Kenya has experienced major loss of biodiversity and unprecedented deforestation over the last 100 years. In the uplands, this results from land use changes (tea, coffee, exotic tree plantations, urbanization and smallholder agriculture) and the demand for unsustainable charcoal and hardwood extraction. Soil on the local cleared land rapidly loses its absorptive capacity as the leaf canopy no longer protects the soil from rainfall, resulting in increased run-off and soil erosion. The loss of biodiversity also reduces the potential for ecotourism and economic gain from forest-based medicines and other non-timber forest products.
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