East Africa Wetland Management Course announced



East Africa Wetland Management Course

Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute
Naivasha, Kenya
16 September -- 27 October 2002


There are many definitions of the term "wetlands" currently in use. The Ramsar convention has defined wetlands in a globally applicable way as:

"areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres."
The convention further elaborates that wetlands "may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands."

Wetlands cover a wide variety of habitats including rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, coastal areas, estuaries, bogs and coral reefs.


The Ramsar convention which is an agreement on wetlands, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international co-operation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. The convention (known from its place of adoption in Iran) came about in 1971 and entered into force in 1975. The Ramsar convention was the first of the modern instruments seeking to conserve natural resources on a global scale. The convention restrains member countries from unsustainable use of their wetland resources. Currently, there are over 114 contracting states, amongst them the East African countries of Kenya and Uganda.


Wetlands are important for ecological process as well as for their rich biodiversity. Unique and rare plant and animal species can be found in different wetland areas over the world. The values of wetlands range from aesthetic to economic, cultural and social benefits.

Wetlands find uses in fishing, tourism, recreation, hydrology and food crop production. Wetlands may also produce other important natural resources such as fuel wood, timber, thatch grass, latex, tannins and alcohol. In pastoral areas in Africa, wetlands provide water and become important grazing areas during drought periods. Moreover, wetlands are important conservation areas as breeding sites for certain species of fish and birds.


Due to their vast ecological wealth, wetlands have always fallen victim of over manipulation tendencies by man, e.g. the imbalance of the fish population in Lake Victoria, as a result of the introduction of the Nile Perch.

Rapid human population growth, industrialization and urbanisation have largely contributed to loss and unwise use of wetlands. The need to feed a large human population has resulted in the conversion of most wetlands into agricultural areas while expanding industries and urban centres discharge their waste water into the neighbouring wetlands, hence causing water pollution.

Reclaiming wetlands for agriculture has resulted in reduction and loss of habitats and subsequent loss of many useful plants and animals dependent on those wetlands. Pollution renders water unhealthy for human and livestock use, ruins aquatic life and restricts recreation facilities. Navigation may be interfered with, especially where eutrofication alters the wetland ecology, encouraging massive growth of aquatic vegetation. Poaching, uncontrolled water abstraction, unsustainable fishing and illegal use of rare and endemic plants and animal species also contributes to loss of wetland values.

In order to fulfill human and conservation needs inherent in wetlands, it is imperative that wetlands are wisely used, and properly managed, to counter and avoid negative human influences.

Many wetlands lay athwart national boundaries or derive their water supplies from neighbouring countries or regions. Fish and water birds ignore national or regional boundaries and migrate for breeding, feeding or resting in wetlands in other areas.

Not all wetlands fall under protected areas (e.g. national parks). However, both protected and unprotected areas share certain important ecological linkages. Thus, all wetlands need wise use management approaches.

Wise use and sustainable management of wetlands is therefore a local, national, regional as well as international obligation. The Ramsar convention recognizes this paradigm and requires that contracting parties meet these obligations.


Wetland management is a task that calls for a wide range of skills and knowledge including ecological, hydrological, socio-economic, technological and administrative.

Effective management of wetlands is influenced by many internal and external factors such as politics, land use systems, industrial and urban wastes management of one or the other country or region.

Industrialisation and urbanisation in the developed world contributed greatly to the loss of wetland habitats through pollution and reclamation. Developing countries need to avoid mistakes made in developed countries, in order to manage their wetlands wisely.

Many people charged with the responsibility of managing wetlands do not have the necessary skills and knowledge. The East African Wetland course is aimed at capacity building and developing an attitude necessary to promote and enhance wetland management.

Who qualifies for the training?

The East African Wetland Management Course is designed for those actively involved in either coastal or inland wetland management. They may be Resource Planners in the County Councils, Wildlife Officers, Environmental Officers, Water Resource Officers, Fisheries Officers and Officers/Staff from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in and outside Eastern Africa

Who will offer the Course?

