It is that time of the year for the epic Wildebeest Migration across the Mara River, an important occurrence that attracts millions of tourists from all over the globe. This boost in the tourism industry underscores the importance of conserving the Mara River, the lifeblood of the Mara and Serengeti ecosystems. It has been a successful year so far, here we appreciate that commitment by one organization is enough; through the spirit of Together for Nature, WWF-Kenya is supporting community led initiatives and forging strategic partnerships, ensurings better environmental stewardship.
In the Lake Naivasha Basin (LNB), we are delighted to have launched the European Union funded SWITCH Africa Green Programme Phase II, GOALAN project that will advance the green economy through promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).
We are also enhancing tree cover in the Naivasha basin through Lake Naivasha Basin Reforestation Project, an ambitious initiative that aims to establish 1,000 hectares of new forest area by 2020.
Together with local community organisations, WWF-K, through Sida (Leading the Change: Civil Society, Rights & Environment) continues to support inclusive and participatory management of natural resources, ensuring communities control decisions and exercise their responsibility for ensuring that key ecosystems and habitats are sustainably managed. We hope to Amplify Community Voices and Action In Conservation in both LBN and Mara basin.
In the Mara Basin our engagements with local communities in the upper catchment is improving livelihoods and conserving the environment. Well over 39,150 acres of rangeland have been secured and under sustainable rangeland management through the Holistic Management approach in community wildlife conservancies adjacent to the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Through partnership with Water Resources Authority (WRA), Effluent Discharge Control Plans (EDCPs) was developed for 11 tourist facilities in the Mara and the facilities are increasingly adhering to requirements and ensuring proper effluent management practices..
Downstream in Tanzania, use of mercury by small-scale Gold miners pose a challenge to the quality of the river, to address this WWF is working with artisanal miners to promote the use of retention ponds and erecting beacons 60 meters from the river to reduce potential sources of pollution.
We will continue to support and work together with communities and various County Governments within the Rift Lakes Region to promote sustainable management of natural resources for greater socio economic growth..
It has been indeed great “Together for Nature” efforts”
William O. Ojwang, Regional Manager-Africa Rift Lakes (ARL), WWF-Kenya.