Nobel Laureate Hon. Prof. Wangari Maathai (right) stresses a point to her conservation colleague with Alice Macaire, Chairperson of Friends of Karura Association: The two were part of a meeting to discuss the formation of the formation of an education center to be located at the former Shell Club in Karura Forest.
Achim Steiner, Executive Director UNEP (right) and Jimmy Mugerwa Country Chairman Shell (left) listen to Christian Lambretchs UNEP Program Officer during a discussion on the establishment of Karura Forest Environmental Education Trust.
Formation of the Karura Forest Environmental Education Trust is in the final stages after the key stakeholders agreed on the contents of the trust deed during a meeting held at Shell Offices on Tuesday 20th July 2010. The Trust will guide management of the former Shell Club located in Karura Forest, which is now expected to be turned into an environmental education centre that will be open to the public and particularly targeting school children.
Present at the meeting was Achim Steiner, Executive Director UNEP, and Nobel Laureate, Hon. Prof. Wangari Maathai, both of who pledged their support to the non –profit Centre. The center is expected to provide recreational and conferencing facilities and it will include construction features that emphasize environmental conservation and embrace green technologies such as solar lighting. The ultimate aim will be to educate the public on the importance of the environment and how it contributes to people’s lives.
The trust will draw its capital from donations and contributions and a team of trustees will oversee investment ventures. The team of trustees includes Kenya Shell Ltd, Kenya Forest Service, Green Belt Movement, Friends of Karura Community Forest Association and Oshwal Education & Relief Board. The 16 acres piece of land is currently leased by Kenya Shell Ltd. for a period of 23 years and all further construction will be controlled by the Board of Trustees. The Center is expected to host a photo gallery, an archive of Karura Forest which has a rich history, a library focusing on conservation materials, sports facilities and a revolving gallery that will focus on various conservation issues. The Centre is closely located to the Karura nature trail hence it provides a great opportunity for the public to learn and visit the nearby forest consisting of caves and a scenic waterfall.
Report by Anne Kaari