ASSETS contributes to the conservation of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest and Mida Creek by equitably distributing the benefits from eco-tourism to the people living around the sites.
ASSETS runs hand in hand with the A Rocha Kenya Schools and Community Environmental Education Programme, enhancing the environmental awareness of each student being supported. By taking part in environmental education activities, parents and students are also made aware that the funds for the bursaries come from eco-tourism, and therefore depend on the forest and creek being in good condition to maintain visitor numbers.
It is precisely because the bursaries come from eco-tourism that we expect all ASSETS beneficiaries and their families to refrain from taking part in any illegal extraction or harvesting. This condition of the eco-bursary fund should have immediate beneficial effects on the sites.
In addition, all beneficiaries are provided with seedlings to establish their own woodlots. Once mature, these woodlots should provide an alternative income in addition to domestic uses, and thus reduce pressure on the forest and creek.
The very act of providing financial assistance with school fees will reduce the pressure on parents to exploit the natural resources around them. In the long term, by promoting education and thus increasing the chances of employment, ASSETS will reduce poverty and consumption of precious resources within the forest and creek.