National Report of Kenya for COP7

National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6

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Contracting Party Kenya
Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority Kenya Wildlife Service
Full name of the institution .
Name and title of the head of the institution Dr David Western, Director
Mailing address for the head of the institution P.O. Box 40241, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone 254 (02) 501081/2, (02) 602345, (02) 506671/672
Fax 254 (02) 505866, (02) 501752, (02) 605828
Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters Anderson Koyo, Wetlands Programme Coordinator
Mailing address (if different) for the designated contact officer .
Telephone .
Fax .
E-mail .

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.

We have held several subregional meetings/consultations on broad biodiversity conservation matters and wetlands, i.e. joint meetings between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania within the framework of the GEF-funded Lake Victoria Environmental Programme, which includes a component that deals with wetlands conservation and buffering capacity for Lake Victoria. There have been joint meetings/ consultations between Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania on the proposed GEF-funded project on the conservation of the Eastern Rift (Gregory) Valley lakes and especially cross-border wetlands like Omo river/lake Turkana and lakes Jippe and Natron. Other consultations have been within the framework of the GEF-funded Transboundary Biodiversity Conservation Project in which a number of wetlands are included. Ramsar Convention and particularly its principle of " wise use and conservation of wetlands" has been the guiding factor in the discussions. The importance of joining of the convention by countries that are not yet members has also been discussed in such meetings.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:

A National Wetland Policy is currently being developed....policy framework/first draft ready.

a. What are/will be its main features?

The National wetlands policy will include the following operational principles

  • Wise wetland use
  • Multiple use of wetlands
  • Conservation of wetlands for their values and functions
  • Precautionary principle for wetland development
  • Wetland inhabitants and communities to be involved in conservation and management
  • Wetland will be considered in National planning
  • Wetland awareness will become a supporter of the policy
  • There must be a tested scientific basis for management and conservation incorporating indigenous knowledge

Other features of the policy will include:

  • Tenure, accessibility and wetland use
  • Environmentally sound and management and sustainability of use
  • Recognition and protection of the hydrological properties of wetlands
  • Conservation of wetlands and their biodiversity
  • Responsibility for management and sustainable management practices
  • Restoration and recovery of wetlands
  • EIA requirements for development, monitoring of wetlands
  • Regulations and Legislation
  • International responsibilities and agreements
  • Research and wetland monitoring etc, etc.

However, in our case the main problems that hamper faster development of the policy include difficulties of undertaking effective consultations and reaching consensus among the various sectors of the government, private sector, local communities, wetland users, etc. There are also insufficient financial and skilled human resources to facilitate and promote the process.

b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.

The policy is intended to guide wetlands conservation and management throughtout the country and be used at all levels of the society. Hence, the policy should be adopted by the whole government and all other stakeholders including local communities.

c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?

Wetlands are an invaluable component of biodiversity resources and environment of Kenya. The existing National Environmental Action Plan and the Biodiversity Action Plan have been developed within the framework of a holistic and all-encompassing environmental conservation and management in Kenya. Thus, the National wetland policy currently being developed has been designed and formulated to make it compatible and complementary with the National Environmental Action Plan which provides the umbrella guidance and direction for all environmental conservation and management initiatives.

2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?

2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :

a. a single Government Ministry,
b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?

The National wetlands policy is being developed by the National Wetlands Standing Committee (NWSC), which is composed of 22 government ministries and institutions including the national Universities that have responsibilities and mandate that relate to and affect wetlands directly or indirectly.   IUCN participates in the committee mainly to provide technical guidance on wetland conservation matters. The committee is a subcommittee of the Interministerial committee on environment. Once the policy is finalised and approved, the implementation process will be coordinated by a multisectoral committee that includes government sectors, researchers, planners, developers, NGOs and local communities.

2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No   If yes, please give details.

Not applicable. Kenya is a republic state with one central government. The National wetland policy will be applicable to all sectors and institutions in the country.

2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.

A Commission has been established by the government to review the laws, legislation and practices inorder to make them acceptable to the present national and international situation. This is in view of the fact that most laws in Kenya were enacted before independence and most of them are just not compatible with the prevailing needs, interests and aspirations of the Kenyan population.  Some of the legislations which have been reviewed include such pertinent sectors as the Water Act, Wildlife Act, Forest Act, Fisheries Act, etc.  New laws have been enacted to facilitate effective environmental conservation, i.e the draft Environmental policy and Environmental Management and Coordination bill which includes National EIA guidelines. Some of these reviews have now put wetlands conservation into focus than hitherto. The inspiration for the wise use and conservation of wetlands is certainly derived from Ramsar Convention principles.

