Here is why we should celebrate our biodiversity30th May, 2017
If you take a drive from Mombasa to Busia, a distance of only 1,000km, you will be exposed to Kenya’s rich diversity of ecological areas and rich ecosystems; Ranging from the marine life to the mangrove forests of the coast; the semi-desert of Taru; the chilly highlands of Limuru and the thick green forests of the Rift Valley.
The celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity under the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation of biodiversity. The 2017 theme, “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” has been chosen to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and can contribute to ongoing initiatives such as the Sustainable Tourism Programme.
According to the Sustainable Development, Biodiversity loss has been identified as one of the Planetary Boundaries that we need to address in order to stay within safe margins. And this makes the preservation of this biodiversity vital for all humanity. In the whole world and in Kenya too, species are going extinct at an alarming rate due to human activities. There has been a rapid population increase, deforestation, poverty, land degradation, lack of education and so on.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) records that there are over 35,000 species of flora and fauna. In fact, Kenya is ranked second highest in Africa for its abundant mammal and bird species. Kenya’s rich ecosystem are all used for agriculture, energy production, pastoralism, water catchment areas, nature reserves, fisheries and tourism. All these are fundamental to our food production and socioeconomic development.
Regardless of its small nature, our coastal forests are also rich in plant diversity and indigenous Furthermore, the freshwater and saline ecosystem (8% of Kenya’s surface area) is an important area of biodiversity, food production as well as socioeconomic development. This ecosystem is an essential stepping stone that aids in the migration of thousands of birds. The marine waters and mangroves ecosystems are rich in biodiversity and key resources that are sustaining the tourism industry as well as providing a source of food and timber – respectively – for the local communities.
KCB is committed to safeguarding the environment and its pledge is well captured in the KCB Green Agenda that envisions to create a sustainable and business operations model. In line with this, KCB introduced the Social and Environmental framework whose mandate is to screen credit requests to ensure they have no irreparable consequences on the environment. As a financial institution the bank is fully engaged in uplifting the nation’s biodiversity and welcomes any partnerships that would contribute further to this cause.
Significant measures are being taken by the Kenyan Government to conserve biodiversity through: setting aside national parks and wildlife refuges. It has also partnered with the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) to conduct research that will facilitate the needed data for implementing conservation programs.
Let us also come together as a Nation and contribute to conserving the environment. It could be planting a tree or using non-woven bags during shopping.
Whatever it is, it’ll make a difference.
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