STRATEGIC GOAL A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Target 1: By 2020, at the latest, people are aware of the values of biodiversity and the steps they can take to conserve and use it sustainably.
- Publication, launch and dissemination of the Biodiversity Atlas of Kenya and Portal
In 2016 the Government of Kenya with support from DANIDA brought together a wide range of stakeholders and institutions to compile the natural capital of Kenya, produce a biodiversity atlas and develop a web portal for biodiversity information. This was an attempt to present in a visual form the current extent, status, threats, trends, interventions and potential sustainable use opportunities of Kenya’s biological diversity. Efforts were made to collate the available data and information of the country’s biological diversity and present it in form of maps, photos and diagrams that are easy to understand.
The purpose for developing the Atlas and Portal was re-invigorate stakeholders to act on the knowledge, institutional, policy, technological and economic development challenges highlighted in the Atlas. In the same vein, stakeholders and Partners were encouraged to take up the opportunities for sustainable use and economic activities elaborated in the Atlas. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, in 2016, when launching the Biodiversity Atlas, called on development partners, private sector, academia, researchers and all relevant stakeholders to increase their efforts and contribution towards achievement of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, while improving the wellbeing of Kenyans through the creation of wealth as envisioned by Vision 2030.
Over the last several years, many partners have worked together to build the Kenya Biodiversity Atlas Portal – an online platform supporting data generated from “Kenya’s Natural Capital – Biodiversity Atlas” (2015). The platform is open access and supports data acquisition, storage, visualization, and analysis for a variety of uses while maintaining standards to facilitate data exchange and scalability for application in Kenya and East Africa. With support from the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, the online Portal has been developed with images, maps and other resources and is being enhanced in an initiative led by African Conservation Centre with key Government, Civil Society and Private sector Partners. The aim is to improve the user interface for local stakeholders and researchers, enhance content through data harvesting and linkages to other global portals, and will identify means of sustaining the portal in perpetuity.
- Use of Popular Media and Programmes.
In 2016, with support from various Partners, Kenya Wildlife Service and premier TV station, NTV, ran four seasons of the NTV Wild program that brought award winning documentaries on wildlife to Kenyans during prime time, reaching a nationwide audience. The series provided a platform for debate and discussion with experts on Kenya’s wildlife, its conservation and why it matters so much. Expert panelists included diplomats, government ministers, national park managers, scientists, expert professionals such as economists and lawyers, civil society leaders, and grassroots activists. Viewers participated by posting comments online and taking part in quizzes and competitions, with prizes provided by leading hotels and tourism companies.
NTV Wild Talk addressed biodiversity issues in depth such as wildlife trends, forest loss, protected areas and threatened species among others. A wide range of Partners were involved, includung National Geographic Society, BBC Worldwide, African Environmental Film Foundation, WildlifeDirect and USAID. NTV Wild and NTV Wild Talk became among Kenya’s most anticipated weekly TV programs and regularly featured at the top of the ratings for the prime time Tuesday and Saturday night TV slots while thousands of comments and discussions are generated on Twitter and other social media platforms.
A survey found that overall, 20% of all Kenyans said they had seen NTV Wild and this number rose to 44% for Nairobi County. in 2016, the success of the show received two prestigious awards. In September NTV Wild Talk was awarded second place in the category “best use of online video” at the Africa Digital Media Awards ceremony in South Africa. In October NTV Wild won a special award at Eco Tourism Kenya’s “Eco Warrior Awards” gala for contributing to the transformation of public attitudes towards wildlife conservation in Kenya.
|Figure 8: Ecotourism Eco-Warriors Award Kenya 2016.|
Smriti Vidyarthi host of NTV Wild Talk with her team and KWS team at the Eco Warriors Awards 2016 where NTV Wild Talk received recognition award for changing public attitudes towards wildlife (Source: Eco warrior award 2016: https://ecotourismkenya.org/ecowarrioraward/)
III. CONSERVATION EDUCATION INITIATIVES
Key environmental and natural resource management institutions focus on conservation education as part of their institutional mandate. For example, one of the core functions of KWS is to provide wildlife education and extension services to the public for their support in wildlife conservation (http://www.kws.go.ke/content/conservation-education). This contributes to the overall KWS mandate in terms of enhancing wildlife conservation, protection, and management, improving KWS’s linkages, recognition and relationships with stakeholders. National initiatives include
- School Essay competition: This is an annual event involve schools and higher learning institutions in essay writing on conservation issues. The program gives an opportunity to students and pupils to air their views on viable and practical ideas in support of Wildlife conservation.