2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:

a. national

A National land use committee has been set up by the government to develop a policy on planning and land use throughout the country. The committee has identified wetlands as one of the key natural resources for sustainable development. Wetlands are also recognised by the committee as an invaluable environmental asset to be conserved for the benefit of the present and future generations and thus must be given a special place in the national landuse planning and management. Other national initiatives to integrate wetlands into national planning include the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) which also gave special recognition of the values and importance of wetlands - ecological, biological, hydrological, economic and socio-cultural, etc. NEAP has established guidelines for wetlands planning, conservation and development throughout the country.

b. provincial

Several strategies have been made at provincial/regional level to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes. There is the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICAM) process that incorporates all the stakeholders government -- ministries, private sector, NGOs, local communities and regional development authorities. The primary purpose of the ICAM process is to develop an integrated management plan that includes all the natural resources, i.e mangroves, coral reefs, inshore waters, forests and the entire coastal landscape for sustainable development. Given their dominance and productivity in the region, wetlands have featured very prominently in the ICAM process. There are other river basin, i.e Tana and Athi rivers and Kerio Valley Development Authorities, in which wetland and water resources play a major role in the integrated planning and development processes. Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) is responsible for regional planning and development in the lake Victoria Basin where wetlands and water resources play a significant role in integrated planning and management approach.

c. local

Likewise, there are several initiatives at local levels especially at Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Lake Naivasha, Tana delta and other sites where integrated planning based on a catchment approach are being undertaken. In all cases, wise use and conservation of wetlands and water resources play a central role in the planning and management processes.

2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No   If Yes, please provide details and copies.

Several publications have been produced in Kenya to support wise use and conservation of wetlands. Some of the publications could certainly be of assistance to other countries in their efforts to undertake wetland conservation. The publications are too many to be listed here individually but include such categories as books, i.e the Wetlands of Kenya, National Water Master Plan, Forest Master plan, Students research thesis, Water resources assessment programme reports, Workshop reports, panels, posters, etc.

2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).

Lake Nakuru Ramsar site has been a scene of pollution for many years. The pollutants were mainly the domestic and industrial effluents from the nearby Nakuru town. This problem has been remedied through construction of a modern sewerage treatment works through grants and technical assistance provided by the Governmentof Japan. The project helped to reduce the pollution load from the town to neglegible or harmless levels after the new installations.

WWF has sponsored the Lake Nakuru conservation and development project which looks at land use practices within the catchment area of the lake and how these are impacting on lake Nakuru with a view to redressing the problems of nutrient and agricultural run-off into the lake. Through this project, intensive education, training and awareness programme has been mounted together with extension programmes to disseminate practical skills on soil, forests and water conservation among local communities, land owners and residents in the region. This project has contributed very significantly to the alleviation of pollution and environmental degradation at lake Nakuru. There are signs that many land owners and local communities are adopting new conservation approaches. These efforts will have long-term benefits to the conservation of the lake.

Lake Naivasha Ramsar site has equally been exposed to pollution from agro-chemicals and run-offs from the flower farms in the environs of the lake. The local community has produced a management plan for the lake and the riparian land. The farmers have produced a code of conduct to regulate the management, use, application and disposal of agro-chemicals. They have employed an environmental officer to conduct monitoring of farming practices and especially to ensure that no chemicals are discharged into the lake.

2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.

The wetland economic valuation techniques have not been adequately developed in Kenya. There is, however, a lot of information on the economic values of wetlands - either through consumptive or nonconsumptive practices. Wetland users and local communities are particularly aware of these values. The precise techniques to quantify and qualify these values in economic terms for planning purposes is still underdeveloped.

2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No

The National Environmental Action Plan ( NEAP) has stipulated very clearly under what conditions, or which projects must go through the EIA process prior to their commencement. It has also produced National EIA guidelines and standards to guide the process. Projects with potential to cause negative impact on wetlands have been included in the special consideration. The other sectoral legislation, i.e Water act, Wildlife act, Physical Planning Act, Agricultural Act also advocate for EIA undertaking.

2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No.  If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.

