In 1997, CRC-K was established at the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI). The Uganda CR, CUFRIC (Uganda Forestry Resources and Institutions Center), helped train members of the Kenyan team. CRC-Kenya and UFRIC subsequently helped establish the Tanzanian CRC at Sokoine University. They are currently working to establish another CRC in Ethiopia (Coffee Forest Network) which will be housed at the University of Addis-Ababa and Zef University in Germany.
Since its founding in 1997, CRC-K has conducted fieldwork at eighteen sites and has completed twelve second revisits, and three third revisits. Some sites are located near the borders with Tanzania and Uganda to facilitate collaboration within the region. Since 2006 CRC-Kenya has worked with Uganda, Bolivia, and Mexico as part of the SANREM project.
CRC-K works on several projects other than IFRI such as EMPAFOM (Empowering Civil Society to Participate in Forest Management) funded by the European Union. It was a four year collaborative project with non-IFRI associates in Uganda (BUCOD-Budongo Forest Conservation Group), Tanzania (TSFG-Tanzania Forest Conservation Group), and Kenya (FAN-Forest Action Network).