- Kenya Music festival: This is an annual event where KWS sponsor category under Wildlife conservation themes that schools and higher learning institutions compose conservation messages in form of songs, choral verses and public speaking.
- Community Education programs: It involves general sensitization of the communities adjacent to protected areas on conservation issues
- Media programs: These are radio and TV programs to sensitize the public and schools on conservation issues. In collaboration with media houses, children programs are organized in Education facilities which give children an opportunity to interact with nature and learn animal behavior.
- Education Exhibitions and trade fares: These are Exhibitions that gives an opportunity to schools and general public to learn more about conservation issues. Mostly carried out during world biodiversity importance day’s celebrations, higher learning institutions career fares and trade fares.
Many Civil Societies collaborate with and support national institutions to actively implemented Programmes on conservation education, advocacy and public awareness.
- NATIONAL EVENTS
Two key national events supported by the Presidency enhance awareness of the value of biodiversity in Kenya and send a strong conservation message to the general public. These are:
- The National Tree Planting Day, with Kenya Forest Service
- Ivory Burn, with Kenya Wildlife Service.
- National Tree Planting Day 2018
NAIROBI, Kenya May 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in a national tree planting exercise: The event was replicated at the County and sub-county levels. “H.E President Uhuru Kenyattal launched the National Tree Planting Day at Moi Forces Academy in Kamukunji Sub-County, Nairobi on 12th May, 2018 from 9am”. The national event, whose theme was ‘Panda Miti, Penda Kenya’, was be graced by the President accompanied by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.
Kenyans around the country join in tree planting efforts.
- Ivory burn
On 1st May 2016, set off the fire for historic burn of the 11 massive piles of ivory, which took place at Nairobi National Park. It was organized by Kenya Wildlife Service and partners, and attended by the presidents of Kenya, Gabon and Uganda, as well as high-level UN officials, including Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and Helen Clark, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
As African leaders soundly rejected “those who think our natural heritage can be sold for money,” senior United Nations officials expressed support for Kenyan-led efforts to end illegal wildlife trade during a weekend ceremony in Nairobi where tonnes of elephant tusks and rhino horns were burned to protest poaching, which is pushing several iconic species to the brink of extinction. In the ceremony, 105 tonnes of ivory and 1.3 tonnes of rhino horns, nearly all of Kenya’s elephant ivory and rhino horn stockpiles, were burned.”
- Commemoration of annual international environment days
Kenya has been commemorating international environment days to raise awareness on biodiversity. These are undertaken at National level and celebrated rotationally across counties. Examples include the following:
- In 2019, National celebrations to mark the World Environment Day, were held on Wednesday, 5thJune 2019, under the theme: Air Pollution, A Silent Killer; and the slogan ‘Hewa Safi, Jukumu Letu’ (Clean Air, Our Responsibility). The Commemoration is undertaken by National and County Governments with involvement of major stakeholders such as civil society, women and youth and private sector. This commemoration is in line with UN day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
- In 21st March 2019, Kenya water towers agency together with key stakeholders in environment landscape celebrated the International Day of Forest aimed at raising awareness on the crucial role of forest under the theme : Forest and Education which sought to raise awareness on how to sustainably manage forest and provide a wide array of conservation activities in the country. These commemorations are done rotationally across all the 47 County Governments of Kenya.