Actions taken to identify wetlands in need of restoration include wetland research and monitoring, inventory of wetlands, rapid assessment of wetlands, wetland appraisals, environmental assessments, environmental audits and PRAs among local communities. Wetland restoration and rehabilitation has been recognised as one of the important features of the National Wetland Policy. Wetlands are potentially threatened by pollution, drainage, diversion of water from one basin to another, agriculture, settlements, deforestation of the catchment, soil erosion and sedimentation, etc. In such circumstances wetlands may lose their values and importance at local, regional and national levels. Their restoration should thus be given priority at all levels. The only major constraint to effective wetland restoration and rehabilitation in Kenya would be inadequate technical skills and financial resources.

Reources may be mobilised through a number of ways including information dissemination for advocacy, sectoral budgetary allocations, developing proposals for donor support, training and capacity building for local communities.

2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).

Active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women is very crucial for effective wise use and conservation of wetlands. In Kenya these groups of people are encouraged to participate through a variety of strategies:

i. PRAs have been conducted to identify the interests, concerns and aspirations of local communities, and ensuring that these factors are addressed in the planning and management of wetlands . PRAs have for example been conducted on Lake Nakuru, Lake Ol'Bollosat, Tana River primate reserve, Yala swamp.

ii. Recognition of the traditional and cultural rights, indigenous knowledge, skills and practices including rights of access, ownership and management of wetlands. In that regard we have involved the people and not alienated them from decision making processes.

iii. Several local community groups have been supported to form environmental and wetland conservation groups as a platform for marshalling the broader community participation. In some cases community based organisations ( CBOs) have also been promoted in the rural to act as vehicles for community sensitization and mobilization.

iv. Education and awareness programmes have been initiated among several communities as a basis for enhancing the understanding of the values and importance of wetlands and how they can integrate wise use concept on wetland resources to improve their socio- economic conditions.

v. Capacity building among local communities including training on the conservation and management of natural resources.

vi. Incentives have been provided to encourage local community participation - including benefit sharing from wetland conservation programmes.

vii. Policies, legal, institutional and administrative frameworks are being developed to ensure effective local communities participation and involvement in environmental and wetland conservation.

Lake Naivasha Riparian Association, Osienala, Kipsaina, Friends of lake Nakuru, Lake Victoria Wetland Team, Kipini community conservation group are some of the community groups that are actively involved in wetlands conservation in Kenya.

2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No   If yes, please provide details.

No.....Though not much progress has been achieved in this area, the Government of Kenya in the 1994 Financial Act has waived duty on any machinery or equipment meant for amelioration and conservation of the environment.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No?   If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)

There are several government-run education and awareness initiatives in Kenya. These are being managed by various sectors like the National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, the Permanent Presidential Commission on soil and water conservation, National Environmental Secretariat. Other sectors that are also concerned with public education, awareness and extension work are the Forest, Fisheries and Agriculture departments. National research institutions also disseminate the findings and recommendations of their studies to the public. The education and awareness materials produced include films, videos, slides, posters, brochures, panels, pamphlets, magazines, books and booklets. Other education and awareness programmes include workshops, demonstrations and excursions and participation in national and international environmental conservation days like the World Wetlands Day, World Water Day and the World Environment Day. Ministry of Education is also promoting education and awareness through its schools programmes and curricula which includes environmental education together with wetlands conservation, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.

Kenya Institute of Education is responsible for curriculum development for primary and secondary schools and has identified education and training needs that include wetlands as part of the environmental studies at various levels. Wetland conservation is covered within the framework of education on environmental conservation. The government recognises the values and importance of wetlands as a natural resource which can be used sustainably for development. The education system and curricula development process contain significant amount of material and information on environmental conservation and management of natural resources. This runs from primary and secondary schools up to the universities.   Egerton University has a faculty of Natural Resources while Moi University has one of the best Schools of Environmental studies in this region. The Universities are particularly involved with research and monitoring including studies on wetlands. Wise use and conservation of Wetlands feature very prominently in these educational and training systems.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.

There are many collaborative mechanisms that bring various public and private sectors together to discuss and strategize on environmental and wetlands conservation in Kenya.

The National Wetland Standing Committee ( NWSC) is a committee established by the Inter- Ministerial Committee on Environment. It is a forum to promote consultations and cooperation among various government sectors that have an interest in wetlands conservation. The committee has enabled creation of linkages, networking and sharing of information. The committee has also enabled development of concerted efforts and national strategies on important wetland conservation activities like education and awareness, wetland inventory, planning guidelines, and policy development.