The course has been designed and will be offered by the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI), Naivasha, Kenya.

Local fisherman at Mida Creek


The following 5 blocks of topics can be distinguished:
1. Management and Planning
2. Inventory and Classification
3. Importance of Wetlands
4. Institutional setting, policies and legal issues
5. Communication


The overall course purpose is:
To provide participants with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary for effective management of wetland sites ("effective" meaning - facilitating wise use taking regional policies into account).

Course Objectives more specifically:

· Understand the wetland ecosystem in its catchment area and its relevant ecological process, both for inland and marine ecosystems
· Understand the importance of inventory and regularly monitoring the ecosystem and its relevant ecological processes
· Can plan and apply an inventory and monitoring system
· Can identify ecological and socio-economic values/functions and threats to wetlands
· Understand the policies, institutional and legal environment and its implications for wetland site management planning
· Understand the appropriateness of wise use of natural resources: protection of biodiversity while facilitating sustainable use
· Defend the importance and benefits in close consultation and of co-operation with local, national and regional stakeholders in wetland site management.


At least two years experience in initiating, developing and (co-ordination of) implementation of wetland management and policies
Aquainted with the co-operation with biodiversity and natural resources management organisations and NGO's
Proficient in spoken and written English
Preferably at least a B.Sc. In (conservation) biology, wildlife management, environmental science or water management or equivalent.


Application should be sent to:
The Secretariat of the East African Wetland Management Course
Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI)
P.O. Box 842, Naivasha, Kenya.
Tel. +254-0311-20267/20577
Fax: +254-0311-21328
E-mail: kwsti@africaonline.co.ke

KWSTI must receive fully documented applications before 1st June 2002 and will inform applicants about acceptance to the course shortly after this date. The maximum number of participants is 20. The candidates that best meet the requirements will be selected by a Selection committee.


The total tuition fee is 172,800 Kshs (2,160 US$)

This includes administration fees, course materials and travel during the course in so far as this is part of the programme.
The course is residential.
The course fee does not include board and lodging, international travel costs and other personal expenses. Participants will be lodged in the KWSTI hostels on the basis of full board and lodging at 1600 Kshs (20 US$) per day for 42 days.
International air travel within the East African Region is estimated at a maximum of US$ 500.

Participants may be financially supported by their employers, governments, NGO's, externally financed projects, or by international fellowships granting organisations such as UNEP, Global environment fund, WWF, UNESCO, FAO, World Bank, European Development Fund or other donor agencies.

Applications for such fellowship should contact the responsible ministry in their own country. A useful publication for candidates seeking assistance is UNESCO's international handbook of fellowships and educational exchange entitled "Study Abroad".

Candidates applying for a fellowship should bear in mind that official procedures require several months. It is therefore recommendable to send in a request to organisations such as the above mentioned as early as possible.

As the organisers of the course do not accept any responsibility for risks such as accidents, illness, loss of property, theft etc, participants are requested to take sufficient insurance measures.


The East African Wetland Management Course is organised by the Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) of the Kenya Wildlife Service, of which the Headquarters is in Nairobi.

The course staff consists of a group of experts with knowledge and experience in African wetland management and training.

Additional lecturing staff is drawn from the KWS Headquarters and its Wetland Conservation and Training Program, The Kenyatta University, The National Museums of Kenya and various other institutes, including RIZA (Netherlands).

KWS Training Institute


The mission of the KWSTI is to be a leader in building capacity for management and conservation of biodiversity in Kenya and the African Region. To achieve its mission, KWSTI formulates and offers appropriate training programmes. Where appropriate, KWSTI will collaborate with relevant Governmental and Non-Governmental Organisations and other stakeholders in the field of biodiversity conservation.


