district boundaries. Main findings of this report include: In terms of acreage, destruction of indigenous forest increased from 6,032 hectares during the 2000-2003 period to 9,334 hectares in the 2003-2005 monitoring period

All detected destruction of indigenous forests between 2003 and 2005 took place in the Mau Complex , in particular in four forest blocks, namely Maasai Mau forest (trust forest), Eastern Mau Forest Reserve, South West Mau Forest Reserve and Mt. Londiani Forest Reserve

The forests of Mt. Kenya are further improving, with some 2,147 of forests regenerating

There was much cloud cover in the 2003 satellite image, affecting the analysis of change in the Aberdare Range forests between 2000 and 2003. However, the analysis of the satellite images of 2000 and 2005 showed that there were no sites showing significant changes during that five year period

In the Cherangani Hills, there were no sites showing significant changes between 2003 and 2005. The same applies for Mt. Elgon.