SWOT- analysis field trip of the 37 th Steering Committee CEM in Kenya

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1 SWOT- analysis field trip of the 37 th Steering Committee CEM in Kenya By IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management Steering Committee, October 2013 Associated to the Steering Committee meeting in Nairobi CEM visited a number of conservation activities in Kenya. The purpose of these field visits is to interact with the local partners and to experience ecosystem management at first hand, rather than only talk about it. This way we can share the knowledge of our Commission with local communities as well as learning from other communities during the field visits. This document is made up by input from hand- on observations during our field trips in Meru National Park, The Sweet Waters Tented Camp in Ol Pejetta and Nairobi National Park. The general impression of the field visits was very positive. Not only did we enjoy the beauty of Kenya s landscapes and wildlife, but we also had interesting exchanges with representatives of local communities in Meru National Park, with whom we stayed in a community- owned eco- tourist camp, a mutual learning exercise. However, interactions with protected areas could have been more intensive. We prepared a SWOT Analysis of these field trips and we hope that it will be of use to field activities, management and local communities that we have interacted with, and to ourselves as a background documents for our (potential) CEM partners in the Eastern and Southern African region. It will definitely be useful in planning future workshops during SC- meetings. Please note where in this document reference is made to a principle, it concerns the principles of the ecosystem approach endorsed by COP- 10 at Nairobi (2006), see Annex I.

2 Strengths General remarks There is an interesting range of conservation experiences; from community- based to high value tourism The biodiversity conservation efforts in and around Meru National Park, Sweet Waters Tenting Camp and Nairobi National Park are remarkable. Local Staff and communities There was an ecologically sound management plan for the area adjacent to Meru National Park, made by the local communities. It covers a large area (principle 2) with the high level of cooperation between various user groups. The plan integrated ecosystem management to provide economic benefits to local users within the systems capacities to deliver ecosystem products and services on a sustainable basis The community based tourist camp was well set- up, with an interesting bush- experience for eco- tourists (not necessarily backpackers only), and with capable interpreters to discuss with. The meeting with the pastoralists at the watering point was a highlight of the field trip. We saw application of the ecosystem approach in action including: o Setting of objectives by societies o Agreeing on trade- offs o Decision making at the lowest appropriate level Nature and Wildlife Incredible richness of wildlife observed at all sites Near SWTC we passed a corridor where elephants (and other animals) may pass the road safely. An interesting facility in the densely populated area of the Kenyan highlands. Good facilities for confiscated Chimpanzees and relocated Black- and White Rhino s Logistics and Campus Very comfortable and well- equipped Sweet Waters Tented Camp Hotel, food and welcome correct at all National Parks Interesting exhibitions on Chimpanzees and Rhino s Excellent organization of transport - both air and ground travel 2

3 Weaknesses General remarks Lack of technical introduction and background information, including social, ecological and cultural information. Local staff and communities No opportunities for the SC- members to exchange views and ideas with the management at Sweet Water TC, nor with the management of Meru National Park. Aspects to discuss include a/o How do the local communities benefit (principle 4) What use is made of local knowledge for the management of the area (principle 11) Integration of the protected area in the management of a region (principles 3 and 7) Societal choice as worded in principle 1, should involve all stakeholders. This did not seem to be the case with the community- based management plan of the buffer zone area around Meru N.P. that we visited. Only the users with ancestral rights were involved in the process, others that might have used the area for generations as well, such as Somali herdsmen, seem to be excluded from the decision making process. Nature and Wildlife In places of the Buffer Zone around Meru N.P., bush encroachment was affecting the quality of the land for grazing negatively A bit a Zoo- type of setting at Sweet Waters TC, demonstrated by the presence of Mountain Zebra, a species that occurs naturally in Southern Africa only 3

4 Opportunities General Remarks Good examples of protected areas and their values in an urban (i.e. Nairobi) and densely populated (SWTC) setting that may be used for the discussions in the Urban Ecosystems Thematic Group to be established (Principle 3). Local staff and communities It is recommended to organise for similar site visits meetings with the people in the field as this would allow them to get acquainted with CEM and from CEM- side we can learn on how they manage their ecosystems - perhaps contributing with our expertise. o About local community interaction/perceptions/attitudes with/towards the conservancy o A more in- depth analysis of the issues raised by the pastoralists working the ESARO project and have a very good case study. o A session with management of Sweet Waters to highlight issues regarding conservation, protection and exploitation of the same ecosystem services by diverse users. o We could provide some advice to the women running the Malka Bijanadi Cultural Village on marketing their enterprise. Note should be taken of Principle 4. Nature and Wildlife Bush encroachment in the buffer zone of Meru N.P. might be counteracted on an experimental basis by the production of charcoal (principle 10) A possible case- study about wildlife- cattle interaction in Ol Pejetta. 4

5 Threats IUCN was not known by the staff of Nairobi N.P. that guided us through their park (despite reference to the Red List of Species at the information Centre) Terrorist attacks did not stop us from going to Nairobi, but it is a factor that many visitors will consider when planning to come to Kenya Annex I: The 12 principles of the Ecosystem Approach Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choice Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level Principle 3: Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems. Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context. Any such ecosystem management programme should: (a) Reduce those market distortions that adversely affect biological diversity; (b) Align incentives to promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable use; (c) Internalise costs and benefits in the given ecosystem to the extent feasible. Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach. Principle 6: Ecosystems must be managed within the limits of their functioning Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Principle 8: Recognising the varying temporal scales and lag effects that characterise ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term. Principle 9: Management must recognise that change is inevitable. Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of conservation and use of biological diversity Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices. Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines. 5

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