KENYA NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR UNESCO

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1 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION KENYA NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR UNESCO KENYA MAN AND BIOSPHERE NATIONAL COMMITTEE NATIONAL REPORT

2 1.0 INTRODUCTION Man and Biosphere issues in Kenya are handled by the Kenya MAB National Committee. The Committee draws its membership from the following organizations: Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) Non-governmental organizations dealing with environmental issues National Universities hosting departments with domains on environmental issues and climate. The MAB Committee is operational and has been involved in Biosphere Reserve activities in line with the provisions of the Madrid Action Plan (MAP) on issues related to conservation, education and development. Currently, Kenya MAB also hosts the AfriMAB Secretariat. 2.0 KENYA S BIOSPHERE RESERVES Kenya has six Biosphere Reserves designated by the UNESCO MAB Bureau, namely; Amboseli Mt. Elgon Malindi-Watamu Mt. Kenya Kiunga Mt. Kula 2

3 2.1 AMBOSELI BIOSPHERE RESERVE The Amboseli ecosystem is known worldwide as one of Kenya s greatest conservation areas and is recognized as a landscape where humans, livestock, and wildlife have co-existed for centuries. It was given the status of a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO I 1991 so as to ensure the long-term conservation of biodiversity, which was under serious threat from the changing land use patterns. Amboseli National Park is located in Rift Valley Province, Loitokitok District, Kenya. It lies between latitude and S and longitude AND E. It is on the border with Tanzania, north west of Kilimanjaro, west of the volcanic Chyulu Hills and east of Namanga (Oldonyo Orok) hill. The Amboseli National Park is a remnant of the greater Southern Game Reserve which was established in It used to be part of what currently is the Tsavo west national park. In 1948, through a Government Gazette Notice (no. 1233), 326,000ha were established as national reserve and administered by the Nation al Park Trustees. Through the by-laws of 14 June 1961, the African District Council of Kajiado established this area as a county council game reserve, administered by Kajiado county council. A presidential degree, issued in 1971, declared that the area be set aside exclusively foer use by wildlife and tourists. Subsequently, by the government notice No. 264 of 1972, it set apart the area for national park purposes. On 1 st November 1974, national park status was given to a 39,206ha area by legal notice No. 276, and in March 1991, Amboseli National Park and some of the surrounding region was designated by the UNESCO MAB Bureau as a Biosphere Reserve (BR). 3

4 Amboseli National Park forms the core zone of the Amboseli biosphere reserve. The core area of the BR, which is the national park covers 39,206 ha, the buffer zone is 244,000ha and the transition area 2000,000 ha. The Amboseli BR is functioning as expected, according to the Madrid Action Plan. There is conservation of wildlife species within the core zone. The development function in the buffer zone include group ranches, tourism and hotel industry while the research in core zone include long term studies including an ecological monitoring programme; baboon and elephant researches. The wildlife population is healthy and is a major attraction to tourism and potential income generation to the community. Threats include: Permanent Settlement; unplanned development, fragmentation of land, competition for water and grazing; hunting for meat, and degradation of the wetlands. Other challenges include: Blockage of Migration corridors. There is need to consider multiple core zones in this unique BR. Data on the hydrology of the Amboseli Kilimanjaro ecosystem complex is urgently required. The sustainable management of Amboseli Kilimanjaro ecosystem complex is crucial to the sustainability of Amboseli Biosphere Reserve and the Mount Kilimanjaro World Heritage (WH) site. Principally the hydraulics, between Amboseli and Mt. Kilimanjaro are vital to sustainability of the ecosystem functions and livelihood options in the area. However, the linkage between the two ecosystems is poorly understood, specifically in the context of climate change impacts. The UNESCO project titled Biosphere Reserves as learning laboratories for sustainable development in Africa which was undertaken in this area has 4

5 addressed some of the challenges through awareness arising, training and policy advice. The project which was conducted through a sectoral PRA was supported through UNESCO/Japan in-trust co operation. 2.2 MT. ELGON Mt. Elgon is a solitary extinct volcano with one of the largest craters in the world, about 8km across. The rim of the crater rises to an altitude of 4321 m above sea level, but due to the large basal area of the mountain the overall slope is 4%, giving the mountain a very gentle sloping profile when seen from a distance. Mt. Elgon National Park, originally gazetted in 1938 as Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve, lies at the border between Uganda and Kenya and straddles the districts of Kapchorwa, Sironko, Manafa, Bukwo and Mbale in Uganda. The part in Uganda covers an area of about ha which is continuous with Mt. Elgon Forest reserve and Mt. Elgon National Park on the Kenya side of the border, but in 1983, about 6000 ha between rivers Kere and Kaptowoi in Kapchorwa district were excised off to resettle the ethnic Benet (Ndorobo) people, a group that had hitherto lived in the Heath and Moorland vegetation belt of the mountain (effectively having been rendered landless when the reserve was gazetted). The Mt. Elgon protected area system is an important catchment area providing water for both domestic and industrial use, as well as feeding into Lake Kyoga in Uganda via River Mpologoma and Lake Turkana in Kenya via Rivers Suam and Bukwa. The catchment function was considered of primary importance when 5

