Kenya aims to tackle growing degradation of vital wetlands

07/08/2013

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Strategy to conserve wetlands should align with Ramsar Convention's main pillars, says Kenya Wetlands Atlas

Kenya is embarking a long-term strategy to conserve and enhance its rich and varied wetlands – key natural resources important for agriculture, drinking water, flood defense and tourism – amid concern that many are facing serious degradation and decline.

The Kenya Wetlands Atlas, produced with funding from the government of Kenya and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and with technical support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), details the many challenges facing dozens of important ecosystems.

In order to reverse the worrying trend of degradation, the atlas highlights the need for Kenya to embrace a raft of measures under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands' main pillars of wise use, designating and managing more Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites) and cooperating internationally.

"The integrity of the country's water resources and agricultural productivity is sustained by our wetlands, which are nutrient rich and productive for most of the year," said Judi W. Wakhungu, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources. "Despite their role in sustaining livelihoods we are seeing severe pressures. To combat this, the government has embarked on a long-term strategy to promote the protection of wetlands, in particular through a wetlands conservation and management policy currently under revision."

Reprinted from: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/default.aspx?DocumentID=2723&ArticleID=9583&l=en, where more details can be found.

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