Focus Areas of Advocacy

We work with governments, CSOs, communities, and development partners to advocate for better conservation and management of East Africa’s natural resources.
Our work involves Advocacy and policy development for better conservation and sustainable management of wildlife, forests, wetlands and marine ecosystems. In accordance with our Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, our advocacy work is currently anchored on five important issues causing biodiversity loss and degradation.
Climate Change

“If nothing is done about climate change, we can forget about biodiversity” (Wilson E.O. 2019, Biodiversity & Climate change).

Climate change is a global concern and a principal threat to the survival …

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Environmental Pollution

Up to 80% of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic. By 2050 we will have more plastics in the oceans than fish and 99% of all seabirds will have ingested plastic if nothing is done to reverse the trend warns the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Deforestation ranks at the top in the global environmental agenda and its effects include habitat loss, biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions, disruption of water cycles, increasing soil erosion, land fragmentation, disruption of livelihoods, human-wildlife conflicts …

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Infrastructural development

Disregarding of environmental standard requirements and procedures in urban infrastructural development in East Africa is a major concern considering urbanization is fast growing in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania today, with the construction of …

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Environmental Governance

Deficient and ineffectual environmental governance, policies and legislation in the East African region is a major problem in conservation. Key to environmental governance is having adequate policies and laws that govern the management and conservation…

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We pride ourself as in the East Africa region.

Advocacy Campaigns

Support Rangers Putting out Wildfires in Kirisia Forest

Kirisia Community Forest Association (CFA) scouts are combing the forest day and night to keep surveillance for the rampant forest fire incidents.

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Support the Forest Rehabilitation Programme

Through the Forest Rehabilitation Programme, we aim to raise funds for the restoration of at least 600 hectares (equivalent to planting at least 600,000 trees) of the country’s key water towers between the year 2021 and 2030.

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Save the Aberdare Forest

We are challenging the proposed construction of the Ihithe-Ndunyu Njeru Road through the Aberdare National Park and Forest Reserve. This project, if implemented, will have severe and far-reaching negative ecological repercussions for our country.

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Previous Advocacy Work

The President of the Republic of Kenya 2016 assented to the Forest Conservation and Management Act, 2016 repealing the Forest Act of 2005. This was to align it to Article 69 of the Constitution of Kenya (CoK) and provide a framework for the development and sustainable management, including conservation and rational utilization of forest resources for the socio-economic development of the country and connected purposes.

Kenya’s Forest law stipulates that any proposed public forest boundary alteration shall only be considered by the Parliament upon the technical recommendation of the Kenya Forest Service, a state expert agency charged with the mandate of conserving and managing public forests. These provisions were approved into law in response to the massive destruction of forests in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

In November 2021, a Committee of the National Assembly introduced a legal proposal seeking to abdicate KFS’ power to regulate variation of public forest boundaries. The Bill went through the 1st reading on 7th February 2022 and marked to the relevant committee.

This Bill if passed would weaken the forest laws and put to risk the millions of hectares of Kenya’s public forests.


The 12th Parliament adjourned sine die on the 9th June 2022 before the Bill was passed into law. By the statutory laws of the Kenyan Parliament, the Forest Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill 2021 has died off with the 12th parliament.


  • – Increased public awareness and support for the campaign against the Forest Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill 2021. Approximately 3,000 people/institutions signed the petition citing clear reasons for signing against the Bill; the Bill trended as number 6 on tweeter in Kenya on the International Day of Forests (IDF) under the hashtags #ForestBill2021 #StopWeakeningOurForestAct; tweet chats potentially reached 977,125.
  • – The Bill stagnated at 1st reading. Ideally, once a Bill is read for the first time in the house and forwarded to the relevant committee, the Committee should conduct public participation and submit a report to the house within 14 days. The laxity of the Procedure and House Rules Committee was a testament that the interest and hype to push the Bill through got eroded. This was also demonstrated by the fact that a majority of politicians began to distance themselves from any land grabbing issue.

Enhanced capacity (skills and knowledge) of stakeholders/ coalition members on parliamentary processes and appropriate advocacy tools. This was demonstrated by the number of coalition members actively participating in the campaign.

Satima escarpment is within the Muruai and Kirima Forest Reserves in Nyandarua County, both of which are gazetted forests managed by Kenya Forest Service. The escarpment forms important catchment for the endangered Lake Ol Bolossat Key Biodiversity Area.


In 2020, EAWLS received and confirmed claims that 100 acres of Satima escarpment had been grabbed and fenced off by an individual.

EAWLS initiated an online petition calling for the Kenya Forest Service to move with speed and stop the grabbing of this important catchment area. The petition attracted attention of the Kenyan Government and other key stakeholders.

Outcome: KFS Officers together with the local community brought down the fences. The matter is in court.