6 it was gazette, while provision of forest resources was a secondary objective. The idea of the nominating of Mt. Elgon as a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (TBR) was conceived during the UNESCO funded meeting of East Africa Wildlife Directors, at Amboseli Serena Lodge, on 25 th to 26 th April At this meeting it was resolved that cooperation between Kenya and Uganda in management of Mt. Elgon as a Transboundary Reserve be boosted. The stakeholders workshop of Uganda Kenya on the proposed Biosphere Reserve held in Eldoret, Kenya 11 th to 13 th November 2001, recommended that Mt. Elgon be a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. A sub committee was set up to prepare nomination papers for consideration by the MAB National Committees. During the biannual AfriMAB meeting held in September, 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, the AfriMAB Member States also expressed their willingness to enhance exchange of information, maximize their efforts and harmonize actions geared towards the management and development of African biosphere reserves just like the other regional networks under the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The members, considered targets and activities set towards implementation of the Madrid Action Plan (MAP) and in a participatory way prioritized those which AfriMAB is set to implement over the period Among the highly prioritized ones included establishment of transboundary biosphere reserves. Under target 30 of MAP implementation of AfriMAB, the proposed Mt. Elgon TBR between Kenya and Uganda is listed as 6

7 one of the areas to be focused on. It is against this background that the mission to the Mt. Elgon TBR site by a team comprising of five members of the AfriMAB secretariat in Kenya and a five member team from Uganda National Commission for UNESCO met to discuss a memorandum of understanding. Below is a draft of the Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and Uganda authorities; DRAFT MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA This Memorandum of Understanding is made this. Day of between the Government of the Republic of Kenya represented by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife of P. O. Box Nairobi AND the Government of the Republic of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry of P. O. Box 7103 Kampala: hereinafter referred to as the parties ; 7

8 WHEREAS (a) The parties wish to enhance and operationalize the management of the Mount Elgon Eco-system that traverses the common boundary of the two countries as a transboundary biosphere reserve for more effective management and conservation of the ecological resources and for their mutual benefit and of the communities immediately surrounding the ecosystem; (b) The benefits for the parties include joint and effective protection of the ecosystem as an important water catchment area and biodiversity reserve, and coordinated and sustainable management and utilization of the natural resources by the communities. (c) Regional economic development can be enhanced through joint tourism development and promotion, development of business opportunities and strengthening social and political ties through established regional economic communities such as the East African Community. NOW THIS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITNESSETH AS FOLLOWS: ARTICLE 1 DEFINITIONS In this Memorandum of Understanding the following terms shall have the following meaning: a) Community Protected Area Institution - institutional mechanism for the harmonization of relations between protected area management and the local communities. b) Ecosystem - the Mount Elgon Transboundary Biosphere Reserve ecosystem. c) Joint Management Committee - the committee set up by the management authorities d) Joint Management Plan the plan developed by the Joint Management Committee e) Management Authority - the lead agencies identified by the parties f) Parties means the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Uganda g) Third Party means any other party other than the parties to this agreement h) Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mount Elgon Transboundary Biosphere Reserve 8

9 ARTICLE 2 MANAGEMENT i. The management authorities and legal status for the ecosystem on either side of the border shall remain as established by the respective national laws. ii. The management authorities from both parties shall develop a Joint Management Plan for the coordinated management of the transboundary biosphere reserve that shall be reviewed periodically. iii. A Joint Management Committee comprising officials appointed by both parties shall oversee the management of the transboundary biosphere reserve and set guidelines for its operations. The committee shall report to the ministries responsible for the management of the protected area in either country. ARTICLE 3 LAW ENFORCEMENT i. The respective management authorities shall carry out joint patrols within the transboundary biosphere reserve for purposes of law enforcement. These shall be mutually planned and the movement of management staff on either side of the common international boundary shall be within mutually agreed operation plans and established channels of communication. ii. Joint operations shall include but not limited to anti-poaching, fire control, problem animal control, boundary maintenance and control of illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. iii. Joint operations shall be carried out in accordance with the national laws of the respective parties. ARTICLE 4 RESOURCE USE 9

10 i. The parties shall undertake to jointly draw up and periodically revise mechanisms of resource access and use in the transboundary biosphere reserve by neighbouring communities. ii. Both parties shall uniformly apply the agreed mechanisms. The mechanisms shall be participatorily developed in consultation with all stakeholders. iii. The Joint Management Committee shall address any contention in this area. Local institutions already established for collaborative management and monitoring of resource use such as the Community Protected Area Institutions (CPIs) in Uganda shall be maintained, and for Kenya established and strengthened for effective management. ARTICLE 5 ZONING The zoning of the transboundary biosphere reserve shall be mutually agreed upon and re-evaluated from time to time in line with international instruments to which the parties subscribe. ARTICLE 6 CAPACITY BUILDING, RESEARCH AND MONITORING The parties shall develop joint programmes for capacity building, research and monitoring relevant to all the management, scientific and sociological needs of the transboundary biosphere reserve. ARTICLE 7 FUNDING AND DEVELOPMENT PARTNER CONTRIBUTIONS The parties undertake to continue providing adequate funding and budgetary support that each is currently providing for the management of the Protected Area on either side and to adjust the funding as the need arises for every budget period. In addition the two parties shall collaboratively develop proposals for funding by Development Partners and set up a proper management of such funding, to be overseen by the Joint Management Committee. The terms and conditions for any such external funding shall be mutually agreed upon by the parties and the Development Partners. 10

