AEWA SGF Contributes to Increased Capacity for Conservation of Rift Valley Lakes in Kenya

Bonn, 18 October 2019 – Small-scale funding from AEWA has contributed to the successful conduct of the 2018 annual waterbird counts in Kenya, in the framework of a recently concluded project carried out by conservation NGO Nature Kenya - the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS).

The funding awarded to Nature Kenya under the AEWA Small Grants Fund (SGF) primarily co-funded some activities related to the conduct of the 2018 International Waterbird Census (IWC) in Kenya, including the training of volunteers involved in the counts. The funding also contributed to the creation of a new Site Support Group at Lake Ol' Bolossat, in central Kenya as well as the celebration of World Migratory Bird Day 2018 through events in May and October 2018.

In collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya (as the national IWC coordinating organisation in the country), the Kenya Wildlife Service (as the national AEWA implementing agency) and a number of other stakeholders, Nature Kenya carried out waterbird counts at seven Rift Valley lakes (Baringo, Bogoria, Elementaita, Magadi, Naivasha, Nakuru, and Ol' Bolossat) and other inland and coastal wetlands across the country, including the Dandora ponds, Yala Swamp Complex and Mida Creek. A total of 294,950 birds and 126 species, and 808,862 birds and 81 species were counted in the January/February and June/July 2018 counts respectively. Of the 572 volunteers involved in the counts, some 220 new volunteers received training on waterbird recording in as many as 14 on-site training sessions, which were held at all Rift Valley lakes where counts were conducted. The training involved representatives from the County Government and Site Support Groups (SSG).

A new SSG called Nyahururu Bird Club was set up at Lake Ol' Bolossat, for the purpose of encouraging and sustaining the involvement of local community volunteers in the conservation and monitoring of waterbirds and wetlands. Members of this SSG received training on various issues including leadership, governance, institutional management and waterbird and site monitoring, with an immediate result being a successfully funded proposal from the SSG for wetland conservation action at lake Ol' Bolossat.

The AEWA co-funding also contributed towards the organization of a World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) event in May 2018 in Nyandarua County in central Kenya, host to Important Bird Areas at both Lake Olbolossat and the Kinagop Grassland. Together with other stakeholders including the Nyandarua County government and Friends of Kinangop Plateau, a community-based organization for biodiversity conservation, Nature Kenya organized this WMBD event which included a community volleyball tournament as well as the planting of one hectare of tussock grass which provides important habitat for numerous bird species in the Kinangop Plateau. Some 300 members of the community participated in the WMBD celebration including students from four local schools. In October 2018, a video and radio programme to raise awareness on the importance of WMBD were developed and broadcasted.

The UNEP/AEWA Secretariat would like to congratulate Nature Kenya and their partners on the successful completion of this project and wishes them success in maintaining and extending the impacts of their important work on waterbird monitoring and promoting the continued engagement of local community support.


Further information:

Nature Kenya

Nature Kenya - the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) - is Africa’s oldest environmental society, established in 1909 to promote the study and conservation of nature in eastern Africa. Nature Kenya is a Partner of Birdlife International.  

AEWA Small Grants Fund

The AEWA Small Grants Fund has so far benefited some 20 governmental and non-governmental organizations in 17 African countries by funding a wide range of conservation projects promoting AEWA implementation in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The AEWA Small Grants Fund is currently suspended, pending funding. Funding opportunities, when available, will be posted on the AEWA website.  

Last updated on 21 October 2019

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