Wednesday, October 7, 2009

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Mau Forest Complex

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In spite of its national importance, many areas of the Mau Forest Complex have been deforested or degraded, with much of the damage occurring since the 1980s. Degazettement of forest reserves and continuous widespread encroachment have led to the destruction of over 100 000 ha of forest since the late 2000s, representing roughly one-quarter of the Mau Complex’s area. This series of satellite images documents 35 years of incremental destruction of forest area, punctuated by dramatic excisions.

The Mau Forest Complex contains the catchment areas for many of Kenya’s most important rivers. The loss of forest can impact the quality and volume of water for these important rivers. Extreme land-cover changes such as these can have serious consequences both within the forest and downstream in the form of water shortages, health risks, desertification, habitat destruction, sedimentation, erosion, and even alteration of the micro-climate. This rate of forest loss is unsustainable and threatens the security and future development of Kenya.
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