According to the Constitution of Kenya 2010 schedule 2, 21 forestry functions were devolved to the county governments. This called for Kenya Forest Service and the County Governments to sign Transition Implementation Plans (TIPs), which a framework for transfer of functions.


In order to fully uptake the devolved functions, Counties are required to implement the national policies on forest conservation. As such, there was need for them to formulate policy and institutional framework.


EAWLS supported the process of formulating the Bomet Forest Conservation and Management Bill 2020, which is at the County Assembly awaiting enactment.

Bugoma Forest Reserve, situated in western Uganda, is a tropical natural forest that is rich in biodiversity, including endangered chimpanzees. It is also a water catchment for Lake Albert and a migratory corridor for wildlife. It was gazetted as a forest reserve in 1932 and placed under the management of the National Forestry Authority (NFA). The forest covers a total of 41,144ha.

In August 2016, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development issued a title deed for 5,770ha (about 22 square miles) of Bugoma Forest to the Bunyoro-Kitara tribal kingdom who then leased this portion of the forest to Hoima Sugar Ltd for sugarcane cultivation.

On August 14, 2020, Uganda’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) issued a certificate of approval to the Hoima Sugar Limited project. 

The NFA severally sued the Bunyoro Kingdom for aiding and abetting the encroachment of Bugoma Forest but lost both cases. The Commissioner of land registration even canceled the title deed issued to the Kingdom in 2016 but the High Court reinstated the document on legal technicalities.

EAWLS joined other civil society organizations in an online campaign dubbed “Save Bugoma Forest”. EAWLS also applied to be enjoined in the Bugoma Court case at the East African Court of Justice as amicus curiae. 

NEMA, following its review of Hoima Sugar Ltd’s activities on the ground in September 2022, ordered the company to take the following actions “to safeguard the environment and avoid any further damage to the environment:”

  • – Immediately stop any further deforestation of the natural reserved forest area, eco-tourism area, cultural sites, and land reserved for an urban centre.
  • – No sugar cane should be planted in the natural reserved forest area, ecotourism area, cultural sites area and land reserved for the urban centre. The sugar cane must be restricted to areas permitted in the certificate.
  • – The 312.3ha earlier approved for the urban centre is halted to be kept as a natural forest given the country’s efforts to recover forest cover loss.
  • – Restore all degraded areas of the natural reserved forest area, ecotourism area, cultural sites and land reserved for the urban centre.
  • – Prepare a restoration plan for the degraded areas in consultation with the Forestry Sector Support Department of the Ministry of Water and Environment (FSSD), National Forestry Authority (NFA) and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and submit the same to this Authority for approval within not more than three months from the date of this order.
  • – Implement the Restoration Plan at the company’s cost with guidance from FSSD, NFA and UWA to the satisfaction of this Authority.

Nairobi National Park was gazetted as Kenya’s first National Park in 1946. The Park is situated 10km south of Nairobi City centre and covers an area of 117 Sq. kilometres. The park is fenced on three sides with only one side left open for the free movement of wildlife in and out of the park. It is rich in biodiversity including over 100 mammalian species and over 400 resident and migratory bird species.

Nairobi National Park is listed as an IBA in danger by Birdlife International. Kenya Wildlife Service developed the parks Management plan 2020-2030 to address key threats including infrastructure development. Part of the park had been hived off to pave way for the construction of the Southern Bypass and Standard Gauge Railway. The park is also experiencing high pressure from urbanisation.

EAWLS participated in the development of the park’s management plan and as such, is a key stakeholder in its implementation. EAWLS raised concerns over the infrastructure development and visitor impact in the park through a letter to the Kenya Wildlife Service. According to EAWLS, the various infrastructure projects proposed through various tenders somewhat was a deviation from plan and as such required scrutiny by stakeholders to ensure minimal impacts on the park’s biodiversity.

EAWLS through the Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG) received a written complaint from Menengai Community Forest Association claiming that the County Government of Nakuru had intentions of issuing titles for the Nakuru Municipality Block 19 to individuals. This block, according to the CFA, is part of the Menengai Forest. 

The CFA had written a letter in response to the public notice issued by the County Government of Nakuru calling for submissions from the public, institutions and individuals on block 19.

According to the public notice, the County Government of Nakuru with support from the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning and the National Land Commission (NLC) wanted to authenticate the ownership of this land for purposes of facilitating sustainable management and use of the land.

Owing to the claims by the CFA, EAWLS through KFWG wrote a letter to KFS requesting KFS to move with speed to verify these claims to make sure that any portion of Menengai Forest is not lost during the expected land adjudication process.

As a result, KFS inquired into the matter and confirmed that the said block was part of the Nakuru Municipality forest which is a government forest under the management of the Service. The agency wrote to the County Government of Nakuru and all other relevant stakeholders informing them that this is part of a gazetted forest and should not be excised whatsoever.