Importance of Woodlands
Woodlands, because of their extensive cover and high woody biomass, provide many ecological services. These include carbon capture, reducing surface heat, regulating water and nutrient cycles, and abating winds, floods and erosion. Woodlands support
a rich variety of animals and plants, bridging as they do wet and dry habitats. Woodlands also supply food, water, fuel, clothing, building materials and medicines to traditional communities, and feature prominently in culture, heritage and ceremonies. They support some of the largest and economically diversified rural populations in Kenya due to their interface between herders, farmers, hunter-gatherers and fishing communities. In recent decades woodlands have perhaps disappeared faster than any habitat in Kenya as a result of overharvesting for the fuelwood and charcoal that supply two-thirds of household energy countrywide. Woodlands are of growing importance to tourism and the recreation industry. Planted private and community woodlots are playing a growing role in providing farmers and herders with fuel, building materials, fodder, shade and windbreaks.