The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is a Kenya government organization, which has the mandate to conserve all the country's biodiversity. KWS directly manages the country's national parks and marine reserves, and participates and advises in management planning for the national reserves managed by County Councils. It also initiates, participates and advises in integrated management planning for other areas of biodiversity importance in close collaboration with other government agencies, international and national NGOs, district planning committees, local authorities and local communities.

KWS implements a large terrestrial and marine wetland conservation and training programme through its Wetland and Marine Conservation Section of the organization's Research and Planning Department. Through this largely donor (notably The Netherlands) funded programme, integrated management plans for a substantial number of both terrestrial and marine protected wetland areas, as well as a few non-protected areas, have been developed and are being implemented. Management oriented research is initiated and supported, a comprehensive country-wide inventory is undertaken and a wetland data base established. EIA guidelines for projects concerning wetlands have been developed and the programme spearheads the development of a national wetland policy, advises in development of environmental legislation, and promotes networking among relevant national and international institutions. Key staff in KWS, as well as staff of other relevant government institutions, NGOs and members of local communities received training in various aspects of wetland conservation. Under the programme, awareness extension activities targeting a broad spectrum of institutions and the general public are undertaken. The programme continues to build capacity in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions of learning to incorporate and teach wetland issues in their respective curricula.

On Patrol


The Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute was established in 1985. Located in Naivasha, about 80 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, the Institute is surrounded by flora and fauna that provide the opportunity for a wide range of training activities on biodiversity and environment.

The Institute offers intensive courses in the field of sanctuary management, basic wetland management, tour guiding and tour management.

A range of programmes has been introduced to enhance sustainable management of natural resources in the country and in East Africa as a whole.

Tailor made courses have been developed on wildlife and environmental conservation. Skills and knowledge-oriented training session are offered in fisheries, integrated coastal zone management and game cropping.

The Institute recently introduced a variety of short courses targeting school leavers, environmental conservation educationists, wildlife personnel and the general public in an effort to enhance biodiversity conservation and management at all levels.

The Institute has excellent facilities for training. Safety, international accessibility, hostels, lecture rooms, classrooms, telephone connections and catering are at international standards for a campus. Museum and library are appropriate teaching aids. The field station at Lake Naivasha and the Coastal Resource Training Centre, Malindi give good opportunities for Wetland Management training.

KWSTI has established linkage programmes with the University of Whales, the Van Hall Institute The Netherlands, University of Nairobi and the RIZA Institute in the The Netherlands, an institution specialising in temperate wetland management.

If you are interested in the East African Wetland Management Course, please indicate which statement applies to you and send us this card.

I am interested in participating in the course and will send you my application form as soon as possible.

I would like to participate in the course but did not find an application form enclosed in the brochure. Please send me an application form.

I am interested in participating in the course but can not do so in 2002. Please let me know if there are other possibilities.

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Delmar Blasco, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Dr. Sam Kenyamibwa, WWF Eastern Africa, Kenya
Paul Mafabi, Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, Uganda
G. W. Howard, IUCN East Africa Regional Office
Dr Julius Francis, Director Institute of Marine Science, Tanzania
Director, Wetlands International
Director, Kenya Wildlife Service
B. Fokkens, Director Wetland Development and Restoration Dept. (RIZA), The Netherlands
Prof Ken Mavuti, University of Nairobi
Dr Emmanuel Severe, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania


Naivasha is a small lakeside town of about 50,000 inhabitants. The centre of the town is characterised by a wide range of activities. Several hotels provide outstanding accommodation. Naivasha township is surrounded by a busy horticultural and fishing zone. The amazing variety of both aquatic and terrestrial bird life around Lake Naivasha is one of its main tourist attractions.

Lake Naivasha as seen from the Institute

Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute
Att;: Secretariat East African Wetland Management Course
P.O. Box 842
Tel: + 254-0311-20267/20577
Fax. + 254-0311-21328
Email: kwsti@africaonline.co.ke

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