Lake Nakuru - Conservation and Development

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > East Africa > Kenya

Summary

This project has been designed to set up pilot conservation awareness programmes around the Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya to highlight the importance of conservation for human survival, quality of life, and sustainable development. Problem areas which the project will address include reduction of firewood consumption in order to protect the remaining forested areas, halting soil erosion, and prevention of water pollution in the Lake Nakuru catchment areas. The results will be widely publicized throughout Kenya.

Background

The Lake Nakuru National Park is a world-famous conservation area and a designated Ramsar site. It faces ever increasing pressures from surrounding human development activities. This conservation area plays a valuable role in the Kenyan tourist industry, the largest foreign exchange earning sector of that country's economy. It is a national and international asset which clearly deserves protection.

WWF has been supporting the conservation of Lake Nakuru National Park for the past 25 years. This support has included the purchase of land to expand the park to an ecologically sustainable size, the establishment of a sanctuary for the black rhino and support for wildlife clubs and conservation education in the area.

In 1988 WWF initiated the Lake Nakuru Conservation and Development project. The project has promoted the adoption of sound conservation practices in the developments within the lake's catchment area. During the period 1988 to 1991, the following critical problems were identified: soil erosion within the expanding agricultural settlements, resulting in declining agricultural productivity and increasing siltation of the lake; alteration in the hydrology of the catchment and the properties of the lake's water resources; pollution of the lake and the feeding rivers by domestic, industrial and agricultural pollutants; failure of land-use planning within the catchment to integrate environmental considerations into development strategies; alienation of the park's neighbours, due to the depredations of wildlife pests on agricultural crops and the absence of any mechanisms to encourage local residents to support the future survival of the park.

Since 1988 the project has received part funding from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development - Joint Funding Scheme (DFID-JFS). European Commission (EC) funding came on line in May 1995 to run concurrently with DFID-JFS funding.

Objectives

1. Ensure the long-term protection of the Lake Nakuru ecosystem and its catchment through the protection of economically viable, conservation-based land-use and development.

2. Increase environmental awareness among members of the public and draw attention to the impact of human activity on Lake Nakuru National Park.

3. Promote and actively support environmental conservation and sustainable land use in the catchment basin.

4. Monitor the hydrology of the catchment and the human impacts on the lake's ecosystem, establish guidelines for long-term ecological monitoring of Lake Nakuru and make recommendations for water management.

5. Integrate environmental policies into the planning and management of developments within the catchment basin.

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