Other collaborative fora include the National Biodiversity Committee and Biodiversity Working Group, Integrated Coastal Zone Management ( ICAM), Kenya Forest Working Group

Kenya Wetlands Working Group (KWWG), Friends of Lake Nakuru, Friends of Lake Victoria and Lake Naivasha Management Plan Implementation Committee

Some of the initiatives to increase cooperation include joint planning and execution of projects, Jointly developing project proposals and seeking funding and support from donors, joint training and workshops to increase common understanding of issues, etc. Most of these collaborative strategies are not legally established. They operate on the basis of mututal interests and common desire to work with other stakeholders. Only the National Wetlands standing Committee has some degree of legal authority derived from th Ministry of Environmental Conservation and the legal manadate of the collaborating government departments.

4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:

a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.

Identification of training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands have been done sectorally and not at national level. A national workshop needs to be organised to identify and prioritise national training needs.

b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?

This has not been done at national level, but various sectors certainly know where they could go for training. Some of the training opportunities that exist in the country include all the local Universities, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Kenya Water Institute, Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute. Kenyans also attend courses abroad in USA, UK, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, etc., which have a number of training opportunities. Local workshops, seminars and meetings have also been used for training purposes.

c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.

This has not been done at national level but various sectors have certainly developed training modules for managers in their departments, more so on issues that focus on their mandate and responsibility. Kenya Wildlife Service has developed specific wetland training modules for its managers on wetland inventory and monitoring, wetland assessments and appraisals, integrated wetland and coastal zone planning and mangement, wetland database management, wise use and conservation of wetlands, etc.

d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.

Certainly, many Kenyans have gained wetland-related training within and outside the country. Some of the training areas include fisheries management, aqua and mariculture, oceanography, water resources management, forestry management, habitat and ecosystem management, species management, integrated planning and management courses, land use planning and management, natural resources management, use of GIS, biodiversisity assessment, environmental assessment and management, etc. The level of wetland conservation expertise in reasonable but there is always room for further training especially in specialised areas.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:

a. being prepared?  Lake Nakuru Wetland site based on conservation and tourism.
b. fully prepared?
c. being implemented?
  Lake Naivasha Wetland -a Community based management plan based on multiple use of the wetlands

Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.

5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.

Lake Naivasha wetland site: The wetland monitoring scheme focuses on water quality and pollution monitoring, hydrology, soil erosion and sedimentation monitoring, vegetation monitoring through ground surveys as well as by use of aerial photographs and satellite imageries both in the catchment and on riparian land, land use monitoring in the catchment. There is also biodiversity monitoring especially waterfowl counts in July and December, fisheries monitoring and wildlife census in the catchment.

Although lake Nakuru Ramsar site does not yet have a final management plan, all the above cited monitoring activities are equally being applied there.

5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.

There has been no negative change in the ecological character at lake Naivasha. The ecology of the lake has actually changed positively due to the long and heavy El 'Nino related rains that pounded Kenya and other parts of the world in 1997/98 period. The lake level has expanded to unprecedented levels in recent history. This phenomenon has expanded the area of the wetland habitat and improved the productivity of the lake in respect of all biodiversity species especially fishes, waterfowls and others.

The ecological character of lake Nakuru has equally improved as the lake has expanded and reached the highest level in recent times. The El 'Nino-induced rains has catalysed significant improvement of biodiversity resources in the lake as exhibited by high numbers of waterfowls counted recently in July. Lake Nakuru however has a periodic excessive loss of water that follows a 10 years cycle during which time evaporation far exceeds precipitation. This phenomenon though temporary has significant effects on biodiversity including waterfowls.

5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?

There is no Ramsar wetland site in Kenya that is on the Montreux record.

5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.

Not applicable in respect of Kenya.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No. No.

If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No. Yes.

A comprehensive National wetland inventory has not yet been done in Kenya. However, there many wetland inventories being developed at various sectoral levels. Some of the most important inventories currently in progress include those being done by the National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, National Environmental Secretariat, Ministry of Water Resources, Fisheries Department, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Instiute, Forest Department, local Universities, IUCN and Kenya Wetlands Working Group. Wetlands are dynamic and their inventory requires multisectoral approach based on diverse skills. Once these sectoral inventories have been completed then they will be merged into a metadatabase to be managed by the National Environmental Secretariat.

Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.

To be compiled out of the sectoral inventories currently in progress.

6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. Yes. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.

A list of important wetlands in Kenya exists. It was developed by the Kenya Wetlands Working Group in a workshop that culminated into the publishing of a book entitled " Wetlands of Kenya" in 1992. Several more workshops have since been organised to update information on important wetlands in Kenya. The criteria used in categorising wetlands include: ecological, biological, hydrological, economic, social and cultural values of the wetlands. Other criteria used include recognition of wetland importance at local, regional and international levels, especially those that meet the Ramsar criteria of wetlands of international importance.

