Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Biodiversity conservation in Laikipia County

By Bob Aston
Laikipia County is among the richest in biodiversity in the county. The reason for its high biodiversity is the extent of the area of conservation, its varied topography and its geographical setting which straddles several ecological zones.
According to the Laikipia Wildlife Conservation strategy for 2012-2030, the county contains a great diversity of plants and animals. A preliminary species inventory done by Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) indicates the county has 540 species of birds, 95 species of mammals, 87 species of reptiles and amphibians, almost 1000 invertebrates and over 700 species of plants.
The county has broadly six (6) different types of habitats that include; Grassland and open woodland, acacia-cammiphora woodland, upland dry forests, evergreen bushland, rivers and wetland and scarps and kopjes.
Reafforestation done in one of the forests in Laikipia
Grassland and open woodland covers more than half of Laikipia, Acacia-Commiphora woodland occurs in the dry central and northern part of Laikipia, Upland Dry Forests contains the greatest diversity of species in the county, Evergreen bushland covers large areas of south central and West Laikipia, rivers and wetlands which used to dominate the county are now rare, Scarps and Kopjes provide sanctuary for higly diverse are relatively rare plant communities.
As population increases ecosystems are being rapidly altered and the county is undergoing a massive loss of biodiversity. Some of the issues posing a threat to the biodiversity include; loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, the spread of invasive species, unsustainable use of natural resources, climate change, inappropriate fire regimes, escalating poverty and conflicts, changes to the aquatic environment and water flows and poor education and inadequate involvement of the community.
Uncontrolled use and exploitation of some of Laikipia habitats has had an overwhelming impact as indigenous forest cover within the forest reserves of South –West Laikipia (Marmanet, Lariak, Ol Arabel, Rumuruti and Uaso Narok) has reduced considerably.
Through the conservation of biodiversity the survival of many species and habitats which are threatened due to human activities can be ensured. In order to secure valuable natural resources for future generations and protecting the well being of eco-system functions, a pro active approach that incorporates public participation needs to be established.
Community based Natural Resources Management (NRM) association like Water Resource Users Association (WRUA) and Community Forest Association (CFA) have been instrumental in the county in water resource management at sub catchment level and conservation of forests respectively.
Integrating conservation into farming practices will help preserve biodiversity as well as improve the livelihood of farmers.
Men enjoying the beauty of the county
The Laikipia Wildlife Conservation strategy for 2012-2030 indicates that by 2030 appropriate management action will have been taken to maintain or enhance areas of natural habitat that are currently vulnerable and in decline.
According to the Kenya National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), deliberate measures are currently being put in place to fulfill the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, including Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
The NBSAP Action Plan was developed to facilitate the achievement of the national vision and aspirations. It describes issues that threaten biodiversity and what needs to be done, how it would be done, and the time-frame in which it should be done.
The Aichi Biodiversity Targets aims to provide an overarching framework on biodiversity, not only for the biodiversity-related conventions, but for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development.
Globally the value of biodiversity as a key component of the environment was recognized during the buildup to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. During that occasion, Kenya endorsed and adopted Agenda 21, and also signed the Convention on Biological Diversity' (CBD).
Climate change is increasingly contributing to biodiversity degradation. Actions that are currently being taken by different stakeholders will help to mitigate the effects of climate change consequently preserving biodiversity.
Biodiversity is extremely important as it is required to satisfy basic needs like food, drinking water, fuel, shelter and medicine. Biodiversity helps in; maintenance of water cycles, regulation of climate, photosynthetic fixation, protection of soil, storage and cycling of essential nutrients, as well as absorption and breakdown of pollutants. .
Post a Comment