- The World Wildlife Day is celebrated on 3rd March annually. Kenya commemorated the World WildLife day on 3rd March 2020 under the theme; “Sustaining all Life on Earth” and was hosted at Homa Bay County’s Ruma National Park with involvement of County Government. The aim of the celebration was to celebrate the diverse flora and fauna and raise awareness of the multitude of benefits accruing from their conservation. This event fore so the launch of the Roan Antelope Recovery Plan 2020- 2030 and Tree planting which aims at restoring initial viable Roan antelope population to at least 50 individuals by 2023 and maintenance of a minimum growth rate of at least 5% p.a. henceforth.
- The World Wetlands Day celebrated on 2nd February 2020 annually, was held in Nakuru County themed; ’Wetlands and Biodiversity’. The aim of this celebration was to mark the adoption of RAMSAR Convention on wetlands, promotion of conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.
- The World Day of Combating Desertification celebrated on 17th June annually, was held last year in Makueni County under the theme; ‘let’s grow the future together.’ The aim of the commemoration was to raise awareness relating to international cooperation to combat desertification and all effects of drought.
Forest Challenge, Kakamega Forest Marathon to support Forest Conservation;
Masai Mara Marathon and Kenya Wildlife Marathon to support protected areas , Mara river and the Ndakaini Dam and Sasamua Dam Marathons to support water towers and water conservation.
Beyond hosting great marathons and winning them, Kenya is also known for the Ivory Burn, a strong message against trade in endangered wildlife products.
Establishment of RCEs
An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organizations, mobilized to deliver Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to local and regional communities. A network aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005 –2014), by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which RCEs operate.
Regional Center of Experts (RCE) builds innovative platforms to share information and experiences and promote dialogue among stakeholders through partnerships for sustainable development. RCEs are aimed at promoting long-term goals of Education for Sustainable Development ESD, such as environmental stewardship, social justice, and improvement of the quality of life. The networks are annually supported by NEMA and focus on Climate Change, Water, food security and Biodiversity
Key players include:
- Students/ Pupils/ Teachers – School outreach programs, Ensuring the curriculum captures issues of biodiversity.
- Local leaders and policy makers- Trainings and capacity building, One on one lobby.
- Local Community and special groups i.e women and youth target awareness programmes by different stakeholders.
- Media, Business communities and Private Sector Civil Society – Organize forums, workshops,
The RCEs in Kenya include:
- RCE Greater Nairobi
- RCE Kakamega Western
- RCE Mau complex ecosystem
- RCE Greater Pwani
- RCE North Rift
- RCE Nyanza
- RCE Upper Eastern
- RCE Central Kenya
Other contributions to the Aichi Biodiversity target on awareness
Biodiversity conservation and sustainable use awareness targeting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is being carried out in the country by many oganisations
- National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is the focal point for Communication Educational and Public awareness (CEPA). NMK’s mutual concern for the welfare of mankind and the conservation of the biological diversity of the East African region Read more…
National Environment Management Authority has a department for environmental education and public participation read more …
- Implementaton of Education for sustainable Development policy
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has a department for Wildlife education organises World Wildlife Day Read more…….
Wildlife Clubs of Kenya: First conservation education programme of its kind on the continent of Africa. Read more…
The Giraffe Centre is the creation of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (A.F.E.W. Kenya), a Kenyan non-profit organisation. Our main purpose is to educate Kenyan school children and youth on their country’s wildlife and environment Read more…….
African Wildlife Foundation is Supporting education to foster long-term biodiversity protection Raise awareness about the illicit trade in ivory and rhino horn.:Read more…
World Wide Fund for Nature Kenya (WWF-Kenya) is a locally registered non-governmental conservation organization; an affiliate of World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF).Working with communities to creat awareness on conservation of biodiversity/Wildlife Read more…
Eco-Schools is an international programme developed by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1994. Eco-Schools’ mission is to empower students to be the change a sustainable world needs through fun and action-oriented activities.Read more……
Kenya marks world important days for environmental conservation e.g. World Environment Day, World Day to Combat Desertification, World Day of Forests and World Water Day, World Wetlands day and World Wildlife day.