6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities.

Wetlands are estimated to cover 2.5% of Kenya's land area which is 584,850 sq kilometers. Whereas the rates of loss or conversion is high, like in many developing countries, this has not been calculated to a precise point.

If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.

Borrowing from the Ramsar Convention, Kenya has evolved her own national definition of wetlands as "Areas that are permanently, seasonally or occasionally waterlogged with fresh, saline, brackish or marine water including both natural and man-made areas that support characteristic plants and animals". This definition was produced to suit local conditions but it is used in close relation to the definition of wetland as given by the Ramsar Convention.

6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:

a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2), No, but several sites are under consideration for listing using this criteria.
b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),
Yes, lake Nakuru and Naivasha were largely listed as wetlands of international importance on this criteria.
c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),
d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)
e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)
  No, but several sites, including Diani-Chale marine national reserve, are being considered for listing at the coast under this criteria.
f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)
  No, but several sites are under consideration under this criteria, especially at Watamu and Kiunga Marine protected areas.

6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.

We had indicated in the last National report that efforts were in progress to have lake Bogoria listed as wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. This has not been achieved due to changes that occured in the administrative boundaries of Baringo District in which the wetland was located. The district was split into two districts and now the lake is in Koibatek district--thus requiring fresh negotiations with the new district authorities including the local authority. The effort will be maintained and we hope to have the lake listed in the next one year or so.

6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).

None- the two Ramsar sites in Kenya all both in the interior of the country.

6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).

No specific action has been taken on this issue, but there are several proposed and on-going transboundary environmental and biodiversity conservation initiatives being undertaken in the region which could lead to some transfrontier wetlands being listed as wetlands of international importance. The wetlands that could be considered for listing under this category include lakes Jippe, Natron, the river Omo/lake Turkana wetland system and parts of lake Victoria.

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).

Several bilateral and multilateral activities are taking place in this region for the management of transfrontier wetlands. The most important activity is the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Programme (LVEMP) which is funded by GEF to the tune of over $10 million and covering Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The project is addressing six large components that include the buffering capacity of the wetlands to the lake, water resources, pollution and water quality, fisheries and water hyacinth. The overall aim of the project is to improve the environmental quality of the lake and restore its ecological, hydrological, biological, economic and socio-cultural values in the region and, indeed, from a global perspective.

Other important transboundary conservation programmes include the ongoing East Africa Biodiversity Conservation project funded by GEF and addressing all the important transboundary biodiversity areas between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Wetlands like lake Jippe, Natron, Mt. Elgon, lake Turkana etc are beneficiaries of this project.

There is also the proposed East Africa Rift Valley lakes biodivesity conservation project to be funded by GEF. This project will address conservation of lakes ( and wetlands) in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. The proposal is currently at the block B GEF funding stage and is expected to be fully operational in 1999. Likewise, there is UNEP Regional Seas Programmes for the Eastern Africa which is addressing marine and coastal conservation programmes in the region which includes Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique and several Indian ocean island States in the western Indian ocean region.

7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No......there are no Ramsar sites that are formally "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally. However, we are seeking opportunities for doing so in the near future.

7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:

a. Convention on Biological Diversity

KWS as the management authority of Ramsar Convention participates in almost all environmental conservation programmes and activities of the Natioanal Environmental Secretariat which is the co-ordinating authority of the Biological Diversity Convention. Indeed, the integration and consolidation at regional and national levels is conducted through the existing interministerial committees on wetlands and Biodiversity of which both departments are members, among many others.

b. Framework Convention on Climate Change

NES is the implementing agency the approach as narrated above applies to this convention. The consultations,integration and consolidation of approach is undertaken within the framework of the inter-ministerial committeees and many bilateral collaborations. Apart from integration at national level, other mechanisms for cooperation and integration are the District Development Committees and the District Environmental Committees where all the sectors are represented at district and local levels.

c. Convention to Combat Desertification

NES is the implementing agency but the same approach as above applies.

d. Convention on Migratory Species

Kenya has not ratified this convention, but the same approach as above would applly.

e. World Heritage Convention

KWS is the implementing authority but works closely with all other sectors through the inter-ministerial committees, the District Development Committees, District Environmental committees, etc.

Other general integration mechanisms include joint planning and management of projects and programmes, making joint project proposals,forming cross-sectoral working committees and task force to consider specific conservation issues and signing of MOUs between the sectors as the existing one between KWS and the Forest department, etc.