11 ARTICLE 8 COOPERATION WITH OTHER PARTIES This Memorandum of Understanding shall not in any way restrict either party from entering into any agreement with a third party on similar or related issues, and it shall not affect already ongoing activities by either party in the same or related field. ARTICLE 9 INFORMATION SHARING In pursuance of article 8 above, the parties shall inform each other in writing about such cooperation with a third party as long as the cooperation is about the said Transbounday Biosphere Reserve. ARTICLE 10 COMMENCEMENT AND DURATION This Memorandum of Understanding shall come into effect on the day of execution by both parties and shall remain in force from year to year unless and until either party gives the other six (6) months notice in writing of its intention of termination. The on-going projects and commitments will continue and will not be affected by the termination of this Memorandum of Understanding. ARTICLE 11 MODIFICATION AND AMENDMENT Amendments of this Memorandum of Understanding shall be agreed upon and made in writing by the parties. 11

12 ARTICLE 12 SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES The parties shall use their best effort to settle amicably all disputes arising out of or in connection with this Memorandum of Understanding or its interpretation, failure of which the parties will mutually agree on the appointment of an Arbitrator(s). ARTICLE 13 TERMINATION This Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated any time by both parties as provided for in article 10. ARTICLE 14 LAW APPLICABLE This Memorandum of Understanding, its meaning and interpretation shall be in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Uganda and the Laws of the Republic of Kenya. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this agreement to be executed the day and year first above written. SIGNED BY:.. FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA SIGNED BY: 12

13 FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA 2.3 MALINDI WATAMU The Malindi Watamu Biosphere Reserve is situated in the coastal region of Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It is a good example of a marine park. It is under the management of Kenya Wildlife Services. The key areas of a Biosphere Reserve according to the Madrid Action Plan are well defined, ranging from the core area to the transition zone, in accordance with the Madrid Action Plan. An up to date Management Plan is in place. There are many non governmental organizations operating within the Biosphere Reserve, which include Watamu Turtle Watch and Aroche Kenya, among others. Some of the challenges in this BR include rivalry among resource users and pollution. 2.4 MT. KULAL Mt. Kulal Biosphere Reserve is located in an arid area in the northern part of Kenya, surrounding Mt. Kulal. It has an evergreen zone around Mt. Kulal. The periodic Review report, prepared by the Kenya MAB Committee was endorsed by the MAB ICC in July 2011, during the 23 rd session of the International Coordinating Council of MAB in Dresden, Germany. 13

14 2.5 KIUNGA The Kiunga BR is mainly a Marine Reserve near the Kenya Somalia Border. A management plan is under construction and has involved stakeholders, including the local community. The Kenya MAB plans to conduct capacity building activities in the BR and to initiate a periodic review, in accordance with the Seville Strategy and the Madrid Action Plan. 2.6 MT. KENYA BISPHERE RESERVE This BR is situated in the Mt. Kenya National Park and is run by the Kenya Wildlife Service. It has an operational management plan, which was developed through cooperation among the stakeholders, in accordance with the Madrid Action Plan. Some of the challenges include: - Encroachment of settlements due to population pressure - Depletion of the forest in some areas. - Fires, which have destroyed large areas of the forest - Interference of water catchment There are many non-governmental organizations working in this area, mainly on conservation. 3.0 CURRENT MAB ACTIVITIES Some of the current activities include the following; AfriMAB Kenya is the current host of AfriMAB and has established a secretariat at KNATCOM. It is involved in the preparation of statutes and charter for afrimab. It has drafted the biennial AfriMAB work plan 14

15 The AfriMAB secretariat also participated in the Ethiopian National MAB workshop last year. The secretariat is also planning to host a general AfriMAB meeting in the course of the year. MT. ELGON TRANSBOUNDARY MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING Plans to form the Mt. Elgon Transboundary Biosphere Reserve are at an advanced stage. EXTENSIONOF MT KENYA BIOSPHERE RESERVE TO INCLUDE LEWA A proposal on this has been submitted to UNESCO Paris for consideration. DEVELOPMENT OF LAMU PORT AND ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT The Kenya MAB committee is following the activities related to the construction of the port with a view to raising a red flag incase the development will impact negatively on adjacent Biosphere Reserves. PERIODIC REVIEWS OF BRS The Kenya MAB Committee has noted that apart from Mt. Kulal Biosphere Reserve, the rest of the BRs are due for Periodic Review. The Kenya MAB, in collaboration with stakeholders plans to initiate the Periodic Reviews. 15

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