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Wetlands International Kenya, NEMA in partnership to improve management of wetlands


On April 19, 2017, Wetlands International Kenya and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that provides for collaboration in the implementation of actions towards sustainable management and promotion of “wise use” of wetlands in Kenya.

With the concept of “wise use” (which was pioneered when the Convention on Wetlands was drafted in Ramsar, Iran in 1971), the Ramsar Convention emphasizes that the use of wetlands by human should be entirely compatible with Ramsar principles and wetland conservation in general. In Kenya, wetlands occupy about 3-4% of the land surface and fluctuates up to 6% during the rainy seasons. Despite this relatively small geographic extent, wetlands provide a great range of ecological and socio-economic benefits and are indispensable to the very survival, health and welfare of human beings and biodiversity. Despite the critical functions wetlands provide, they are constantly under threat and many continue to be degraded and even lost at an alarming pace.

Even though an inclusive National Wetlands Conservation and Management Policy was launched and is under implementation, this, coupled with the promulgation of an environment-friendly Constitution in 2010, and the several wetland provisions contained in the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, there have been little notable positive impacts in the management and conservation of wetlands ecosystems and their resources. “The lack of enforcement compromises the ecological integrity of wetland ecosystems and continues to impede the sustainable management of these vital but fragile ecosystems. There is therefore need to review and strengthen the regulations and make them enforceable by regulatory agencies and other stakeholders” said Julie Mulonga, Programme Head, Wetlands International Kenya.

Through the MoU, Wetlands International Kenya and NEMA will collaborate in a series of activities to improve wetland management. The organisations will: review the Wetlands, River banks, Lake Shores and Seashore Management Regulations, 2009 to align with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the 2015 Amended Environment Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) to provide for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources while promoting integration of wetlands resource use into local and national management aspirations. The MoU marks an important partnership with the Government, and is expected to strengthen the existing synergy by harnessing the capacities of both sectors through the development and implementation of separate and joint programmes that will support the long-term improvement of wetlands resources for socio-economic development.


 Joy Kivata

Communications and Media Coordinator

Wetlands International Africa

Phone: +221 33 869 16 81


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