7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details. Yes

Kenya is cooperating with other range states on the conservation of the migratory waterfowls under the coordination of Wetlands International which compiles and analyses data received from the range states. In that regard we conduct waterfowl counts twice a year ( July & December) and forward our data to WI for comparison with those from other states. We also operate under the CMS in respect of other migratory species - especially within the framework of African-Eurasian waterfowl agreement. There is extensive cooperation with other countries in the western Indian ocean subregion on sea Turtle and Dugong conservation. Kenya also participates in information exchange with many countries and institutions on environmental and biodiversity conservation issues. Within the framework of IUCN specialised commissions we exchange conservation information widely through IUCN networks world-wide. There are many joint research and monitoring operations involving individual persons and institutions in Kenya and those from other countries.

7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details. Yes

Most of the bilateral and multilateral donor support are for environmental, biodiversity, ecosystem or species conservation programmes. The donor support programmes are many and are directed to various sectors, departments, NGOs, local Universities, CBOs and local communities and it is not easy to list all of them here. The important point to stress is that most of the assistance go to environmental conservation including wetlands. Bilateral funding support have been received from the governments of Japan (Construction of sewerage works and a laboratory for water quality monitoring at lake Nakuru), Netherlands ( KWS  wetlands conservation programme, KWS and Forest Department Integrated forest ecosystem conservation project, Mt Elgon and Water Resources Assessment Programme in the Ministry of Water resources), Germany through GTZ ( Forest conservation project at Shimba Hills national reserve); USAID (KWS Community wildlife Conservation project); UK through DFID ( KWS Infrastructural development programme), etc. Multilateral donors support have been received from GEF, World Bank, ADB, UNDP, FAO, UNEP, etc. International conservation agencies like IUCN, WWF, AWF, Birdlife International, Wetlands International, etc. have also made contributions to wetland conservation initiatives in Kenya. Other sectors that have benefited from bilateral and multilateral donor support include Fisheries dept, Forest department, National Environmental Secretariat, National Museums of Kenya, Department of Resources Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS), Ministry of Water Resources, and many research and training institutions.

7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget? Yes.

The Kenya government makes an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Several Ministries that have functions that relate to the environment and wetlands receive financial allocations from the Treasury every year. The funds are not released for wetlands per se but wetlands are among the beneficiaries of such allocations. In other situations, the government has guaranteed loans and given approval for grants that are specifically earmarked to wetlands conservation, i.e. The KWS/Netherlands Wetlands Conservation Programme which is a grant amounting to about $5 million.

7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

Kenya is only a recipient of development assistance. We don't give any financial support to other countries.

7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.

None----situation is as in 7.7

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.....we have not.

8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.

Kenya has paid its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention upto the year 2002.

Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.

At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.

In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country?   Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.

International NGOs operating in Kenya are about ten including IUCN, WWF, AWF, Birdlife International, Wetlands International, etc.

Regional NGOs operating in Kenya are about about six including East Africa wildlife Society, East African Natural History Society, etc.

National/local NGOs operating in Kenya are over 20 including the Kenya Wetlands Working Group, Society for the Protection of Environment and Osienala.

9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:

a. to each other? Yes/No 

Yes...... Most communication is at bilateral level or through the National NGO council.

b. to the government? Yes/No 

Yes........Through the National NGO Registration board.

9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No

Yes............ We always include at least one NGO as part of the National delegation to the COPs.

9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).

Almost all the NGOs are involved in education and awareness actiities through- workshops, meetings, discussions and printing of awareness materials like booklets, brochures, pamphlets, panels, etc. Some NGOs have produced audio visual equipment like videos, films, slides, etc.

9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details both lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha.

9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.

Wetland planning; Community mobilization and participation; Education and awareness. NGOs can also be instrumental in research and information management and exchange, and mobilisation of resources to support wetland conservation.

Final comments:

10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:

a. The Ramsar Standing Committee

We have almost no contact with the standing committee. We have not had any contact with the regional representative since the last COP in Brisbane, except for the brief meeting during the subregional workshop in Kampala.

b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel

Likewise, there has been no contact since the last COP

c. The Ramsar Bureau

Several useful contacts have been made and they have visited our country and provided important guidance on Convention activities and wetlands conservation.

d. The Ramsar NGO partners

Very useful interaction and collaboration with IUCN, WWF and Birdlife International. They are very supportive to our wetland conservation programmes. Wetlands International is also very important in coordinating the waterfowl counts and development of wetlands database.

10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.

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