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Latest news from WWF-Kenya

Empowering communities to protect the Mara River

Perennial water shortages coupled with increased water borne diseases and food shortages were some of the sad realities communities living in the idyllic slopes of Merigi Hills in the upper sub-catchment of the Mara River basin in Bomet County had to put up with for years. Today however, things are different thanks to WWF initiatives supported by the HSBC Water Programme.

In 2014 WWF piloted a project that would help communities living in the upper sub-catchment of the Mara River basin, in areas highly affected by soil erosion, to embrace improved land management practices. Through the scheme, businesses positioned downstream are encouraged to support upstream farmers through incentives to improve the management of their farms to benefit the quality and quantity of water in the lower regions of the Mara River.

The thinking behind this scheme is that poor land management practices (poor titling methods, destruction of the river banks and deforestation) in the upper catchment of Mara River leads to soil erosion that eventually compromises the quality and quantity of the water downstream. This threatens the livelihoods of many and the Mara River that is the only reliable source of surface water in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.

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WWF signs MoU with Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI)

The 22nd  of September 2016 marked an important milestone for WWF-Kenya, after it signed a working Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) at an event attended by the Chief Executive Officers of the two organizations.

WWF has partnered with KMFRI for the past decade, in a collaboration meant to safeguard the marine and fisheries resources in the Kenyan coastal area. With the signing of the MOU, relationship between the institutions is now cemented, focused and guided by mutually agreed plan of action.

The MOU provides a guide on how the two institutions will partner in the research on marine, coastal and fresh water ecosystems and capacity building in specific areas of common interest. The relationship will enhance credibility of conservation by ensuring it is driven by reliable research finding.

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The world takes bold steps to protect wildlife at CITES CoP17

Over 180 countries and thousands of delegates and participants convened in Johannesburg, South Africa for the world’s most important wildlife trade conference, the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Illegal Trade of Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES CoP17).  It was by far the largest and busiest CoP ever, with many proposals on various species on the table. It came at a time when poaching has become an international crisis and species are delining at an unprecedented rate from human activities.

There were a host of critical issues up for debate from the global ivory trade to corruption and community livelihoods. With illegal and unsustainable trade endangering wildlife across the world, governments united behind a series of tough decisions to provide greater protection to a host of threatened species and bolster efforts to tackle soaring levels of poaching and wildlife trafficking. More than 180 countries voted to maintain the international ban on trade in ivory and rhino horn, while adopting global bans on trade in pangolins and African Grey parrots.

The conference also imposed strict regulations on the trade in silky and thresher sharks, devil rays, as well as on all species of rosewood tree.

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'Bright' future for children in Leshuta village

Imagine waking up at about 5:00 am to prepare for elementary classes in a school tacked kilometers away in the Mara basin. This was the norm among hundreds of children in Leshuta sub-location in Narok West, who in the quest for education walk a long arduous journey where they encounter wildlife and the risk of flooding during the rainy season.

Difficulties in accessing schools and high poverty levels among the pastoralist communities living in the Mara basin manifested in the high school dropout, low enrollment and early marriages among girls has been a major problem in the area for decades. This was typified when we first visited the school one year ago. Today however, things have changed thanks to the solar systems set up through the WWF Energy Project with the support of Sida. This project aims at enabling communities to access clean lighting solutions.

“Two years ago students and teachers faced numerous challenges culminated in; low enrollment, perennial poor performance, high cost of living all occasioned by high poverty levels among the communities and lack of source of energy,” affirms Ann Chebet who’s a teacher at the school.

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International Coastal Clean-up Day at Kiunga Marine Protected Area

The International Coastal Clean-up (ICC)  is a popular, fun and highly visible event involving volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who clean our coastal shoreline and associated waterways of trash. it is an annual event spearheaded by the Ocean Conservancy. ICC is the most recognized clean-up event in the world as tens of thousands of individuals across the globe come together each year to participate. What is collected is recorded and this data then becomes part of the international ocean trash index.  This year the ICC fell on the 17th of September.

The purpose of the clean-up is to raise public awareness about waste management practices and encourage communities to change the behaviours that cause pollution. People around the world take part in removing trash and debris from beaches and waterways and gather valuable data on the categories of litter items that are most abundant on our beaches and waterways. WWF coordinated coastal clean-up activities in Kiunga marine protected area (MPA), Lamu County, Kenya.

Beaches in Kiunga MPA are important for sea turtle nesting.  Annually we record more than 140 nests and over 13,000 successful hatchlings.  We clean beaches to ensure that nesting turtles have suitable places to lay eggs and the tiny turtle hatchlings can successfully go back to the ocean without being trapped in marine litter.

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