Canada Fast-Start Financing supporting Kenya's national parks
OTTAWA, March 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Parks Canada has provided its resource conservation expertise to Kenya through a project that will help Kenya's protected areas and people adapt to climate change. Funded under Canada's Fast-Start Financing, the project highlights the importance of protecting and preserving healthy ecosystems that help provide vital services like clean water and hydro-electricity for Kenya's communities.
The Government of Canada has provided $990,000 for this project whereby Parks Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service will help communities and ecosystems adapt to the challenges of climate change. The project is being carried out in six national parks: Amboseli, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Mt. Kenya, Aberdare and Lake Nakuru. These iconic tourist destinations are among the most important biodiversity hotspots in the country and provide clean water to more than half of Kenya's population.
Efforts to maintain and restore important national park ecosystems will help to ensure that Kenya's wildlife-based tourism industry can continue to thrive and that the Kenyan people will be able to continue to depend on water, hydro-electricity and other important services that these protected ecosystems provide.
- Canadian supported efforts focus on reducing the impact of non-climatic stressors in six national parks like habitat degradation and invasive species on forests, grasslands and wetlands, thereby increasing their resilience to climate change.
- Forest restoration efforts in and around Mount Kenya National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Aberdare National Park, which are the sources of rivers that supply water to over 15 million people, will help to retain water in the catchments of these rivers, improve habitats for wildlife and support people's livelihoods. Hundreds of volunteers and school groups are involved in invasive species removal and tree planting in parks.
- Restoration efforts are stopping woodland degradation and erosion associated with drought around Mzima Springs in Tsavo West National Park, protecting this iconic tourist destination and securing the water supply to about 2.5 million people, including residents of the city of Mombasa.
"National parks are important for conserving wildlife, supporting tourism opportunities and providing livelihoods and other benefits to neighbouring communities, both within Canada and internationally. This is why our government has taken a leadership role in working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to ensure that these places continue to provide services that support food security, clean air and clean water for future generations."
Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
"The funding comes at a critical time in Kenya's history, as it works to strengthen the health and resilience of its wildlife populations and national parks that are so important to the Kenyan economy."
William Kiprono, Kenya Wildlife Service Director General
- Canada's Action on Climate Change
- Ecological Restoration for Protected Areas: Principles, Guidelines and Best Practices, 2012
- Canada Supports Ecological Restoration of Torres del Paine National Park (Chili, 2012)
SOURCE: Parks Canada
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Media Relations Parks Canada