East Africa

A Breathtaking, Drought-Prone Region Under Pressure

What's at Stake

We work across East Africa, where global warming has already begun to dramatically alter the lives of rural farming communities. Severe droughts and changing rainfall patterns are wreaking havoc on crop yields, threatening farmers' livelihoods, regional food security, and remaining biodiversity hotspots.

Trees in front of Mount Kenya

Trees in front of Mount Kenya

Photo credit: Jennifer Gerardi

The Forests of East Africa

East Africa is not just a region of vast savannas—it also contains several tropical forests, including the eastern portion of the Congo rainforest. The region's critical deforestation crisis is driven by population growth, unscrupulous timber extraction, and agricultural conversion—resulting in the loss of 9.3 percent of its forest cover from 2001 - 2009 alone.

Children washing hands in clean water

Children washing their hands in clean water

Photo credit: iStock

Water, the Most Precious Resource

Access to safe water is an urgent challenge for rural populations in several East African countries. In Rwanda and Burundi, more than one in four rural residents have no access to an improved water source; in Kenya, nearly half the rural population lacks access. Spreading farming practices that conserve water and eliminate pollution in streams and rivers is an urgent need in the region.

Our Work

Our Work

We work with tea and coffee farmers across East Africa to advance sustainable agricultural practices across vulnerable landscapes and watersheds. Through training and certification, we help farmers protect the last standing tracts of forest from agricultural conversion and safeguard the health of streams and rivers.

Tea farmers Esther and Simon Langat

Tea farmers Esther and Simon Langat

Photo credit: Caroline Irby

Sustainability Role Models In Kenya

Meet Simon and Esther Langat, a husband-and-wife team who are sustainability role models. Their farm in Kenya is part of the Momul tea factory agricultural cooperative, the first smallholder group in the country to undergo Rainforest Alliance certification (in 2009). Simon attended a Rainforest Alliance farmer field school, where he learned best management practices for sustainable tea farming.

Learn more about how we are working to achieve our mission.
 
Our Impact

Our Impact

We are working in vulnerable landscapes in East Africa to restore the balance between coffee and tea farming communities and the forests around them. Research shows that supporting the economic health of these communities is crucial to forest conservation. 

amount earned by indigenous and forest communities

50% more per kg

earned by workers on certified tea farms in Kenya

Workers on certified tea farms in Kenya earned 50 percent more per kg plucked tea than workers on noncertified farms: 9.93 KES/kg versus 6.65 KES/kg. Source: 2013. Poverty impact of social and environmental voluntary standards systems in Kenyan tea. Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, London.

Higher Earnings with Sustainable Methods

In Kenya, workers on Rainforest Alliance Certified tea farms earned 50 percent more per kg plucked tea than workers on non-certified farms, according to a recent study of 250 farmers in Kenya.

Forest conservation

19.3% increase

in probability of forest conservation that is attributable to certification

Researchers used remote sensing data from 2005 and 2010 to compare deforestation rates on 240 coffee plots. The results showed that Rainforest Alliance certification increased the probability of forest conservation on coffee farms by 19.3 percent.

Shade Coffee Certification Helps Forests Thrive

Researchers used remote sensing data from 2005 and 2010 to compare deforestation rates on 240 coffee plots. The results showed that Rainforest Alliance certification increased the probability of forest conservation on coffee farms by 19.3 percent.

Learn more ways we are achieving real results.
 
Get Involved

Get Involved

Join us to help rebalance the earth.

Sunset on the savannah

Rainforests purify air and water and absorb carbon dioxide—that makes them our greatest allies in the fight against climate change.

Dried earth

Just imagine: what if you turned on your faucet and no water came out? Everyone cares about clean water. Not everyone's taking action.

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Help conserve forests and restore balance to our planet.

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