Kenya - A quarry rehabilitation program to protect local biodiversity

Alongside Lafarge's cement plant in Mombasa, former quarries have been transformed into an exceptional nature reserve, supporting a wide variety of indigenous plant and animal species.

 

Objective

  • Recreate an indigenous coastal forest able to support extensive biodiversity and act as a refuge for rare and endangered species
  • Use the restored quarries as learning sites to promote environmental awareness

Summary

Former limestone quarries have been transformed into indigenous coastal forest alongside Lafarge's Mombasa plant. The result of a quarry rehabilitation program launched in the 1970s and still being pursued today, the area is now a nature reserve called Halle Park. It supports rich biodiversity and acts as a refuge for many rare and endangered plants and animals in the region.
Over 300 hectares of former quarry land have been rehabilitated since the 1970s and most of these are today in an advanced state of ecosystem development, with natural landscapes - forest, grasslands, wetlands - and beautiful tropical scenery. Over 400 indigenous plant species have been actively introduced into the ecosystems created and many animal species have also been introduced: mostly orphaned or rescued animals. Others have colonized the rehabilitated area by themselves.
Much of the East African coastline was originally covered by rich coral rag forest. Most forest land was cut down centuries ago and replaced by secondary bush land. Only small patches of coral rag forest remain along the Kenya Coast and many of their endemic plants are now rare and endangered. The creation of Halle Park has helped to preserve this unique heritage.

Results

Today the nature reserve supports a wide range of plant species, 50 of which are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Biodiversity surveys have also indicated the presence of more than 180 species of birds, 15 species of larger mammals and nearly 100 species of butterflies. Two of the rehabilitated quarries are today open to the public for leisure and education and more than 160,000 visitors are recorded per year, almost half of them students and educational institutions. The quarry rehabilitation success has earned recognition and awards from all over the world, and is widely used as a reference for ecological quarry restoration.

 
 
 

Lafarge quarry rehabilitation in Kenya - the Biodiversity case study in details (pdf, 538.18 KB)