The challenge: addressing the causes of biodiversity loss in Kenya
Kenya is divided into five zones with very varied landscapes (forests, plains, mountains, grasslands, semi-arid scrub…) and also coastal and maritime ecosystems. Fresh and salt water ecosystems cover about 8% of Kenya’s surface area. These areas are essential for biodiversity, food production, hydrological stability, mineral cycles and the country’s socio-economic development. Fresh and salt water expanses are essential as part of the equilibrium of many migratory birds, but also for feeding the inhabitants and in their day-to-day lives (fishing, mangrove woods, economic activity, etc.).
Kenya also has many protected areas (national parks, reserves and sanctuaries), however more than 70% of the country’s biodiversity is located outside these areas managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), which makes it particularly exposed to threats and poses a number of conservation challenges. Kenya also has a wealth of mammal species 14 of which are endemic to the country such as the African elephant, the black rhinoceros, the buffalo, the leopard and also the African lion.
Finally, Kenya is seeing its biodiversity threatened in a number of ways: demographic pressure, escalation of poverty and conflicts, land use practices leading to its deterioration and pollution, invasive species such as the Nile perch and water hyacinth in Lake Victoria, deterioration of corals due to climate change, the tourist industry which is eating away at fragile coastal areas …